Bodyweight training has become increasingly popular as more and more people look for creative ways to get fit without breaking the bank. It's appealing for a number of reasons. It's easy both on the wallet and on the body. And you can achieve some pretty phenomenal results with it if you do it properly and consistently. Bodyweight training benefits are many.
While you may not qualify for any Mr. Olympias in the near future, you can get awesome gains with a hardcore bodyweight training program. These five reasons are good places to start your thinking about whether or not you should drop your pricey gym membership in favor of hitting up a public park or just your bedroom floor.
Bodyweight training is great for all kinds of fitness goals. Want to put on muscle? Improve your cardiovascular health? Want to drop those extra pounds? Bodyweight resistance training hits all of them. If you make a basic regimen of push-ups, pull-ups and squats, you're already well on your way to seeing bulk results.
If you want to focus more on getting fit and lean, focus more on high-intensity interval work like burpees, mountain climbers and high knees.
While at-home workouts can be augmented by basic gym equipment like pull-up bars and dumbbells, they're not strictly necessary. Nor do you need to hire a personal trainer. YouTube can be the beginning, middle and end of your formal instruction if you want to get really bare-bones. There are more than enough purely bodyweight-only exercises for you to do before jumping rope or using resistance bands becomes necessary.
Rather than pack your gym bag, haul yourself to the gym, change clothes, and then do it all again in reverse, wouldn't you rather just stroll into your living room? Bodyweight workouts can be conducted literally anywhere on the planet that has ample free space. It removes excuses for not working out, eliminates the temptation to buy expensive workout costumes to fit in at the gym and allows you to focus without distraction.
Bodyweight exercise is infinitely scalable, depending on how low or how high you've climbed on the fitness ladder. Whether you're doing pushups on your knees or with one hand, it's very easy to tailor an exercise's difficulty level to meet your demands.
Weight training, undeniably, gives you great results if you push yourself and do it consistently enough. But it can also take a toll on your joints. Especially when you're just starting out, and your form sucks. The risk of putting undue stress on your body is greatly reduced when you're just throwing your own weight around. If you start a high-level strength training or bodybuilding program, most trainers acknowledge that injury isn't a matter of "if," it's a matter of "when." Bodyweight training is kinder to the body and lower-risk than deadlifting or doing heavy squats.
If you're a complete neophyte to working out, there are much worse places you could start than with bodyweight training. We recommend the "Fitness Blender" series of videos on YouTube. They're fun, difficult and completely free. Happy burpee-ing.