Calisthenics vs. Weight Lifting

Are weight lifting workouts better than calisthenics exercises? Whether you are a fitness newbie or a seasoned old-timer, this question is sure to have crossed your mind at some point. Before we dive into the calisthenics vs. weight lifting debate keep in mind that each form of fitness has its own benefits. In fact your exercise goals and your body type will determine which form of exercise is best suited to your needs.

Key Differentiating Points

What is it that sets calisthenics workout routines apart from weight lifting routines? Calisthenics is also known as body-weight training. As the name suggests, calisthenics exercises use body weight itself as resistance unlike weight lifting workouts which use external weights.

Fitness And Development

While weight lifting workouts focus on building up strength and developing muscle mass, calisthenics exercises focus on overall fitness. If your exercise goals include achieving high levels of endurance, a boost in flexibility, improved blood circulation, and muscle sculpting and toning, then you should opt for calisthenics workout routines.

Exercises And Equipment

Calisthenics workout routines typically comprise aerobic exercises such as lunges, squats, leg lifts, pushups, dips, and jumping jacks. Weight lifting workouts require the use of external weights such as kettle-bells and dumbbells along with various weight resistance machines.

Professional Training

Trying out weight lifting workout routines on your own can be dangerous. Handling the weights incorrectly can lead to muscle strains and injuries. If you feel that weight lifting routines would best suit your exercise targets, you should definitely consider seeking professional guidance.

Calisthenics exercises do not need any external machinery or equipment. While you can join a fitness studio and engage in group aerobics sessions, performing calisthenics workout routines at home is also a viable and safe option.

Dietary Changes

Regardless of which side you support in the calisthenics vs. weight lifting debate, the recommendation for healthy eating applies to all. However, since the aim of weight lifting is to build up on muscle mass and raw strength, certain special dietary changes have to be made to facilitate this goal. Weight lifting routines require an increase in the protein content of your diet so that there is enough fuel in your body for muscle development.

The Best Approach

Instead of focusing on the merits and demerits of each exercise form in the calisthenics vs. weight lifting discussion, how about we blend the two forms of fitness? Each exercise form largely focuses on a few aspects of development. While calisthenics is great for endurance, muscle toning and flexibility, it falls short on building up muscle mass. Only a highly rigorous calisthenics workout routine can lead to development of muscle mass. Similarly weight lifting workouts tend to neglect the areas of flexibility and agility.

Adopting a holistic approach to fitness will help you strengthen and improve your entire body, instead of certain parts of it. Depending upon your ultimate fitness goals, you can modify the time spent on each exercise form. For instance, if raw muscle strength is topmost on your agenda then the main focus should be on weight lifting workouts, interspersed with relevant calisthenics exercises. Seeking professional guidance from your doctor and a qualified fitness trainer will help you make the right fitness decisions.

What is your view on the calisthenics vs. weight lifting? Share your opinion with the Fitness Republic Community!

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