There are a million reasons. Here are just a few.
If you can’t move your body adequately – and indeed effortlessly – through free space, what business do you have trying to make progressively heavier poundages go airborne when your own fair flesh barely stands a chance under your power?
There’s no clearly demarcated line at which you should start weight training, so don’t make the mistake of thinking that it’s some sort of elite-level activity requiring elite level preparation. Lifting weights is an activity for absolutely EVERYBODY.
But one thing is clear:
Bodyweight training – in any and all of its forms – will teach you more about the discipline of strength training than just about anything else
While this has been my observation for a long time, these aren’t my strictly my words; the above is paraphrased from Russian strength expert and founder of StrongFirst – the inimitable Pavel Tsatsouline.
Why, you might ask?
Let’s start from the lowest rung of the ladder and work our way up.
If you can’t do something as simple as roll, rock, or crawl across the floor comfortably and without wheezing, seizing, and going red in the face, the odds that you’ll be able to express your strength with any modicum of athleticism and real-world power are pretty low.
If it takes 350 lbs on your back to squat deep (not to mention a mini pump-up speech in your head and all sorts of cuing) what does that say about the day-to-day flexibility in your hips, knees, and ankles – not to mention your reflexive stability, which allows you to relax when needed and spring into action in anticipation of the need to move quickly and painlessly?
Think about this for a second. Now ask yourself: do people get hurt when they take up weight training because weight training is dangerous, or because they are woefully underprepared in such basic things as controlling their own unloaded movement?
On the higher end of things, think of untrained feats of strength that most would consider miracles: individuals benching 350 lbs (160 kgs) a few short weeks after learning the move, or deadlifting up to 2 or 3 TIMES their bodyweight upon their first dance with the barbell? Who else could you expect this from except…gymnasts, whose training “suffers” from a severe iron deficiency (if you’ll excuse the pun) and is populated only with exercises that demand high levels of strength and control of their bodyweight in free space, and often in the most difficult positions to imagine.
By all means, continue to lift weights, and keep your sights set high on your iron-hoisting goals. Your strength and fitness relies heavily on it.
But ask yourself: What could YOU gain by learning to control your body through space in both the most primitive, floor-bound positions and the most high-level, gravity defying moves out there – those commonly shrugged off as being only in the realm of gymnasts and others?