To LIFT or NOT to LIFT…which workout is better FREE WEIGHTS or BODY WEIGHT? How do you decide whether to train with free weights or bodyweight? Here are some great tips to help you decide.
Free Weights or Bodyweight? Your Goals Will Guide Your Plan
As a trainer and as a woman, I get this question a lot. The answer is heavy… because the TRUTH is …BOTH. There are benefits to lifting weights AND to workouts solely using body weight. The main question is what is your goal? Do you want to build strength or endurance? Are you exercising to burn fat? Is your goal to create a stronger core? And also, do you have access to equipment?
Benefits of Bodyweight Workouts
Bodyweight workouts are great because you can do them virtually anywhere and they are great for the beginner to the extreme fitness enthusiast. When it comes to body weight, it is great to use exercises that utilize big muscle groups, especially those legs. Different variations of push-ups, lunges, and squats are a great place to start. Bodyweight exercises help develop better core strength, better postural stability, body awareness, and allow to focus on maximum range of motion. To get the most out of a bodyweight workout, you need to focus on getting maximum reps, changing your base of support (maybe moving from a squat with both feet on the floor to a single leg squat), getting full range of motion around the joint and your intensity.
Benefits of Free Weights and Resistance Training
Free weights and resistance training – Many of us, especially women, think lifting weights is going to make us look like Arnold Schwazenger. And this is the type of mentality we def need to terminate. Ha! It is a scientific fact that MUSCLE BURNS FAT. Meaning that at rest the more muscle you have in your body burns more calories than the fat you have. Using free weights for your resistance training involves lifting weights that are external to your body — i.e., adding resistance to a barbell with weighted plates and lifting it, or using dumbbells. Using free weights allows you a great variety in your workouts and greater strength, improved muscle mass, and bone density and strength. And challenging your muscles with resistance gives you benefits you cannot get from bodyweight workouts alone. Using free weights stimulates muscle growth which increases our metabolism, which helps us drop body fat.
Having a Balanced Program is Key
All in all, having a BALANCED program that incorporates bodyweight workouts, free weights, cardio, and a workout regimen that you enjoy is most important. You got this! Let us help you get on track with a balanced program.