Body Building vs. Body Weight Training

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Body building, as most of us know, is an exercise that is done using different machines and lifting heavy weights for increasing muscle mass. Different dumbbells, weighted bars, etc. are used to provide resistance against various movements of our body.

Body weight training, on the other hand, uses the weight of one’s own body to provide necessary opposing force to movement. These include pushups, sit-ups and pull-ups and are among the best body weight training exercises. This training causes a limited increase in muscle mass because of the limitation of using only one’s own body weight.

Pros and cons

Regular exercise is essential for healthy growth of body. It not only keeps us fit but also provides us strength to fight diseases. Both types of exercises have their own positive and negative aspects. Some of them are as follows:

  • Feasibility

Body building, as it requires specialized machines, cannot be done at home and one needs to hit the gym. It sometimes get very difficult to take out some time to specially go to the gym and work out.

Body weight training can be done anytime and at anyplace. It is more convenient because it doesn’t need any special coaching or specialized tools.

  • Safety

Body building can sometimes be dangerous as you need to use heavy machinery when you work out. Too much of hard exercise can sometimes rupture your muscles, ligaments and tendons causing a lot of pain.

Body weight training is safer as it only uses the body weight and the resistance never reaches the limit our body cannot endure.

  • Flexibility of movements

The movements in body building are restricted because it is dictated by gravity. Gravity being directed downwards, limits the movements in one direction only.

Body weight exercises can be done in various positions, providing greater range of flexibility.

  • Increasing muscle mass

Muscle mass can be built more with weight lifting. All you need to do is gradually increase weights you lift and increase the number of reps.

The restriction of using body weight limits building muscle mass in body weight training. It can only be compensated by increasing the number of reps and intensifying the training.


By: Beth Scupham














Body Building

Body Weight Training


Less feasible; needs special machines

More feasible; can be done anywhere and anytime


Less safe; chances of injury are more



Less flexible as movements are restricted to one direction (against gravity)

More flexible; provides a range of movements

Muscle mass

Significant increase

Slight increase

Resistance provided

Greater as weight can be increased

Limited as it uses body weight only