Want to Save Time or Money? Try Bodyweight Training

Inverted Row with a Swingset

Bodyweight training – it has definitely become one of the latest crazes in the fitness industry. While some people call it a “fad”, I definitely think bodyweight training has it’s time and place to be used. Especially if you want to save time and/or money. (More on that in a second.)

I use a lot of bodyweight exercises in my own training (push-ups, inverted rows, parallel bar dips, chin-ups, just to name a few) and recommend you do as well. Push-ups, inverted rows and other bodyweight exercises provide benefits you can’t get from a barbell or dumbbell.

For example, not only do you work your shoulders, chest and triceps with push-ups, but you also work your core and a very important, but less known, muscle – the serratus. It’s important to train the serratus to help maintain and improve shoulder health. The serratus muscle is worked at the top of a push-up, when you “spread your shoulder blades apart” at the top of the movement.

Here's a video I shot last year at a park that demonstrates a bodyweight workout that you can do with a swingset.

Note: Yes, I like to say “keep your butt and stomach tight” a lot in this video.

Now that you have a great workout to do at the park with your kids (or dog), let's move on to some of the advantages of bodyweight training.

There are two more main benefits of bodyweight training:

1) You save money. When you train with just your body, you don’t need any equipment or a gym membership.

2) You save time. Performing a bodyweight workout at home (or anywhere, for that matter) saves time because you don’t have to drive to and from a gym, wait for equipment, etc.

Those are a couple of the reasons why bodyweight training is a great way to train during the holiday season. There are no excuses not to train during the holidays. You can save money, save time, and still build a better body using bodyweight workouts. So absolutely NO EXCUSES.

If you know you are going to be very busy this holiday season and that getting to the gym on a regular basis will be difficult, then I highly suggest you give bodyweight training a try.

Right now my friend Craig Ballantyne is having a sale on his 6 Month Bodyweight Training Manual. You can get it now for only $37. But the sale ends tomorrow (Thursday, November 11) and the price goes back up.

You can check it out HERE.

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  • “I freaking LOVE this info! I'm determined to be a Beautiful Badass!” -Tina V
  • http://Website(optional) ronell smith

    Funny that you posted this. I was at a park near my house Saturday and got to thinking about something similar–though not near as well-planned as this.

    As this workout makes plain, there really are NO excuses for people who don't exercise.

    Thanks very much, Nia.


  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks


    Glad you liked the video. : )

    I'm just trying to make sure that people know there are absolutely no excuses for not training, especially during the crazy busy holiday season.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.fortheloveofcookies.wordpress.com Christine

    Glad I read this! I'm having to do BW training for the next few weeks since I'm at my sister's place. So long as you're really pushing yourself and doing the right exercises it's a great alternative.

  • http://GordonWatts.com/#health Gordon Watts

    Good innovation regarding use of a swing set, and I agree with Christine, great alternative if you're away from free weights.

    (Remember Also: Bench, squat, and curls can 'somewhat' be replaced by bodyweight exercises -such as pushups, 1-legged squats off a step, and pullups/chinups, respectively…)

    But I still am a little at a loss to find a 'good' bodyweight exercise to replace the deadlift.

    The 1-Legged Romanian deadlift is about the cosest I can get.

    Anyone have any better ideas to help me here?

  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks


    Glad you enjoyed the article. Good luck!


    Glute briges/hip extensions lying on the ground are great bodyweight exercises for the posterior chain. Running hill sprints will hit your glutes hard too.

  • http://gordonwaynewatts.com/#health Gordon Watts

    Thx, Nia, for your feedback; the glute bridge would work some of the 'range of movement' (ROM) of a deadlift -and is easy to remember, as it's kind of opposite of the plank in how you set up.

    However, I looked at videos for the hip extensions and the 1-legged deadlift, and I can't tell a difference. (Is it just me?)

    And to make matters worse, some vids had you doing hip extensions standing, another on all 4's, and one even had you doing a glute bridge with your feet on a big rubber ball.

    Which is the 'real' hip extensions?

  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks


    Glute brige is typically done lying on the ground. Hip extensions have a great ROM either by elevating the back, feet or both. The greater ROM makes the exercise more difficult.

    I would do them on the ground.

  • http://GordonWatts.com/#health Gordon Watts

    Thx, Nia.

    Speaking of running hill sprints (in your post above), I just realised that (in your workout blog) you also mentioned you might do that while you're deloading.

    Don't you think that might counter the effects of a deload?

    (I would imagine you would exercise moderation/discretion in just how intense you do sprints during 'time off.')

  • http://gordonwaynewatts.com/#health Gordon Watts

    While I'm thinking, I don't think you've ever said how long warm-ups take.

    My guess would be 20-30 minutes.

    Also, I've broken down the FLD warm-ups (in the product I purchased from you) into categories to help me remember them:

    Legs, Arms, Back (standing), back (laying, face up or down), and Misc. –and added a few to my index -that I got from my chiropractor.

    One cool warm-up not mentioned is where you twist at the hips -which activates/ warms-up the spine & lower back. Another is a variant on the lunge using a table or desk on which to lean. Yet another in a popping back of the shoulders, instead of steady scapular pressure. Another exercise is touching the toe -but in sumo stance (these 4 are the ones my chiropractor gave me) –and lastly, while Jumping Jacks are not in the FLD warmups, you speak highly of them in other places, so I mention that in passing.

    If I do a 'good' warmup, should it take probably 20-30 min? (Is that your personal experience?)


  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks


    I performed short hill sprints and not at 100% intensity. It didn't bother me at all.

    Warm-ups depend on the situation. For example, now that it's getting colder outside my warm-ups take a few minutes more. But all together I say they take about 10-15 minutes, especially on lower body days.

    A few minutes of jumping rope to get the blood flowing, mobility and activation drills, it takes about 10 minutes or so. If you need more, do it. But don't overdo it. Some people have a habit of turning the warm-up into a workout.

  • http://gordonwatts.com/#health Gordon Watts

    That makes sense – thx.

    However, you're giving me ideas…

    What if I did a full FLD warm-up on my days off … as an 'AM conditioning session' — would that not be tantamount to walking to keep endurance and stamina up?

  • http://www.fatlossdetour.com Nia Shanks

    That's a great idea.

  • http://gordonwaynewatts.com/#health Gordon watts

    (“What if I did a full FLD warm-up on my days off … as an 'AM conditioning session' — would that not be tantamount to walking to keep endurance and stamina up?”) — (“That's a great idea.”)

    I suspected as much since you did advanced burpees earlier in the day -and yet still had a good PM Strength session.

    Probably the AM conditioning and the FLD warmups helped you warm up and increased performance.

    On a similar note, I just saw on a science program about circardian rhythms (cable TV) that NO world records are generally done in the early AM because peoples' bodies & minds are not yet awake then.

    Lastly, with referecne to my comments on your workout blog about copying your last workout (36×225 DL), my reasoning was that a novice SHOULD blindly copy the workouts of others (I forget where I read it).

    I went 1 step further and copied not only your workout but also the pounds and reps -but I had to make a 'height' correction (cheat blocks).

    Not surprisingly, I also felt I needed to deload after the following workout.