Why I Prefer Bodyweight Workouts

When I started working out 15 years ago, I was obsessed with gaining muscle. 

I found a few rusty weights in our attic, built myself a little bench press set up in my father’s carpentry, and started working out daily. At that time my main focus was getting stronger and more muscular. And, even though my workout structure didn’t always make perfect sense in these first years, it worked.

I later signed a gym membership and over the years went from 75kg to 100kg. 

Looking in the mirror felt good. 

Besides, I also felt how being strong helps me in other sports, like basketball, snowboarding, or surfing. And also in everyday life, lifting or carrying stuff became easier the stronger I got. So yeah, being strong was a nice side effect.

However, in the first place, I lifted weights to grow muscle. 

When I started traveling more and more in the last 5 years, there weren’t always good and affordable gyms around. So I had to become more flexible in my workouts. I implemented more and more bodyweight exercises and found ways to challenge myself with little (Sling trainer, Resistance Bands, Jump Rope) to no equipment.

By replacing weights and machines with varied bodyweight workouts my training became way more functional. 

The result: 

Yeah, I lost muscle. Growing and maintaining these last 5 kilos of muscle had been easier in the gym. But really, I don´t care.

Because the other side of the coin is that these balanced and challenging bodyweight workouts make me feel amazing. The positive effects on other sports and my travel life show even more than with my gym workouts. Also, I don’t have to google gyms anymore to then pay 10$ for a one-day-pass. I just search for a nice spot at the beach or in the park next door and work out while breathing fresh air. 

Bodyweight training makes me adventure-ready, and independent. And btw it’s fun. 

Looking good in the mirror is now the side effect. 

My learning over the last 15 years: You don’t need a gym to get fit. In fact, I´m fitter without it.