Strength training; body weights vs free weights training


Not everyone can afford to pay for a gym every month and do free weights, run on a treadmill or use a rower every other day. So do you think you can achieve your fitness goals on body weight workouts at home alone or not? Assuming you are on a good muscle building or fat loss diet/meal plan.

Body weight workouts are simply workouts where you use your body weight to provide the resistance for your strength training program. Here you have workouts such as push-ups, squats, crunches, pull-ups, lunges et cetera

First off, with bodyweight exercises are extremely convenient and effective because you don’t need any equipment or gym subscription, since you’ll be using your own body as your resistance.

Free weight training on the other hand involves use of dumbbells and barbells. Some of the moves performed without weights can also be used here but in this case a set of either barbells, kettle bells or dumbbells would be used.

As much as many people might say that body weight workouts would not help you get lean, lose weight or get fitter I beg to differ.

As a beginner to fitness, bodybuilding and weightlifting I started off with doing only body weight workouts as part of my strength training program for 5 days each week for 45 mins to 1 hour on each session.

I did get stronger and the workouts became easier so I had to get more advanced variations and increase the intensity and also the number of repetitions I would do. I did not get as big as I would have wanted but my muscles were leaner and also my physique changed.

The moment I started free weights training things were different, first off lifting weights was of course harder than the body weight workouts and the muscle sores and aches were out of this world.

But all in all I enjoyed it and pushed on, there were much more exercises that one could perform for a single body part and also one could hit a muscle from different angles. Gaining weight in the form of lean muscle was also easier than with body weight workouts. My appetite went from 0 to 100 in no time.

With weight training I also noticed it was easier to do my workouts for size and also workouts for shredding when with the body weight it was almost like I was in a constant shredding period.

Free weight exercises work your muscles and stabilizers, they’re great at building a strong, balanced physique and also help improve bone density, tendon strength and strengthen your metabolism.

Remember also bodyweight exercises are so simple it’s easy to prevent injuries. If you’re new to strength training and still need some help with form on your exercises, bodyweight training is much more forgiving than most types of weightlifting, and would also help you perfect your form before you can start free weight training if at all you get interested.

Bodyweight exercises are also incredibly easy to modify to your ability level, whether you’re a recovering couch potato or world-class gymnast. They also allow you to develop better control and awareness. You can actually build a great physique using nothing else but bodyweight exercises.

We’ve covered the major advantages of free weight training and bodyweight training, but which one will work best for you?

Well, at the end of the day that depends on your goals. What is it you are trying to accomplish most? Strength, size, or stability (endurance)? With these questions in mind it is easier to figure out what would work best for you.

Both free wights and bodyweight workouts can be really effective and give you a lean and muscular physique. Though from my experience I would suggest that if you are looking for size and super strength then free weights would be the best option. But in terms of keeping fit and looking super lean a good home workout bodyweight training program would work for you perfectly.

So whatever your goals are it is very possible to achieve them with either choice of workout. And not to be too restrictive you can include both free weights and bodyweight workouts in your program.

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