Is It Bad to Only Do Bodyweight Workouts?

Bodyweight training is more popular than ever, and for plenty of good reasons, but for the sake of your strength, don’t skip out on good ol’ lifting.

Right now, bodyweight workouts are king. In fact, bodyweight training was named the number two fitness trend of 2016 by the American College of Sports Medicine (beat out only by wearable tech). “Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get ‘back to the basics’ with fitness,” the report declared.

Obviously, working out sans equipment can hardly be called a ‘trend’ (the Internet says that the modern push-up has been around since ancient Rome), but it’s true that these workouts seem to have reached an all-time peak. We’re big fans of bodyweight training ourselves, and as the ACSM points out, it does make working out more accessible to those who don’t have the option to dole out thousands a year on gym memberships or boutique fitness classes. For the most part, you can bodyweight train anywhere, and it’s quick and convenient if you’re short on time.

But as a result of bodyweight training’s booming popularity, it’s led many to ditch their gym memberships and question the necessity of traditional weight rooms. Can’t I just squat and push-up my way to better fitness? one might argue. In part, the answer is yes.

“I’ve helped a ton of people get strong, lean, and lose a ton of weight without a single piece of equipment,” says Adam Rosante, celebrity trainer and author of The 30-Second Body. Still, despite his emphasis on high-intensity, no-equipment workouts, “I absolutely love heavy weights and believe very strongly that women should lift,” he says, and recommends mixing heavy lifting sessions in with your bodyweight workout sessions.

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking: Pretty much any credentialed trainer will tell you that the key to any good workout program is variety. Yet, if you look at the fitness landscape, it often seems as though everyone’s leaving dumbbells in the dust.

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