There has always been a lot of questions thrown into the mix about what type of training regimen is best for developing muscle size and strength. Free weights have always been a fundamental approach to packing on the muscle mass, bodyweight exercises have always been around as well.
Would it be best to put one approach to the side and only stick to one or would it be a good idea to combine the two of them together in your workouts? what do you think? if you just did benches and dumbbell flyers would that be enough to pack on the muscle? or if you only did bar dips and bench dips would they be enough to pack on the meat-slabs for pectoral’s?
Today’s subject will be covering bodyweight exercises vs weight training with free weights, which one is better at developing muscle and increasing strength or is it better to incorporate both of them into your training program.
The pushup has had much popularity and has done well for itself but have you ever given it much thought as to how far the pushup dates back to? back in 1905 Jerick Revilla was thought to have created the pushup, but then history has stated that since the Roman empire and Constantine there was an exercise similar to what we know today as the pushup.
Deep knee bends have always been a cling to for physical fitness junkies over the years. Other popular bodyweight exercises would include sit ups, chin-ups, bar-dips and bench dips.
Bodyweight exercises have their popularity, for one you don’t need any gym equipment you can do these at home and another reason is bodyweight exercises don’t just target one muscle group, being that they are compound moves they work more than one muscle at a time which means they are good for burning calories especially if you do them as super sets or tri-sets.
Weight training with free weights
There isn’t a day in my life that I hadn’t included free weights in my workout, just the sound of the weights clattering is enough to get my testosterone going. Free weights will give you the option to do compound movements, isolation movements, and where would we be without free weights when it comes to power moves.
Compound exercises work several muscle groups at once and include movement around two or more joints or example in the leg press movement occurs around the hip knee and ankle joints this exercise is primarily used to develop the quadriceps but it also involves a hamstrings glutes and calves.
An isolation movement is a movement that requires the use of only one muscle as opposed to compound movements.
One of the most popular moves for chest is the benchpress and where would we be without free weights and the benchpress, what other system of training is there that can duplicate this and get the same results, and besides what other system of training can work the stabilizer muscles like the bench press.
Strength training with free weights
Strength training is a type of weight training specializing in the use of resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength and aerobic endurance and size of skeletal muscles.
When properly performed, strength training can provide six significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health including increased bone muscle tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, increased fitness and improved cardiac function.
Training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercise and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups. Strength training is primarily an anaerobic activity although some proponents have adapted it to provide the benefits of aerobic exercise through circuit training.
Which is better?
Both systems of training are important and neither should be neglected. Both types of training have their advantages and I don’t think that you will find a downside to either one of them. The only thing that could be better is including weight machines and cables to a program that also includes free weights and compound movements.
When you combine all of the above will make for a well rounded workout that train’s your muscles to a full degree and from all angles.
Combining the two
When designing your workout program, it should be of importance to you to include your compound movements first. Compound exercises work more than one muscle at a time and they take more energy, so it only makes sense to do the exercises that take more energy first when you have more energy.
For example, your training program for the day is chest and triceps, would it make sense to do cable crossovers first and the bench press last when you’re tired out? cable crossovers are a good exercise to use as a finishing move and they are good for defining and shaping your inner chest.
For any serious bodybuilder interested in increasing his muscle mass would start out with the bench press first then go to something like dumbbell benches or dumbbell flyers and then finish of with cable crossovers or pec-decks.
Once the weightlifter has finished chest then he would go onto his triceps training part of his program. Triceps could start out with narrow grip benches and then bar-dips maybe some skull crushers and then finish off with a shaping exercise like triceps push downs.
A problem with following with that approach is by the time you get done training chest you are exhausted to give triceps your best, so one solution to this problem is super setting chest and triceps so that way you can give both the same attention.
Another option that some weight trainers follow is they split up their workouts between morning and evening. For example a weight trainer might train chest in the morning and triceps later in the day, this way they can give each of their muscles the same attention.
Another option is to train chest and back in the same workout, whether it be straight sets or super sets, when you work opposite muscle groups in the same workout, one is recouping while you’re working the other, chest is push while back is pull.
I hope that this information I have laid out has cleared up any questions that you may have had or has given you some new ideas to incorporate into your training program.
Always remember to train smart and it’s a good idea to have a training partner, if you workout by yourself at least ask for someone to give you a spot in your bench press or any other exercise that could represent a danger of injury.
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If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the box.