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.
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I think they both have an important place in your strength training program. Push-ups and pull-ups are obviously excellent body-weight excercises. But body weight does provide a set resistance, and I agree with the answers that suggest that to achieve significant levels of strength fitness it will be important for you to include resistance equipment. Although Chuck Norris won’t agree. His Total Gym is an excellent machine, but it does allow for a progressive increase in resistance by increasing the incline of the bench.
I also agree with Joanne is that whatever you do, find a program of resistance training, whether with body weight or equipment, that you’ll enjoy and stick with.
Good luck, take care,