My experiments with different forms of workout: Part 1

Over the course of these 2 years, I got kind of desperate in between. Desperate because, I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted, and I didn’t know what was wrong. Ideally, I should have seeked help, online or offline to fix the routine I already had. Instead, I started doing a variety of different types of workouts to see if a mix, would get me the results. In that episode of 3 months, I dabbed in all of the following forms of workout, and I learnt a fair bit from it as well.

Bodyweight training

This is what I had been doing since the beginning, simple bodyweight exercises. These kind of exercises, I have now come to realize, are absolutely fantastic: if you know what you are doing.

I didn’t. And that was why I wasn’t seeing the results. Bodyweight training will get you the results you want if you do two things: push yourself to your limit, and just beyond. And then, rest properly. Your diet also matters a lot. You need to eat right, eat at the right time and eat the right amount to see some effective results. The reason I wasn’t getting the results was that I wasn’t doing any of these things right.

Now, I am. And I am a big advocate of bodyweight and calisthenics exercises. So the thing to remember with this is-

  • Work hard, push yourself beyond your limit every time.
  • Rest appropriately. If your muscles are sore, don’t work.
  • Be very, very mindful of your diet.
  • It’s a very intensive process, and you need a lot of discipline to get it all right and see results.

Weight training/Gymming

This is the most popular form of workout in the world. The minute you tell someone you are working out, chances are high that they will assume you lift. My roommate was a big lifter at the time, and that got me interested in this form of workout. A few articles I read also said that this is perhaps the fastest way to lose fat and gain muscle. So, I decided to give it a shot.

Initially, I saw some great results. By initially, I mean the first 2 weeks. I cut fat, and increased quite a bit of mass in my chest. The only issue I was facing with this was: boredom. That’s right. I was bored of doing a motion over and over again, while I just…sat there. Or stood there. I also began falls, mainly in the form of stamina and injuries.

I understood a few things about this form of exercise in that period-

  • This is a great form of exercise if you want to bulk up. It does prove effective in cutting fat initially, but only weight training alone will probably not be enough.
  • The range of motion in this form is extremely limited. For example, in a push up, your primary focus is the biceps but you also work your triceps, chest, forearms, core and legs. In a dumbbell curl, it’s the bicep that is working. And only the bicep. So this is great if you are focussing on only one part of your body, not so great if you want to build coordination and agility.
  • It is not going to help you build endurance or stamina.
  • For the right results and to avoid injuries, you are better off training with a professional.

My personal opinion? Bodyweight is better than lifting. That is primarily because I want to focus more on my agility and functional strength, rather than building mass. The added bonus of bodyweight training is that with time (say 1 year), you will end up gaining that mass you wanted anyway. And it’ll all be functional muscle mass.

I also dabbled in yoga, and used to do a lot of cardio training. I’ll share more on that in my next post!


All images from Google Images.


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