3 Simple Tricks to Make Bodyweight Exercise Harder

When I talk to hardcore gym rats about bodyweight exercise, it’s always the same response: it’s too easy. I like to follow up by asking them to knock out a set of sliding pause pullups, and maybe a set of single leg rockback squats. That’s usually all it takes to help them see the light.

Unfortunately, I can’t always be there to suggest more difficult bodyweight movements. And that brings us to the point of today’s post. Below, I’ll talk about three easy ways to make bodyweight exercises tougher.

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Bodyweight Exercise: Reducing the Barrier to Entry

One of the most appealing benefits of using bodyweight exercises is the resulting increase in freedom, right? No more spending hours in the gym – just stay home and crank out a bodyweight circuit or two. Done deal.

Unfortunately, it’s not always that easy. Especially when you’re new to the fitness thing. I haven’t met many beginners that can perform more than a few pushups in one go. I’ve met even fewer that perform them well. Seriously, though – how can you expect to when you’re just starting out?

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GYMLESS PART 2: No Limitations

No limitations is all about beating two of the most common excuses for not doing any sort of exercise: lack of time; and lack of equipment. When the excuses are no longer valid, you’re the one who becomes accountable.


Excuse #1: I don’t have the time.

Everyone has the time. You just have to make it. When you’re GYMLESS, that’s no longer a complicated part of the equation. Quick and intense workouts are the name of the game. If you can’t find an extra 20 minutes for a workout that requires zero travel time then you may need to reconsider your schedule. Be honest with yourself.

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GYMLESS Part 1: Well Rounded

Specialization is for serious athletes. And when it comes down to it, most of us aren’t serious athletes. Or, if we are, we’re not competing at a high enough level to require specialization. 


I was focused when I competed in powerlifting. So focused that I refused to devote training time to anything other than strength and power. Conditioning? That’s hilarious – powerlifters don’t need conditioning. I’m not saying this happens to every person who specializes in an activity or competes in a sport, but I see it all too often.

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The GYMLESS Philosophy

Gymless Definition Logo (2)

I spent years and years pounding away at big weights in the gym. In fact, for a long time all I really knew was the gym. I wasn’t an all-around athlete. I was just great at squatting, benching, and deadlifting. Of course, that’s what really matters when your sport of choice is powerlifting. But what do you do when you’re done competing, whether from injury, burnout, or other circumstances?

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