THE BLOG
03/03/2016 12:30 GMT | Updated 04/03/2017 05:12 GMT

What Is Calisthenics?

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People have seen bits on social media about some of the extra curricular work I do with my mate James Greenwood. So I get asked all the time "What is a calisthenics workout?"

The answer is pretty mundane when compared to the name! Calisthenics is a form of exercise where you use the weight of your own body to build muscle. So despite all the hype and promotion the simple truth is you do NOT need a gym membership or expensive equipment to build the muscle definition you have always wanted.

Not everybody has the same goals and ambitions. You will have heard the old saying before, "Practice makes perfect".

So if you practice lifting heavy stuff, like your body, you will become accomplished at doing this. Plus if you can as a result control your body then the old adage really will come true.

Just think about this for a moment. Take two guys - Robert and Michael. Rob weighs 180 lb and can bench-press 360 lb. Mike weighs 250 lb and can bench-press 400 lb.

Out of the two who do you think is the stronger?

The obvious answer is Mike as he can seemingly lift 40 lb more than Rob. However the truth is Robert is lifting 200% of his bodyweight whereas Mike is only lifting 160% of his bodyweight, which suggests Robert is the stronger of the two men!

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Proper calisthenics training will promote the growth of lean muscle mass, increase your strength, mobility, flexibility, agility, and endurance.

Whereas simply performing proper strength training via a weight lifting routine, will promote the growth of muscle mass and strength.

Interesting thought for all those who really don't like to consider the concept of lifting weights.

I admit to being a bit biased towards bodyweight fitness because it's what I enjoy doing and as such I am great fan of making things as accessible to as many people as possible not just a privileged few who can afford Gym membership.

We all aspire, well a large number of us do, to be strong, lean, flexible, agile with great endurance.

So people ask me, name some good beginner calisthenic exercises.

The chances are you already know a few of them, push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups and squats are all Calisthenic workouts. So actually people do know what Calisthenics is, they may not just know the posh name.

It may sound a trifle boring but there is actually a tremendous lot you can do using calisthenics. For start I bet you didn't realise that you can work every main muscle group with just these four mainstream, household exercises.

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Push-ups

Pull-ups

Squats

Sit-ups

Okay, so performing just these four exercises all the time sounds like it would get a tad boring. Fortunately, there are hundreds of different variances of just these four core exercises let alone all the others you can perform.