Bodyweight Training – Advantages & Disadvantages
What is bodyweight training?
Bodyweight training is simple as it gets and you don’t need any equipment (like free weights for example) in order to perform it. All you need for this simple, yet effective way of training is there with you 24/7… yes it is your own body weight.
Most common bodyweight exercises are movements like push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, dips…
Improvement can be achieved in many different areas using bodyweight training. To improve endurance all you need to do is work on increasing the amount of sets and repetitions. Strength gains need different approach. In order to improve your strength you need to tweak the intensity level, leverage and squeeze hard at the ending parts of range of motion.
Since equipment is not required for this type of training this makes bodyweight training perfect for people who would like to stay/get in shape but don’t have access to equipment, don’t have money for gym membership or just like working out at home, in park… Personal preferences count a lot if you ask me.
For some exercises you sure need some sort of equipment (for pull-ups you need pull-up bar, for dips you need parallel bars…), but good thing is that you can use almost anything as substitute (for pull-ups you can use balcony, tree branch, for dips you can use 2 chairs…).
Another big plus for bodyweight training is that this sort of training is suitable for everyone (kids, man, women, older people).
If we compare bodyweight training to weight lifting, in general results have shown that by performing bodyweight training we can achieve greater level of mobility and flexibility.
Biggest disadvantage of bodyweight training is found in strength gains because maximum resistance we use is always equal to our own body weight. Yes we can add weight and make it more challenging, but than this is not BW training anymore. Achieving one rep maximum? Maybe as beginner, later you get used to movement, you get stronger and you are still stuck with your own weight only.
Gymnasts are pushing this further and making good use of leverage disadvantage, unilateral progressions, but even this will end at some point.
Personally I don’t care about those disadvantages, bodyweight training is definitely my favorite.
What is your favorite way of training?