In the last 10 years Calisthenics, or bodyweight strength training, has exploded in popularity.
Many people have either left the weights room or started calisthenics having done a little exercise in the past.
Want to know what all the fuss is about and why you should join us on our calisthenics journey?
Here are my top 10 killer reasons to get started with calisthenics.
1. Calisthenics is Progressive
When you see someone on Instagram or YouTube pulling off amazing feats of strength, it can be a bit overwhelming and seem that these moves are unattainable.
However, if you follow a well written progressive training plan, it is possible to go from any level of strength to however far you want to take it.
An example of progressive training: If you are finding that push-ups are too easy, try bringing your hands closer together. Likewise, if you find close hand push-ups too easy, try some archer push-ups. The possibilities are endless.
2. The Elation of Unlocking a New Move
If you’re weight-lifting, the move doesn’t change, you simply add more weight to that same movement. A 10kg deadlift is the same movement as a 200kg deadlift.
With calisthenics, once you reach progression level (reach the reps and sets with good form), we change the move.
The comparison I hear a lot: a video game where you level up. It’s a great feeling!
3. Mastering Your Own Bodyweight
Is there a better feeling than knowing that you can move your own body in incredible ways using your own strength?
Pull-ups, push-ups or even more advanced moves such as human flags and muscle-ups are all bodyweight exercises that require varying levels of strength.
4. It Looks Cool!
Let’s be honest, this is the reason a lot of people have left the gym to take up calisthenics.
The ability to give people that wow factor is an awesome feeling when working out. Nailing down a move that people may not have seen before is a great motivator.
5. You Can Do Calisthenics Anywhere, Anytime, No Equipment Required
Calisthenics uses your body weight to get strong. No weights required, no machines required!
This means you can still train if traveling, or if you’re in a rush and want a quick home workout, we can build a completely equipment-less workout.
Whilst pull-ups and other exercises require a pull-up bar, we can still workout without these things. Or if you need to get your pull-ups in, gymnastics rings can be thrown over a tree and you’re good to go.
6. Focuses on Flexibility and Mobility
Many calisthenics moves require decent to great levels of flexibility.
A clean pistol squat requires significant ankle and hip mobility. A straddle press to handstand requires advanced levels of hamstring, glutes, hip adductor, and back flexibility.
Any calisthenics program worth following should have a focus on mobility.
7. Calisthenics Build Abs!
When you’re working against your own bodyweight it forces you to stabilize that weight.
The more advanced the exercises become, the more core strength is required.
What do all high level and even intermediate calisthenics athletes have in common?
This means your abs will grow strong!
8. Calisthenics Encourages Low Body Fat
For a calisthenics athlete, muscle obviously helps you perform the movements.
The higher your body fat percentage however, the longer it takes to progress through the exercises.
The reward of achieving your goals may encourage you to make healthier eating choices and drop those extra kilos!
Combine that with the aforementioned building of core strength, and a six-pack will be yours!
9. Calisthenics Can Be Done Outdoors
There’s a reason calisthenics is often referred to as Street Workout.
Whilst calisthenics can be done in a decent gym, it is not necessarily.
Training outdoors is a great way to get the endorphins flowing!
10. Calisthenics Can Compliment Weight-Lifting
What if you love deadlifting or bicep curls or whatever exercise it is?
That’s cool, I get it, we all have exercises that we love. The good news is calisthenics will complement your weight-lifting. Strong is strong!
I’ve trained people who have quit the gym and trained just calisthenics for a couple of months. They’ve then retested their lifts and found they’re lifting heavier. This demonstrates that calisthenics will help you improve your lifts.
To do the two alongside each other, you can simply replace one of the calisthenics moves with the weightlifting equivalent. Instead of pistol squats, you may decide to do weighted squats. Instead of one arm push-up progressions, you may decide to bench press.
Conversely, instead of lat pull-downs, you may decide to do pull-ups. Instead of military presses, you may try handstand push-up progressions.
So that’s my 10 killer reasons to get started with calisthenics. If you’re already doing calisthenics, what convinced you to start? Let us know in the comments section below 🙂