There are many reasons why people don’t want to step into a commercial gym. Some of the most common reasons I hear are, “it’s too expensive”, “I am too busy to drive to the gym and workout”, “commercial gyms are too intimidating”, or “the salesmen there are too annoying and waste my time”. All of these reasons are valid, but they should not keep you from getting in shape and being healthy!
Luckily for these people, you can get in shape and feel great without ever stepping foot inside a gym! Today I want to tell you how you can get the body of your dreams in the comfort of your own home.
Today’s blog post is about bodyweight training. I am going to explain the benefits of bodyweight training and how it can help you reach your goals, and in my next blog post I will be providing an example bodyweight routine that you can do anywhere with no equipment necessary.
What is Bodyweight Training?
Bodyweight exercises do not require weights or machines. The person’s own weight provides resistance against gravity. They have always been a popular form of exercise because of their convenience. They can be done pretty much anytime, anywhere. The most common and well-known bodyweight exercises are push-ups, pull-ups, lunges, bodyweight squats, and planks.
Why Bodyweight Training?
It is Free!
As stated above, I know that one of the biggest complaints of people looking to get in shape are the increasing prices of gym memberships. The good news is that bodyweight training does not cost anything. You can perform bodyweight exercises, continue to progress for your entire life, and achieve the body you always wanted and never spend a dime on a gym membership. In my next blog post, I will provide you with a bodyweight training program that you can complete at home with no equipment necessary. Now one thing to keep in mind is that one of the most beneficial exercises in all of strength training is the pull up. There are ways that you can get around buying a pull up bar (using the top of your door, an overhang in your house, a jungle gym at the park, etc.) but if you do decide you would like to buy one, you can usually find one for less than 20 dollars.
You Can Make it as Simple or Challenging as you Want
Bodyweight exercises are great because they can be modified to become simpler or more challenging. When you are a beginner, you may need to use an easier version of an exercise in order to learn and get stronger. For example, many of my clients are unable to complete a full push-up when they first work with me. In order to progress them to eventually be able to complete a full push-up, I have them practice with their knees on the ground or with their hands against a wall. These modifications allow the beginner to learn the exercise, get the repetitions in, and eventually get stronger and progress to a more advanced version of the exercise. On the contrary, some people may find that a certain bodyweight exercise is “too easy”. In that case, you can add more repetitions, slow down the movement, or make adjustments to the movement that would make it “more difficult” for you to perform.
It is a Very Efficient Workout
Most bodyweight exercises work several muscle groups at once. In order to keep your balance and perform the movements properly, many of your muscle groups need to work together. For example, when you perform a push-up, your chest, triceps, core, legs, among many other muscles all work in unison to keep your body straight while you lower yourself towards the floor and push yourself back up. When compared to isolation training, maximum muscle group stimulation will cause a superior hormonal response and caloric expenditure both during and after the workout. Compound exercises such as the push-up or pull up are widely known to be very effective for strength and performance.
There is a Lower Risk of Injury
When you perform exercises with an external load such as weights or machines, you place a strain on your muscles and tendons that can cause injury if your body is not properly prepared. When performing bodyweight exercises, it is much easier to control the load on your muscles and tendons because the load is your own body and gravity. Now don’t get me wrong, there is always a risk of injury and if you feel any pain or believe you have injured yourself you should stop your program immediately and consult with a doctor.
You Can Use Bodyweight Training as a Strength or Cardio Workout (Or Both!)
Due to the lack of equipment, bodyweight exercises are very easy to transition from one to the next. With this easy transition, you can cut your rest periods down dramatically and make your session an efficient high intensity interval workout. You can also make the exercises more difficult and increase the rest periods, focusing more on strength and muscle building.
Is it True That You Can’t Build Muscle Without Weights?
Many people believe that if you want to build muscle mass you need to lift weights. This could not be further from the truth. If you want to build muscle, you need to give your body a reason to build it. This is true whether you perform bodyweight exercises or weight training. When you perform an exercise, your muscle fibers breakdown and adapt to the stimulus, and when you rest, your body grows and repairs. Your muscle needs a stimulus. Your muscle does not know whether you are performing a bench press or a push up, or how much weight you are actually lifting. All your body knows is how hard it is being forced to work. Progression is key. If you keep progressing your bodyweight workouts, eat enough, and recover properly, you will grow.
Now I can go on and on about the benefits of bodyweight training, but I think you get the picture. In future posts, I will continue to speak on this subject and the advantages of utilizing this form of training. In my next post, I will offer a full body, bodyweight workout that can be done at home with no equipment necessary. Now that you know how cost/time effective and convenient this type of training is, there is no excuse to not get in the best shape of your life!