Being 6’4, I won’t lie, bodyweight training has always been probably a more challenging method for me over just lifting heavy weights. I like challenges though and instead of just making up the excuse that “I’m too big for bodyweight”, I have embraced wanting to be better at a lot of bodyweight drills.
Now, there is a bit of romanticism when it comes to bodyweight. After all, gymnastics is bodyweight and gymnasts are pretty incredible to watch. However, not all bodyweight training is likely to lead you to becoming a great gymnast.
The truth is bodyweight training is great, but like a lot of things, has its limitations. Sometimes progressions are too great, we can’t hit every part of the body without adding equipment, and our body size itself can dictate a lot of the intensity.
I want to focus on the first two.
One reason that I think bodyweight training gets such a big plus from people is the fact they think they can get really fit without any equipment. Oddly enough people don’t consider pull-up bars, suspension units, and other tools that people have to use to perform certain bodyweight drills as equipment, but they are!
Don’t get me wrong, I love pull-up bars, suspension units, floor gliders, and many other pieces that allow for variation and progression of bodyweight training, but to think it isn’t equipment is silly! The goal shouldn’t be not to use anything, rather use powerful tools that are relatively minimal investment.
We had so much fun doing a DVRT workout at TRX Headquarters
In fact, I watched a well known strength coach once do a whole presentation and workout on just bodyweight training. Afterwards, he laughed as he acknowledged the fact that while the drills were done without any external weights, he used a wide array of equipment to perform his “bodyweight” presentation. Yet, most people would naturally assume his “bodyweight program” was without any additional tools.
I’ve even heard and seen some of the biggest proponents of bodyweight training, not relying on bodyweight alone. Just the other day, a friend forwarded me an email from one of these bodyweight gurus. In the email, the fitness pro admitted to having over 20 pieces of strength equipment and wanting to add more! What about practicing what we preach?
If bodyweight training is so great then what is the need for other things?
Don’t take my post as not being a fan. I love bodyweight training, but I think using it in conjunction with smart external load training is the optimal way to use it.
Even when people ask me to describe DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training to them, I often tell them it is the bridging of concepts from bodyweight and external load training to make a more comprehensive fitness program.
DVRT can even enhance some of the most popular bodyweight drills.
Just look at out concepts. We manipulate body position just like in bodyweight training, something most NEVER do in their typical weight training programs. We use leverage (holding position) to create another layer to strength and coordination that helps be a continuation of the concepts of bodyweight training.
Just this past weekend at our Renton, Washington DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training certification I saw this very thing. Two awesome ladies were big bodyweight and suspension unit fans. During the course they made it a talking point how many of the DVRT drills gave them body awareness they just had not encountered before.
My point, use both!
Of course it isn’t just having an Ultimate Sandbag, but how you choose to use it!
I understand, you might feel like I am “forcing” you to have an Ultimate Sandbag. You don’t “have” to do anything. My workouts, my wife’s, my clients, many of my colleagues, are a true reflection of the balance that I am talking about. Yes, as one person mentioned this weekend, one Ultimate Sandbag gives you what feels like infinite options. However, it is not just the tool, but what do with it!
I believe programs like this are authentic, what we actually do, and yes, can even give the biggest minimalist trouble arguing with the success and rationale. This one in particular was designed by author and one of the most respected fitness professionals, Rachel Cosgrove.
Use our DVRT concepts, principles, and programs (you can get many of our DVRT workouts HERE). I want you to understand how to use your body smarter and more efficiently to build strength and fitness you didn’t think possible. See such training in the workout above!
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