That’s an easy question to answer, calisthenics is a form of exercise where you use the weight of your own body to build muscle. Despite what you may have been lead to believe, you do NOT need a gym membership or expensive equipment to build the muscle definition that you’ve always wanted.
Why not lift like everyone else, Bro?
Well, not everybody has the same goals and preferences. You’ve heard the saying before, “Practice makes perfect”. If you practice pitching in baseball, you’ll get good at pitching in baseball. If you practice bowling, you’ll get good at bowling. The way I see it, if you practice lifting heavy stuff, you’ll get really good at lifting heavy stuff. If you practice controlling your body, you’ll get really good at controlling your body.
Think about this for a moment, John and Jake are both highly-athletic people. If John weighs 180 lb and can bench-press 360 lb, and Jake weighs 250 lb and can bench-press 400 lb, who’s stronger? You might say, “Bro, Jake is pushing 40 lb more than John, he’s obviously stronger”. I however like to think, John is lifting 200% of his bodyweight, and Jake is lifting 160% of his bodyweight, which means John is stronger.
Proper calisthenics training will promote the growth of lean muscle mass, and increase your strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Proper strength training via weight lifting routine will promote the growth of muscle mass and strength. I’m not saying there’s anything inherently wrong with lifting weights, it’s just not for me.
How do I decide if calisthenic workouts are right for me?
It’s up to you, do whatever you enjoy the most. I’m biased towards body weight fitness because it’s what I enjoy doing. I aspire to be strong, lean, flexible, agile, and have great endurance. I don’t care if I’m huge, I want to have as much control over my body as I possibly can. If you don’t care about those things, calisthenics might not be for you.
What are some good beginner calisthenic exercises?
Chances are you already know a few of them, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and squats are all calisthenic workouts. It may sound boring but there is actually a lot you can do with calisthenics, and you can work every main muscle group with these four exercises.
Doing those four exercises all the time sounds like it would get boring.
That may be true for some people, fortunately, there are hundreds of different variances of those four core exercises. Take a look at this video to see what I mean.
By the way, this is not me.
Now don’t go thinking that if you work REALLY hard for a week and a half you’ll be able to bust those out like nothing. Getting to the point that you can do that takes time, determination, and patience.