Train Like a Fighter: Master Your Own Bodyweight

Written By: Todd Kuslikis
April 20, 2013

*This is a guest post by expert fitness trainer Chad Howse.

To me, combat sports – be it boxing, kickboxing, MMA, wrestling, or whatever – is the purest form of competition. It’s two men squaring off in a ring. No equipment – other than gloves that protect their opponent from their weapons. No teammates. Just you and your opponent.

The best trained, most prepared athlete walks out with his hand raised.

Sport began as a way to train for battle. Training for boxing was exactly like that; when we trained, we were training for battle. Never before had I trained so hard as when I was training for a fight. There’s no comparison to the level of intensity when you know your opponent is doing the same thing.

What’s unique about the sport of boxing, however, is the conditioning of the athletes, and the lack of equipment used in training. There are no bands or gimmicks. Machines never entered any gym where I trained.

There was iron in the form of dumbbells and barbells and plates. There was rubber in the form of massive tractor tires. There was wood in the form of sledge hammers and axes.

Before we ever got to grab the iron, wood, or rubber, we had to master our own bodyweight.

Many begin training with weights before they’ve accomplished this. What follows is usually injury or a lack of real strength and dense muscle.

Adding Tension

When you first start out you’re mainly doing push-ups and inverted rows (in an attempt to improve to chin-ups), as well as a myriad of lower body and abs exercises. But as you progress – even as you improve with your weight training – you need to begin to add more tension to your exercises.

Knee health score 3

Have a look at the video below. I show you how to add more tension, creating more lactic acid – which raises the GH levels in your body – to an exercise as simple as the push-up.

The Importance of a Finisher

Intensity is the most important factor in our fight against fat, or in our fight against being scrawny and weak. Notice the word “fight”, that’s what we’re in. When we walk into the gym, we’re walking into battle. Most often, that battle is against our own weaknesses and fears.

A finisher at the end of a hard training session does the body good by raising lactic acid, which raises growth hormone (a very big ally in fighting fat). It helps us burn more fat and break down a greater amount of muscle tissue that we then repair through proper recovery techniques.

There’s more to a finisher than just the physical benefits, though. Finishers are typically tough, they aren’t for the feint of heart. They’re a test of your will, your desire to push forward. You may quit – I have – and you’ll feel ashamed when you do. But that will only make you push harder.

It will help you increase the intensity of the rest of your workout as you push to complete one more rep. It’ll help you increase the productivity of your day, as you try to answer 5 more emails, write one more report, or one more article.

Train Like a Fighter

The following finisher is structured at a “24”. That is, 4 exercises done consecutively at 6 reps a piece. Use finishers at the end of your workout to raise lactic acid, burn more fat, build more muscle, and test your mental fortitude.


1. Inverted Row (to failure)
2. Alternating Med Ball Push Up (to failure)
3. Split Jumps (15 reps each leg)
4. Clean Variation (8 reps total

Rest for 60 second
Start with one set, but progress to as many as 4 sets to finish your workout.


Chad Howse, author of the PowerHowse Challenge and founder of Chad Howse Fitness, is a former skinny guy and amateur boxer. Chad created his company to help men become their own hero. Check out Chad’s site: Be Legendary: Unconventional Tactics for Life, Fitness, & Work.

Chad has opened up his free custom training course for us, apply for it here: Legendary Man.


Show/Hide Comments (3 comments)
  1. Dennis Habern

    Greetings from Germany:

    I am an American citizen, currently residing in Germany.

    I am seeking a diet plan that will yield me at least 4000 calories per day over a period

    of 7 days, based upon 6 small meals. And, in addition, I would like to become privy to

    anyone’s exercise plan covering the biceps, triceps, back, chest and shoulders. I can

    be reached at

    Thank you.


    Dennis Habern

  2. Esther

    Lately the hole concept of body weight is starting to like it. Now i know when i lose my pound and get lean with DB i will like to master myself. Will have little goal in each workout for body weight like exercise to increase rep like push up, invert row and plank. With this i think i will closer in what i want.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Esther,

      Yep, that is what intrigues me too. Mastering your own self and your own body weight is MUCH more attractive than simply lifting heavy weights to get bigger. 🙂

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *