How To Start Calisthenics
If you’ve never done calisthenics before, watching people rep out muscle ups, press up to handstands, or hold back levers might have you thinking, “how does one even begin to do that?!” Well, I’ll have you know that I’ve been in that very same place.
Less than two years ago, I didn’t even know what calisthenics was, and when I first saw videos of people performing incredible feats of strength on bars, I would just laugh and say, “in my dreams…” How wrong I was!
Today, I am now able to perform many of the skills that I had deemed impossible for me at the start of my fitness journey. However, I didn’t just wake up one day and magically be able to perform the skills that I dreamt about doing. The road to building the strength I have today was a long one, and along the road, I’ve learned quite a few things about becoming stronger. Since so many people ask me for advice for people who are just starting in calisthenics, here is what I have to say to all of you who are embarking on your calisthenics journey:
How do you train calisthenics at home?
Choose a few calisthenic exercises to target every part of your body: You can do pushups, pullups, squats, crunches, jumping jacks, lunges, and more if you’re creating a training program. A calisthenic is any exercise where you lift your own body weight, so there are literally hundreds of options out there. Start by picking 5 exercises that seem fun to you for a basic routine, and cover all of your bases by including exercises that work your upper body, core, and lower body.
Start with a low number of reps and work your way up over time: To start a calisthenic routine, the most popular strategy is to start with a set number of repetitions for each exercise (usually 5 or 10), and then increase the number of repetitions over time to improve your endurance. When you’re starting out, focus on your form and master that before you increase the number of reps.
Can you build muscle with only calisthenics?
Yes, calisthenics will help you develop your muscles: When you lift your body’s natural weight, it’s basically the same thing as lifting a free-weight. Any kind of weight-resistance exercise will help you build muscle, and calisthenics are no different. However, since you can’t control the weight and calisthenics burn a lot of calories, calisthenics aren’t necessarily the fastest or most efficient way to bulk up. They will certainly make you stronger and help with muscle definition, though.
You can add a weighted vest or ankle weights to increase your muscle growth: If your main goal is to lose weight or improve your flexibility, don’t focus on adding weight. But if you are interested in bigger muscles, get a weighted vest or ankle weights and wear them while you do your exercises.
Do calisthenics burn fat?
Calisthenics can definitely help you burn fat and lose weight: Since calisthenics increase your heart rate and get your body moving, they will help you lose weight. If weight loss is your main goal, be sure to incorporate squats and jumping jacks in your routine. These are two of the best exercises if you want to burn fat since they work your entire body and keep you sweating.
Your diet is the main consideration when it comes to long-term weight loss: Don’t assume that a few minutes of calisthenics every day is going to lead to any serious weight loss. Your diet and lifestyle are much more important when it comes to losing weight. Even when you start shedding pounds with a calisthenic program, you’re likely to put the weight back on if you aren’t eating a healthy diet.
How often should I train calisthenics?
Do calisthenics for 30 minutes a day if your goal is to lose weight: If you aren’t doing any weightlifting or high-intensity workouts and you want to lose weight, do calisthenics for at least 30 minutes every day. This is the best way to consistently burn through calories without putting a ton of stress on your body.
Do calisthenics on rest days if you do other forms of exercise: Calisthenics aren’t extremely hard on your body since you’re never lifting more than your body weight. If you are doing any weight lifting or high-intensity training, you need to take days off in between workouts. Do your calisthenics on your rest days to burn through some calories and tone your muscles without putting too much pressure on your body.
What should I eat while doing calisthenics?
Eat a balanced, healthy diet the same way you normally would: You don’t need any kind of special diet for calisthenics. Just focus on eating a healthy diet that’s low in red meat, fat, and sugar. Try to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Cut out the junk food and avoid sugary drinks, since these are full of empty calories.
Try to maintain a calorie deficit if your goal is to lose weight: You achieve a calorie deficit when your body burns more calories than you consume. If you’re trying to lose weight efficiently, cutting back on the calories is extremely important. If you weigh 185 pounds (84 kg), 30 minutes of calisthenics will burn through roughly 200 calories.
How long does it take to see results from calisthenics?
It really depends on how often and how hard you train: The amount of time it takes to see results depends on how often you do calisthenics and whether you’re doing any other forms of exercise or not. It also depends on how much weight you have to lose and whether or not you’re already in shape. Try not to get discouraged if you don’t see results right away.
Stick with the calisthenics and you’ll start seeing results in a few months: Even if you don’t get that perfect 6-pack, you’re going to start feeling better in a month or two. If you stick with a regular calisthenic schedule, you’ll notice you have more energy, better balance, and a sharper mind.