It’s been close to 10 years since I stopped training at a gym and have been training at home. I train with bodyweight exercises and some isometric exercises. If there is one thing I’ve learned it’s that bodyweight training can work wonders if you’re willing to be motivated enough to stick to it.
I started with a bodyweight workout routine earlier on as a desperate measure to make my workouts more efficient and it quickly became an eye-opener about the vast benefits of bodyweight training.
The Benefits are as follows:
Very little equipment
If you use your imagination, you can do these exercises without special equipment. All you need is some space and motivation. So bid farewell to time lost travelling to the gym. Get on floor and do push-up, hang from the door way and do pull-ups and squat with your bodyweight. As you get stronger, make these exercises more challenging by adding the single limb variations – e.g. Single arm push-ups, Single arm pull-ups and Pistol Squats.
The Gym is never shut
When you use bodyweight exercises, you are your own gym. You can workout anytime, anywhere.
Keeps you honest
When you training with weights, your bodyweight increases creating the illusion that you are lifting more. In case of a tie in powerlifting, the lighter athlete is selected as the winner. With bodyweight training, this isn’t so, if you get fatter, you will find you bodyweight movements getting worse.
Builds strength and develops joint health
When properly done, the bodyweight training system can develop incredible strength and stamina, often together. The fact that it doesn’t use unnatural loads to develop strength means your joints, ligaments and tendons grow strong too. Unlike in the bodybuilding style of training where the muscle bellies grow far stronger than the supporting tendons thus leaving you vulnerable to injuries.
Bodyweight exercises are natural
This is the most important factor supporting bodyweight exercises. These movements come to us naturally. Unlike bench presses and bicep curls which aren’t the way our bodies were designed to function. Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to be able to move itself, first and foremost; they weren’t really “designed” to lift progressively heavier external loads regularly.
Bodyweight exercises are basic to human nature. The body is designed to move and needs to do so more efficiently. Unlike training with equipment in a gym where it’s just the limbs moving, usually, bodyweight exercises are designed to utilize the entire body as resistance and forces the entire body to participate in the exercise.
The core goal of any fitness training routine should be the improvement of your own physical (joint) mobility and movement. Very few bodybuilding exercises like the squats and deadlifts can give this benefit. However, these movements do place a lot of stress on the joints and spinal column.
There are other reasons that I could mention and they’d make absolute sense to start with hardcore bodyweight exercises. But nothing, at least for me, trumps the fact that it is an incredible time and money saver. You don’t have to pay expensive gyms to workout, no time wasted travelling to the gym and no time wasted waiting for the equipment to be vacated. Nothing trumps bodyweight training when it comes to tackling these issues.