Abandon all weakness, ye who enter here.

Strength Training for Bodyweight Mastery – Attain True Physical Independence

To be a master means to reach the pinnacle of a trade or art; thus, can you master your own bodyweight? It may not be a trade, but some art of the highest degree is involved. Professional gymnasts can move their bodies in marvelous ways using just their hands, although full body strength is involved. Martial artists exhibit high levels of dexterity, suppleness, and strength at generally low bodyweights; this means that they can employ the full force of their bodies even with small movements.

How do they do it? Years of devoted training of course, but what are they training? The development of lean muscle tissue, firm connective tissue, and a sound mind. Mastery of your bodyweight increases in difficulty as your weight increases, so building massive, bulky muscle won't help your goal. 

You have to add compact, powerful, lean muscle tissue to gain such control. Build this muscle all over your body; exact symmetry isn't necessary, but head to toe strength is the foundation of bodyweight mastery. Focus on performing slow, tense movements with submaximal contractions to develop control and build up strength in your tendons. Then comes the application of your training.

Work your way up to the techniques you want; mastery ain't easy. You likely couldn't fly a plane first try, so don't rush it. For example, if a planche is your goal, start with frog stands to straddle planches before going for gold, or else you might become discouraged and lose sight of your goal. Follow the way of the tortoise; slow and steady will win this race.

And so will mental fortitude. If your goal is essential, you should do something toward it EVERYDAY. Your willpower will increase, your confidence will grow, and you'll be ever closer to what you seek. Take a leaf out of Bud Jeffries handbook; he's a man over 200 lbs, but is capable of performing reps of handstand pushups, which is surely close to bodyweight mastery. In fact, one of the best muscle controllers besides Maxick, named Alan Mead, was able to attain such great heights of muscle control in spite of the fact that he lost a leg due to a war injury. The sky is the limit when you apply your mental fortitude to your training.

(Check out Bud Jeffries' weighted handstand pushup below!)