There is no question that lately calisthenics has become a buzz in the fitness world. However, this sort of physical activity has been always been around. Just think about the burpees, push up, pull ups and dozens of other aerobic exercises we usually do besides weight training. Bodyweight exercises have always been an important part of bodybuilding and other sports.
To tell the truth, I used to pump iron, but I do not know why after two years I got bored with it, and I finished. I did not have workouts for two years. There is no need to say after some time I became fatter, so it was necessary to find some sorts of training to get rid of those extra kilos.
I’m not that type of guy who wants to get rid of weight just by following a diet. I believe fit and fatless body can be built only by hard workout and proper nutrition. Both of them are essential.
I did not want to start doing weight training again, so I was searching for some alternatives. That is how I bumped into calisthenics. I found those videos of Adam Raw, Frank Medrano, Hannibal and it was love for the first sight. :).
At first I thought “This is going to be easy for me since I have a weight training background”. I picked an intermediate calisthenics workout routine thinking it was going to be light for me. Needless to say, I could not do half of the exercises in the routine, plus half of the sets and reps. Since I like challenges, I knew bodyweight strength training is what I want to do!
I have been doing bodyweight training for 1.5 year now combined with boxing. I’m stronger, fitter, slimmer than ever before, my endurance is far better than when I was doing weight workouts. Moreover, my progress is continuous.
If you are hesitating about starting it or not, here are five calisthenics benefits why you should.
1. You do not need equipment
It is not entirely true, but most of the calisthenics exercises do not require equipment. If you have something to do some pull ups on then, you are ready to go.
On the other hand, you can purchase a pull up bar, a door frame bar for some bucks. If you are a creative guy, you can make your station like I did with a pull up bar and dip station.
In the long run, doing calisthenics will cost you far less than going to the gym and you can do it in the comfort of your home whenever you want. There is no need to wait for the machines, travel and so on. It is surely time and money saver.
Plus, we must not forget in several cities there are playgrounds for free.
2. Full body training
Large part of the calisthenics activities work the entire body. A simple example is pull up. While you do pull ups not only your back muscles work but also you arms, shoulders, lower back and abs. All these muscles should work together in order to complete the move and keep the balance. This develops you coordination and burns more calories considering that more muscles need more energy that your body burns.
3. It supports weight loss
Most of the calisthenics moves are compound exercises. That means several muscle groups have to work together. Therefore, your body will burn more calories as a fuel for the muscles.
Furthermore, your body needs more oxygen which leads to harder heart and lung work. That is why body weight training is so beneficial for the cardiovascular system as well.
When I did weight workouts I used to have extra fat on me, pretty much, which I could not get rid of. I did cardio and increase the repetitions of the exercises, but the fat just did not want to go off.
With regular calisthenics workouts, I have been able to drop off most part of the fat covering my body without focusing too much on my diet. In my opinion, it is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to burn fat.
4. It is sort of natural workout
I mean, the movements you do are natural ones that are far better for you joints. Many people doing weight training suffer from joint problems because there are exercises that “use” the joints in an unnatural way.
In addition, since many muscles work together, you can avoid the injury of one particular muscle. It is almost impossible to concentrate on one muscle if you do body weight exercises and therefore it is hard to over train a certain muscle group. Furthermore, it develops your flexibility as well.
5. It is not boring
One of my problems with weight working out was that I found boring doing the same kinds of practices all the time. If you do calisthenics, you can choose from hundreds of activities, and your creativity is the limit. You can combine everything you want and increase the resistance in unlimited ways.
Here are some examples
6. You can build strength and muscle mass
Some bodybuilders criticize calisthenics saying that it is impossible to build huge muscle mass, and there is a limit to improve the strength. To tell the truth, I have never wanted to be a huge guy like bodybuilders, but I want to be strong without using weights, and it is possible with bodyweight training.
A real example is push up for working the chest. Everybody says that for big and strong chest muscles, you will need to handle huge weights when you do bench press. It is true, but you can make push up harder if your aim is building muscles. You can do one arm push ups, or you can ask your friend, or you girlfriend to lie on your back, and a really tough, strength and muscle mass booster exercises is ready.
Watch this guy
Of course, there are several other benefits of calisthenics, but these are the ones that come up for me now. I hope this post will help you to decide.
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Last update on 2016-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API