Body resistance vs weights?

The usual advice for resistance training is to lift "heavy." What am I missing in terms of muscle growth by doing push-ups, body squats, sit ups, lunges instead of using dumbbells, bench, and other/heavier weights?

Another question: Some have made a distinction between building muscle and getting stronger. I'm in a calorie deficit and working out (plan seems to be going well so far). What's the difference, and which am I effectively doing?
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Replies

  • BusyRaeNOTBusty
    BusyRaeNOTBusty Posts: 7,166 Member
    The reason we strength train while losing weight (besides it's being fun) is to MAINTAIN the muscle we already have. If we didn't, then we'd lose both fat and muscle and the end result wouldn't be as healthy or asthetically pleasing.

    Yes, you can get enough strength training to prevent muscle lose doing only body weight moves, however in order to really train you need to progress. This is what is hard to do with body weight. Once I can do 60 push ups (or whatever, I just made that number up) they are no longer effective for maintaining muscle. And plain old squats with no weight stop being effective REALLY quickly. What you need to do then is start doing a harder variation. Look into "You are Your Own Gym" or "Convict Conditioning". Both are bodyweight routines that will help you keep a progression going.
  • brandiuntz
    brandiuntz Posts: 2,717 Member
    You can get stronger without adding new muscle. As already said, being in a deficit, you're working at maintaining your current muscle. That muscle will get stronger as you continue to progress with whichever strength training you choose.
  • JeffseekingV
    JeffseekingV Posts: 3,165 Member
    Both are weight training. Just that when you progress past bodyweight, you move onto actual weights.
  • jself325
    jself325 Posts: 13 Member
    Got it! Save for push-ups, I would say my bodyweight training is getting easy. It may be time to graduate.
  • JeffseekingV
    JeffseekingV Posts: 3,165 Member
    Bench press is something you don't need to progress past BW to do. Since you aren't adding your bodyweight to the lift. The bar is about 45 lbs. If you can handle that with good form, you can start there. If not, use dumbells in 5/10/15/20 selections
  • yopeeps025
    yopeeps025 Posts: 8,680 Member
    jself325 wrote: »
    Got it! Save for push-ups, I would say my bodyweight training is getting easy. It may be time to graduate.

    multiple.hat.toss.lg.wht.gif

  • jself325
    jself325 Posts: 13 Member
    I've heard that! Also I've been told bench press can lead to uneven strength in the arms; Hence dumbbell presses are very useful.
  • JessaLee0324
    JessaLee0324 Posts: 118 Member
    The reason we strength train while losing weight (besides it's being fun) is to MAINTAIN the muscle we already have. If we didn't, then we'd lose both fat and muscle and the end result wouldn't be as healthy or asthetically pleasing.

    Yes, you can get enough strength training to prevent muscle lose doing only body weight moves, however in order to really train you need to progress. This is what is hard to do with body weight. Once I can do 60 push ups (or whatever, I just made that number up) they are no longer effective for maintaining muscle. And plain old squats with no weight stop being effective REALLY quickly. What you need to do then is start doing a harder variation. Look into "You are Your Own Gym" or "Convict Conditioning". Both are bodyweight routines that will help you keep a progression going.

    If we continue with an at-home, bodyweight routine we won't maintain the muscle we've built with it? I'm currently doing strength training with body weight, and although it's tough for me right now, I know in a few weeks it's going to get pretty easy. I just want to know that if I kept doing it, I wouldn't lose the muscle I built with it.
  • yopeeps025
    yopeeps025 Posts: 8,680 Member
    jself325 wrote: »
    I've heard that! Also I've been told bench press can lead to uneven strength in the arms; Hence dumbbell presses are very useful.

    You mean like on the lift inself?

  • JeffseekingV
    JeffseekingV Posts: 3,165 Member
    jself325 wrote: »
    I've heard that! Also I've been told bench press can lead to uneven strength in the arms; Hence dumbbell presses are very useful.

    Unless you doing something very oddball with the lift, I don't find that to be true. But doing dumbbell work can help to even out any existing differences.
  • brandiuntz
    brandiuntz Posts: 2,717 Member
    The reason we strength train while losing weight (besides it's being fun) is to MAINTAIN the muscle we already have. If we didn't, then we'd lose both fat and muscle and the end result wouldn't be as healthy or asthetically pleasing.

    Yes, you can get enough strength training to prevent muscle lose doing only body weight moves, however in order to really train you need to progress. This is what is hard to do with body weight. Once I can do 60 push ups (or whatever, I just made that number up) they are no longer effective for maintaining muscle. And plain old squats with no weight stop being effective REALLY quickly. What you need to do then is start doing a harder variation. Look into "You are Your Own Gym" or "Convict Conditioning". Both are bodyweight routines that will help you keep a progression going.

    If we continue with an at-home, bodyweight routine we won't maintain the muscle we've built with it? I'm currently doing strength training with body weight, and although it's tough for me right now, I know in a few weeks it's going to get pretty easy. I just want to know that if I kept doing it, I wouldn't lose the muscle I built with it.

    You can take bodyweight exercises very far for strength training and muscle maintenance. They key is that when things get easy, you need to progress to something harder again. "You Are Your Own Gym" and other plans have great ways to keep the progression up.

    One example is learning different types of pushups, as some are much harder than others.

  • KingRat79
    KingRat79 Posts: 125 Member
    when lifting weights the key to building strength and muscle is progressive overload. (ie lifting a bit more each session). with weights this is open ended and can be done in small increments, you can keep adding more weight and progressing.
    with body weight exercises its more difficult to progressively overload. it can be done but its just not as efficient as using weights
  • erickirb
    erickirb Posts: 12,292 Member
    Progressive overload is much easier using weights as you just add weight to the bar. This is a harder thing to do with body weight exercises, but can be done. Check out Convict Conditioning or You are Your own Gym.
  • jself325 wrote: »
    I've heard that! Also I've been told bench press can lead to uneven strength in the arms; Hence dumbbell presses are very useful.

    If you are using free-weights, you can´t cheat. they will stay even during a benchpress

    However, there are machines that mimic the motion of a benchpress where that can happen. Many of the cheaper at-home machines are like that.

    I think the debate is between free-weights and machines.. where many machines allow you to cheat with one side to help the other, and thus develop unevenly.

    The reason to do dumbbell presses over normal BP is for variety of motion and the ability to target different parts of the pecs more easily as well as extend the range of motion.
  • yopeeps025
    yopeeps025 Posts: 8,680 Member
    You can also add more reps for progressive overload. So is decreased rest time in between sets.
  • ChampCrucial
    ChampCrucial Posts: 120 Member
    edited November 2014
    Muscle strength which is built by low reps is more in your nervous system. You are building muscle as well but increasing the efficiency of mind muscle connections so that you can lift more. Muscle comes more from adding reps and hitting the magical 10 reps before you make it harder. You can make it harder by slowing it down, adding an incline, combine it with speed to make it harder (clap push ups or burped with push up).

    Your not really missing anything. You can build an incredible body. From personal experience I spent 3 months off weights using all bodyweight slow and regular speed and I increased strength in every lift except shoulders(had an injury from work)! As of now I still am on bodyweight progressing and plan to break all my records again in February
  • jself325
    jself325 Posts: 13 Member
    thanks guys, appreciate the color. I may move to weights soon.
  • BZAH10
    BZAH10 Posts: 5,710 Member
    jself325 wrote: »
    thanks guys, appreciate the color. I may move to weights soon.
    But keep in mind, it doesn't have to be one or the other - it can be BOTH! That's what I do, anyway. I use body-weight exercises between my weight lifting sets to keep my heart rate up. Variety is important to alleviate boredom and to shock your muscles. Incorporate both types of training into your workout and continually build on each one.
  • yogicarl
    yogicarl Posts: 1,260 Member
    If you follow a good progressive bodyweight strength program you may find you don't need to "progress" to weights to keep building strength. Along with Convict Conditioning and You Are Your Own Gym, look up Al Kavadlo and Frank Medrano on the internet - both bodyweight trainers, both impressively strong within their chosen discipline.
  • jself325
    jself325 Posts: 13 Member
    BZAH10 wrote: »
    jself325 wrote: »
    thanks guys, appreciate the color. I may move to weights soon.
    But keep in mind, it doesn't have to be one or the other - it can be BOTH! That's what I do, anyway. I use body-weight exercises between my weight lifting sets to keep my heart rate up. Variety is important to alleviate boredom and to shock your muscles. Incorporate both types of training into your workout and continually build on each one.

    I do both body weight and free weights, but use the former more, because it's easily available. I'll randomly do 25 push-ups several times throughout the day. I agree variety is the spice of the gym.