Nine Benefits Of Calisthenics (Bodyweight Workouts) Over Weight Training
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A lot of people haven’t heard of the term calisthenics, but it basically means bodyweight workouts, where you use your own body weight to produce resistance.
There are a lot of benefits to calisthenics over pure gym work, and I want to go through all that with you right here in this blog post.
I’m going to cover everything you need to know, including the nine main benefits of calisthenics, so that you can make a great decision on whether they should be built into the core of your workout goals.
What Is/Are Calisthenics?
Calisthenics is a term for the process of resistance training that only uses your own body weight, using no additional external weight. So it’s about techniques to put resistance on your muscles to tone and development.
If you’re new to calisthenics even as a term, then it can be said as a singular or plural. So you can say calisthenics is… Or you can say calisthenics are…
So we aren’t using barbells, plates, or any sort of resistance machines to do calisthenics.
The only thing you might use is some sort of bar. If you’re at home, it could be one of those simple and cheap bars that you hang over an internal door.
A lot of bodybuilders ignore calisthenics because they just want to hit the gym. Although you build more bulk, more quickly, there are downsides to gym work purely that ignores bodyweight exercises.
So for me, if you like the nine key benefits of calisthenics here, I would seriously consider building them in between your gym workouts.
Here Are The Nine Key Benefits Of Calisthenics
These are not all of the key benefits of calisthenics, but for me, they are certainly the most important ones.
Just remember though, that calisthenics is as old as the hills. Men have been doing these especially to build up strength since we started hunting, and in ancient Greece and Rome, they were what was underpinning the development of those incredible physiques you see in the statues. Calisthenics really is the genesis of the modern gym workouts we see today.
The only thing I would say before I mention the nine key benefits are that you should also look at your diet and nutrition, and supplements. As well as recovery times.
Supplements like SARMs, or the supplements from CrazyBulk that naturally mimic anabolic steroids without side effects, can really help you to take calisthenics and gym work up to the next level more easily.
Recovery times are really something a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to. After the workout of any type your body has to recover by producing hormones that help to repair and grow in muscle tissue. If you keep hammering your body you can overload things and it starts to increase the chances of damage, and your body development isn’t as good. More frequently and harder isn’t necessarily better, range and motion and working all the main muscle groups is far more crucial.
1. Calisthenics Are Usually Free To Do
This is important for a lot of people. Calisthenics is free. You’re using your body weight. That means you can do them anywhere, and they don’t require expensive equipment or lots of space.
You may want to invest in something like a pull-up bar to put above your door, or if you want to go a step further, collapsible dip bars, but none of these things are actually necessary.
Calisthenics can be done outside as well, depending on the climate. There should be an outdoor gym in a city park near you. But even if you don’t live in a city, or anywhere you can find basic monkey bars, there are usually things around you that you can use to lift yourself up and create the needed resistance for a lot of the calisthenic exercises.
As well as only needing the free equipment, or not needing any at all, you don’t need a gym membership if you’re going to stick to just doing calisthenics. It’s universally accessible exercising.
2. You’re Not Tied To Certain Days And Times, Or Places
If you’re at the gym you can usually only go at certain times, because of other commitments, or even your gym membership plan.
If you’re doing classes or anything like that, then it could just mean you’re limited in the days, times, places that you can actually achieve the workout you need.
With calisthenics, just doing them on your own, none of that is a problem.
It means you can also do it when you feel you need to, without having to set anything up, warm up as much, or work through a progression of weight. You can just literally get down stop progressing through sit-ups, or do a load of jumping squats, or go to the park and do interval workouts.
3. You, Will, Gain Functional Strength
The great thing about calisthenics is that you gain functional strength. That’s because of the strength that we use in everyday tasks, which means it will enhance your daily life and you will find things easier because you are stronger.
That’s not actually the case with gym work, where you can be unusually working muscle groups purely for visual effect. You can actually find you look really ripped with gym work you don’t have everyday core strength in the way that you look like you should.
It also means you’ll be working your body in the way it was naturally designed to work. That means that you should have less stress on your body, and fewer problems with injuries.
Because it’s functional strength in tune with your natural shape as well, you’ll gain the ideal shape for your body. Broad shoulders, a good chest, and you’ll burn body fat.
You can improve your functional strength as well by doing SARMs alongside your exercises. You don’t have to take high doses, you can take things really gently, and they will greatly enhance the results you see or the strength that you have to carry out the calisthenic exercises.
4. Calisthenics Help With Your Gym Work
Calisthenics can also help you to make faster progress in the gym as well, with your bodybuilding work. Because you can do gentle calisthenics between your gym routines, without stressing your body and upsetting your recovery so much, it’s possible to really develop more quickly.
Also, if you focus on the compound movements that can help with weightlifting, then that core strength development will really help you to make more progress in the gym.
As an example, if you are struggling to make progress with the incline bench press, let’s say you just can’t press anymore. Do press ups, do them in variation, and progress. Then see how you go back to the gym.
5. Progression Is Generally Linear And Easier
You may not think it, but the progression is easier with calisthenics than it is in the gym. Most people think that because you are just adding more weight and reaching new goals in the gym, but that has to be easier for progress.
But it’s easy to hit a problem in the gym or you just can’t lift any more weight. You’re going to need supplements like those from CrazyBulk, or even SARMs to quickly shatter that glass ceiling, and you could be in for a hard journey even without them.
But with calisthenics, you know you are progressing. You do press ups. You do more of them. Then you do slow push-ups, decline press ups, diamond push-ups, working through the variations in complexity. You know you are mastering a single technique far more quickly because you can attack it more easily.
6. Mastering Advance Movements Helps With Mental Endurance
For me, this one is really easily overlooked and isn’t mentioned much. But for me, it helped a lot, and it’s something I really recommend to other people.
Calisthenics really helps with your mental endurance, your determination, if you can master basic calisthenic exercises.
That’s because there’s nothing to distract you. It’s literally just you and your body pushing past pain barriers. You have to work in a linear fashion, and you have to master positions and holds to get the most out of the resistance to move up to the next level.
Think of it this way, people don’t necessarily do things like martial arts in order to be able to defend themselves or beat people up. A lot of people do it to take control of their body, to master being in control of it, and to focus their mind and create peace and power, to gain emotional control as well as physical.
That’s the same principle with calisthenic exercises, it’s just pitting you against your body, and allowing you to focus your mind and work on keeping that focus.
7. It’s Easier To Recover From Calisthenic Exercises
Recovering from weight training can take a few days. Especially if you’re overloading with heavyweights, then it can take its toll. The central nervous system has to recover, hormones are springing into action, and you’re really having sore muscles while they are being repaired and grown by hormones like testosterone.
But with calisthenics, you don’t have so many problems.
For a start, the risk of injury is much less. Because you’re doing natural compound movements, and you can only overload yourself to the amount your body will naturally allow, injuries are far less common or serious compared to gym exercise injuries.
And because they are more aerobic and usually more strenuous, you are still getting a good workout alongside muscle development, which will be slighter.
But generally, you will make progress far more quickly using calisthenic exercises, especially in the beginning, because your core strength will grow dramatically and your recovery times will be 24 hours or less unless you really are unfit.
8. Diet, Nutrition, And Supplements Really Enhance Calisthenics
I mentioned SARMs and supplements earlier on, well the whole package can really enhance your use of calisthenics, especially if you are mixing the use with gym work. Diet has to be superb to build energy, stop your body storing fat, and allow you to recover.
Recovery is also crucial with that, with calisthenics it’s not such an issue, but you’ll still need your body to have time to repair.
But supplements really can help you. SARMs can help you to develop more muscle more quickly, they can help you to cut fat, and they can build strength and endurance dramatically.
You’ve also got the natural supplements out there like the brilliant quality ones from CrazyBulk. Really affordable, and they definitely help you with strength and recovery far more than you can achieve naturally. They are definitely something to consider if you’re serious about working out in any way.
9. Some People Find Calisthenics More Interesting Than Being A Gym Rat
Any type of workout can get boring if you keep doing it. It doesn’t matter how much you very things, you do the same variations on squats, deadlifts, bench presses, it does get routine.
Plus you’ve got the hang around, the small talk, the warming up and warming down, messing around getting the weight right, it all adds up.
With calisthenics, you don’t have any of those blocks or barriers.
Think about the simple pull up. All you need is a bar, which could be above a door at home. You start assisted, then it’s chin ups. Then that can progress into wide grip pullups, and then another hand placement change to one arm chin-ups. That’s going to take several weeks, but the progression is obvious and in your control.
There’s no hanging around, no real warming up and warming down, you’re really building a simple home routine (or wherever you are going to do calisthenics, in big cities, there are outdoor gyms which are free) and you can feel and see your progress more instantly.
The social side of the gym is actually important for development. You’ll also have access to personal trainers, nutritional advice, body checkups, there are lots going for the gym.
So I’m not saying you should just do calisthenics and ignore the gym. I’m saying you should probably combine both, use calisthenics to keep things interesting and build the core strength of your body in a natural way.