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Exercise Programs for Men without Weights

A man’s strength training program can lead to many positive results, including improved functional movements, strength, stamina and muscle definition. However, some men operate under the assumption that you need a gym full of free weights and machines in order to get a complete muscle building workout. When it is correctly applied, a body weight workout at home can be nearly as effective as a full gym setup.

Basic Full Body

If you want to generally improve your physical fitness level, you can use a mixture of upper and lower body home exercises for a complete program. Jeremy Wood of Muscle & Strength promotes a full-body routine of jump squats, pushups, pullups, walking lunges, dips and inverted pullups. Perform 10 to 15 repetitions of each of these exercises in a quick and controlled manner. Take only a limited amount of rest between exercises, then rest for one or two minutes after you complete the workout once. Repeat the entire workout three times. As you become stronger, increase the number of repetitions you use. Body weight squats (in addition to the already mentioned jump squats), pull-ups (in addition to the inverted pull-ups), chin-ups, and stair drills can add to the mix.

Advanced Exercises

As you increase your strength, the amount of resistance you experience needs to increase as well. This is one of the biggest challenges with body weight exercises. Strength and conditioning coach Mike Mahler recommends incorporating more challenging exercises like the one-hand pushup, one-legged squats and jump squats. Because these exercises are more intense than normal body weight exercises, Mahler suggests using only five per workout circuit and performing only five to 10 repetitions of each.

Abdominal Training

Building up hard and toned abdominal muscles is one thing that is easy for men to do without weights. The American Council on Exercise supported a study in 2001 to find the most effective abdominal exercises. If you are at home with no weights or equipment to help you, the bicycle kick maneuver, crunches with your legs raised vertically or crunches with your arms raised above your head are the most effective exercises to build your six-pack. Select four or five different abdominal exercises and train for five minutes a day. Perform the crunches with slow and controlled form for maximum benefit.

Military Fitness

If you are a man that wants to be in true fighting fitness, former Navy SEAL Stew Smith recommends pushups, pullups, situps and running in high volume, just as a man trains for a military physical fitness test. Military fitness tests are timed, so all of your training needs to be timed as well. Perform pushups and situps for two minutes with a final goal of being able to perform 80 to 100 in that time period. Write down the number of pullups you perform or how fast you run a mile, and work three or four times a week to improve these figures. By the end of your training, you will be at the upper-end of military testing for physical fitness.

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About the Author

Writing professionally since 2005, Ryan Haas specializes in sports, politics and music. His work has appeared in "The Journal-Standard," SKNVibes and trackalerts. Haas holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and creative writing from the University of Illinois.

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