Bodyweight exercise and strength training is not a beginner’s variety of calisthenics, and if you are just starting to work out after a long hiatus, this type of training is not for you. A fit, toned physique with decent musculature is necessary before you can plan to progress properly through bodyweight burn training. However, calisthenics themselves are an excellent preparation for this type of “holistic” bodybuilding, and bodyweight strength training can develop naturally as a “high end” extension of a vigorously pursued calisthenics program.
In short, if you want to know how to prepare yourself for the challenge of bodyweight strength training, begin a good, thorough calisthenics program. Bodyweight strength training is a type of calisthenics – simply calisthenics continued to its logical conclusion, beyond the point that most people advance to. These exercises are meant to create a truly powerful physique, substituting the weight of your body for free weights or exercise machines in the process.
Comparison Between Bodyweight Training and Weightlifting
Several things should be noted about bodyweight exercises before you begin. The first is that although your maximum overhead press may be lower than someone who has instead focused on barbells, your feats of strength will be very impressive by ordinary standards anyway – and you will have greater overall body strength, toughness, and endurance than most weightlifters.
Weightlifting and exercise machines focus effort on a few muscle groups, bulking these out to enormous proportions while leaving most of the muscles underdeveloped. As such, bodyweight strength training will give you better overall control of your body and a more universally useful set of muscles than weightlifting or machine training will, even if some of your specific muscles are not quite as strong, in isolation. You will find yourself able to carry out activities that would reduce a focused weightlifter to panting exhaustion much sooner.
The second thing you should be aware of is that bodyweight training develops the arms, shoulders, and chest to a greater degree than the legs. To express the idea more clearly, the upper body and arms will be brought much closer to the maximum possible human strength than the legs will be, by bodyweight training. This is because the leg muscles are larger and stronger than any of the others in your body, so a heavier weight than the human body is needed to build them to their maximum potential. This is not a problem – it is simply something you should be aware of.
Bodyweight training provides an optimal level of strength and fitness – not an all-round maximum. Nearly every muscle in your body will be developed to the same degree and will form a smooth, seamless whole of athleticism. You will feel powerful, toned, and “spring loaded”, yet at the same time comfortable and balanced. You will be very strong and fit without being turned into a clumsy, lumbering behemoth with chafing thighs.
Figuring out a Correct Bodyweight Strength Training Program
Bodyweight strength training is a challenge not only to the body, but to the mind as well. Most bodyweight strength training exercises are complicated compound exercises affecting multiple muscle groups, rather than straightforward isolation exercises that provide less benefit but are easier to “fit together” into a correctly balanced program.
You will need to put considerable thought into how to build your bodyweight strength training regimen, in order to train all parts of your body to their highest potential yet avoid strains and exhaustion. This website will help you decide on the best exercises to include in your program, but you may also find it useful to locate and seek the advice of someone who is already an advanced practitioner of this rigorous branch of calisthenics.
Finally, listen to the feedback that your own body is providing you. Pain is sign that you overdoing a certain exercise and should slack back on it a bit, while if a set of muscles is not showing signs of growth or feels unused after a workout, this is an indication that you should boost the intensity of your efforts.
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