Ever thought of the difference between body weights being harder than weight training? What may be the reason? 

It is highly important to differentiate the two. While choosing the perfect fitness and toned physique, fitness enthusiasts have long debated the merits of bodyweight exercises versus traditional weightlifting. Bodyweight exercises are often seen as the most basic form of strength training. They don’t require any expensive equipment, and they can be performed almost anywhere. However, they can sometimes be harder than traditional resistance training with weights for a number of reasons. Bodyweight exercises use your body weight as resistance, whereas weight training allows you to choose the load (intensity) you want to use. This additional flexibility and customizability in weight training enable you to tailor your exercises to your fitness level and specific goals.

The long-old debate is going to find a conclusion NOW!!!


Bodyweight training involves using your own body weight as resistance for resistance training. It allows you to develop strength, build muscle, improve functional fitness, and engage in cardiovascular training. Similar to free weight and machine training, bodyweight training requires you to work against gravity by performing contractions that flex and extend your muscles. This challenges your muscles and prompts them to adapt, resulting in changes to your body and increased strength and muscle mass.

Strength training is a fine practice to achieve muscle power and endurance, and relying on your body weight as resistance in these exercises can have a higher impact on developing stronger muscles. 

Bodyweight training is an effective form of resistance exercise that offers numerous benefits. It helps increase strength and muscle mass while reducing visceral fat, thereby improving body composition, metabolism, and daily functioning. Additionally, using body weight movements eliminates the need for extensive setup or transitioning between exercises. This makes bodyweight training particularly suitable for interval-based cardio workouts like Tabata or HIIT sessions, where quick rest times can make switching between equipment difficult. Moreover, you can perform bodyweight training anywhere you have enough space, whether it’s a small dorm room, living room, or outdoors.


Whether it’s weightlifting or bodyweight exercises, both have their unique challenges that may make them harder than the other. However, that doesn’t mean they are impossible to achieve. The effectiveness of bodyweight exercises lies in their functionality, requiring greater control over the body, and engagement of the core muscles. These exercises are effective in building strength, endurance, and overall fitness, especially when performed with proper form and progression. While weights may offer adjustable resistance and muscle isolation, bodyweight exercises offer greater functionality, core engagement, and overall body control. So, whether you choose to lift

Here are the 10 main disadvantages of bodyweight exercises:

1. Lack of External Support 

Bodyweight exercises rely solely on your muscles to support your body weight, making them more difficult than exercises with external support. This increased load demands more strength and stability from various muscle groups and can be challenging for beginners.

2. Functional Complexity

Bodyweight exercises often mimic real-life movements and functional activities, which can make them more complex and demanding. These movements engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, enhancing overall coordination and strength.

3. Limited Load Variation 

Unlike weight training, where you can easily adjust the load by increasing or decreasing weights, bodyweight exercises have limited load variation. This can make it challenging to continue challenging your muscles without incorporating additional variations or progressions as your strength progresses.

4. Higher Relative Intensity 

Due to the lack of external resistance, bodyweight exercises rely on your body weight as resistance, which can lead to a higher relative intensity compared to lifting weights, especially for beginners or individuals with a higher body weight. This increased intensity can make it challenging to progress or adapt to your strength level.

5. Greater Focus on Muscular Endurance

Bodyweight exercises often involve more extended sets or higher repetitions, which can lead to muscle fatigue and increased difficulty.

6. Challenging Core Engagement 

Many bodyweight exercises require a significant amount of core engagement to perform properly, which can be challenging for some.

7. Less Isolation of Muscles 

Weightlifting allows for more isolated muscle targeting, whereas bodyweight exercises generally involve compound movements that work for multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

8. Functional Movements 

While functional movements are a great advantage, they can also be more challenging to execute for those who are not used to them.

9. Greater Flexibility and Mobility Requirements

Certain bodyweight exercises like pistol squats or advanced yoga poses require a higher level of flexibility and mobility, which can be a challenge for those who do not meet those requirements.

10. No Equipment Dependency

While bodyweight exercises have the advantage of not requiring any equipment, it also means that the resistance level cannot be easily adjusted, which can make them more difficult to progress over time.

Benefits of Body Weight Training 

When it comes to comparing bodyweight exercises to resistance exercises, it’s essential to keep in mind that each type of workout has its unique advantages and challenges. On the other hand, bodyweight exercises can be more functional and require less equipment, making them easy to incorporate into your daily routines. Furthermore, they can also help improve your balance, coordination, and body awareness, which can be beneficial for reducing the risk of injuries. 

Development of Balance

Bodyweight training helps to improve balance and coordination. It develops muscle strength, as well as improving our cognitive abilities, which helps in the improvement of concentration. It helps to perform everyday movements with ease. Frequent bodyweight training can help in the efficient and effective functioning of muscles, which will eventually make necessary corrections to the body in case of any accidental falls.

They are less stressful for Joints

Unlike training using weighted equipment, bodyweight training includes multi-joint exercises that allow training multiple muscles through one exercise. Hence, the strain on joints while doing these exercises is very low, preserving the functionality and flexibility of joints. It also helps in increasing the mobility of joints under stress through strengthened joints. In addition, it is considered safer to perform as it has lower injury rates.

They will improve muscular and cardiovascular endurance

As bodyweight training works out different sets of muscles altogether during one exercise itself, most of the exercises involve a lot of effort on the whole body. For instance, the plank where the abdomen, arms, pectoral, back muscles, and buttocks are involved in developing the core body strength.

Also, regular physical activity lowers the resting blood pressure, while boosting metabolism. This can help in developing lung capacity along with strengthening the heart and blood circulation. Through increased lung capacity, the muscles would require less oxygen to work and would produce a lesser amount of carbon dioxide, so the lungs need to inhale and exhale less air during exercise. Strengthening the heart improves blood circulation, and reduces the risk of any heart disease or stroke.

Increase in Strength

Bodyweight training helps in boosting muscle power, and all those who are involved in sports rely on bodyweight training to develop strength and endurance. It helps in developing baseline muscle strength even for everyday movements of the body. These exercise work on a variety of muscle groups and smaller stabilizers with each repetition. Hence, they are ideal for greater stability and motor coordination, thereby building and developing strength.

It’s free and you can train wherever you want

Bodyweight exercises allow you to workout anywhere, whether in front of the TV or in a nearby park and it saves you money on gym membership and gets rid of the necessity to buy bulky equipment.

Bodyweight exercises can easily be modified with sufficient practice, imagination, knowledge, and awareness about the body and muscles.

You do not need the luxury of a personal trainer when working out at home, so it’s up to you to establish a regular program and form good fitness habits.

Tones muscles and increases functional muscle mass

Bodyweight exercises when performed through full range of motion can be more effective than weights in toning the muscles. It helps in increasing lean mass and bone density. However, an increase in muscle mass is dependent on the type of exercise. The light versions of body weight training would not increase muscle mass, while the harder versions help in developing muscles. This is because most of the exercises work on different groups of muscles, and to build mass, the muscle needs to be worked out individually by isolating it, like in weight training.

Greater Calorie Expenditure

All strengthening exercises increase the basal metabolic rate and amount of calories burned. Since it involves training different groups of muscles all at once, these exercises burn a lot of calories in a short period. Therefore, the body fat gets easily burned, developing finer and toner muscles that are easily visible. Increasing the difficulty of exercises can increase the amount of fat and calories burned. Meanwhile, weighted training or weightlifting contributes equally to weight loss, even though the muscles are isolated and trained individually during these exercises, and do not require as much energy as in bodyweight training.

In bodyweight training, the risk of injury is lower than when using weights

In weightlifting, the strain on the joints is high and with an increase in loads, injuries are also common. As the joints are not highly stressed during bodyweight training, the risk of injury while performing these types of exercises is also lower.

Development of spatial awareness and control of the body

As bodyweight training helps in improving balance with improved cognition and motor coordination, these exercises develop greater control of the body movements. These exercises can help in controlling your body movements as you become more aware of the movements of your every muscle. As seen in the case of calisthenics, these exercises are so effective in developing such control through facilitating control of external objects in free space and defying gravity. 

If done regularly, it helps improve mental health

You can boost your self-esteem and experience better neurological and psychological health by putting strain on your body. It has also been proved by many those who are involved in sports that regular strenuous activity to engage body muscles has helped them in eliminating anxiety, and relieve stress and depression. Thereby, regular bodyweight training can improve mental well-being along with improved self-esteem.


What Makes You Stronger- Weights Or Bodyweight Training?

The answer is that both weights and bodyweight training can make you stronger, but the strength you get will be unique to the exercises you perform. When you lift weights, you’re training your muscles to get stronger at the specific movements you’re performing. But when you train with bodyweight exercises, you’re training your muscles to get stronger at the specific movements you’re performing. So, if you want to improve your pull-up strength, the best approach is to practice performing pull-ups, and if you want to improve your deadlifts, the best approach is to practice deadlifts. Ultimately, whether you lift weights or do bodyweight exercises, the strength you build will be specific to the workouts you do. Both weights and bodyweight training can be effective ways to build strength and improve your overall fitness, but it’s important to focus on the specific movements you want to improve and train accordingly.

What Burns More Calories: Bodyweight Exercises Or Weight Lifting?

In terms of calorie burning, each exercise method is equally beneficial. Everything depends on how much volume you decide to complete. It’s vital to keep in mind that none of these exercises will cause you to burn a significant number of calories—perhaps about 5 to 10 per minute of activity.

Should I Lift Weights Or Do Bodyweight Training First?

If you are a beginner, you should begin with bodyweight training because it will show you how to carry out all of the key functional exercises while lowering the possibility that you will get an injury. You can train both in the same session if you’ve gained more experience.

Can You Build Muscle With Only Bodyweight Training?

Because your body cannot distinguish between different types of resistance, calisthenics alone can aid in gaining muscle mass. Your body will react by building more muscle in every manner it can simply be because you are doing something that demands it to push against anything. With bodyweight workouts, however, it might be challenging to increase lower body muscle mass.

By Dr. Gabriel Rosales

Dr. Gabriel Rosales, a leading bariatric surgeon in Mexico and head of Obesity Free, is focused on the surgical treatment of patients who have struggled with excess weight for years. For Dr. Rosales, there is no better reward than having a satisfied patient who has achieved his/her weight loss goals. His key to success is a well-developed surgical technique and quality medical care from beginning to end.

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