The Art Of Bodyweight Training: How To Lose Weight Without Weights, A Treadmill, Or A Gym Membership

Results from bodyweight training.

Congratulations on your progress. Seeing as most people have motivation problems, how'd you keep going? Hardest part?

My mom passed away suddenly when I was 5 months pregnant with my 2nd. She'd always been wanting me to run a 5k with her and I never did. So, on the 2nd anniversary of her death I ran my first 5k. Lol I left right afterwards and a friend had to bring me my medal (1st place in my age group!). I hadn't even considered that I might win. I felt like I already "won".

So that's how I started losing the weight initially. I still run in part, as a tribute to my mom, but also for myself. The hardest part was coming to terms with reality. There are some things that I can't change. Once I embraced that, instead of fighting it, I really seemed to excel at my goals. My goals became different. I didn't want to be a size 0 anymore. (Lol I can't even fit into some jeans that are my size because my calves are too big!) I wanted to do 100 burpees! I wanted to hold a plank for 2 minutes! Once I quit comparing myself to some ideal of what I "should be", I became a better version of me!

My daughter motivates me. She has run through 2 pairs of Pumas! On her 3rd now. My son is excelling in martial arts. I want to be a good example for my kids. :) Aaaand.... My husband. I started exercising first. He never had a weight problem, and loves me no matter what. But he got a little competitive, and now he's a fucking badass. We don't usually work out together (kids, ya know) but when we do, it's fun! And it's brought us closer together in ahem all kinds of ways! :)

How long did that take?

The "before" pic is before I even had baby #2... That's a crib in the background in the "after" pic, where baby #2 was about 2 1/2 years old. It took me about a year. ( That's the best "before" pic I have... Wasn't too fond of cameras at the time! Ya know...)

Could you roughly summarize your routine?

My routine... I sprint, I do Pilates (completely bodyweight dependent) But check out Cassey Ho's "Pop Pilates" for free (!!!) on YouTube. (I swear she doesn't pay me, I bought a sweatshirt from her website, just because all her workouts are available for free... It says "train insane, or remain the same!" ) ALL the squats! ALL the lunges!!! Pull ups & push ups. Handstands. I mix it up a lot.

I try to exercise everyday. Sometimes, I can't, but that's ok, you have to rest as well! TONS of walking lunges. Jump squats. Handstands, jumping rope, trail running, planks, side planks... I mix it up a lot, so that I don't get bored! I think that's the most important thing, to just keep moving. If I did the same exercises all the time, I'd probably be sick of them. I want to get into rock climbing, there's a whole world of stuff to do!

Something else that I do, that I have found to be particularly helpful is, when doing any kind of weight-bearing exercise, I go s l o w l y during the "fighting gravity" phase of the exercise. For example, when doing pushups, I will purposely go as slow as possible during the "up" motion. With walking lunges, I'll hold the lunge as long as I can. I believe it has given me much faster results (with the added benefit of really focusing on correct form) than I would have had, otherwise. Proper form is very important. I respect people who do Crossfit (successfully) but it's not for me, because I just kind of view it as an "injury waiting to happen" type situation. Weight bearing exercises (bodyweight or otherwise) are not meant to be cardio, in my own personal opinion. Especially for people with certain pre-existing physical conditions or people new to exercise.

Can you expand on the runs? Hill work, barefoot, distance, etc.?

I really enjoy trail running! There's a kind of zen that I get from the fact that my body reacts before my mind has a chance to process what's going on. Check out ChiRunning, by Danny Dryer. And hills are fun too! I run them in a zig-zag formation. I wear minimalist shoes, Pearl Izumis.

Concrete is the worst thing to run on! Just don't! I'd love to try biking, but part of why I workout like I do is because when I first started out we were so broke! I can't afford a bike right now, but hopefully in the future! :) ChiRunning is an awesome source for info on running, although I disagree with some of his fundamental ideas. He's an ultra-marathoner, which I totally respect, but he views muscle as something that just slows him down. I enjoy running...But dis bish ain't got time fo dat! I like being strong!

What kind of diet do you have?

My diet is very high fiber. I like spicy food, so I eat what tastes good to me. A lot of brown rice, chicken, cauliflower & broccoli... And chickpeas. Also, healthy fats like avocado, pecans, almonds, etc. Honestly, if it doesn't taste good, I won't eat it. Spices are magic! Whole grain everything, when it comes to carbs. As long as you avoid an excess of sugar (no! No soda!!!), and keep a calorie/macronutrient sufficient diet, you're good to go!

I like Fiber One cereals, I do drink milk (skim), I have a love/hate relationship with cheese! I use sharp cheese because I find that I can use less and get more flavor. I am, sometimes, a lazy bish... I'll eat Morningstar stuff on those days. Not because I'm vegetarian, but because it's the healthiest alternative I have at the time. Beans are awesome! Cheap protien, and high fiber! I usually restrict my beef intake to... Um, that time of the month when I need the iron. I eat a lot of salad ( gotta be careful when choosing dressings!) with spinach. When I feel the need to mindlessly snack, I go for carrots or broccoli. Sometimes, pistachios, because... Damn they taste good & are the lowest calorie nut. :)

Since you turn 30 this year, what are your goals for the future? That's a big milestone!

I am excited about my 30's! Financial stability, with the wisdom of being a little bit older, and having a better body than I've had since I was 16... Good stuff! I feel like there's such an extreme emphasis on youth in our culture, that the benefits of growing older are completely overlooked. Every year gets better!

If you want to try this routine all you'll need is a good pair of running shoes. Here are the top 10 pick from Best Exercise Shoes