10 Benefits of Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training is the oldest type of training known to humanity. It was here before dumbbells, kettlebells or even barbells. In fact, calisthenics have been around for just as long as the human race has been. Ancient Greek warriors didn’t have shiny lat pulldown machines..they were doing pull ups! And even though free weights were invented around ~2000 B.C., bodyweight training was still the most popular method of training ever since mainly due to its simplicity and effectiveness. Nowadays, you can find hundreds of various pieces of equipment at most big gym chains: cable machines, bends, stability balls and much more, yet most of these tools will be a waste of your time. It is unfortunate, but corporate fitness industry is there to make money in first place and helping people reach their goals is not their biggest priority. So maybe it is time to go back to good old training methods that have been tested for thousands of years and have proven record of delivering results? I say - yes!

Below you can find 10 reasons why bodyweight training will become your favorite type of training for the rest of your life:

  1. STRENGTH GAIN.  Bodyweight training leads to serious strength gains. You may have to start at a low level, but if you set up a proper training program to follow, then you can get to some high points where you will be able to do single arm chin ups, one arm push ups, free handstands, pistol squats and many other feats of strength. The sky is the limit! You will gain strength, anaerobic and aerobic conditioning in addition to improving your psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination.

  2. FAT LOSS. We all know that diet is the most important tool to fight body fat, but there is something else that helps most bodyweight athletes to stay lean. You see, when your goal is to do 10 chin ups, you can do two things to reach it: get stronger and get lighter. Most people will just focus on strength training and it is the right thing to do, however, the vast majority of athletes will do both by subconsciously eating less food because their brain knows that their body needs to stay light or become lighter to be able to do more chin ups! I personally lost 10lb not even trying to just because my goal was to do a human flag and my body knew that it had to weigh less for that task. It worked!

  3. MOBILITY. The best way to improve your mobility is to do exercises with a full range of motion that require you to maintain muscular tension. That is why squats and lunges work so great for people with tight hips and ankles, or pull ups for folks with tight shoulders. If you want to move and feel better, then high quality strength training is the answer for you!

  4. LONGEVITY. Most bodyweight exercises like push ups, squats, pull ups and their progressions will keep your joints strong and healthy for years to come. Reality is that strength training is the best medicine for any aging body and by getting stronger, you will without a doubt improve your life quality.

  5. LOW INJURY RATE. Calisthenics are the most natural form of training for your body -- which explains why injuries in sports like gymnastics, climbing or track and field are much less frequent than in other sports. It is also one of the few ways to get rid of muscular imbalances in arms and legs, as bodyweight training offers a wide variety of unilateral exercises that will even out strength levels between your dominant and nondominant sides. So this way it even acts as an injury preventing type of training!

  6. CONVENIENCE. One of the biggest reasons why people don’t workout is lack of time to go to the gym. Well, you don’t have that problem with calisthenics because you can do hundreds of complex exercises without having to leave your living room! The only thing you might need to buy is a pull up bar, but besides that you don’t need any other equipment to get strong.

  7. SIMPLICITY. Most bodyweight training programs are very simple (not easy though). If you can’t do an exercise like a push up, then you just take a step back and do a regressed version of a push up until you get strong enough. Same thing with any other exercise like a pull up, squat, etc. Calisthenics are famous for having regressions and progressions for any exercise - that’s why it is great for people of all fitness levels!

  8. COST. You can spend a fortune buying equipment for your home gym. Most machines will cost around $3-5K (lat pulldown, leg press, etc.), squat racks will be around $1-2K including barbell and weights, a set of 5 to 10 kettlebells or dumbbells will cost $500-1K. Now guess how much cheaper bodyweight training is - that’s right, A LOT! Depending on your goals, a few things you might want to buy would be a pull up bar, gymnastic rings and maybe climbing rope which combined cost ~$300.  And that is literally all you need!

  9. PHYSIQUE. Let’s face it: any athlete who is proficient in bodyweight training pretty much always seems to have a very impressive looking body.

  10. DIVERSITY. Bodyweight training can offer training options for various goals. For example if you want to improve your strength and mobility - go with progressive calisthenics. Need to work on your conditioning? Then go with running, crawling and swimming. Bodyweight training has a lot to offer to any user!

 

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