It’s not uncommon for people in the fitness world to go to extremes and follow routines that push them to their limits. Many people also feel that weight training and bodyweight exercise are two disconnected concepts; and the general belief is that bodyweight training is a very “natural” way of improving your fitness levels.
While it’s a fact that there are a number of advanced weight machines in gyms, the truth also is that weight lifting as a means of achieving fitness isn’t a novel or new concept. It’s a centuries old form of exercise that people have been using to build muscle and become stronger. This brings us to the question – Is weight training or bodyweight exercising better?
The actual answer to that question is that neither is one up over the other when it comes to the benefits it offers. In fact, using both these approaches simultaneously is more beneficial than using just one of them.
Things to Focus On
Deciding which workout method you want to follow is primarily based on what your goals and needs are. The training routine you follow would have to be adapted to fit your goals. This is why the very first step when you are deciding which training to use, is to identify what your goals are.
For instance, if you want to add muscle to your frame, and want to improve your fitness levels because you are a rock-climber, you would have follow a combination program. This would include:
- A certain amount of specialised weight training
- You would have to follow a custom-designed diet
- The focus would have to be on the arms, chest and shoulders
- As a rock climber, the primary skill you would need is bodyweight pull. However, you can also effectively use weight-training to supplement your strength training for the areas you feel are slightly neglected. Some targeted low back work and overhead pressing may benefit you too.
This was just an example of how using a combination of weight training and a customised bodyweight training routine can help you achieve the fitness and strength levels you want. It’s important to note that this type of a combination routine won’t work in every case. For instance, you can’t really focus on doing biceps curls if you want to up your hand-balancing skills. However, if your main objective is to build functional & strong muscle, using the right combination of bodyweight training and specific weighted exercises, may just help you achieve your goals much faster.
Designing an Optimal Combination Program
Once you have identified what your specific training goal is, you can then ascertain whether a combination of weighted training and bodyweight exercises is a good approach for you. There are a number of ways in which a training program can be created and it’s best to work with your trainer to find a routine that will work optimally for you.
It’s also very common for people to change their fitness and bodybuilding goals along the way; at times, they may have more than one goal too. In this case, you would have to alter your routine to match those goals. The other aspect to keep in view is that of stagnation, boredom and plateauing in your training. The best way to head-off these problems is to use the cycle principle.
In this, you follow a certain routine and work toward a goal for a specific period of time and then move onto a different one. Over the duration of a year, you should cycle through different goals and then move back to the ones you feel you want to revisit.
If you have any questions about weight training with a customised bodyweight exercise routine, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Schembri PT. Our number is 02 9648 6405. You can send us an email to [email protected] or fill in this contact us form and we’ll reply as soon as possible.
Thanks for reading,
Schembri PT Team
02 9648 6405