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Your Body is All the Weight You Need!


In 2023, the average cost of an annual gym membership in the US was around $600. That’s enough to buy 1,374 medium-sized apples! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking gyms, but sometimes all that’s needed for a great workout is, err…, you.

Using just your body weight for fitness offers many additional advantages beyond saving enough loot to buy ten bushels of apples. Let’s start with the obvious: accessibility. A bodyweight workout can be done anywhere and without the need for special equipment. And bodyweight workouts are incredibly versatile. There are countless bodyweight exercises to target different muscle groups and fitness goals. Additionally, bodyweight workouts can be easily integrated into busy schedules because there is so much flexibility as to where and when they can be done. For instance, I once found myself in the Istanbul International Airport doing sets of chair dips and jumping lunges, and this was after an extended transcontinental flight filled with sets of seated knee-ups and crossover leg lifts! So, there really are no excuses when it comes to using just the weight of your body for exercise.

The other thing I love about bodyweight workouts is that they build functional strength by emulating real-life movements and activities, all the while improving balance and coordination by engaging in stabilizing muscle groups. And because there are no heavy weights or complicated machinery involved, bodyweight exercises help reduce the likelihood of injury.

For me, the single most efficient and effective bodyweight workout is the burpee. Our high school wrestling coach used to make us do a set of burpees when we arrived at the gym, and a set of burpees when we left. He wasn’t the most liked coach on the campus, but I now look back fondly on those days of carrying a barf-bag in my backpack in case of mid-workout emergencies.

Before I start my bodyweight workout, I often get the engine revving with Hammer Nutrition Fully Charged Pre-Exercise ignitor. This revolutionary formula helps get me prepared—mentally and physically—while reducing warm-up time, increasing cardiovascular capacity, preventing lactic acid build-up, and boosting energy levels with a natural jolt of green tea. Post-workout, I start the recovery and rebuilding process with Hammer Nutrition Whey Protein, which has the additional benefit of strengthening the immune system. I typically use the unflavored variety, but Hammer Nutrition Whey Protein also comes in (exceptionally scrumptious) Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla flavors. Speaking of whey protein, something I always carry with me on extended flights is Hammer Nutrition Peanut Butter Chocolate Whey Protein Bars. They pack a whopping 11 grams of grass-fed protein in a 170-calorie bar that is low in sugar but remarkably flavorful and satisfying. Along with my TSA Pre card, Hammer Nutrition Peanut Butter Chocolate Whey Protein bars are my most trusted travel companions!

Good luck with your next bodyweight workout, and keep hammering…

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Dean Karnazes is an ultramarathoner and Hammer Nutrition global athlete. He is a NY Times bestselling author and recipient of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness & Nutrition Lifetime Achievement Award. Learn more about Dean at: Dean Karnazes Keeps Hammering


Thank you Dean for being an inspiration helping us all see the value in a healthy lifestyle and the joy of building a program incorporating Hammer products. This helps us achieve ( and helps us feel supported by Hammer ) to reach our health and fitness goals with more confidence . Thank you Dean and thank you everyone at Hammer and in the Hammer family ! 😃

Todd OToole

Dean everything you said… Amen! Well written article, would love to read more of the exercises you do …
Hammer Nutrition replied:
Hi Suzy! Thank you for the comments and suggestion! We’ll ask Dean for a follow up article with the exercises he does – Pulls ups, push ups and triceps dips are my favorites for upper body. BDF

Suzy Degazon

Great short read. I agree with Dean’s assessment of using your own body weight for warm ups and before your actual work out to get the cardiovascular system going. I have been doing it for 45 years. starting In high school while working towards my black belt in karate..thanks for sharing.

Douglas Samuels

As an exercise physiologist I highly recommend this article. Trends in the fitness industry are often not based on scientific research. The saying “No Pain No Gain”, is absolutely untrue and has lead to millions of unnecessary surgeries over decades. One must understand that the force of gravity and our body weight is the most effective way to weight train with the least amount of potential injuries. In my business as a personal trainer with more than 20 years of experience my saying is “Less is More”. My clients do not get hurt on my time. Many heavy weight exercises such as The Dead Lift, should not be preformed unless one is a professional athlete in a high impact sport such as football or hockey.

Thank you, Dean, for this excellent message.
Hammer Nutrition replied:
Hello Holly, thank you for your affirmative comments! I just wish there were more personal trainers like you! BDF

Holly Hanzel

I need some motivation to get started, I was a big believer in body weight workouts and enjoyed them. Then I suffered an injury unrelated to the workout. I just have not got back on track. Now I’m spiraling and I know it’s not ever going to get easier unless I make a start and stick to a schedule. How do I reignight the fire?
Hammer Nutrition replied:
Hi Daniel,

Thank you for the message, we appreciate you reaching out. We all go through ebbs and flows in our lifelong fitness journey and I can relate to how you’re feeling firsthand cause I’ve been there myself.

I have a plan. Start by doing 3 burpee’s first thing out of bed in the morning. No matter what, step out of bed and do 3 burpees’s. Do this for one week. Starting on week two, do 5 burpee’s first thing out of bed. Yes it will suck, but still do it!

On week three do 7 burpee’s first thing out of bed. Then on the fourth week do 10 burpee’s first thing out of bed.

That outta reunite the fire. But there’s one last thing, I want you to reach back out at the end of the fourth week and let me know that you did it.

Deal? I’m with you brother. Talk to you in a month.

Dean Karnazes

Daniel Flynn

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