Weights VS. Calisthenics: Which is better for you?
The wait is over! The topic of today is weights vs calisthenics and which is better for you. Weights and Calisthenics will help you achieve your fitness goals but which will be faster and help you build more muscle in less time. When we say weights we mean any fitness equipment that allows you to lift, push and pull weight. Weights or Free Weight workouts are mostly isolated exercises that involve high weight high repetitions sets to maximize the challenge and the results of your workout. Calisthenics are exercises that help to achieve bodily fitness and grace of movement with only the use of your body weight to add resistance and difficulty. Calisthenics uses compound movement which is the use of multiple muscle groups for improved gains and faster weight loss. Both are very useful and offer results based on your efforts so keep reading and we’ll differentiate the difference between the two so you can make the best decision for your workouts.
Calisthenics & The Benefits Of Compound Movements
Let’s clear up the misconceptions about calisthenics! Many people believe that you can not strength train or build muscle, but this is far from the truth. People usually assume big muscles and being strong is usually associated with weight lifting but this can be achieved with calisthenics as well. You may be asking how and it's very simple actually. YOU USE YOUR BODY WEIGHT AS RESISTANCE! This is very underestimated but being able to lift, push and pull your body weight can improve your strength, balance, and metabolism. One of the best things about calisthenics as well is that it can be TOTALLY FREE with no monthly gym or personal trainer fees. The most you may have to pay for is a pull-up bar but if you're creative you can find other ways around that like going to the park and using the monkey bars or like I’m sure you’ve seen on the internet going viral from our big city NYC people use the crosswalk signs as a pull-up bar.
Here Are Some Common Calisthenics You SHOULD BE DOING!
- Lunges - Stationary and Walking Squat Lunges
- Push-Ups - There are many styles but we recommend Military, Triangle & Wide
- Sit-Ups - Crunches and Sit-Ups
- Dips - Dips & Box Dips
- Pull-Ups - Chin Ups & Pull-Ups
- Jumping - Jump Rope And Burpees
Okay so we touched on the basics of calisthenics but we haven’t got into Compound Movements yet so let me explain. Compound Movements are movements that target multiple muscle groups within a single exercise. The Squat which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and core is a perfect example of why compound movements can be extremely important for building muscle and losing weight. Isolation which is mainly the focus of weightlifting doesn’t target multiple muscle groups it focuses on one muscle group or muscle. While this is good as well when you want to improve a specific muscle.
Compound movement allows you to build endurance and target common movement patterns and work more muscles and get the most out of your workouts. Another benefit of compound movements is a full-body workout in less time. There are also cardiovascular benefits of targeting multiple muscle groups within a single workout including a faster metabolism and more calories burned because the movements are so similar to the ones we use in our everyday life helping you to feel stronger and make life easier for you. In the long run, you’ll be able to lift heavier things and lessen the chances of injuries during sports or daily life.
Weightlifting & The Benefits of Isolated Movements
Weightlifting is the act of lifting heavy weights repeatedly to challenge your muscles and force them to grow larger to face the challenge of continuously rising weight over time. If you want to build strength we recommend that you lift weights because it will give you the most gains over the shortest amount of time. If you’re experiencing an imbalance in your muscles such as in your biceps, maybe isolated bicep curls could help you fix that. Another benefit of weightlifting is that your progress can be realized whether you feel it when the weights you lifted last week are lighter or maybe when you look in the mirror you can see your muscle growth.
It’s not very often that people exercise with losing weight or getting stronger in mind. To do so, you will need to lift weights to target certain muscle groups such as your Shoulder traps, Pectoral muscles, and biceps. The reason why you will need to target specific muscles using weight lifting is to truly challenge certain muscles calisthenics don’t focus the efforts of your workouts on. One of our favorite reasons for isolated movements is the fact that it is perfect for recovering from an injury and building that muscle or joints strength.
The Benefits Of Isolated Movements
- Rehabilitation - as we stated briefly above isolated movements can help you recover strength and build muscle around an injured muscle or joint. You can also target the specific muscle or joint that is hurt or has been weakened by injury and take your time adding weight or resistance until that muscle isn't a hassle for you anymore.
- Muscle Imbalance - Is your left arm weaker than your right? Do you have lower abs but having a hard time developing your upper abdominals and obliques? weight lifting can and will help you target and fix all those muscle imbalances and unlike calisthenics, you’ll see and feel the difference in strength and looks way sooner.
- BODYBUILDING !!! - Hands down the ONLY way for you to get BROLIC AF! Is for you to lift lift lift and lift some more… you've got to keep pushing the weight higher and higher forcing your muscles to tear and rebuild themselves over and over until your muscle mass over time is PHENOMENAL there is literally no other way. Wanna get big your gonna need to lift and target each and every muscle you need to be strong AF AND LOOK GREAT. We’re fans of bodybuilders here at the extra mile and it doesn’t matter which of them you follow or watch they’ll all tell you to eat good sleep good LIFT HEAVY!
Here Are Some Isolated Movements You Should Be Doing!
- Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Sit-ups (Crunches)
- Triceps kickbacks
- Bicep curls
- Resistance Band Leg Curls
HERE’S WHY YOU NEED BOTH STYLES OF EXERCISE!
Okay, so we lied lol, you can’t target one muscle specifically even if it feels like it. You are still working on multiple muscles within that group. We still consider that an isolated movement but you have to target your whole body if you really want to improve your health, fitness, looks, and overall self-esteem. The best way to do this is to combine the two of these workouts. We recommend that you add both to your workout regimen because the right mixture of the two can differentiate success and failure in your fitness goals. We recommend doing calisthenics at least 3-4 times a week while only isolating 2-3 times a week.
The reason behind this is because your body will recover from compound exercises faster while improving your overall strength and endurance, making it easier to do weight lifting to target specific areas that you would like to grow exponentially such as your biceps, pecs, or traps. Faster recovery means you’ll be able to exercise before reaching technical failure a lot longer. Longer workouts further increase your endurance and strength creating a perpetual cycle of your body tearing your muscles and growing them stronger to deal with the ever-increasing load. When doing weight lifting you should target only the areas that you feel you would like to see more improvement so you don’t overdo things. And set yourself back via DOMS which is Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness because this is one of the drawbacks of isolated movements in an exercise regimen.
So Lets Wrap Our Heads Around What We Learned Today!
Calisthenics and Compound Movements are exercises within a workout regimen that target multiple muscles within a single exercise. As stated above the squat which engages many muscles in the lower body and core, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, lower back, and core is a perfect example of why calisthenics are useful in a workout.
Isolated Movements and Weight Lifting are exercises within a workout regimen that target the muscle groups you would specifically like to work on within a single exercise. The bench press, dumbbell curl, and Sit-ups are all perfect examples of isolated movements and weight lifting that will exponentially help you achieve your fitness goals sooner than later.
All though the two of these exercise styles are impressive in their own right. They must be combined to truly see your potential. Calisthenics must be implemented during your weekly routine if you want to build muscle and burn the most calories that you can. Weight Lifting will allow you to target all of your muscles that you want to bulk up. Combine the two for full-body workouts that maximize your weight loss, toning, muscle growth and limit the amount of DOMS you have to experience after working out throughout your week.
We hope you find this information very useful and if you have any questions or would like to let us know what you think of this article leave us a comment.