We’ve all done bodyweight training before even if you’ve never thought of it as such at the time. Classic bodyweight exercises include push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, and squats, but even activities like running, climbing, and yoga should be considered as forms of bodyweight training, or calisthenics as more properly known. What we are talking about is any type of exercise where our own bodyweight is the source of resistance for the movement.
As a piece of exercise equipment, the human body itself is without rival. Whether your goal is burning fat, building strength, improving coordination, or developing cardiovascular fitness, this can all be achieved without ever touching a machine or lifting a weight. Bodyweight training is the safest type of exercise as we are working with a load and within parameters completely familiar to us. And it is also the most functional type of exercise. Fortunes have been made selling new devices and techniques for functional training, but by definition, nothing can be more functional than moving the one object you are guaranteed to always have with you.
A common misconception is that bodyweight training is for beginners and that using equipment or heavy weights is for more advanced athletes. But this flies in the face of all the evidence at our disposal. Perhaps the biggest name in the fitness industry today –Frank Medrano, continues to astound people with his superhuman physique. What’s his secret? His videos (over 100 million Youtube views and counting) show him going through an endless repertoire of pull-up and push-ups variations with little else besides. Numerous elite athletes have relied primarily on bodyweight training to achieve their fitness goals –Bruce Lee, Vasily Alekseyev (who set 80 world records in weightlifting), and Herschel Walker (who gained more yards than anyone in professional football history) to give just three notable examples.
At Prime Fitness, we always use a combination of bodyweight and free weight training to achieve many of our customer’s fitness goals. And for those who travel a lot and don’t have access to a gym, check out our Workouts On The Go guide. The focus from having nobody and nothing else to distract you from your workout can be worth more than all the equipment in the world combined. As Mark Lauren famously said, “You are your own gym”. Now get out there and use it.