There has been a recent growth in popularity throughout the fitness community to tryout body weight training. This is one of the best ways to train your body for overall fitness for more reasons that I can list. The biggest part of body weight training that is so beneficial for people trying to get in better shape has to do with how variable the exercises are as well as how many different types of exercises there are that you can do to make sure you never get bored.
The variation in body weight training is much greater than regular weight training with dumbbells and barbells which makes it so that you can truly work every muscle in your body. An example of variation in body weight training is all the different types of pushups out there. Depending on where you place your arms and legs you can work completely different arm muscles. Close grip pushups (a.k.a Diamond pushups) work your triceps a lot more than your chest muscles whereas wide grip pushups work almost entirely your chest muscles and little to none of your triceps. Then, once doing all the different types of pushups gets boring or too easy, you can do spiderman pushups where you add in an abdominal workout by lifting your leg off the ground and bringing your knee to your elbow (switching off legs after each rep). Or, you can also work your way up to doing one-armed pushups.
Body weight training also gives you the opportunity to add in extra cardio while you are strength training. Examples of this include exercises such as burpees, squat jumps, and plyometric lunges. If fat loss is your primary goal, then doing exercises like these can speed up your results because of the high amount of calories that you can burn if you do them with enough intensity (and correct form).
There are multiple different ways to put together a weight training program depending on your fitness goals. If you are just looking to lose a few pounds or simply improve your overall conditioning, then full body workouts 2-3 times a week is the way to go. Do one to three exercises for each muscle group (chest, back, arms, legs, core) and then recover for at least 48-72 hours. If you are looking to put on muscle mass and increase your strength, it get a little more advanced. For this type of training, it is best to separate the muscle groups into different days so that you can really push the muscles you’re working in that specific workout to complete fatigue. An example schedule could be doing chest and back exercises on Monday, tricep and bicep exercises on Tuesday, legs on Wednesday, and then repeat. It is up to you which days you do core exercises (lower back and abs) as long as you do them 2-3 times per week and don’t do them on consecutive days.
In conclusion, whether you tired of lifting weights and want to try a new kind of workout program or simply don’t want to pay for a gym membership, body weight training should always be one of your top considerations because of the efficiency and effectiveness of this type of training.