People have been successfully convinced that they need to spend their hard-earned money on gym memberships. To get your attention, there are gyms that are willing to do anything to get your signature by offering flashy workouts that are often less effective. Fortunately, there is a way out of this. The secret is not a new concept. In fact, it is primal and dates back to our tree-living ancestors – classic bodyweight exercises.
Below, I outline some distinct advantages bodyweight strength training has over conventional gym routines and boring cardio (aka running).
Zero-money workout option
You can get great workouts with zero equipment. The only thing you need to get fit is the desire to better yourself and the ability to act – and of course, your own bodyweight and the space around you.
You can do calisthenics exercises anywhere, anytime
Most people look for excuses to not work out. Bodyweight strength training eliminates the excuse because you can do them anywhere, even in front of your TV. I do my regular workouts anywhere, anytime – rain or shine. The idea is, you literally never have an excuse to not work out, which creates a habit. Soon, you will find yourself craving the sensation of body movement flow, so you never stop wanting to work out, period.
More athletic and functional in nature
There’s nothing more athletic and functional than a good bodyweight exercise. That’s because it’s a compound movement which allows us to move multiple joints at once and coordinate multiple movements together. Let’s face it, there’s certainly not a lot of athleticism in isolation movements like barbell curls or dumbbell concentration bicep curls. Ever seen gorillas climb trees?
Improves joint strength
Running destroys joints. Strength training strengthens them. This is important for lifelong fitness. Strengthening the muscles through bodyweight exercises can help prevent injuries because of the compound nature of the movements which reduces muscle imbalances.
Easier to show off
Fact: even regular fitness-goers fail to execute basic bodyweight movements such as pull-ups, push-ups and squats with proper form. Imagine how impressed people are by one-armed chin-ups, one-armed push-ups and pistol squats. Running long distances simply can’t compare (oh, and it might be hurting you).
Advantage over boring cardio
Running is NEVER my default form of exercise. If I do a 20 minutes session of Calisthenic-circuit training, I burn twice the calories (600 calories easily per session) than someone doing a 45 mins slow run.
If you want to improve balance, have better joints, look better, feel stronger, build a fitness habit more easily, save both time & money and have a flexible fitness base for any activity (rock climbing, hiking, backpacking, sailing, evading capture), then bodyweight training is the way to go.
Gerald Tay is an ACE-Certified Personal Trainer. In 2010, he went from fat to fit and has never looked back since. At age 42, he appeals to peers over 40s-50s that everyone should achieve lifelong fitness by choice today than regret it later. Apart from fitness, he's also involved in successful property investments with a personal multi-million dollar property portfolio acquired since 2003. A major investment thinker, speaker for the local property scene and author for Real Estate is a Harsh Mistress, you can also visit him at www.crei-academy.com.