Is Bodyweight Training As Effective As Weight Training?

It’s a beautiful, cool, sunny day here on Long Island, and I write this to you from my parents’ home. Every Tuesday and Friday, I visit my hometown of Port Washington, and work with my grandmother on rehab from hip replacement surgery last summer, and my dad on improving his strength, tone and overall cardiovascular health. My dad’s doing much better since getting out of the hospital this past Saturday from having four stents put into his heart, so that’s good!

Anyhow, I wanted to cover a topic that came up during my first session earlier this morning. Many of my in-person clients do a variety of fitness activities beyond the scope of our meetings. Sure, many have me design workouts for them, but I always encourage them to stay as active as possible, and to try new things outside of when we meet.

My client this morning mentioned how a friend of her’s brought up trying CrossFit, and that she was nervous to try it because of the heavy weightlifting involved. While I’m a CrossFit Level 1 Certified Coach, and I did CrossFit exclusively for a few years back in the day, I gave her my input based on my personal knowledge and experience with CrossFit, as well as in how CrossFit’s results related to her particular goals.

To give you a a quick background, she’s looking to lose weight, lean out, and REDUCE overall body mass. Aerobic Training utilizing bodyweight has been scientifically shown to do this better for her goals than Resistance Training — Particularly the (at times) HEAVY resistance training CrossFit boxes (AKA their name for gyms) will have their members do.

“Well, you’re not looking to put on muscle mass,” I said to her. “You’re looking to lose weight, to tone up, and to lean out. CrossFit is defined by its founder as ‘Constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity.’ Part of those ‘functional’ movements are both compound and Olympic weightlifting exercises. Many workouts call for relatively heavy loads in comparison to your size, which can lead to you putting on muscle mass, and thus, weight you don’t want.”

I then showed her pictures of female CrossFitters, both competitive athletes, as well as some ‘average’ box-goers, and I think that put the cherry on top of the cake to assist her in making her final decision…

Look, I’m not demonizing CrossFit! I recommended my younger brother do it a few years ago, and he’s still doing it. He loves it! But he has different goals than my client does — He’s looking to not just reduce body fat, but to put on muscle mass, which is definitely something that CrossFit provides its practitioners.

For my client (and for many people the world over), they don’t want the big, flashy muscles. They just want to be lean and to be healthy. While many of my clients incorporate some form of resistance training into their programs, it tends to be light-to-moderate weight performed via high intensity forms of training, like Tabata, HIIT, FIT and Pyramidization.

When you’re going that hard, you don’t want hundreds of pounds on your back, over your head, or flung in different directions. This can not only make you bulky, but can leave you susceptible to potential injury!

Instead, you’ll just want something that makes the movements a wee bit harder, so that you can maximize your aerobic output, and get your metabolism cranking — Both during and long AFTER the workout is over! Forms of interval training keep you burning fat for up to 72 hours POSTworkout, which, coupled with good nutrition, will yield a whole lot of good on your end ;-)

So, in summary, is bodyweight training BETTER than resistance training? It depends on your personal goals, as well as what type of resistance training you’re performing. If you’re lifting heavy weights to put on size, then obviously this is not conducive to your goals, as your body’s adaptation to this style of training will result in increased muscle mass, and thus, an increase in weight. However, if you’re integrating some light-to-moderate weights with aerobic-based bodyweight training, your chances of keeping your workouts interesting while decreasing both body and fat mass will definitely increase!

Have a good weekend :-)


Pete Weintraub

P.S. If you’re READY to take that first step on your health and weight loss journey, then let’s chat!

With 10 years of experience, SEVEN different fitness and nutrition certifications, and a sustained weight loss of 100 lbs., I think I know a thing or two about this Permanent Weight Loss thing ;-)

To set up a FREE strategy call with me, please go to, and select a date and time that works for you.

PLEASE KEEP IN MIND THAT I HAVE ONLINE PROGRAMS, AND THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO LIVE CLOSE BY TO ME TO WORK WITH ME!!! I’ve worked with Marines in Japan, doctors in Europe and businessmen from across the US…

That link again is I look forward to speaking with you soon!

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.