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8 Benefits of calisthenics- Expectation, Equipment & Diet

The number 1 benefit of calisthenics is that it's truly one of the most simplest and very rewarding workout that anyone can do at home with minimal equipment and still reap its amazing benefits. With only 30mins a day, you can lose and build lean muscle with only small change in your lifestyle that you will not even notice.

Calisthenics is one of the most underrated body-weight workouts in the fitness world, and yet very rewarding (if done right) and it can change your life for the better in a matter of months if not weeks.

The thing about calisthenics is that there's nothing new or revolutionary  about it. In  simple terms, calisthenics is a body-weight training workout that consists of exercises ​like PUSH-UPS, PULL-UPS, SQUATS, and DIPS. 

The difference between calisthenics and other workouts is that how to make these simple exercises very effective and ultimately gets you to where you want to be? and that's losing weight and building muscle?

Today, I'm not only going to go through the amazing benefits of calisthenics, but I let you know what you exactly need to make it work, in terms: 

8 proven Benefits of Calisthenics

The benefits of calisthenics are endless, but I'm gona tell you about the ones that are going to make you really want to jump into it.

  • 1- 20-30 mins of your time
  • 2- Build muscle ( no weights or gym)
  • 3- Suitable for everyone
  • 4- Burn ton of calories  (no cardio)

Believe it or not, muscle building exercises can burn you so much calories without doing any cardio exercises. 

I can guarantee you that when you are done with your calisthenics workout you will be out of breath and sweating like you just ran 10k race ( may be I'm exaggerating, but it really going to change the way you see muscle building exercises vs cardio)Let's face it most people hate doing cardio because it's exhausting and just sucks the energy out of you. 
  • 5- TARGETING MULTIPLE MUSCLES IN EVERY EXERCISE
  • 6- CORE TARGETING EXERCISES
  • 7- REDUCES JOINT PAIN & STRONGER BACK
  • 8- very safe

Functional training exercises are very beneficial to your overall health and are much safer than using weights and other gym equipment machines.

How to reap the benefits of calisthenics? 

Calisthenics workout Full guide

How to manage your expectations?

Now, we know the benefits of calisthenics and you feel that you are motivated enough that you are seriously considering  giving calisthenics a go. If that's the case, then the number one thing that you have address is YOUR EXPECTATIONS. When it comes to calisthenics managing expectations should be your top priority.

Are you BEGINNER?

A beginner is someone who hasn't worked out for more than a year and looking to start from scratch. ​

If this is the case then let's break it down:

Having the right calisthenics equipment can speed up your progress by at least 3-4 weeks and that can help you in the long run because when you start seeing results you will never want to stop doing it.

  • STRE​​​​NGTH: It will take you around 2-4 weeks to build your strength and you start to increase your reps or add more weights.
  • BUILD MUSCLE AND WEIGHT LOSS: This will depend on so many factors. Your diet, workout plan, your fitness level, and your equipment will determine how fast your will build muscle and get ripped. In my experience, it will take between 3-6 months to see some noticeable difference.

Are you intermediate/advanced?

This is someone who works out at least 3-5 days a week and I'm not only talking about people who weight train or do weightlifting.  I'm talking about people who can do at least 20-30 reps of push ups or can do 10 reps of pulls ups (assisted or not).

So for you guys:

  • STRENGTH: You obviously have enough strength to start doing calisthenics at intermediate  level. To be able to do the workout it will take around 10 days to 2 weeks to build serious strength.
  • BUILD MUSCLE AND WEIGHT LOSS: Building muscle is always a tricky part of any workout because again it really depends on so many factors like I mentioned earlier. Typically, because you are already a fit person and have enough knowledge and your body is already in a good shape so it will take shorter than a beginner. 

Calisthenics equipment, a must or optional?

Before you start any calisthenics workout it's really important to remember that choosing the right calisthenics equipment can really make a huge difference in your overall progress.

What you need to know it's that calisthenics is somewhat hard (at the beginning) and slow process but it's doable and anyone can do it. All it needs a bit of commitment and motivation and it will be worth a while.

For some people getting the right equipment that they really need can be challenging at first, which is completely understandable. Let's face it, starting some thing new is always challenging and hard but yet when you start to see progress you start to feel more motivated and committed to see even better results.

That's  why knowing your strength, fitness level and a proper fitness plan can really help you decide on what equipment you need to get.

Right Calisthenics equipment = Right fitness plan

Before you can decide what equipment you need to get you have to make sure you are choosing the right calisthenic fitness plan that's right for you. What I mean by that is that if you are a beginner then you won't need any equipment at first, but if as you progress, getting some equipment becomes a necessity.

Remember that equipment in calisthenics are important but they will not make or break your fitness plan.Some calisthenics workouts don't really need any equipment and other ones you will need to get a number of exercising equipment to really see serious progress.

There are so many people who start calisthenics workouts with no equipment whatsoever and still see results. But as you progress then you have to get some equipment so you don't halt that progress and hard work that you made.

Foundation of Calisthenics

Calisthenics are made from 4 main exercises and they are :

  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Dips
  • Squats

​These exercises are the foundation of any calisthenics workout. In other words if you are a beginner or advanced you will be incorporating these exercises in your workout regardless of your fitness level.

As you can see that it's impossible to do all of these exercises with no equipment whatsoever. You will at least have to get yourself a pull-up bar and a chair for dips and that's if you are a beginner.

As a beginner, you can do pull ups under the table which are called inverted pull ups but as you get stronger and fitter you will hit plateau and that's the last thing we want. The same rule applies to dips and push ups, too.

​At advanced level you simply won't be able to continue with just a pull-up bar and a chair. You will need to get yourself more equipment to be able to progress in your workout. The general rule in the world of fitness it's that your body will hit plateau at some point and that's why we keep challenging our bodies so we can progress in our fitness.

Are you trying to lose weight or build muscle?

The reason I'm asking this somewhat a stupid question so I can tell you that there is no difference between losing weight and building muscle. It has been proven time and time again that to lose weight and you have to build muscle and to build muscle you have to lose weight.

So, for the ladies out there who think calisthenics are for people who want to look buff, I urge you to give calisthenics a try and see for yourself how you will shred the pounds more quicker than some other types of cardio workouts. The bottom line is that calisthenics is for everyone who wants to look good ​and be in really good shape.

Are you targeting one part or the whole body?

The cool thing about calisthenics it's that calisthenics exercises target multiple muscles even if you are trying to target one part of your body, it automatically targets and engages other muscles without you are even knowing it.

My advice to you is to try and do a workout that covers the whole body instead of trying to focus on just one part. That way you will see faster and better results than just concentrating on one part of your body.

Long term or short term commitment?

I have to break it to you and tell you that calisthenics is not a short term and a quick thing. You have to be fully committed and knowing that this is going to be a long and gradual process. 

If you think you will be able to do what those guys on youtube are doing in just 3-4 months then you might get disappointed. I'm not saying this to make you quit calisthenics altogether. I'm saying it so you can manage your expectations and take it slow and workout by workout and level by level and before you know it you become stronger and fitter.


What type of equipment do you need?

If you are planning to do calisthenics for the first time then you won't need any equipment for t​he first few weeks. This means that you won't need any equipment till you get to the intermediate/advanced level.

I just want you to start slowly and feel yourself into the workout before deciding to get any equipment. This will help you to know EXACTLY how strong and fit you are so you know for sure that the piece of equipment you are getting is not waste of time and money.

After a week or 2, you decided that you need a piece of equipment to make your workout more challenging.

The very first equipment you HAVE to get is PULL-UP bar.

Why do you need a pull-up bar?

benefits of calisthenics

Pull-up bar is the core of calisthenics. In other words, you cannot do any calisthenics workout with no pull-up bar. Doing pull ups is freaking hard regardless if you are pro or not. But, there so many ways and tricks that will help you to do pull ups and before you know it you will be doing full-blown pull ups unassisted.

​How to do pull-ups for a beginner?

There are 2 options.

1- Chair

 Get up on the chair and start doing pull-ups or chin-ups with one leg on the chair and the other one hanging on the side. This way, you will be doing assisted pull-ups and you will be gaining strength.

benefits of calisthenics

The thing is that with using a chair is that you might get so reliant on it, you feel the need for assistance every time you do pull-ups.

To avoid that and at the same time keep progressing, try to do some reps (even if it's 1 or 2 reps) with no chair and do the rest of the reps with a chair and keep increasing unassisted reps vs assisted reps every time , so you keep getting stronger and seeing better results. 

This way you will see much better and faster results with doing pull-ups and before you know it you will be doing 10 unassisted reps. ​You just need to be patient and trust the process.


2- pull-up assistant bands

Pull-up bands are the most popular bands among people who do calisthenics. The reason behind that is that when you do pull-ups with pull-up bands, it gives you that feeling that you are doing unassisted pull-ups.

benefits of calisthenics

The number 1 benefits that you will get from using  bands is that your body will be lined up straight and at the same time you will be engaging more muscles than if you were using a chair. This way, you will get better at doing pull-ups much quicker.

When I first started using assistant bands, it felt awkward I have to admit, but after 3 or 4 times I got the hang of it, and suddenly, I started to feel much stronger and fitter, and I could feel that within a short period of time I was doing pull-ups unassisted.

Assistant bands come in different strength levels. You will start with thicker bands at first, then as you get stronger you are going to start using lighter bands, till you become a pro. 

benefits of calisthenics

Diet and Calisthenics

Your diet you will play really big part in how slow or fast you will see positive results. General rule of thumb is that you will lose wight and build muscle faster if you eat high protein diet. Try to focus on eating 3 high protein meals and 2 snacks a day, like:

  • BREAKFAST. Start your day with bowl of porridge, which has good amount of protein and fiber. Smoothies are another really good option in the morning. Make are you have more protein in your smoothie than sugar, like yogurt and seeds like chia and flax seeds.
  • LUNCH. Fat free and lean meats, like chicken breast and fish are my go to  healthy lunches, and I would highly recommend you add rice and vegetables as well, as they are good and healthy source of carbohydrate and fiber.
  • DINNER. Same as lunch, and obviously you can try other high protein meals.
  • SNACKS. My favorite snack is mixed nuts. They are rich in protein, fiber, omega3, minerals and vitamins.

Final thought

If you are really serious about losing weight and building lean muscle and looking for a workout that you can do at home with minimal equipment, with only 30 mins a day, you can start a new healthy lifestyle with a very small changes to your current lifestyle.

Calisthenics can give you that amazing healthy lifestyle that you have been looking for. Remember that a pull-up bar and assistant bands are the exercising equipment that's all you will ever need to see positive results. 

Like I have pointed out before, it's really important to figure out your fitness level and what you should expect. And don't forget about your diet. High protein diet will give energy, make you lose fat and will build lean muscle.

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    naem

    Bachelor's degree in Pharmaceutical science and extensive experience working in the health and dietary supplement industries

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