There seems to be a lot of talk recently that to get into shape, the only way it can be done is with lifting heavy weights., especially for women. I have a very different opinion on this. When people want to say body weight training does not work, I tell them they have no clue how to do it. I am partial, I grew up as a competitive gymnast.
Speaking of gymnastic, did you watch the Summer Olympics, mainly the gymnastics? Most of their training, conditioning as we called it, is body weight. As a gymnast, you do not want a lot of big bulky muscle. You need strong, lean muscle. You have to have the flexibly to still do the graceful, elegant part of gymnastics as well. Having a large bulk muscle does not work well, it not very graceful either. You have to be strong, but light and graceful as a gymnast. To accomplish this, you do body weight exercises, pulling, pushing, squatting, jumping, holding, twisting, balancing, in every combination you can think of and them some.
If you want to look like a natural body builder, a fitness model, someone who has bulk muscle, then yes, you need to be in a gym lifting heavy weights and a lot of them. You have to train for what it is you want to accomplish and look like.
If you do not think body weight training is hard enough, what are some of the hardest exercises, the coveted ones? Push up, pull ups, single leg squats, Bulgarian split lunges, jumping onto a block that is at least hip height, these are all body weight and take significant amounts of muscle. These are exercises everyone should be able to do, remember from my training to survive post? If the only way you are working out is lifting big heavy weights, or really light weights, are you going to have the muscle to pull yourself out of somethings, jump up to get away, run half a mile to safety like your life depends on it? Body weight training will get you a physic that is envious by all, wanting to know what it is you do to have that amazing body, but will also help you in any circumstance. Your body can provide all of the resistance you need.
Another great thing about body weight training, you do not have to go to a gym and pay for an expensive gym membership, fight the crowd, wait for machines or just not go at all and waste money. Body weight training is free, you need no equipment but your body and it can be done anywhere anytime. No need to wait, just work. You can break it down into smaller workout sessions. Take five minutes of your break at work and do some squats, lunges, push, walk up and down some stairs, during a commercial work out, it does not all have to be done at once. Doing 5-10 minutes here and there, will add up fast. 5-10 blocks can be more manageable for some people as well. Make it work for you, one of the beauties of body weight training.
Next time you hear body weight training does not work, think of a competitive gymnast and their physic.
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God's many blessing,