The Versus – Fitness training equipmentSeptember 16th, 2011 by Fit Guy 2 Comments
Which is best for building muscle — free weights, resistance bands, or your own body weight? The answer depends on your needs, since each of the three options have their own advantages and drawbacks against each other. Let’s take a closer look at them:
The Pros And Cons Of Free Weights
The advantages of free weights is that they’re effective — more effective than exercise machines, in fact — in building muscle. And since these weights are adjustable, you can progress to heavier weights to keep building muscle as you get stronger. Progress is, therefore, relatively fast.
On the other hand, free weights can injure you if you do the exercises incorrectly, or with improper posture. Free weights are also more expensive than resistance bands, and you can’t really take them with you when you go into town or travel.
The Pros And Cons Of Resistance Bands
Resistance bands are different from free weights in the sense that it provides resistance through tension, not the use of gravity. It combines the tension in the bands with your own body weight to create the resistance you’ll be working through in your routines.
Resistance bands give you a staggering number of exercises you can try, working out all the muscle groups in your body. One of the main advantages resistance bands have over free weights is that they’re inexpensive and lightweight, letting you take them with you wherever you go. All you need is an overhead support (such as a horizontal bar, a closed door, or a ceiling hook) that can carry your weight, and you’re ready to go.
The main disadvantage of resistance bands is that they’re not adjustable, unlike free weights. You’ll need to get creative with your routines and find newer, tougher exercises if you want to keep building muscle with resistance bands.
The Pros And Cons Of Body Weight Exercises
Body weight exercises don’t require the use of any gym equipment — all you need is your own body’s weight to provide the resistance you need. Examples of common yet effective body weight exercises include push-ups, horizontal bar pull-ups, squats, and sit-ups.
The advantages of body weight exercises are obvious — it’s free! You can do them anytime, anywhere, and it won’t cost you a thing. And when you constantly work your muscles to failure every single set, it can mean substantial muscle growth.
The disadvantages? There are only so many body weight exercises you can try, so you’ll need a bit of creativity to make sure all your muscle groups are being worked out. Also, as you get stronger, you might find body weight exercises less effective, and maybe even boring!