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January 16, 2018


I'm sure you've been under the illusion for the majority of your physically active adult life that working out with weights or machines is the only way to get in great shape. It's easy to see guys on Instagram posting mirror selfies of themselves curling 100 lb dumbbells and think that's what you need to be working towards.

Well, no offense to the gym bros, but never lifting a weight will still allow you to get in the best shape of your life.

Working out using the weight of your body can increase strength, boost your functionality, and keep you in overall better health.

THE WHY

Simplicity


Imagine not having to drive through annoying traffic only to arrive at the gym and have every piece of equipment occupied by guys who take 30 minutes to finish a set of dumbbell bench press. You can accomplish an effective exercise in the privacy and decency of your own home. Not to mention, it only takes about 20-30 minutes. All you need is a bit of space and maybe a towel to clean up after all of your hard work.

Man jogging up cement stairs in track and field stands in sunny weather
Injury Prevention


Only using your bodyweight makes it much less likely that you'll injure yourself by trying to max out or lift more than that guy staring you down in the barely-there tank top. You are only going to improve the functional strength of your muscles by lifting with bodyweight. There's no excessive build-up of cosmetic size, which creates a lack in your range of mobility anyways.

Man Jumping Forward on top of Bleacher bench outside in front of a track and field course
No Burn-Out


If you've ever lifted weights for a consistent amount of time, you have likely experienced a plateau in your gains and lost interest in working out for awhile. With bodyweight, you're only going to continue building sustainable strength that will make you look, feel, and live better.

Side shotof a shirtless muscular man sprinting on a running track on a sunny day
Lean vs. Big


If you're a professional bodybuilder, you need weights. If not, there's no reason to be focused on getting big. Being lean, healthy, and fit is going to raise your overall health levels, plus you'll fit into clothes and fill them out in all of the right ways. Designers aren't creating shirts with 30 inch biceps in mind.
Front perspective of a muscular shirtless man sprinting on a running track during a sunny day.
THE HOW

Do some research on different routines and find one that works for you. Certain things might be difficult for you when starting out but with continued focus and practice you'll be dropping pounds and gaining useful muscle in no time. Also, no more dealing with massively muscular men grunting like they're giving birth. It's a
win-win. If you're looking to become a gym-goer, bodyweight is a great starting point for foundational strength that can be built upon later at the gym.

A workout can be as simple as this…
Pushups: 3 sets of 20 reps
Lunges: 3 sets of 20 reps (10 on each side)
Squats: 3 sets of 20 reps
Pull Ups: 3 sets of 10 reps


Perform each move back to back and then rest for 60 seconds between sets. By the end you ought to be slightly out of breath and feeling your blood flowing to those muscle groups. As your strength increases, do more sets or a higher number of reps.


Try downloading one of the many popular workout apps. Freeletics, 7 Minute Workout, Workout Trainer and FitStar are all great tools for accessing workouts and staying motivated.


Disclaimer: We still think lifting weights works great. Consider this as an option for something new and different when you find yourself in one of those dreaded plateaus.

This post is in collaboration with lifestyle blogger @parkeryorksmith. Check him out on Instagram for fashion, fitness, and lifestyle tips.

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