Bodyweight training is an awesome way to develop your functional fitness.
My journey away from big weights, to body weight
I used to think that heading to the gym 5 times a week and lifting as much iron as I could over a 60-minute session was what it meant to ‘train‘.
I’d never have guessed I would one day be writing posts called: 5 reasons to start doing more bodyweight workouts.
I wasn’t alone.
Several of my friendship-group would do the same, all aspiring to pack on size to our young frames. As far as we knew, this was what we should be doing to be real men.
It felt good to lift big weights. And, having big muscles was a massive confidence boost. We looked like we could handle a situation.
Or, at least, we thought we did…
Packing on size through relentless weight lifting trains you to be good at one thing: weight lifting. In fact, at the peak of my ‘bodybuilding’ phase, I was not very capable of doing much else.
The additional size, apart from rendering all my old clothes useless, proved to be really, really impractical.
Suddenly sitting in a bus seat becomes way less comfortable than standing because your shoulders stray passed your own seat’s boundary, encroaching on the poor fella’ next door and sticking out into the aisle.
Buses were bad. Long-haul plane travel was another level.
Being hench also isn’t really that useful for many sports, other than the obvious like rugby and American football. Training for shifting big lumps of iron isn’t much use during a 5-a-side soccer match, or shimmying up a rock face.
Generally, it comes down to power-to-weight ratio and there comes a point where the significant extra muscle becomes a hindrance.
I started training using my own bodyweight:
Bodyweight training is the truly old-school method.
Our bodies and in particular our cooling system (sweat, as opposed to panting) is pretty good at endurance. This is why training with higher-rep bodyweight exercises draws on our physiological strengths. It makes us more capable of performing athletically for longer periods. Something which is really useful when it comes to, well, a whole lot of things really.
Here are the 5 reasons to start doing more bodyweight workouts:
1. Sports performance
A huge number of sports rely on us being able to keep going for long periods, without muscles becoming exhausted.
Most sports also only require us to shift our own body weight, rather than anything really heavy.
Surfing, skiing, climbing, soccer, tennis, softball, cycling, baseball, swimming. They all need our muscles to perform repetitive movements for long periods. This is something bodyweight training prepares muscles for, extending their endurance ability.
2. There’s no easy excuse
We’ve all been there;
The thing is when you’re incorporating bodyweight training into your weekly schedule, the opportunity to talk yourself out of working out becomes way harder.
There’s hardly ever a reason that’s good enough as to why you can’t throw on your training shorts and doing a 15-minute bodyweight routine.
This is a good thing.
3. It prepares you for life
Ok, so this one is a little more leftfield, But stick with me. So, we all know that unexpected things happen, right?
We just need to sit down and watch the news one evening to see how people’s lives can change in a second and things can go south pretty damn quick.
Effective bodyweight training is one of the best ways of preparing the body for multiple eventualities, which might need you to run a heap of miles to get away from a natural disaster or climb a fence to evade an attacker.
These might seem like really unlikely things to happen, but they do happen and being super hench with no muscular endurance really isn’t going to help you out that much.
4. It burns fat… fast
Bodyweight training makes your body work hard to burn its stored carbs initially because these are our quickest source of energy. Once these are gone, the body starts working on fat.
High-intensity bodyweight training will continue to burn fat way after the workout has finished, providing you don’t stock back up on carbs too soon after.
(So, leaving an hour or so before you consume carbs after a 30-minute bodyweight workout will allow the body to shred some excess fat!)
5. No gym fees!
This one speaks for itself:
- No monthly subscription fees
- No expensive equipment
- No monthly subscription fees
All you need is the motivation and a little instruction on how to get the best out of your bodyweight workouts.
What could be easier?
So there you have it, 5 reasons to start doing more bodyweight workouts. This site has a heap of resources for learning about bodyweight training and functional fitness, so have look around and find the inspiration you need!
What’s stopping you from doing a bodyweight routine today?