Thursday, May 15, 2008

Fat Loss Wars - Machines Versus Bodyweight Exercises

Here's why you don't need machines. They are expensive, take up a lot of space, and are no better than the cheap ol' bodyweight you are carrying around. Just use your bodyweight for fat loss and cardio exercise. You'll get more fat loss results in less time and with less cost.

Let's talk about bodyweight exercise alternatives--can people really
get a good fat burning workout just using their bodyweight and a
set of dumbbells?

The answer is yes.

They don't need fancy machines or expensive gym memberships?


There's nothing magical about machines. And to be honest with you,
machines are only designed for the "average sized" person. So if
you are short or tall, you are really out of luck.

If you train at home, or on the road while traveling for business,
you're not going to have access to fancy equipment. You might have
to "get by" with only dumbbells and your bodyweight.

But since you only have a short amount of time to workout, say 3
sessions of 45 minutes per workout per week, it is a big help if we
can pair dumbbell and bodyweight exercises together in our

(Hey, I've tried training a client on a Bowflex...and we spent more
time trying to set-up the machine for different exercises than he
did using it. Eventually we got him to get a set of powerblocks to
avoid the hassle.)

On the other hand, there are dozens of bodyweight exercises we can
use for bodysculpting for the lower body, abs, and upper body that
require no set-up at all.

Some of my favorite bodyweight exercises are...

a) Spiderman Pushups

b) Any single leg exercise (from single-leg squats, to split
squats, to the many types of step-ups I use, to all the lunges you
can think of)

c) Total body ab exercises (I try to avoid crunching motions -
bodyweight crunches are limited in effectiveness, so I prefer to
use total body ab exercises like mountain climbers)

d) Close-grip Pushups (these work arms better than any
triceps kickback ever will)

e) Single-leg Squats & lying 1-leg hip extensions for legs

f) Chin-ups for arms (and there's even a really cool way for men
and women to do assisted chin-ups if they are just starting out on
this exercise, and I'm not talking about those expensive, gigantic
assisted pull-up machines)

One of the best uses of bodyweight exercises are in fat burning
bodyweight circuits. These circuits are a great replacement for
regular cardio and even for intervals.

Take 3 upper body bodyweight exercises and alternate them with 3
lower body bodyweight exercises. Rest 1 minute and repeat 3-5 times
for a 20 minute bodyweight workout. Bodyweight exercises are great
for all us desk jockeys, because it improves our mobility and
reduces upper body tension.

Bodyweight training gives you fast fat loss, at no cost, and
without the need for a 2nd garage in your house to store all the
equipment. You can take your bodyweight workouts outside in the
summer, on the road when you travel, and even on holidays so that
you don't miss a workout.

Don't waste a single second in the gym,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

You have permission to publish this article in your web sites, ezines or electronic publication, as long as the piece is used in its entirety including the resource box, all hyperlinks (HTML clickable) and references and copyright info.

Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training for Fat Loss have helped thousands of men and women with weight loss and fat burning in less than 45 minutes three times per week. Turbulence Training for Fat Loss workouts help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment. Craig's bodyweight workouts for fat loss help you lose fat without any equipment at all.


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