The Power of Bodyweight Exercises: Like Primates Exercise
Have you ever seen a gorilla doing arm curls…other than the guy in the tight workout pants, grunting and moaning?
Gorillas and other primates do exercise in the wild.
They use their own bodyweight to pull themselves up trees, lift logs and so on.
Even a smaller primate like a chimp, has ungodly strength.
That’s because when they exercise and stretch, all the muscle groups are being worked.
Swinging on a vine, through the trees, hand over hand, looks easy.
How long could you do that for, until your muscles gave out and you dropped to the jungle floor?
Not long, unless you had conditioned your body through bodyweight exercise.
It may seem humorous; however there really is a point.
So let’s illustrate that point.
Have you ever climbed a rope? Was that part of your evil gym teachers program?
You know that a person can climb a rope but did you know that someone who is an expert at bodyweight exercises can climb a rope upside down?
Put on your visual thinking cap for a moment and imagine turning yourself upside down on a long rope and hauling your butt to the top, hand over hand, wrapping your legs around the rope so you don’t fall off.
Bet your having a hard time with that one!
It’s true though.
That’s “primate strength.”
Your local gym rat would not even be able to do one hand over hand before his arms gave out.
Large muscles built from repeatedly lifting heavy weights, do not build real strength.
A person who does body weight has much more functional strength than the bodybuilder.
Bodyweight exercises use the whole body and do not isolate parts of it, giving you overall functional strength.
It’s useful to look at emergency situations in the case of bodyweight vs. dumbbell weights.
Let’s say that someone has fallen down a cliff and you manage to find a nice long piece of rope.
You throw it over the cliff, getting the person to tie it around their body.
Now you begin to pull them up, hand over hand.
As a bodyweight expert, you are accustomed to using your arms, shoulders and legs at all the same time.
Your muscles are conditioned to do this.
Would it be true of person who has been working out with dumbbells all their lives? No, it wouldn’t.
They are used to working one part of their body at one time.
To use all the major muscles groups at the same time, they would suffer muscle fatigue rather quickly.
Which would you rather have, functional strength or non-functional strength?
Since you are a primate, it’s likely you would agree that functional is the way to go.
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Lifetime fitness is a goal for everyone, and you can learn more here about the ways that bodyweight workouts can help you to achieve this, in our section dedicated to how to do BodyWeight Exercises
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