7 Common Mistakes People Make With Bodyweight Training for Fat Loss

People often think that to lose weight they’ll need to spend hours running on the treadmill like a hamster on a wheel. Others quickly run out and dump a chunk of money on a gym membership that they’ll probably stop using after a month or two. The truth of the matter is that you can melt the fat off your body just by doing bodyweight training and you don’t need more space than a cubicle.

A study conducted by The School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada compared the training results of two groups of women who performed either traditional aerobic training or a full-body aerobic resistance training.

The first group performed a regular 30-minute aerobic session on the treadmill while the other subjects performed high-interval bodyweight exercises which included jumping jacks, squats thrusts, burpees and mountain climbers with very little rest of only 10 seconds per session. Although the results showed increased cardiovascular benefits for both groups, only  the full-body trained participants experienced an additional improvement in skeletal muscle endurance

Since you won’t need equipment and most bodyweight training exercises require very little equipment, you can do them anywhere. A quick 10-minute bodyweight workout is all you need to ramp up your metabolic rate and keep you in fat burning mode for hours. However, it’s important to note that you should avoid seven common mistakes that many people make when using bodyweight training as a weight loss protocol.

Bodyweight Training Mistakes

1. Only focusing on the upper body or isolating body parts

This is probably the most common mistake out there. People who wrongly believe that by doing sit-ups they can lose fat on their belly or doing push-ups to tone their flabby arms. Some men only focus on doing exercises to tone the upper body so that they look good in a t-shirt.

This is all wrong. You can’t spot reduce your fat. Your body doesn’t work that way. In order to burn fat, you need workouts that work the entire body. In any one bodyweight training circuit, you should have a variety of exercises to target the arms, legs, back, midsection, etc.

For example, 1 set of lunges, followed by a set of push-ups, a set of crunches, then a set of burpees and maybe some mountain climbers and pull-ups. With several different exercises like these, many muscles in your body are being trained, and it’s exhausting. Your body will be recruiting more muscles, burning more calories and getting a boost in the metabolic rate.

2. Long rest periods

bodyweight training for fat loss

In order to achieve a state of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, your workouts need to have very little rest between sets. You should aim for about 15 seconds of rest after 45 seconds of work.
For example, you’ll do burpees for 45 seconds and rest for 15 seconds before moving on to the next set of lunges.Only by doing this will you start gasping and struggling. This may seem tough, but it’s crucial to reach a state of exhaustion which is also known as training at your VO2 max.

Since bodyweight training sessions are best kept short and fast, you’ll probably only be doing a 10 to 15-minute workout. So, give it your best and endure the exhaustion. If your rest periods are short, you’ll put your body in a fat burning mode for hours long after your workout is over.

3. Not varying the workouts

Another common mistake is doing the same workouts over and over. You must create different workouts so that your body is constantly being challenged. When you do a variety of exercises, more muscles will be trained.

Your body will also not be lulled into a sense of complacency as it adapts to the same old workouts and uses less energy to complete the training. Your body is a highly adaptive organism that’s always trying to conserve energy for its own self-preservation.It’s Absolutely crucial that you use up as much energy as you can because stored energy in the body is fat.

4. Not adding intensity

Personal trainer showing a client how to exerc...

Personal trainer showing a client how to exercise the right way and educating them along the way. The semi-spherical device is a BOSU. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is directly correlated to the mistake above mentioned.As we train, the body adapts to the stimuli that we are applying. You must try to get out of the rut by adding more resistance. You can put external elements such as a backpack full of bottles of water to do pull-ups, push-ups or squats. Another way to make these exercises more complicated is to increase the level of difficulty, such as using an element such as the TRX to do push-ups or paddles or a BOSU to do squats with a certain degree of instability. The TRX can also assist you in adapting the level of difficulty or intensity through the range of motion.

Bodyweight routines will not work for fat loss if you fail to use proper progressions, which means that you can’t increase the exercise intensity levels despite mastering it.

5.Neglecting diet

Do not ignore your diet, because to lose fat the most important thing is to meet a caloric deficit in your body that you will achieve by cutting calories and eating good quality nutrients. You have to feed those muscles with real food. Your eating plan should consist mostly of natural whole foods and steer clear of junk or processed foods.

6.Using sloppy form

It doesn’t matter how hard you train if you don’t perform the exercise correctly you might well lose the effectiveness of any given movement by either applying too much speed or momentum. The same principles apply to bodyweight workouts as in traditional bodybuilding exercises when it comes to executing a perfect exercise technique.
Explosive movements are quite effective as well as speed training but these are advanced techniques that are not recommended for beginners because their muscles along with joints and tendons are not fully developed or strong enough and consequently this could increase the risk of injury. There are some easy tricks that you can employ to fix this such as pausing at the bottom of the movement and not bouncing off to gain momentum

7. Not training to failure.

Unfortunately, this is something that happens often. Gradually increasing the stress on muscle is known as Progressive Overload. This is a principle that has been practiced since the golden era of bodybuilding. The only plausible way that you can accomplish this is by pushing your body to the limit. It’s not only about doing higher reps and getting pumped but meeting your next workout challenge. That means that you’ll have either increase your reps or the intensity in your training and that’s only possible by going all out and train to failure.

If you avoid these seven mistakes, your bodyweight training sessions will be powerful and rewarding. You’ll see improved stamina, better muscle tone, and impressive fat loss. Do what is right, not what is easy.