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Calisthenics vs Free Weights Watch

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    Hi.

    From the start of my fitness life, I've always used free weights (and from time to time, machines, to really push myself).

    However, the other day I was in the gym with a new friend of mine, and he was telling me about calisthenics.

    He has trained for 5 years purely on his own body weight. We talked about using own bodyweight vs free weights, and the benefits and cons of either side.

    His results speak for themselves - the guy is fairly defined, his body is well proportioned, he has a great range of motion, and his flexibility is really high.

    It got me thinking - is calisthenics the way to go? For long term health mainly (I have a job where I need to keep my body is top shape), is training with your bodyweight the healthiest way? Keeping it all natural, exploring different range of motions, incorporating gymnastic exercises in order to properly target all muscle groups, etc.

    What do you think?
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    Hi.

    From the start of my fitness life, I've always used free weights (and from time to time, machines, to really push myself).

    However, the other day I was in the gym with a new friend of mine, and he was telling me about calisthenics.

    He has trained for 5 years purely on his own body weight. We talked about using own bodyweight vs free weights, and the benefits and cons of either side.

    His results speak for themselves - the guy is fairly defined, his body is well proportioned, he has a great range of motion, and his flexibility is really high.

    It got me thinking - is calisthenics the way to go? For long term health mainly (I have a job where I need to keep my body is top shape), is training with your bodyweight the healthiest way? Keeping it all natural, exploring different range of motions, incorporating gymnastic exercises in order to properly target all muscle groups, etc.

    What do you think?
    Depends on the person really. There really is no right or wrong choice here, but preferences. Also, using weights is not really 'unnatural'. It is essentially the same as doing bodyweight exercises, the only difference is that your own bodyweight is used as resistance for calisthenics; whereas you use weights as resistance when it comes to weight lifting.

    I found calisthenics better, since I didn't have to spend money on gym and don't have much time to travel, so I just ran to nearby parks with pull up bars and such. Plus it was really fun, and got a lot of rewards from doing it

    I'd recommend you try it out first and see if you enjoy it.
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    (Original post by kkboyk)
    Depends on the person really. There really is no right or wrong choice here, but preferences. Also, using weights is not really 'unnatural'. It is essentially the same as doing bodyweight exercises, the only difference is that your own bodyweight is used as resistance for calisthenics; whereas you use weights as resistance when it comes to weight lifting.

    I found calisthenics better, since I didn't have to spend money on gym and don't have much time to travel, so I just ran to nearby parks with pull up bars and such. Plus it was really fun, and got a lot of rewards from doing it

    I'd recommend you try it out first and see if you enjoy it.
    I never even thought of that benefit. Even just a sturdy branch would do for pull ups into muscle ups - and you won't be in a sweaty gym. :tongue:

    I'm going to give it a go. It sounds really hard though. Some of the stuff my friend did... holy ****.
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    lots of pull up/chin up variations and dips. Those 2 exercises will transform your physique if done correctly
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    Really depends on your goals. I've been training for 4 years for physique building purposes and I'm pretty much certain that my physique would be nowhere near where it is now if I'd trained calisthenics only.
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    I never even thought of that benefit. Even just a sturdy branch would do for pull ups into muscle ups - and you won't be in a sweaty gym. :tongue:

    I'm going to give it a go. It sounds really hard though. Some of the stuff my friend did... holy ****.
    I pretty much used anything I came across, such as two chairs for dips, but the park had a lot of equipments so I went there (plus improved stamina from running 3km there and back).
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    (Original post by WoodyMKC)
    Really depends on your goals. I've been training for 4 years for physique building purposes and I'm pretty much certain that my physique would be nowhere near where it is now if I'd trained calisthenics only.
    Fair enough. My priorities with regard to my fitness are (in order of priority):

    1) To be able to perform at a sustained and high physical level with intermittent explosive intervals of strength and power.

    2) Long term maintenance and health of my body - good joints, good flexibility, well proportioned, etc.

    3) To look good.
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    (Original post by kkboyk)
    I pretty much used anything I came across, such as two chairs for dips, but the park had a lot of equipments so I went there (plus improved stamina from running 3km there and back).
    How long was it before you started seeing and feeling a definite level of improvement in your fitness and abilities?
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    How long was it before you started seeing and feeling a definite level of improvement in your fitness and abilities?
    Around 2 months it became obvious that I've improved in terms of fitness.

    It depends on your work out plans really, and how effective it is.
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    Fair enough. My priorities with regard to my fitness are (in order of priority):

    1) To be able to perform at a sustained and high physical level with intermittent explosive intervals of strength and power.

    2) Long term maintenance and health of my body - good joints, good flexibility, well proportioned, etc.

    3) To look good.
    Don't see why calisthenics can't help you achieve those aims.

    Stuff like box jumps would help for 'explosiveness'.

    Just have a good stretching and warm-up routine to achieve goal 2

    However, objective 3 would be achieved far more easily with free weights but you've put it last so maybe not an issue
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    Don't see why calisthenics can't help you achieve those aims.

    Stuff like box jumps would help for 'explosiveness'.

    Just have a good stretching and warm-up routine to achieve goal 2

    However, objective 3 would be achieved far more easily with free weights but you've put it last so maybe not an issue
    Yep. Though I've already achieved those aims with free weights (I've been working out for years), I was curious about switching entirely to calisthenics for long term maintenance more than anything else.

    I'm actually having a bit of trouble getting a routine together - is there anything I can have a look at?
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    Yep. Though I've already achieved those aims with free weights (I've been working out for years), I was curious about switching entirely to calisthenics for long term maintenance more than anything else.

    I'm actually having a bit of trouble getting a routine together - is there anything I can have a look at?
    Fair enough.

    Either you change your aims ie like get into chasing numbers or a body image or yeah, you could change what you do.

    No idea if just bodyweight exercises are sufficient but probably.

    Good bants mate 👍🏻
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    Read your title as "Catholics vs Free Weights"
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    Fair enough.

    Either you change your aims ie like get into chasing numbers or a body image or yeah, you could change what you do.

    No idea if just bodyweight exercises are sufficient but probably.

    Good bants mate 👍🏻
    No need to change what I'm doing now with regard to my aims. It'll be interesting to see the change in my body when I start transitioning into purely calisthenics though. Having complete control of my body in terms of strength, flexibility and range of motion would be pretty brilliant.

    See, now you're getting somewhere. :tea: No need to be so uptight.
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    Doing pure calisthetics is pretty hard to progress on, building legs is also difficult

    Why do one, when you can do both?
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    (Original post by anosmianAcrimony)
    Read your title as "Catholics vs Free Weights"
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    No need to change what I'm doing now with regard to my aims. It'll be interesting to see the change in my body when I start transitioning into purely calisthenics though. Having complete control of my body in terms of strength, flexibility and range of motion would be pretty brilliant.

    See, now you're getting somewhere. :tea: No need to be so uptight.
    As AC says, why limit yourself to just one?

    I agree that it's cool. Like the flag pole hang (or whatever its name is) and advanced planches etc all look quality.
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    (Original post by Angry cucumber)
    Doing pure calisthetics is pretty hard to progress on, building legs is also difficult

    Why do one, when you can do both?
    I have thought of this - incorporating body and free weight exercises. I suppose there's nothing wrong with doing so. I'm just interested about how far pure calisthenics can get me.

    Besides, I'm sure I'll be kept busy for quite a while. There are plenty of variations I can do to increase the difficulty of bodyweight exercises. Such as one legged squats/box jumps as opposed to 2 legged.
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    (Original post by Unistudent77)
    As AC says, why limit yourself to just one?

    I agree that it's cool. Like the flag pole hang (or whatever its name is) and advanced planches etc all look quality.
    Curiosity. How far can I maintain or even improve my fitness with calisthenics alone? Sounds interesting to me.

    Yep. Being in complete control of one's body is amazing.
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    (Original post by Kagutsuchi)
    Curiosity. How far can I maintain or even improve my fitness with calisthenics alone? Sounds interesting to me.

    Yep. Being in complete control of one's body is amazing.
    Fair. By 'fitness' you mean like functional ability? Or muscle size/strength?

    As discussed above, i do think you'll find it hard to replace heavy squats or deadlifts with calisthenics alone but perhaps you can find a way
 
 
 
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