When I hear people talk about training I can tell a lot about how they see certain types of fitness. Their preconceptions, biases, and beliefs about fitness are usually reflected in how they describe the purpose and use of specific methods of training. One in particular has recently caught my eye, bodyweight training.
Of course I am a big fan of bodyweight exercises, but there seems to be some odd comparisons of bodyweight training to weight training. I wanted to take this post to dispel many of those misconceptions so that you can learn how to benefit from both bodyweight training and weight training.
Truth: Any form of training is really dependent upon how you use the techniques. Gymnasts obviously are great athletes and use bodyweight training extensively. However, the means in which we teach DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has not only just as many ways of helping you be more athletic, but may have more angles and progressions to you being mobile, strong, and powerful. If you use weight training in the manner of bodybuilding or even powerlifting you are going to find yourself somewhat limited. Bodybuilding trains muscles in isolation which goes against much of how we see functional training and powerlifting, even though you can get quite strong, largely works us in our strongest positions and doesn’t challenge our mobility or movement in other planes of motion.
The reason that many people see bodyweight training as more athletic than weight training is because many bodyweight movements require you to learn how to integrate all segments of the body at once, combine stability and strength, and often progress to powerful exercises. Hmmm, if you have followed the way we teach DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training you will see that DVRT has many similarities to bodyweight exercises. However, in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training we can progress in smaller increments and introduce variables that are just not possible with bodyweight training. The ground we train on is always stable, whereas our Ultimate Sandbag can be stable or unstable. When we train with an unstable Ultimate Sandbag and work from unstable body positions, we actually have to integrate the smaller muscles of the body to an even higher level!
Additional examples in our DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training system sees we can combine one sided body position and load position, we can produce rotation at various angles and heights, we can work in all three planes of movement at once. All of these are somewhat limitations in many types of bodyweight training.
Truth: If you understand how to strength train properly, you will find that no matter what form of training you use very similar principles. I often if people really understand the difference in training with principles rather than just exercises. Most people can’t explain why they are using a specific exercise and often recite vague information such as “strengthening the core”, or “developing power”, even “functional strength”. These are terms that often don’t give us any real direction with our training and can’t explain why we are using one of a possible hundreds of exercises.
In DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training we look at ideas such as asymmetrical loading through how we hold the Ultimate Sandbag in various positions, stand when we train, and angles in which we move. We can use somewhat similar concepts in bodyweight training rather than just leap frogging from one hard bodyweight training drill to another. Why use that push-up variation? How do different plank variations correspond different strategies in core stability and strength? Once you gain the ability to answer these questions then all your training becomes clearer and far more effective.
Myth 3: Bodyweight Training is the Most Versatile and Cost Effective Means to Strength Train
Truth: While bodyweight training provides many options, it has severe limitations as well. How do you train horizontal pulling exercises like rowing? How do you train the posterior chain, especially if you don’t immediately possess the flexibility and mobility to perform a lot of the single leg exercises? In most of these cases we would hear people speak about adding in other small forms of equipment, whether floor sliders, gymnastic rings, suspension trainers, ab rollers, etc. At this point, we see that bodyweight training really does need equipment itself! All of a sudden the idea of JUST using your bodyweight doesn’t become that realistic. The cost effectiveness begins to change as well as we have to bring in other tools to progressively make bodyweight training more challenging.
Bodyweight training is also not as progressive as many would make you believe. There is often a rather large jump in one level of an exercise to another. If you have worked coached people long enough, you realize that having more options to progress helps tremendously in making them successful. Let’s look how the options of progressing bodyweight training compare to DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training.
Means in progressing bodyweight training:
Now let’s look at the primary means in progressing in DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training:
-Holding Position of USB
-Plane of Motion
When you now break it down, DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training has over double the options of bodyweight training, hmmm, seems like versatility is relative to our understanding of these different systems.
My point is not to discourage you from performing bodyweight training. I think combining DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training and bodyweight training into a comprehensive system is the ultimate answer. However, not just throwing exercises together because you don’t understand how they fit together. Not just doing stuff because it is “difficult”. Rather, having even a foundational understanding of how principles and movements work together, you will find your results exponentially improve.
If you want to see how we combine some powerful DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training moves with bodyweight training then check out our Incineration program HERE.