Fitness experts extol machine-less workout
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...