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Body weight is a great starting point for beginners who are new to resistance training. Most body weight exercises, aerobic and anaerobic, are effective but only to a certain degree because our bodies are limited on the resistance level. For example, If someone weighs 150 pounds and is doing body-weight squats, then 150 pounds will be the resistance. But, our bodies are capable of producing a lot more force, especially at the legs.
To answer your question, I would suggest using fitness equipment in conjunction with body weight exercises to vary the training, because it will improve your activities of daily living. You’ll be able to carry your grocery items easier, lift heavy items on top of shelves and live and healthier and happier life.
I believe it is essential for your overall fitness level and strength level to use weights and body weight. Functional movements using your body weight will give you a strong core and good balance, while increasing your weight with dumbbells will give your muscles the overload they need to keep gaining strength. I would stay away from the “machines” if you can. They generally don’t make you work very hard b/c they are not functional and they don’t work your core at the same time.