Bodyweight Vs. Weightlifting: Which One Is Best for You?

If you want to add variety to your workouts, bodyweight training is a great option. Bodyweight training does not require the use of any equipment, just using your own body as resistance, so it is very suitable for experienced fitness enthusiasts. But if you want to build muscle, you may need to use external equipment, because increasing muscle mass and strength cannot be accomplished by relying on body resistance alone. If you want to focus on powerlifting, then weightlifting is the best choice for you.

We can strengthen muscles through many methods of exercise, but weightlifting may be a better method of exercise. In this blog, we’ll dive into the pros and cons of bodyweight training versus weightlifting, and which type of workout is best for you.

When comparing bodyweight training to weightlifting, it’s important to consider the types of exercises involved in both methods.

You may find that in some aspects bodyweight training may be more effective than weightlifting in helping you achieve your fitness goals. Although it may offer fewer physical advantages, it is possible that due to some uncertain factors, a single form of exercise may be superior. For example, if you don’t have fitness equipment, you can also do bodyweight training every day because it does not require any equipment to perform the exercise. So can we get the same results through bodyweight training as using weights in the gym? Let’s find out below…

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training, also known as calisthenics, is a form of exercise that involves using one’s body weight for resistance. You can workout at home or anywhere else without any equipment or an expensive gym membership. Examples of bodyweight exercises include push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and planks.

Bodyweight training is a great way to improve strength, flexibility, and endurance. It not only helps with weight loss but also maintains overall health. By using only your body weight, you can work out multiple muscle groups at once and achieve a full-body workout.


weightlifting, also known as strength training or resistance training, is a form of exercise that uses weights or resistance to build and strengthen muscles. It involves performing exercises with free weights, weight machines, or resistance bands to create resistance against the force of gravity.

Advantages of Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training offers eight major advantages over weightlifting.

Bodyweight training can be performed anywhere, anytime, without the need for any equipment or gym membership. You can do them at home, in a park, or even during travel. This makes it a convenient option for people with busy schedules or limited access to fitness facilities.

Since no equipment is required, bodyweight training is a cost-effective way to stay fit. You don’t have to buy expensive fitness equipment to lift weights. The only investment is your commitment and dedication.

Functional strength
Bodyweight training focuses on using your body weight as resistance, which helps improve overall functional strength. It enhances your ability to perform everyday activities such as lifting, pushing, pulling, and carrying objects.

Improved flexibility and mobility
Many Bodyweight training involves full-body movements that require you to utilize your joints’ full range of motion. This helps improve flexibility, mobility, and joint stability, leading to better overall movement and reduced risk of injuries.

Core stability
Bodyweight training engages your core muscles extensively as they work to stabilize your body during different movements. This can help strengthen your core muscles, including the abdominals, back, and hips, leading to better posture, balance, and overall core strength.

You can adapt bodyweight training to your fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, you can adjust the intensity of the exercises by changing the angle, and range of motion, or adding variations. This ensures that you can continuously challenge yourself and progress over time.

Variety and creativity
Bodyweight training offers a wide range of exercises and variations that target different muscle groups. From squats, push-ups, lunges, and planks to more advanced movements like handstands, muscle-ups, and pistol squats, there’s always something new to try and keep your workouts interesting.

Cardiovascular fitness
Many Bodyweight training, such as burpees, jumping jacks, and mountain climbers, can elevate your heart rate and provide a cardiovascular workout. By incorporating these exercises into your routine, you can improve your cardiovascular fitness without needing traditional cardio equipment.

Disadvantages/Cons of Bodyweight Training

But let’s quickly review the disadvantages of bodyweight training.

Limited resistance
One of the main drawbacks of bodyweight training is the limited resistance it provides compared to using external weights or machines. As you progress and develop strength, your body weight alone may not be enough to continually challenge your muscles. This can make it more difficult to continue making strength gains over time.

Difficulty in targeting specific muscle groups
Bodyweight training often involves compound movements that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously. While this can be beneficial for overall functional strength, it may be challenging to isolate and specifically target certain muscles. If you have specific aesthetic or strength goals for particular muscle groups, you may need to incorporate additional equipment or exercises into your routine.

Lack of progression options
While bodyweight training can be modified to increase or decrease the difficulty, there may come a point where it becomes challenging to continue progressing without external weights or resistance. This can limit your ability to continually challenge your muscles and potentially hinder long-term strength gains.

Joint stress and impact
Some bodyweight training, such as jumping exercises or advanced calisthenics movements, can put significant stress on your joints, particularly the knees and wrists. If you have joint issues or injuries, you may need to modify or avoid certain exercises to prevent further discomfort or damage.

Limited exercise variety for certain muscle groups
Bodyweight training may not offer as much variety or isolation for certain muscle groups compared to using gym equipment. For example, it can be challenging to target the upper back muscles effectively or perform heavy bicep curls solely with bodyweight exercises.

Skill and mobility requirements
Some advanced bodyweight training, such as handstands, planches, or muscle-ups, require a high level of skill, balance, and mobility. It may take time to develop the necessary strength and technique to perform these movements safely and effectively.

Progressive overload challenges
Progressive overload, gradually increasing the demands on your muscles, is essential for continued progress in strength training. With bodyweight training, it can be more challenging to achieve consistent progressive overload compared to using external weights or resistance.



The Advantages of Weight Training

Increased Strength
Weightlifting training is an effective way to build muscle and increase strength. By lifting weights, you can improve your overall physical performance and reduce your risk of injury.

Improved Bone Density
Weightlifting training can help increase bone density, which is important for preventing osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions.

Enhanced Metabolism
Building muscle through Weightlifting training can increase your metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

Reduced Risk of Chronic Disease
Regular Weightlifting training has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Disadvantages/Cons of Weight Training

Now let’s look at the disadvantages of Weightlifting training.

Risk of Injuries
Weightlifting training can put a strain on muscles, tendons, and joints, increasing the risk of injuries such as sprains, strains, and even fractures if proper form and technique are not followed.

Pushing too hard or lifting weights beyond one’s capacity can lead to overtraining, which can result in physical and mental fatigue, decreased performance, and increased risk of injuries.

Time Commitment
Weightlifting training typically requires regular and consistent sessions to see progress. This can be time-consuming, especially for individuals with busy schedules.

Plateau Effect
Initially, weightlifting training can bring significant gains in strength and muscle mass. However, over time, the body adapts to the stress, resulting in a plateau effect where progress slows down or halts unless the training program is modified.

Imbalanced Muscle Development
Focusing solely on specific muscle groups or neglecting certain areas can lead to imbalanced muscle development. This can affect posture, movement patterns, and overall aesthetics.

Equipment and Gym Accessibility
Weightlifting training often requires access to specialized equipment, such as barbells, dumbbells, and weight machines. Not everyone has access to a fully equipped gym, which can limit options for weightlifting training exercises.

Joining a gym or purchasing home exercise equipment can be expensive, especially for individuals on a tight budget.
Because you may need to use:
Squat rack
Weight plate
These devices are also an expense for you.

Muscle Soreness
After intense Weightlifting sessions, it is common to experience muscle soreness or DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness), which can be uncomfortable and impact daily activities.


Bodyweight Vs. Weight Training - Compared Head on

Bodyweight training and Weightlifting are two popular forms of exercise that can help improve overall fitness and build strength. While both types of training have their benefits, there are some key differences to consider when comparing them head-on.

Bodyweight training involves using your body weight as resistance, without the need for external weights or equipment. Examples of bodyweight exercises include push-ups, squats, lunges, and pull-ups. Bodyweight training can be done anywhere, anytime, making it a convenient option for those who may not have access to a gym or equipment.

Weightlifting, on the other hand, involves using external weights such as dumbbells, barbells, or weight machines to provide resistance. Weightlifting training allows for more control over the amount of weight used and can target specific muscle groups more effectively.

One advantage of bodyweight training is that it can be very effective for building functional strength and improving overall athleticism. Many bodyweight training require the use of multiple muscle groups and can improve balance, coordination, and flexibility. Additionally, bodyweight training can often be done with little to no equipment, making it a great option for those on a tight budget or who may not have access to a gym.

However, weightlifting also has its benefits. It allows for greater control over the amount of weight used and can be used to target specific muscle groups more effectively. Additionally, Weightlifting training can be done with a variety of different equipment, making it a versatile option for those looking to switch up their workouts.

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