Body Weight Training: The Do’s and Don’ts

Considering we spend 24 hours a day in our bodies, just about every exercise routine imaginable could stand to benefit from the addition of some form of body weight training.

Below are a few Do’s and Don’ts associated with body weight exercises, so you can reap the greatest benefits without skipping out on some important points.

DO Body Weight Exercises

The most obvious point to start with is to simply do body weight training in the first place.

You might currently be performing a sprint-based HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) routine, or perhaps a weights-only resistance training bodybuilding program. No matter what, you can still benefit from incorporating some simple body weight exercises into your routine.

To put it another way, there is no sense in trying to bench press or squat obscenely heavy weights if you can’t even handle your own body weight through some simple pushups or squats. Be sure to master these body weight exercises before moving onto heavier compound lifts with barbells.

DON’T Neglect the Basics

Thanks to the internet, we now have all manner of foreign and flamboyant exercise routines available at our fingertips. But again, make sure you aren’t skipping over more basic exercises.

Movements such as pushups, pull ups, bodyweight squats, and so on will help you develop a legitimate strength base that will then help you perform other more elaborate exercises far more effectively and confidently.

DO Set Personal Goals

One of the most important aspects of any type of physical exercise is continual progression. Seeing improvements over time will pay dividends when it comes to your own fitness and physique development, not to mention providing a much-needed motivational boost.

The best way to ensure your progress keeps coming is to set realistic, attainable, short-term goals, perhaps on a monthly or weekly basis, or even for each workout.

When you start your sessions, you should have a clear understanding of what it is you’re hoping to achieve.

Whether this means trying to perform your first full pull up, five extra pushups, or adding an extra 20 seconds to your plank, keeping these targets in your crosshairs will give you the extra steam you need to push harder every time.

DON’T Overreach

Setting goals and working hard to achieve them is absolutely a worthwhile and admirable endeavor, but always keep in mind your current strength and fitness levels.

Don’t sacrifice the quality of your exercise technique or form just so you can say you performed X number of reps on a given exercise.

Instead, focus on being realistic about your actual capabilities. In the long term, performing exercises safely and correctly will translate into far greater progress.

If you can only perform one or two honest pull ups, for example, then so be it; work with what you’ve got and your consistent efforts will reap you much greater dividends.

All in all – just remember: body weight training is a great way to build a solid foundation as you continually strive to hit your fitness goals.

Dai Manuel

View posts by Dai Manuel
Dai Manuel is a Dad, Husband, Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, Professional Blogger, Social Media Strategist, Brand Architect, CrossFit Athlete & Coach, and soon to be published Author of the “WholeLife Fitness Manifesto”. As a fitness retail entrepreneur, personal trainer, motivational speaker and all-around life enhancer, Dai Manuel has helped thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals through education, inspiration, and training. His wildly popular online exercise programs and online community have allowed him to share the idea that a sustainable healthy lifestyle is possible for everyone. You can check him out at – as well as connect and interact with him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

1 Comment

  1. Yismel RosarioFebruary 2, 2015

    Really good post. Especially for those interested in building up muscle mass and strength. Many forget that starting from the basics and building a good base is essential for achieving higher and more complex levels of exercise.

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