There are differing opinions on the subject of body weight training vs. weight training.

Here are 4 videos with some differing viewpoints on this subject.  It’s a great topic to discuss because there are people on both sides of the aisle.  You might even want to try some of these body weight exercises yourself and see if you like them as well or better than your typical weight training exercises.  Everyone is different and so one or the other may suit you better.  I’m guessing that a mix might be the best.

(NOTE: When trainers talk about calisthenics, they mean body weight exercise.)



Here is a video that lays out the arguments from both sides and describes what the advantages and disadvantages are of each type of workout.

You need to watch this to understand the pros and cons of each and which might be better suited for you.  Then we’ll delve into the topic more in depth in the remaining videos.



This video compares calisthenics (body weight training) with free weight training and additionally with machine workouts.  It’s a little long (9 minutes) but if you want a full review of all three (3) this is the video to watch.

Note that both of these first videos talk about the progressions in training your body.  Take notice of this issue.  It is one of the differing factors that all these trainers mention.




Here’s my favorite YouTube trainer, Jeff.  He’s very experienced, knows a lot about the subject of working out and weight training.

In this video, he talks about the pros and cons of calisthenics (body weight training) and the complexities of body weight training. He outlines four (4) pros and four (4) cons.

NOTE: He talks about a big lie associated with body weight training.

Great video.  Follow Jeff if you want great advice on many training subjects.  He’s the best,… in my opinion.




This trainer provides a very solid description of the advantages of body weight training. He is a big proponent of body weight training, although he didn’t get that body by just body weight training.  He won’t tell you that when he’s extolling the virtues of body weight training.

He makes a great point about the meatheads you see in the gym who only care about lifting heavier and heavier weights, and don’t care what they look like. Body weight training will contribute more to having a lean body because extra weight will hamper your progress.




These videos are great in explaining the differences and advantages of both body weight training and weight training.  All of these trainers use both and understand the limitations of each.

I’ve done both body weight training and weight training.  I like to mix them up.

From my experience, the body weight training will keep you lean, but it’s not as good at building muscle size as all these trainers will lead you to believe……at least not in my experience.

All these guys got big by hitting the gym and then have mixed the body weight training into their routines to add an element of balance and movement efficiency and athleticism.

I participated in CrossFit and many boot camps, and they all were great for me.  I enjoyed and got great benefit from them, but for pure adding muscle onto your frame, it’s hard to beat a good ole lifting session at the gym.


Do Both.  

They each will add an important element to your body and weight goals. Each will contribute in giving you a well-balanced body.  You can do them on alternating days or you can do only one or the other. When I was doing boot camps and Crossfit, I didn’t have time for the gym.

Even if you do one to the exclusion of the other, you can’t go wrong if you are careful about your diet.  Some guys will just prefer one over the other.

See you at the gym….and the park.





Published by "W" Tucker

I've been a fitness enthusiast for many years and want to encourage guys over 40 to get and stay in shape. It makes life better, and makes you look and feel better.

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  1. This is a great review. I for a while have been doing calisthenics and it’s been very effective for me. But I agree with your conclusion, both are very useful. Calisthenics you can do anywhere and make you lean and athletic. Weight lifting is good for building mass and can be good for athleticism too. Guess it just depends on your goals. Thanks for the review!

    1. Nick, thanks for the comments.  Yes, you are right…..a mix is best, but it depends on your goals.  Someone who wants to pack on the muscle is should probably concentrate on weight lifting.

  2. This is really cool. I always wondered which one had a better effect out of body weight training versus actual weight training. You couldn’t have explained it any better, they both has their benefits but your diet also plays a key role as well. I’m just starting back working out and going to the gym regularly, so i’m definitely going to implement both into my workout regimen. Great article, for sure sharing this on facebook.

    1. Garrett, thanks for the comments.  Yes, I think mixing the two is the most balanced workout you can do.  Glad to hear you’re back working out.  Feels good doesn’t it?

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