What is a Calisthenics Workout?

Calisthenic push-up demonstration

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 bodyweight 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.

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Posted in Calisthenics, Introduction to Calisthenics
6 comments on “What is a Calisthenics Workout?
  1. intervals trainings says:

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  2. Albreda Bigler says:

    Hey, I just hopped over to your web site using StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might typically read, but I liked your thoughts none the less. Thank you for making some thing worth reading.

  3. Cathy says:

    This is a brilliant Website!! I have been looking for something like this since watching Frank Medrano and his amazing strength!!
    There is no other website like this with articles, demo’s and helpful advice for beginners to Calisthenics!! Thank you

    • Alex says:

      Cathy,

      I’m glad you like it, thank YOU for the feedback and I hope I can help you reach your goals. Let me know if you’ve got any questions or if there is anything you’d like me to write about and I’ll do my best to assist you.

      Alex

  4. Lee says:

    Okay, I’m sold on what you guys are saying. I am an over-weight guy wanting to start using calisthenics regularly. How do I work out a program? I appreciate any advice that you can give me.

    Lee :D

    • Alex says:

      Lee,

      I’m glad you’re enjoying my articles! It makes me happy to know people are finding and enjoying my articles. I’m not sure which articles you’ve read so far but I’d suggest checking out these articles…

      How to Set Your Fitness Goals
      Breaking Down Your Fitness Goals
      Training to Failure
      Make Your Workout Fun
      The Importance of Diet and Nutrition

      I’d like to point out that getting fit doesn’t need to be an uphill battle. Find things that you enjoy doing. Find healthy foods that you like and can afford. Activities that you enjoy doing. Those kinds of things can give you the inspiration that makes other things easy. I could go on and on talking about those two aspects but that’s not what you asked so I’ll answer your question (if you’d like me to go into more detail on anything though, let me know).

      To start off with calisthenics, set a goal. Something you’d like to see yourself doing such as 100 push-ups in a day. Don’t worry about doing it all in one session. Day 1: 4 sets of 5 push-ups throughout the day. 1 set when you wake up, one set right before you go to work/school. 1 set at lunch or right after work/school. 1 set 1 hour after dinner. Set it up in a way that you know that you won’t be able to tell yourself that you “didn’t have the time to do it”. If you feel too sore the next day, go ahead and take the day off, but be sure to make yourself start again the following day. Stick to it. Don’t take days off unless you’re too sore. Once you get close to your goal, start thinking of a new goal as you finish the last leg of the first goal. Rinse and repeat!

      Circling back around to where I started in this comment. If you spend a lot of time on the computer, I STRONGLY suggest looking into getting a standing desk (that’s an article I wrote about why I switched to one). You can build your own for under $50.00 (I’ll be writing about how I built mine in the near future). Basically, look into making lots of small lifestyle changes that you enjoy or help you in other ways that are also good for you.

      I’ve got a lot coming in the next few months, I hope you stick around. I’d love to hear from you on a regular basis with what you’ve been doing and I’ll gladly answer any questions you might have. Have a great day!

      Alex

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