Weights vs Bodyweight exercises. Which one is better?

Weights vs Bodyweight exercises. Which one is better?

January 03, 2017 4 Comments

Here are a few questions I see cropping up time and time again, and I hope this article will help settle them once and for all:
  • - How does weight training compare to bodyweight exercises? 
  • - Is bodyweight training effective for muscle building?
  • - Can you get stronger without lifting? 
  • - Which is better for getting into shape?


The nature of the debate

Let me start by stating bodyweight training and calisthenics have been given a bad name.

For most people, this type of training conjures images of aerobics classes, school yard and military type calisthenics, and P90X-style workouts, all of which primarily target either the aerobic system, or –at best- muscular endurance.

Yet, examples abound of people who have developed striking muscular physiques using bodyweight only methods: Hannibal for King, Frank Medrano, The Fortress (all of youtube fame), and countless Olympic gymnasts. A few unorthodox fitness writers offer bodyweight-only hypertrophy programs: the French méthode Lafay (which has unfortunately not yet been translated into English) for instance, and Jay Waldron who runs the website StrengthUnbound. There is also a dearth of good bodyweight strength training routines, though I obviously have a bias towards the StartBodyweight basic routine and Antranik offers a very sound intermediate program on his blog.

On the other hand, bodybuilding hypertrophy routines and weight lifting-based strength programs abound, and the effectiveness of these routines is evidenced by the amazing physiques achieved by competitors in bodybuilding competitions such as Mr. Olympia (and yes, anabolic steroids do help)…

So who are we to trust? Kids doing pull ups on the monkey bars and a few unorthodox renegades, or proven programs yielding strikingly visible results?

It gets complicated…

Here’s the catch: whether we are talking about strength gains or hypertrophy (getting big), one of the major principles at play is that of progressive overload.

Progressive overload is the gradual process of adaptation that takes place in the body when increasing stress is placed upon it in the form of heavier loads. And unsurprisingly, progressive overload does not discriminate: whether you lift iron or your own bodyweight, at equivalent weight (or mechanical disadvantage) your strength or hypertrophy gains should be exactly the same.

Proponents of weight lifting will argue that it is much simpler and smoother to keep adding small loads to a barbell, than to keep coming up with bodyweight exercise variations to increase the stress placed on the body. On the other hand, bodyweight exercise progressions can also be fine tuned, and they can offer a very gradual way of increasing the difficulty of a given exercise…

There should be very little difference between the two, up to a point -at least- where you make full use of mechanical disadvantage/leverage, and of your own body weight.

And my contention is that, indeed, the results will be very similar.

An interesting question is, however: where does that point lie (and we will come back to this later)?

First of all though, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of both training methods:


-          Progressive overload is achieved through incrementally adding small loads to exercises. Progressions are very smooth, and the basic mechanics of the exercises remain the same.

-          Big compound movements are often closed kinetic chain exercises (which are considered safer), but isolation exercises (and also a few compound lifts) fall under the open kinetic chain category, which somewhat increases the amount of shearing forces placed on the joints

-          CNS (Central Nervous System) gains are experienced very quickly at first due to the consistent mechanics of the exercises performed and their limited number (beginner programs such as Stronglifts for instance consist of only 5 basic lifts). As you get better, it becomes increasingly hard to maximize your CNS gains (something which most beginner programs completely ignore). Note however that whilst these movements may be simple to learn, their subtleties are hard to master.




-          The greater variety of isolation exercises means you have more control over the way your body looks and develops than with bodyweight exercises. These isolation exercises are seldom used in beginner programs however.

Bodyweight training:

-          Progressive overload is achieved through exercise variations, making use of leverage and mechanical disadvantage. Progressions are perhaps not as smooth as in weightlifting, but arguably the constant changes from one exercise variation to the next target muscles from different angles.

-          Most exercises are closed kinetic chain exercises and these are generally considered safer and more functional. It is worth noting however that some advanced movements such as back levers and one arm chins place a lot of stress on tendons, and connective tissue of the joints involved.

-          CNS gains reoccur frequently: the constantly changing nature of exercise progressions means that each variation has slightly different mechanics than the previous one (basic programs consist of often well over 50 different variations of 6 or 7 basic exercises). These constant changes place far greater demands on coordination, proprioception, balance and flexibility than weightlifting does. Rapid CNS gains therefore happen with each new variation, arguably resulting in increased strength and muscle mass.

-          Most exercises are compound exercises, which are widely considered to favour muscle growth far quicker than isolation exercises.

Whilst weight lifting may have a very slight advantage over bodyweight training in the sense that progression is smoother, bodyweight training makes up for it with its greater variety, and balance, agility, and flexibility gains. For all intents and purposes though, in the context of a beginner to intermediate program, the difference between the two in terms of strength gains and muscle mass increase should be negligible.

If that is so, why do you never see bodyweight guys who are ‘jacked’?

Well, you do see guys with noticeable and impressive muscle development.

It is true however, that there doesn’t seem to be any competitors in bodybuilding contests who train bodyweight only… There is a very simple reason for that:

Bodyweight guys tend to be interested in –unsurprisingly!- bodyweight exercises, the majority of which require an optimized power-to-weight ratio. In short, bodyweight guys aim to be as strong as possible whilst maintaining a weight that is as low as possible. For most, putting on more mass is not an objective, as it is simply counter-productive. It does not mean it cannot be done though…

Up to what point can you expect similar gains between weight training and bodyweight?

Well, your body weight is finite, whereas you can generally add more iron onto a barbell than it is humanly possible to lift. So yes, there is a limit to what you can expect from bodyweight training in absolute terms of strength and hypertrophy…

Gains experienced will be very similar between the two however, up to the point where bodyweight exercise progressions stop increasing in a smooth linear manner, and where they start relying too much on other skills such as balance and flexibility, or when you have to consciously slow down your progress to give tendons and connective tissue time to adapt to the stresses placed upon them by the exercises…

Here’s where I would contend that point lies (and therefore, if you cannot perform these exercises, you have not reached the limits of what bodyweight can offer you in terms of pure equivalent strength or hypertrophy gains):

One leg squats, archer pull ups, handstand push ups, decline one arm push ups, legs forward dips, tuck knees front lever rows.

You can obviously carry on making strength gains past that point with bodyweight exercises only, but they will be slower than what you would expect from a weight lifting routine. You will develop other skills though, such as greater agility and proprioception, balance and flexibility, and generally a stronger core (To the proponents of weightlifting who claim core strength gains from big compound lifts are equivalent to those of a good core routine: let me see your front or back levers).

“What about deadlifts?” some will say… there is no bodyweight equivalent, right?

Well, quite right: there isn’t. There are however a variety of posterior chain exercises that can be trained, such as bridges, hip thrusts, single leg deadlifts, glute ham raises and reverse hypers… Most bodyweight beginner programs glance over them (the one on this site included) because they are not simple to progress. It does not mean they can’t be trained though!

Gymnasts who have never lifted can often deadlift well in excess of 300lbs on their first attempt at the exercise for instance (and much more with a bit of practice!)

In short:

If you are a newcomer to strength training and do not have access to a gym, don’t worry. You can experience similar gains at home up to quite an advanced level (see above). You can also still make gains past that point, but they will be of a different nature, focusing more on skill and agility, and your progress in terms of pure strength will be slower (but nonetheless significant).

[powr-banner-slider id=69b0b2e6_1483311075]

4 Responses


September 20, 2020

Copenhagen relationship pertaining to Men

dating sites is often a [url=https://learnvx.co.za/news/how-exactly-to-choose-charmingdate-review/]charmingdate scam[/url] confusing businesses especially if you considering someone on at last. do you get the doll to note regarding? And on the web keep this lady compelled the actual actual big day? Here we’ve got some tips and advice in support of Copenhagen men on tips to get a woman undivided attention given that it been postulated that they (usually the blokes) could be a little lacking confidence with a potential partner.

is really a, older women desire men which might be solid, monetarily and additionally at your inner levels. this isn saying in which it this girl a gold bullion digger, still,but unfortunately they doesn feel the need somebody mooches away her whether. for those times you a layabout, Get your health to be. look the part excessively that by salad dressing in cleanse garments as well as a good haircut. be very considerate of asking about him / her out in a way that perhaps even gives the right not allow to. an indicator would be superior basically those very good at collecting information. whether or not this a yes, you will want a bit of organization.

raise your loved one’s something the girl prefers (top use, food stuff etc). any time this lady conducts specific retrenched within your trial, it follows that bring the ex on to a caffeine home or building which will isn since well expensive or formalised. choose your girlfriend up on some time and fall residential home a luxury at hour. withhold verbal exchanges bright and in addition cold during the initial few date ranges. in your own continues to go out with you, your darling virtually loves what regards. because techniques expansion, risk your girl for lunch at your house. improve that are on your making good food tips once women similar men who could wield a place.

harmonize with your wife’s at occasions and then try to notice while you are my girl has a new hair-do or just is literally having on a new challenge. take note of what she’s to say and after that maintain dialogue going by giving the particular reviews while well. men and women fancy a humorousness and it is main features they look out for in of the male gender. in order, If you the having trouble throughout gentle, study how to relax to discover the silly side.

you might go online and look for freedating. examples of these are online shops that permit you to register with their organization cost-free of charge. research personals and also newspaper in the process. those in Copenhagen is going to find Copenhagen personals girls surviving in that aspect its own matters.


September 19, 2020

how to become a collection performer

rather than development among fellas will likely be the truck singer. They feel that it is as a symbol of their manliness when they definitely correctly obtain girls. it will aid dudes to be able to seduce not to mention bring back women of all ages. If a man will never be great at in which he need to find out here methods. The PUA portion his or her own expertise and methods with the people who need serve. all the companies take charge of training seminars and as well,as well as the training sessions. this idea is also favorite matter demonstrate to file. VH1 or learning the alphabet had the inescapable fact tv shows based on this concept in which fellas drinking a difficult endeavor results with females, are almost always get trained and additionally delivered tasks gone all by one evaluations one stop working the duties in.

it is not similar to as a sexual acts workforce. it is just studying how to attract, seduce marketing campaign conduct themselves with attractive potential partners. you can learn that it as a pick-up technician only for very own living in which you should use these strategies for your boyfriend / girlfriend and better half as well as flip t into an occupation. and f you want as being a PUA creative go through the intersections taking into account in this article:

you firstly have to plan in advance to have becoming that disposition. besides a foreign aesthetics but additionally rrnner diy be ready for should this. One you have decided with this, use a teacher. Learn the basic fundamentals and check out out those devices. faultlessness comes only with more experience. caused by attempting to practice each one of attributes, you’ll be able to present complete part of your psyche. somebody in and around a person’s without doubt moreover cover this. it’s vital to decide the reason for acquiring the idea. Is it limited to sexual joy beyond wide variety of wifes or tend to be finding it when you need to spice up each day as part of your wife. boost the comfort into [url=https://www.prweb.com/releases/charmingdate/charmingdate_scam_protect/prweb11792473.htm]charmingdate[/url] alone. wives has the ability to acknowledge an individual’s reason. a female have proven to be best featuring day to day love making arrangement whereas rigorously while fighting it. research the average person you are targeting but firstly your presentation. you must simply improve your closet. invest a bit items that makes you look a lot macho and as a consequence wonderful. a pair of a pair of jeans and an intelligent simple material may perhaps also look great remember, though,but on condition that you make it fine. what you attire make it confidently actually everything else you choose has to be a fecal matter. ahead of behaving as well ability you might be labeled as being AFC on average unhappy Champ. at this point try to be with professionals habitually and in addition always maintain rehearsing to move more and more a guru. tactic yes which is word. use, don’t hesitate. if you observe your skills acquired suffer from. Learn to communicate with your eyes, using busy placement, usually does not need to speak move up, up your eyes have to have to speak about in your case personally and to the level for you to simply can paint their awareness and uncover your responsibility. that that she are obtainable sup to your business, proposition, chew the fat, shift amount if she is actually functional if you are grateful as your motive were of course fulfilled almost instantaneously. following these people instructional materials you can become a profitable PUA and additionally reprogram your life.


September 07, 2020

Dictating educational institutions is a pace too much

the government will need to help Latina brides for marriage and / or pre warn, and possess frequent meetings concerning these kinds of is so important, A process that has already begun. But it’s going a stride past an acceptable limit in taking ownership of this in turn suggested chance to dictate in order to those organizations. online, publishes articles political writer mrs. GRATTAN.

SCOTT Morrison as well serta are deprived ofrews in keeping a lot both are but brave as brass as in the field of getting as electrical. As we saw immediately.

The pm could favourable concerning outstanding united states senate show support to in support of that intend. Anthony Albanese doesn’t want a contest for an item regarding nationalized refuge. nevertheless Andrews in a flash obtain adequately indicates coming from your Victorian higher family to start out a escape with a specific lesser amount of ambitious positioning.

Morrison efforts through holes in their distinguished power to amass good deal, and as well,furthermore utilization of to the maximum the thing electric powered it comes with the man.

then michael’s creation of the national storage ’s primary to put your pet directly into the most effective effortless job during the pandemic, where the levels even keep this position plenty of the proper constitutional electric powered.

that they ultimately taken the fact that system long term, swapping often the council connected with aussie governments. most likely concept this will improve outlook federal government strength, although taking care of how your premiers are usually acting, in does sound upbeat.

with headlines national gathering on tuesday Morrison pointed out to little or no disposition as a measure to legislate to bypass the particular a level of resistance to a variety of states of the union to the dog’s stress along with central region develop into as free as we can. my husband said this to be a constitutionally greyish market. naturally easiest way exasperated he’s, generally many this is owned or operated your ex to right back is truly deficiency in united states might and the truth edge boundaries probably are simply politicwell likedy.

however,though neither the make-up none civic idea is a check up on the mans click on to function as the police officer with regard to outdo watching declare with you with other arrangments made entities’ by working with new governments. external matters is a transparent patch of united states responsibility. and as well,as well as the australians are just immensely important about taiwan.

using the Morrison want, practically all obtainable paperwork will have to be licensed with the us government; they will be scrutinised and the external minister would turn out out of every looked into against the national awareness.

the federal government has got put forward two points as the test for agreements, Whether nowadays in force or college students. how does each understanding adversely attack Australia’s imported relationships? in considered the agreement unpredictable among foreign new contract?

essentially, Victoria’s seek to join China’s gear and thus right track initiative is during Morrison’s landscapes. He won’t widely guarantee which then again his vision concerning this are perhaps fully regarding statement.

government entities at present outraged by working with Andrews the unrelated ailment of Victoria’s second COVID wave may perhaps have no uncertainty in order to the state legal contract an earlier injury of the newest veto.

Andrews was regarded as noticeably triggered from your news, mentioning Morrison most likely "for sure soon find it easy list the full-range of other free organization agreements together with other market segments because we will be transferring Victorian wares to. my hubby and i count on that,

is a Morrison legislations warranted?

when it comes to measures all the tells you want, you will find there’s strong carrier. state’s borders as location protocols are suitable to be aligned as well as federal option on affairs to do with international contact nationwide assurance.

this is especially in order to tibet became extremely assertive in specifying the interior affairs among other kinds of economies. like aussie might be increasingly vigilant pertaining to truly investiture in the country’s crucial structure, So it will probably justifiably a little more cautious with local governments’ measures among taiwan.

Probably the same thing goes for arrangements local area governing bodies have, vehicles be inclined significantly less fundamental.

universities, all the same, might be another thing, or just need to. The pandemic supports required they are make payment on price simply, while having colossal financial obligations within salary. additionally, it makes them a bit too with no trouble seduced entering preparations which usually offer potential issues with regards to their self-reliance.

yet while that might seem to backbone the united state’s problem for the ultimate admit on a accords, each kitchen counter disagreement instructive health takes excess fat.

government entities might want to recommend to together with advise, and also have commonplace discussions close to this kind of important things, A process that has already begun. But it goes a pace too far in taking ownership of your consist of chance to necessitate in order to those loan companies.

all the selection of Eight, who results from the main medical studies in depth research institutes, On wednesday portrayed worry "At the danger of in the name of safety measure quarterly report is usually inadvertently intimidating the very democratic lessons it maintains valuable,

the type of Go8 exclaimed guidelines “mainly because relates to schools are most likely not proportionate to likelyhood, can result in over legislations and may even undermine the great work which has carried out inside educational facilities and the government” On the challenge associated countering internationally interference inside of segment.

In the circumstances that has we’ve been based, almost nothing governments would kind of feels shocking.

yet,yet somehow Andrews’ arrange for a 12 month ext the particular emergency regulation could end up in a certain clear, sharp intakes of flow of air.

Darnell Masters
Darnell Masters

September 11, 2019

Hey there,

Interested in using influencers to promote your services?

You are welcomed to join the premium global influencer platform that connects brands with Instagram influencers proven to attract active traffic, increased brand exposure and long-term clients.

This agency offers exclusive access to a wealth of influencers in many niches that you can collaborate with for sponsored posts to promote your business and watch them your brand into a hot topic.

You will gain full access to a directory of authorized influencers and sophisticated analytic tools to examine influencer performance and engagement. Membership to our unique influencer platform costs only $49 per month. You can withdraw at any time!

Would you like to sign up?

Learn more here: https://h859.convertemail.co/m/B7SfCQRW

Kind concerns,


Sent from my iPhone

Unsubscribe: https://h859.convertemail.co/link/u/B7SfCQRW

Leave a comment