Hey friends! I was recently asked by my Facebook friend Nathalie if I have a preference between weight lifting or bodyweight exercise training and if one is better than the other.
These techniques are both forms of resistance training, which simply means you are exerting a muscle against an opposing force (your own body weight, a dumbbell, etc.) and they both can be instrumental in helping you achieve the body you want.
As far as which I like more, I generally prefer to use bodyweight exercise performance in measuring my fitness rather than looking at how much weight I can bench press or something. By the way, don't ask me, "How much do you bench (bro)?" because I'll just smile -perhaps somewhat smugly, if I'm honest - and say, "I don't." :)
All that said, I was SUPER HAPPY AND EXCITED when I recently got back into weight training after doing bodyweight exercises exclusively for two months.
So what's the story here? Is one better than another?
The answer is that, as usual, it depends on your goals and your training style, so I'll share some of my strategies here:
In my training experience, I find that bodyweight workouts are very effective for developing athleticism and body control, as the movements often require many muscle groups to work together to be successful. Done in a circuit fashion, these are also fantastic for fat loss.
Weight lifting serves me well when my focus is more on gaining muscle mass, particularly in specific, targeted areas, as you can select a certain muscle group to undergo a high volume of adaptive training in one workout.
Now, that's not to say that you can't gain muscle mass with pushups and pull ups (You can, I've done it) or that you should never grab dumbbells to lose fat (I've done that, too). Those are just how I best utilize both strategies for my own goals, as well as for those of many of my personal training clients.
Keep in mind, these are just strategies and only make up part of your fitness routine, rather than define it as a whole. You'll also need to eat properly and have the right mindset to truly be successful at your goals.
I hope that helps you, Nathalie, as well as anyone else who reads this. If you do need help, feel free contact me or enter your name and email to receive a free video of me teaching how to create a bodyweight circuit workout.
I'm gonna go lift some weights now ;)