Old-school body-weight exercises are hot stuff again
Brandon Overstreet, owner of Brandon's Mobile Personal Training, does pushups at Lithia Park in Ashland.Photo by Bob Pennell

"Body weight is really awesome for the abs," she says, explaining that if one's goal is to lose weight and tone muscle, the approach is "perfect."

Physical changes typically come within three months of body-weight training, says Overstreet, adding that some measure of strength can be gained in the first week. But results elude plenty of people who try to exercise at home using their own body weight without help from a professional, says Jesse Silva, a certified personal trainer at Rogue Valley Family YMCA in Medford.

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"You need to have a load against your body to make it adapt," says Silva.

A proponent of free weights, rather than weight machines, Silva says a lot of his abdominal exercises use body weight initially, perhaps combined with a stability ball. It doesn't take long, though, for clients to exhaust the fitness potential of increasing tempo and repetitions with their own body weight, he says. Then it's time to add a medicine ball or 10-pound weight.

Rose acknowledges that no one's going to become a bodybuilder by limiting workouts to body weight. The average person, however, can add jumps in between each exercise to literally take body-weight routines to the next level.

"Body-weight training is fun."

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