Free Weights vs Bodyweight Exercise


The great debate! Bodyweight exercises or free weights? Which one is better? Now, there are avid people in both camps that
adamantly believe that their method is very clearly the better option of the two. Some go as far as saying that doing the other
is absolutely pointless. Now we know, of course, that that’s just
not true. There are many examples of individuals in
both camps that have gotten great results in aspects of fitness, such as improving strength
and muscle growth. The thing is, anyone that tells you to avoid
doing one or the other for whatever reason does not the full benefits of the alternative. Truthfully, yes, one can be better in some
ways than the other. Bodyweight exercises, aka calisthenics, are
better suited to improve functional movements that are used in daily life. After all, the whole basis of calisthenics
is to move your body through space without any restrictions. Free weights, on the other hand, are mainly
static loads, where you stay in a single place and manipulate the weight from point A to
point B. For example, if you want to improve your capabilities
of moving more fluidly through a rocky environment such as on a hike, stair runs and box jumps
will be better suited than improving your squat. However, free weights have an advantage when
it comes to simplifying progression. If you wanted to build strength, you simply
have to lift heavier weights. This goes the same for building muscle, by
increasing volume through increasing reps, sets, or load. If you watched my video about calisthenics,
I stated, with much backlash, that bodyweight exercises are simply not as easy to improve
strength and muscle growth, and this remains true. Calisthenics progression is much more technically
complex than your standard “add on more weights” progression. Take the push-up, for example, where the most
common progressions are raising your feet off the floor, dips, or single-arm push-ups. For free weights, you can similarly progress
in a dumbbell bench press simply by lifting heavier dumbbells. For your average Joe that simply wants to
get a stronger chest, free weights clearly require less learning effort. tThere are also other advantages in both camps. Bodyweight exercises, for the most part, is
absolutely free. Free weight exercises requires you to either
purchase weight equipment or a gym membership. For calisthenics, you can always go to a local
park that have calisthenics bars to exercise. At the very most, you can purchase things
like a pull-up bar or a suspension training system if you want to work out from home. A winning advantage of free weights is being
able to target specific muscle groups. Because calisthenics consist of many natural
and functional movements, which is usually a good thing, it requires that multiple muscle
groups are targeted at the same time. However, there are cases where you do want
to isolate a specific muscle in a workout, and a great way in doing so is by using weights. Whether it’s because you want a particular
muscle to be stronger or larger or because you’re recovering from an injury, isolation
movements are best achieved with weights. Speaking of injuries, many calisthenics enthusiasts
will tell you to avoid free weight exercises because it’s easier to get hurt. Now, on paper, it might make sense, since
free weights require you to lift heavy loads and put a lot of stress on your muscle, tendons,
joints, and ligaments. But, fact of the matter is, with a proper
training program and learning proper form, there will hardly ever be a time where you’ll
place yourself in danger of getting hurt. The only times would be if you’re trying
to lift a weight that is clearly out of your capabilities or that you’re performing an
exercise with improper form. And that goes the same with bodyweight fitness. Try to do a movement that you’re not physically
capable of doing or do a movement the wrong way, you can just as much hurt yourself as
well. So with all this being said, which one is
actually better? Well, as boring as this may sound, it all
boils down to it depends. If your goal is to pack on muscle fast without
much learning effort, free weights are for you. If you want to improve your capabilities in
moving your body through space rather than pushing big things around, then calisthenics
are the way to go. It also depends on what you enjoy doing more. Some people simply like moving big heavy weights
around and some enjoy working out in the fresh air, free of weights limiting their body movement. And the thing is, even though each have advantages,
it doesn’t mean the other can’t be good at it, too. Even though free weight exercises seem to
be the better option for building strength and muscle, there is no doubt that calisthenics
can be pretty much limitless in these aspects as well, as long as you’re willing to dedicate
some work to it. And that’s the catch for most. Most people just want to be healthier or look
slightly better than they do now. Yes, doing something like push-ups and pull-ups
can be beneficial to the average person, but things such as flagpoles or front levers mean
very little to them. But if that’s what you want to be able to
do, then by all means do it. And that goes for free weight training as
well. Many of your standard calisthenics movements
can be done with weight added to it, which technically transforms them to a free weight
exercise. But of course, we’re talking about the typical
exercises done in a gym. Leg presses and back rows are great for pretty
much anyone, but the majority of people don’t care to deadlift 500 pounds off the floor. But again, if you’re into something like
powerlifting, then it’s completely reasonable to start stacking plates on the bar. Ultimately, the best thing that you can do
is for yourself is… do both! As we can see, they both have great advantages
that anyone can benefit from. So why limit yourself to just one? Do both and reap the benefits of both. Or… do one… it’s up to you. What are other benefits that separate calisthenics
and free weights? Share in the comments below! Please like and share the video if you enjoyed
it, and subscribe for more videos. Thanks for watching!

100 thoughts on “Free Weights vs Bodyweight Exercise

  1. Bodyweight excersise will last the rest of your life.

    Free weights will eventually wear you down with age.

  2. Weight training = isolates muscles, gets you big and looking good
    Calisthenics = makes you very strong, gives you awesome body coordination, doesn't make you as big though

    Both are good, the only mistake is to not train at all!! Stop being so toxic y'all

  3. From my experience

    People tend to avoid free weights because they’re more “intimidating” but if you’re like me and want to put on a bit of muscle and get stronger because you’re naturally very lean but light you will see much faster improvement if you learn to squat, deadlift and use basic free weight exercises rather than to do bodyweight stuff

  4. Lift to lose weight if you cant do a pushup. If you can't do 20 pushups, lose some weight.
    Also grab some lads and climb a tree sometimes.

  5. I would love to do calisthenics, but I am too heavy to do so. I do weight training, and enjoy it, but I am unable to do more than 6 pullups. I'll keep dieting and doing free weights and when I have lost enough weight I'll incorporate some calisthenics

  6. I'm both because I can't afford atm to pay membership so i canceled my membership to use balancing weights i have at the house like water jugs for farmer carry and do some pushups and handstand pushup for shoulder and many i can name

  7. I like calisthenics much more.
    I've been to "normal" gym few times and I didn't like it. It's really boring for me and monotone. Also I like being atlethic more than being that one " big boy"

  8. The only thing is, I’ve already learned so much about fitness and nutrition and have done so much research on how to exercise optimally and eat right for my goals, so learning a few calisthenic exercises online was like nothing.

  9. If you cant manage your bodys stress level due to imbalance in your hormonelevel then i would recomend do bodywheight. There is a time and place for everything.

  10. I already do do both i do push ups and sit ups and i also do arm weights and leg weights i was so happy with the ending to this video knowing that i already do the most beneficial

  11. Monday Upper Body Calisthenics + abs + cardio

    Tuesday Lower body calisthenics + abs + cardio

    Wednesday Upper Body Weightlifting + abs + cardio

    Thursday Lower Body Weightlifting + abs + Cardio

    Full body friday (rotation: Cardio => Upper Body Calisthenics => abs => Lower Body Calisthenics => upper body weightlifting => Lower Body Weightlifting => abs)

    Weekends: zzzzzzzzzz

  12. Do whichever you enjoy the most, but if you want to be the best you can be do both. 💪 Unless you have a sport specific requirement were one benefits you more than the other. Then obviously do that. Ethire is again obviously better than neither. 💪💪💪

  13. Regardless of witch is “better”
    Girls will always Agree on this

    The body style they Prefer in Men..

    Calisthenics > Free Weights
    Ripped > Buff
    Slim. > Big
    Natural > Ballooned

  14. I feel that by doing bodyweight you're making it much easier to do free weights because bodyweight is obviously more about control and thats what you need the most when doing free weights or you'll drop it/hurt yourself

  15. We push/pull weight in our daily life, so this have also practical aspects. Putting a heavy bag over your head, lifting and carring the shopping bags, kneeling with the heavy bagpack. Training with weight teachs you the right technic for this movements.
    I do body weight excercises for mobility, easier setup in conditioning cycling training and on business trips.

  16. IMO you should do both. Calisthenics to be better at moving yourself and being more mobile. Weightlifting is also very good for getting stronger and more muscular.

  17. If your health and ability to enjoy life's daily diversity of fun without suffering are top priority (as they should be), BOTH are necessary, and this vid is absolutely 100% ON! Combine this with intermittent fasting and water fasting from another vid and you can easily be exactly where and as you like.

  18. the only times i see myself lifting weights are planche progressions, injury recovery, rotator cuff workout, legs and weighted calisthenics

  19. That’s a lie, weight west from 5 up to 30 or 40 kg will make you do calisthenics and look like a more aesthetic bodybuilder

  20. I mix it up, low rep heavy, mid, and light and high rep in week intervals. Every fourth week I do calisthenics. I sometimes do do burn out pull ups, chin ups after free weight, just to try my muscles. Noticed significant improvements in the laatv3 weeks already. My bench went up 5 for sets and 15 max, I started only getting 3-6 pull ups, I do 6-9 now. Mix it up, trick the body. Month 1, 4 sets of all reps, month 2, will be sets of 3. Be creative but consiatent and push harder every time.

  21. Weight lifting is easier to progress with, but if you do calisthenics you can do whatever somone who does weight lifting can do, if you do weight lifting although, you cannot do all of the stuff calisthenics athletes do. So my answer is do both

  22. What about for getting into military shape. I want to join the US Army, but I have trouble doing more than one chin-up and more than 30 pushups at a time. Would calisthenics help more since those are calisthenics exercises or should I just put on muscle with free weights and than probably be able to do them as well

  23. Free weights:
    Improve your physical looks
    Increase strength
    Calisthenics:
    Be more physical and move more freely
    Increase strength but not as strong as free weights

    My opinion:
    Work on free weights first,once you get strong enough,go to calisthenics

  24. doesn't matter which one you picked as long as you're trying to improve yourself and your health, that's what is important.
    I love you fitness bros and brosettes
    #NoHomo

  25. I enjoy both, after the training at the gym, i like to do calisthenics during my rest days, or at the morning, doing light exercises before the gym

  26. Hah gays, im just running and swimin lika real free man. If one day i go fight with a steroid douchebag i just curse him and rush like a russian and when he trying to catch up me he die from heart attack.

  27. I did free weights because I couldn’t do a push-up/pull-up/dip-ups/etc.
    After 1 month I started doing calisthenics, and I could do about
    40 push-ups, 10 pull-ups, and about 15 dips? After a while I add
    weight to my body, basically like a weight vest, so basically I do
    both till this day.

  28. I think personally bodyweight is best… Because you can burn more fat but weights are still great if you want to isolate a muscle group… Especially when it comes to legs… But it is great to have balance so that you can squat heavy and run fast…

  29. It isnt True that is hard to progress you only need to change the way you do the excercise, for example, when normal push ups becomes so easy you can increse de time under tension doing a 6 second push up or do any variation as the archer push up, any way, my personal opinion is that if you do Calisthenics but also do some especific excercise for Posture you will never be discompensated and you also will have a ver good-looking body because of the tipe of fibers you stimule in calistenics(tipe 2 fibers)

  30. Calisthenics can actually help you improve your weight training performance e.g. pushups and pullups will improve your numbers on the bench

  31. Just a quick tip for people, if you can possibly do it try and get protein from food instead of powders and supplements

  32. I do both and change up my shedule every now and then so my body doesnt get used to a certain routine, a tip Schwarzenegger promotes you should really do. I think free weights and calisthenics can be combined very easily. At the end of the day its better than using machines. The fact you have to create balance will strengthen your overall form.

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