Calisthenics Is Key!
So not many people know what Calisthenics is. It’s what the title of my up coming podcast is based on and pretty much the thing that changed my life for the better. Not only did it give me something where I can constantly challenge myself in, but has lead me to many opportunities, gave me a set frame of mind to lead from and given me lifelong friends that I would never knew existed without it. This is what Calisthenics can do for you.
Today I am going to give you 6 benefits of Calisthenics:
1. Anyone can do it
That’s right from your athletes to your complete off the sofa novice this is where it is at. Personally I feel everyone should start with calisthenics as a foundation to their fitness no matter what they go onto do whether it is sport or body building. Without this foundation you will be missing out on essential strength needed to progress to a good level of fitness. I have taught people in their 70s how to maintain good heath through Calisthenics. There is no age limit, no weight limit, no goal limit to accessing the ability and secrets to Calisthenics. I am yet to meet a person who doesn’t want to be able to use their body to its fullest and this is what every person on the planet can get started with.
Looking from a higher fitness level, who doesn’t want to be able to do 100 push ups and 50 pull ups in one go. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to be able to do a human flag. There are high end staple calisthenics moves that top athletes aspire to be able to achieve, and yes they would have a bit of a head start already being an athlete but if you put in the hours these skills are 100% accessible to you!
2. You can do it anywhere
Calisthenics is body weight training, meaning you only need your body to train. You don’t need a gym or much equipment, if any. Parks, at home, hotel room, holiday or even broken down at a road side. There are no excuses with this to not get better; it is literally accessible to you 24/7. My favourite part about calisthenics is its not just the kids that enjoy the park any more, a child’s playground offers you a range of equipment to use it is all down to your imagination, if you can think it you can give it a go and usually its harder than you think it would be.
The fact that you need little to no equipment is what is so good about its adaptability to be able to train anywhere. If you were to use equipment all you would really need is a set of Parallettes, a pull up bar, Olympic rings and resistance bands, and this type of equipment is easily transportable as all (apart from the pull up bar) will fit in a day sack.
3. Builds great fitness foundations
Being able to push, pull, twist, bend, squat and lunge are necessary to live a life to the full any of these movements being restricted can lead to a restricted lifestyle, if the body feels restricted then the mind will also feel this. The foundations of calisthenics are so adaptable that you could spend years just perfecting these basics. Calisthenics will help build supporting muscles during any future isolation and weighted exercises you may move on to as it builds up balance and self-awareness in your body. If you are training for a particular sport then it can support you in areas that other methods of training would not.
4. Functional for everyday life
You don’t have to want to become an athlete through calisthenics training as it is something that will help people in everyday life as it will help them with mobility and prevent silly little pulls like when people say ‘I dunno what just happened I thing I twisted wrong’ or ‘I slept funny’. Keeping a healthy balance of calisthenics movement in you daily rituals will help minimise or even eradicate these irritating moments in life that again restrict your life and that stop you playing with your kids, and that’s the main thing here, has any of you ever said to your kids ‘not today Cody I have a bad back’ or ‘Daddy can’t do that today Jill cause he has a twinge in his leg’ this puts the excuse seed in the head of your mini you. ‘So if Daddy can have excuses not to do things so can I’ leading to a possible development of a lazy, lethargic child. You want to enjoy your life to the fullest and be able to do whatever your kids ask you to do. Being a dinosaur chasing them or being a unicorn ready for transport is what life and Fatherhood is all about guys.
5. Increase in Relative Strength
When you use your body to strengthen it increases your relative strength. You can use this from beginner to advance because as you get stronger and to a higher level you can add weight to these multi Joint Movements. At the start your body weight is probably hard enough, to the point where it is even difficult to do a regressed or assisted version of the movement but as long as you work out your Relative Strength Max, you will be able to gain strength in this area.
You want to be working around 90% of your max effort. Quite similar to if you were maximal strength training. This improves strength by recruiting high threshold motor units, the muscles associated have the highest potential to increase strength.
So move heavy and move fast. Form is key. There is no point in wiggling your way through a pull up at 90% max and injuring yourself half way up. if you can’t do it perfect form then you are not at 90% I this exercise you are above 100% and it is not manageable for your body yet.
The great thing about relative strength is it is more transferable, I would say a bodyweight deadlift is relatively easy for body builders, strongmen and calisthenics practitioners, however doing a good form pull up would prove difficult for a lot of strongmen and body builders.
Mainly though, increasing your relative strength makes you able to move your body more efficiently. If you ever feel heavy or sluggish this would be a good area to start improving.
6.An Aesthetically lean muscular athletic physique
Basically you look good naked. Body builders no longer have the ideal physique any more. The bubbly, pop belly robot walking guy is not one of the best looks on the market anymore (I know I am generalising as there are some amazing physiques out there), strong men are strong but pay the price in health and there is definitely no leaning out in their plans. I know this is 2 of many possible avenues but these are your either end of the scale extremes. Calisthenics can be trained in many different ways, which gives it a variety of benefits meaning you can use it for fat burn and hypertrophy if need be even though its main benefit is strength and functionality.
I hope these amazing benefits are enough to get you involved or at least to give it a go. Whether you go whole hog or implement it into your current routine. You will definitely see the benefits.
Let me know how you get on.