I often hear people complaining about how they simply cannot get in shape, as if they were cursed to be that way for eternity. That might be you. I know this was me two years ago. The truth is getting in shape takes time and effort, and it’s often hard to find a way to commit to it for a variety of reasons. Maybe you don’t find it interesting, or you think you don’t have time or money… Whichever is your reason (or excuse), you need to keep looking for an activity that keeps you engaged and committed, then you’ll start to see the changes. For me, this was calisthenics.
The reason I stuck to calisthenics is that I found it really interesting to use my own body in ways I’m not used to. Training with your own bodyweight forces a mind-muscle connection that is very unique and is also really important if you want to build muscle and strength. You need to feel how every muscle engages in a specific way to perform every exercise or movement. It is a very unique feeling and if you haven’t experimented it, perhaps you need to try some bodyweight training.
This mind-muscle connection is something that needs practice, but when you start feeling it the gears in your head will start turning, thinking of new ways to perform the exercises in order to stimulate your muscles in specific ways. This is perfect because, in a certain way, you NEED to be thinking this way if you want to progress. You can’t always simply add more weight to each exercise because you are working with your own bodyweight, so if you want to increase the resistance you’ll have to start playing with leverage, distances, angles, and different things.
If you are a creative person you will really like this and if you like challenges, you will love calisthenics!
Pros, cons and how to get started
The fact that calisthenics worked so great for me doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work for you. The benefits I’ve mentioned so far could be drawbacks for some people. For example, you might not like the callenge of having to come up with exercise variations, etc.
I have written an article that goes a little more in depth on the subject and shows my view on calisthenics, along with what I see as pros and cons of calisthenics. The purpose of the article is to get more people interested in calisthenics and find out if it is a good option for them.