Traditional Weight Training vs. Body Weight Training
In this corner we have traditional weight lifting techniques utilising weight machines and free weights. In the other corner, we have body weight lifting techniques utilising only your body weight to strengthen your muscles. Since muscles respond by getting stronger to the resistance that weight places on them, does it matter which method you use?
Traditional Weight Training Pros-
Target Practice. Weight machines and free weights isolate the muscle for a targeted approach.
Form and Function. Weight machines help you maintain your form simply by how you are positioned. You are less likely to injure yourself and get the most from every move when your form is correct.
Weights and Measures. Your strength progression is measurable from day-to-day, week-to-week, etc. Valuable information if you are setting quantifiable goals.
Overall: Best for building measurable muscle mass/ target strength training
Body Weight Training Pros-
Anytime, Anywhere. Spend as little as 5 minutes or up to 5 hours as your day permits by doing a few exercises here and there. You can do body weight training exercises anywhere because no special equipment is needed.
Doesn’t Break the Bank. Lifting body weight requires little to no special equipment and requires no gym membership. There are some body weight lifting aides available but they are not necessary to get a good workout.
Go for the long haul. Body weight training exercises increases your endurance and stamina. You will eventually reach your maximum lift ability (determined by your own body weight) but, your repetitions will increase.
Overall: Best for muscle tone, muscle definition, endurance, stamina
It’s possible both techniques can be used together and complement each other’s benefits. For example; if you lift weights at the gym, but can’t get there, it’s helpful to know there are exercise methods that you can do at home. Perhaps you’ve hit your maximum lift from your own weight and are ready for more. It might your time to hit the gym for more targeted strength training. Like most things in life, what’s best for you depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. Happy Lifting!