Fitness experts extol machine-less workout

Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:10am EDT
 
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Man versus machines? In the realm of fitness at least man seems to be winning.

Despite a gym floor bulging with weight-lifting equipment, fitness experts said the only thing people need to push, pull and lift is the weight of their own body.

"If more people knew you could get a good physique using your body as a bar bell, they could take matters into their own hands," said Bret Contreras, author of "Bodyweight Strength Training Anatomy," a guide to bodyweight-only workouts aimed at everyone from the exercise-challenged to the personal trainer.

Known as "the Glute Guy," Arizona-based Contreras has been resistance training for 21 years. But in high school, he couldn't do a push-up.

"At 15 I was so skinny people used to make jokes," the 37-year old said. "I just got so tired of being made fun of I decided to take charge."

Often thought of as a stepping stone to weight training, bodyweight training can be a complete, whole body workout in itself, Contreras said.

Once the person masters the simpler version of a push-up, squat, or chin-up, a more advanced version can be tackled, often with a little help from the living room furniture.

"Find things in the environment: a table to get underneath, hold on to the sides of and then pull the body upward; a rafter for a pull-up," he said. "To work your glutes (buttocks muscles), all you need is a couch."   Continued...

 
The wheels of an indoor bicycle are seen spinning at a SoulCycle class at their Union Square location in New York April 13, 2011. RREUTERS/Shannon Stapleton