Bodyweight training is any exercise you do with only your bodyweight…like push-ups and planks. Weight training is exercises where you add resistance to the exercise like dumbbell squats and dumbbell curls. (or any resistance machine at the gym)
Bodyweight training is usually best for beginners and some people prefer to only do bodyweight exercises. I love the added resistance of weights so I normally prefer weight training, but I mix both into my workouts.
Many people think that bodyweight training isn’t as effective for building muscle because once they master a push-up they think that it’s too easy so they need to start adding weights, but the best way to make bodyweight training more effective is to progress a regular push-up to declining push-ups or one-arm push-ups.
You can, in fact build muscle, solely from doing bodyweight training, but it definitely takes a lot of dedication and patience.
Bodyweight exercises are extremely convenient and effective. You don’t need any equipment or gym subscription, since you’ll be using your own body as your resistance, which makes bodyweight routines great for training outside and when you’re traveling.
Free weight exercises are those done with dumbbells and barbells. Because they work your muscles and stabilizers, they’re great at building a strong, balanced physique.
These also help improve bone density, tendon strength and strengthen your metabolism.
Begin to see everyday movements as strength training opportunities. Every time you pick something up off the ground, you’re doing a mini-deadlift, or you sit in a chair then stand up, you’re doing a squat.
Specific exercises with loaded weights are ideal to strengthen muscular imbalances since it’s easier to target individual muscle groups; for this type of focus, free weights can be very efficient exercises.
If total-body workouts are more difficult for one area of your body, strengthen it with specific weighted exercises.
We’re often stronger with our dominant side, and specific, measurable reps and weights can quickly show you your relative strength per area of the body.
I personally think it’s best to build your workout program that includes both bodyweight exercises and weighted exercises. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can use water bottles or soup cans.
Here is a fun beginner strength training routine you can try on your own with dumbbells, water bottles, or whatever you have on hand.
I shared this routine in my 52 Healthy Habits group this week (as well as 9 reasons why you should start strength training)…if you want more information like this, be sure to sign up for my 52 Healthy Habits for free access!
Comment below with questions about strength training or share your favorite routine!
Stay Healthy my Friends!
Carrie A Groff