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Is body weight training the same as strength training?

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#QandAWed: Is bodyweight training the same as strength training? – Andrea Wines, YouTube

The short answer, yes, it can be, but the definitions of each can vary depending on your goal and the context.

“Strength training” is a broad term for instance, and can refer to a multitude of various workout styles, methods and protocols. Body weight training is also a broad term which is used to generally refer to any type of workout that simply utilizes your body weight only (no additional equipment) during the workout.

When it comes to strength training, your muscles can’t tell the difference between what load you use – whether it’s your bodyweight, dumbbells, KB or bands, etc. For example, a push up requires your chest muscles to produce force against the floor, a barbell chest press requires them to work against the weight.

There are some major benefits to strength training using just your bodyweight including the convenience factor (you can basically workout anytime, anywhere)

On the other hand, there can be some limitations, as the amount of resistance you can provide to your muscles is limited by your actual bodyweight.

Now you can use exercise progressions to increase the challenge and resistance of a bodyweight exercise (for example, squats can be progressed into single leg, pistol squats, etc), but if your body isn’t ready to handle the technique of a pretty challenging pistol squat, adding dumbbells may be a safer more effective way to increase the difficulty of the exercise. To actually increase strength and/or produce stronger muscle fibers, a muscle must be worked to fatigue.

It’s important to note that workouts such as Pilates, yoga and other forms of movement that don’t include added weight can also be labeled as “bodyweight” workouts, but they may not offer enough resistance based exercise to be considered a strength training workout. When it comes to determining whether a bodyweight workout is strength training (many focus on more muscular endurance building), it’s important to evaluate it on an individual basis (are you working your muscles to fatigue or building endurance with repetition of weight bearing movement).

Got a question for me? Please be sure to leave it in the comments below!

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