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Is bodyweight training worth your time?

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, access to gyms and equipment (hello, panic buying!) has been interrupted and restricted. 

As a result, a lot of people have had to resort to bodyweight training as their form of resistance training. 

But if you’re used to lifting heavy loads and using equipment you might feel like bodyweight training can’t be effective. 

So is bodyweight training worth your time? 

If you’re training for general health, chances are you weren’t doing movements for the sake of the movement, it was for what it gave you. For instance, you were squatting for stronger legs and better mobility, not just to squat more weight. You were doing Olympic lifts to develop power not just for the sake of Olympic lifting. 

It’s about the intent of your training rather than the actual content. 

It’s true that if you want to develop maximal strength, lifting increasingly heavier loads over time is going to be the most optimal way to do it (progressive overload). So if you want to be a powerlifter or strong(wo)man, you’re going to need more than bodyweight training. However, for general health benefits, as long as there is increased stimulus over time, it doesn’t matter how this stimulus is achieved.

Ways to incorporate effective bodyweight training

▪️ high rep training – increase reps of bodyweight movements to sets of 25-50 to improve muscular endurance 

▪️ Tempo – slow down your movements and increase time under tension 

▪️ Half and quarter reps – add half or quarter reps in between full reps (another way of increasing time under tension)

▪️ Unilateral movements – working one side of the body at a time allows you to focus on stability and control. 

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