Body weight training is still, and will always be one of the most effective and reliable ways to train. Allowing us to train when not in a gym environment or when feeling sore after yesterdays big session, are only a couple of the benefits which can be drawn upon when discussing the advantages of bodyweight training.
First off let’s look at when I would choose to do body weight training. The awnser is anywhere, anytime! They can literally be put into any training program and are often discarded by bulked up gym beasts who can’t lift themselves off the ground. Never underestimate the power of being able to lift your own bodyweight. If i’m doing a HIIT (high intensity interval training) session at home or a free weight session in the gym you can be sure i’ll be throwing some burpees or pull ups in there somewhere.
You do however, have different types of body weight exercises. Some are more strength based, some are designes to raise your pulse, and some are the foundation of a particular weight based exercise.
All of these exercises can be put into a training program but some work better in different program depending on what you are trying to achieve.
If you are designing a HIIT session designed to burn a lot of fat in a short amount of time and to do anywhere you would want majority pulse raisers and foundation exercises. This minimises need for equipment. If you had access to a gym you could could literally choose any bodyweight exercise. My advice for a HIIT session would be to choose 6 exercises. 40 seconds per exercicse. 10 seconds rest in between each exercise. 4 rounds with 1 minute rest inbetwee each round.
Exercise 1: Burpee
Exercise 2: Squat/Squat jumps
Exercise 3: Walkouts
Exercise 4: Press ups
Exercise 5: High Knees
Exercise 6: Lunges/ Lunge jumps
A strength/bodybuilding program would obviously involve exercsies such as pull ups or inverted rows. Less repetions would be needed and you would focus on completing a set number of reps rather than going by time. For example: 10 repetions of pull ups followed by 1 minute rest repeated 4 times.
Bodyweight training is also ideal if you are trying to learn how to do a particular exercise, which brings us to our foundation exercises. A squat can be a tricky exercise to get right, especially if you have a bar across your back! My advice would be to do bodyweight squats for lots of repetions before you move on. This will increase the neurological pathway getting the body used to the movement. Once the form is correct weight can them be added.