Calisthenics, or bodyweight exercises, have been in use for ages. But of late with the increase in the gym culture, calisthenics is usually not given the importance it deserves. Vastly used in athletics, military, law enforcement, and daily fitness for home workouts without equipment, it comes as a big surprise as to why calisthenics is usually overlooked as not being efficient enough.
Making headlines with their body transformations, The Bar Brothers from New Zealand are taking their calisthenics game to a whole new level. What started off as an experiment is now a full fledged movement. By using no equipment what so ever ( maybe with the exception of a pull up bar) the Bar Brothers are credited for bringing back body weight training into vogue.
Does calisthenics work?
Before the invention of machines, barbells, and bench presses, mankind was getting strong and ripped using nothing more for resistance than bodyweight. Pressing, pulling, and squatting are hardwired into our DNA. Combined with the Paleo diet, this could be a fitness fad that does live up to its claim.
For many who shun the gym out of social anxiety or just because gym fees could burn a hole in your pocket, it’s the feeling of empowerment you get from owning a body that’s truly “self-made.” And the big catch is the aesthetically appealing “calisthenics body“, whose identifiable characteristics include a ripped, muscular build, correct posture, proportionate body development, and no excess fat.
Being one with your body
Once you take up calisthenics you will be more aware of the potential range of motion of your body and how you can use these cohesively rather then just attempting to isolate the small body parts one at a time. These workouts are largely used in gymnastics, parkour and even martial workouts where one is required to improve the strength and the agility of one’s body rather than just building mass or losing weight. But in addition to all this, calisthenics can also give you that Greek god body you have been wanting!
When there are no weights and no machines around, you have to be creative and use what you have in order to build muscle and get a nice physique. Instead of using weights, you will be using your own body resistance to create and stimulate your muscles. If you do want to invest in basic equipment, then we’d suggest that you purchase a pull up bar and some resistance bands. If not, then you can simply hang from the jungle gym bars or use furniture to improvise.
The best part about a calisthenics workout is that you get an overall body development instead of a gym physique which is usually all about just bulking up. The strength and vitality that your body gains from calisthenics are definitely no match for the gym.
For the first six months you need to be able to incorporate and follow the following :
- Push ups
5 reps with 3-4 sets depending on your ability. Take a break between sets
- Pull ups or chin ups
5 reps with 2-3 sets depending on your ability. Take a break between sets. Absolute beginners should take it easy and do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds for each set
- Hanging leg raises
Do 3 sets of 5-6 reps each and take a break between sets. Once again, we recommend that beginners take it easy and only do as many reps as possible in a 30-second set.
- 5 dips
All you need is a chair and get started with these dips. They are fairly easy even for beginners. Do 5 reps with 3-4 sets depending on your ability. Take a break between sets
Finish with squats – either wide or deep, but don’t do half squats to wrap up your workout. Finish with 5 reps with 3-4 sets depending on your ability. Take a break between sets and make sure you are breathing right throughout the workout.