yup, gymnasts again
Its time for that talk, you know what it is, read the damn title. Now i will be speaking from personal experience, i did 1 year of body building as my entry to exercise and fitness (HAHAHAHA i know, i know), then i went and did 2-2.5 years of strictly body weight exercise and gained back the weight, mass, size, and strength that i lost after all my body building gains melted off and now recently (recently being within the last 8 months) i've taken up weight training, not a body building style but true weight lifting, with most of the emphasis on squats and deadlifts, and a few other things but mostly an emphasis on the main big lifts.
Now why do i only focus on the big lifts? because pistol squats/one leg squats only get you so far, even adding weight the exercise just becomes irritating to deal with as your primary source of leg stimulation not to mention dealing with HEAVY ASS LOADS makes you jump higher like a little spring, and being a Traceur in the Parkour community, that is relevant to my interests.
This article was inspired by a quote i found recently (i forget where) it was a body weight exercise practitioner speaking to a weight lifter, polar opposites, no melding of their training styles: "I can do what you can do, almost as well as you can, but you cannot do what i do." and it struck a cord, not many people would be able to jump into my calisthenics program (progressive calisthenics not just pull ups and pushups folks, progressions like one arm chin up training, planche, and lever training.) but most can easily start with weights and when i just started playing with weights (also throw in the fact that my 6'6" frame caused a couple problems with finding the right exercise form that works for me) i was already lifting 1.5 times my body weight on deadlifts, and squatting my body weight. so my transition from body weight made me strong enough to handle weights that most would have to work up to, but if they tried my body weight routine they would suffer immensely.
The whole reason i recommend body weight exercise over anything for beginners is because its extremely low impact, it drastically increases tendon and ligament strength in newbies, its free and can be done with very little equipment and a little improvisation and it makes transitioning to ANY other athletic venture easier. at any given moment we are using our bodies and our body's weight, walking, running, standing, we're all at our body's weight under gravity so if anything we should all have to intermediate mastery over our bodies through calisthenics and parkour training.
This is not a rip on weight training in any capacity or form, i love training with weights and i LOVE lifting heavy weights, deadlifts are probably one of my favorite exercises, what im saying is CROSS TRAIN, give a heavy emphasis to bodyweight work and use weight to supplement your training to more advanced calisthenic exercises and do the 2 main leg lifts, squats and deadlifts for much more leg power, strength, and stabilization.
Train hard, PEACE!