Where to start? Bodyweight vs. weight lifting training

When starting going to the gym, one of the most important questions is where to start. Should you start with bodyweight or weight lifting training? This article brings basic information about both types of training, in hopes of helping you decide on a training program.

Bodyweight training is based on your body’s weight. Your whole body is engaged during bodyweight training, developing motor and functional abilities while defying gravity. The results of training may differ based on the type of bodyweight training program. The types we can distinguish are: strength training, muscle endurance training and cardio-respiratory endurance training.

Advantages of bodyweight training

With strength training, we are training muscles to produce force through voluntary effort. The goal of strength training is to include as big of muscle mass percentage as possible, but to be careful about muscle overload. Bear in mind that strength training is not the same as power (or explosive) training. With power training, the goal is to knowingly perform an action as fast as possible. Power training should therefore be a part of strength training. Muscle endurance training uses a smaller percentage of muscle mass, but focuses on the ability of muscles to perform an action over a longer period of time. Muscle endurance is crucial for performing athletic, as well as most of daily, tasks. Cardio-respiratory endurance training affects the health of the respiratory and circulation system. Those systems are in charge of the oxygen level that skeletal muscles gain during physical activity. Cardio-respiratory exercises are also important for weight-loss, and improvement of heart and lung work.

Bodyweight training builds endurance, flexibility and relative strength. But, for the development of absolute strength, bodyweight training is not enough.

Help of weights is used to develop absolute strength, also known as the organism’s ability to overcome external overload, and that way weight lift training is formed

Advantages of weight lift training

Weight lift training strengthens bones and muscles, and improves physical appearance and posture. Weight lift training has the same health benefits as bodyweight training, however bodyweight training is not demanding enough for advanced athletes and recreationists. Weight lift training builds additional endurance, muscle strength, their mass and tone. Weight lifting exercises improve resting metabolic rate, they burn calories and help with blood sugar regulation while reducing risk of diabetes. In the long term, weight lift training positively influences bone health, posture and cardiovascular health and longevity in general. 

Even though it is considered that bodyweight training’s disadvantage is that it becomes too easy after some time, weightlifting’s disadvantage is that it becomes boring. Additionally, weight lift training every day can lead to stagnation and inability to progress. But, the biggest disadvantage of weight lift training is considered to be the slowness of muscle recovery. When weight training everyday, your body is not able to recover properly, and by not having a planned training program, it is easy to get injured or to experience muscle imbalance. 

In conclusion, both bodyweight and weight lifting training have equal health benefits. The only difference is the intensity of exercises and their consequences. Bodyweight training can be a better option for those who lack experience and therefore do not want to get into physical activity too suddenly. Even so, weightlift training is inevitable for all of those who want to increase their muscle mass and tone, as well as work on their strength and endurance. At the end of the day, it is your choice, and our duty to support it.

Your Gyms4you team

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