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September 07, 2023 3 min read

Is it OK to only do calisthenics and no other training?  

There are so many ways to train, and it can be tempting to try and fit in as many as your body can take. But do you really need to do different workouts for cardio, strength, and mobility? Or can calisthenics training replace them all? 

 

Can you just do calisthenics workouts?

Calisthenics is the art of using your bodyweight to build strength, flexibility, stability, balance, and mobility. Calisthenics movements encompass every movement pattern the human body needs – push, pull, squat, lunge, hinge, and rotation. And there are so many calisthenics exercises to learn (and so many ways to progress them) that you will never hit your limit with calisthenics

  

Why is calisthenics a good all-round workout?  

Calisthenics is one of the best forms of training - and fastest growing – forms of training on the planet. Huge numbers of people train calisthenics and only calisthenics, and they’re in amazing shape. So what exactly makes calisthenics such a great all-around workout for a variety of training goals?

 

  1. Calisthenics helps you build significant strength and muscle. Exercises like pull-ups and dips target various muscle groups in the upper body, while squats and lunges engage the lower body muscles.

 

  1. Calisthenics is functional training, with movements that help you get stronger for everyday tasks (not just an aesthetic physique).

 

  1. Calisthenics helps you improve mobility, flexibility, and joint health because the movements take your body through different angles and full range of motion.

 

  1. It’s convenient! Calisthenics can be done anytime, anywhere, however you like. You don’t need a gym membership or lengthy workouts.

 

Are there any limits to calisthenics training?  

If your fitness goals are strength, functional fitness, stability, mobility, and enjoyment then calisthenics is an amazing all-round workout that will tick all those boxes. But it does have limits, and it’s obviously not going to be sufficient if you have a really specific goal. 

For example, if you want to get super strong like a powerlifter, you’ll need to do specific barbell work. If you want to get huge like a bodybuilder, you’ll need to do additional hypertrophy training. And if you want to compete in an endurance sport, you’ll need to put in the miles. 

If you need…progressive overload

You can definitely bring progressive overload into calisthenics work, but it’s not as easy as with barbells, dumbbells, and other weights equipment. Approach progressive overload in calisthenics by practicing more advanced versions of movements, or by using tempo work.

If you need…leg day focus 

Calisthenics can work the lower body, but it’s more of a full-body training style. If you specifically want to do leg work, you might like to add in some weighted squat pattern and hip hinge exercises.

If you need…endurance or conditioning work

Calisthenics work will improve your cardiovascular fitness, but not as much as dedicated cardio like running or cycling. It’s a great idea to keep some cardio in your life for the many health benefits.

 

Can calisthenics replace the gym

Yes, calisthenics can definitely replace the gym – which is great news for your budget and your time management! Calisthenics is such a great way to build strength, gain muscle, and stay active. It trains every body part and muscle group, and will help you develop an athletic and balanced physique. And don’t forget calisthenics can be done anywhere, in short bursts or longer workouts, making it the ultimate training style for busy lifestyles. 

 

How to replace the gym with calisthenics 

Calisthenics is an exciting and effective style of training that can replace the gym completely, or be a great addition to your gym routine. It's easy to start and offers endless ways to progress.

Get started with calisthenics by focusing on a few fundamental movements like push ups, pull ups or rows, knee raises or L-sits, and a squat variation. 

And when you want to add some top-quality calisthenics equipment to your life, check out the Gravity Fitness store - we've got it all from the basics to new and innovative bits of kit!