This debate has been around for decades. Weights have always been the favorites for gaining strength. But isn’t bodyweight roughly the same?
Well, the answer isn’t that simple. Let’s see how they’re different and their benefits. In the end, it should be an easy choice.
- 1 What are calisthenics and weight training?
- 2 What are the benefits of calisthenics and weight training?
- 3 Calisthenics and weight training are good for different things
- 4 The holistic takeaway
What are calisthenics and weight training?
People praise the benefits of calisthenics as being better than weights. However, that’s a complicated topic. The first step is always to understand what they are.
That can be difficult since, at first glance, they seem similar. Yet, they use different mechanisms. The same goes for offering different benefits.
Luckily, there are plenty of experts with great insight. Let’s summarize the two workout methods below.
Calisthenics is a type of resistance (or weight) training. The main difference lies in said weight. In them, you use your body weight. Common calisthenics workouts include:
- Other strength workouts that don’t require weights.
Weight training, traditionally, uses external weight. It’s what you’ll find in most gyms. It’s different from calisthenics because the weight is higher. Thus, your muscles need more effort for the exercises.
What are the benefits of calisthenics and weight training?
Naturally, the benefits vary with different approaches. You won’t get the same results with calisthenics and weight training. At least, you won’t get them as quickly.
That said, assessing their benefits is crucial for choosing one. Your goals will dictate what’s the best option for you.
Conversely, many benefits do overlap. Don’t think that you won’t be stronger with calisthenics. The same goes for weight training and endurance.
I’m only saying that each one is a faster route.
- Calisthenics is less risky than weight lifting when done properly.
- You don’t have to invest in gym equipment.
- You can work out anywhere.
- They’re great for balance and coordination.
- The workouts are easy to learn and repeat.
- Most exercises have several variations.
- You’ll build muscle faster. It targets reduced muscle groups.
- Progressing is simpler since it merely adds more weight.
- You can adjust how much weight you want to lift.
- Gyms offer all the equipment you need.
- You can combine it with cardio for faster results than calisthenics.
- They don’t demand as much focus as calisthenics.
Calisthenics and weight training are good for different things
If they’re different, where does each one excel?
Well, that’s a simpler answer. The best way to choose between calisthenics and weight training is to learn that. That’s what I meant when I said that your goals are vital.
Basically, calisthenics is a middle ground between cardio and weights. You’ll sacrifice the optimized gains from weights. But, you still benefit from better endurance. Thus, they’re a great balance.
Weight training is the best bet for building strength and muscle. You can isolate muscle groups for faster results. Likewise, you can adjust the weight freely. Thus, you can demand more from your muscles.
It increases tearing (and healing). In the end, that’s what grows your muscles.
Calisthenics is great if you don’t want to separate strength and cardio. It also engages multiple muscle groups. Though, you can still gain muscle mass. But, the main advantage is burning calories.
Calisthenics is better for burning calories. They’re the best middle ground between cardio and weights.
The holistic takeaway
There’s no clear winner between calisthenics and weight training. They’re fantastic additions to any fitness routine. So, why wouldn’t you include both?
Weight training can make cardio easier, and vice versa. Thus, my advice is to schedule both (with cardio) in your week. You don’t have many reasons to neglect amazing benefits.
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