"Bodyweight Training vs. Weight Training"
At last, the question everyone wants answered: "What's better: bodyweight training or weights?
The truth is that it does NOT have to be an "either/or" situation,
bodyweight exercises and weight training can actually be combined into the same workout very effectively.
BOTH training styles are useful, BOTH can make
you very strong, and (in my opinion) BOTH can be a part of
your training program... but there are reasons that you might want to choose one over the other depending on your situation.
Instead of arguing, let's instead look at the different advantages and disadvantages of each training style.
Let's compare and contrast a few key elements:
Often times, people make excuses for themselves like "If only I had a gym..." , "If only I had more time to train..." , "If only
You get the idea, excuse after excuse after excuse. The fact that bodyweight training
can be done anytime, anywhere and without any equipment makes it a very valuable tool for building strength and fitness - and many
of the excuses for not training are eliminated altogether.
Not to mention that without having to depend on gyms to get your workout in, you can also cut down travel time, which literally
gives you more hours in the day, and it allows you to skip the membership fees and stop having to stand in line. You can train whenever you want so you can fit your workout into your
busy schedule - not the other way around.
Of course, it must be understood that bodyweight training and weights each build a different "kind" of strength. If your goal
is to "get stronger," either will help you do so.
It is my opinion that the combination of weights and bodyweight training
leads to the best overall development; they can compliment each other extremely well.
One of the keys to super strength is progression - or the gradual increase of resistance. With "weights" your progression
is a reflection of adding weight to the bar. If you are using more weight now than you were in the past you are undoubtedly getting stronger.
Progressing with Bodyweight training can be done through a variety of methods: These include adding sets, adding repetitions, adding
"time (as in timed holds or isometrics)", as well as form adjustments with specific exercises.
Any movement you do with "weights" is going to be dictated by gravity. Given this fact, the resistance will be strongest in one
direction - straight down. In some ways, this limits the "kind" of exercises you can do with weights. Bodyweight movements
often train the body in different "ways" than weights - most often from a flexibility standpoint.
Really it's going to come down to which exercises you enjoy, and
the kind of strength you would like to develop. Bodyweight training also lends itself very well to "combo" movements, which are
often difficult to perform with weights.
Choose what you want out of your workout and go from there.
It has been said that bodyweight training is a more "natural" way of training. I would agree, at least in some regards. The
unnatural forces due to heavy weights (and any subsequent problems from them) can be avoided with bodyweight training.
Weights do have their place, but bodyweight training can be a more useful choice for many people especially younger trainees.
As I mentioned earlier, both styles develop a different "kind" of strength. One of the benefits of bodyweight training
is that it can be used as a very efficient means of building tremendous lung power, which develops
endurance at the same time as strength.
Sure, doing high-repetition bodyweight squats
may not help you squat 1000 lbs. but on the other hand 1000 pound squats aren't going to improve
your bodyweight squat numbers either. Of course, plenty of weightlifters have destroyed their bodies in the name
of building "strength."
Regardless what you are training for, bodyweight training can be a very effective training tool;
either as an addition to your workout or even as a workout all by itself. It all depends on what you need out of your workouts and quite frankly, the most important thing
is to choose the training
methods that you will enjoy the most.
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