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|The Real Deal with Bodyweight Training by Kenyans247(m): Wed Nov 2019 02:13pm|
The Rundown on Calisthenics
Calisthenics and gymnastics have become popular again (they were popular at the turn of the 20th century as well, if you study fitness history), especially online.
While training with only your own weight has “been a thing” for thousands and thousands of year, the rise of Cirque De Soleil, Bar Starrz, and various calisthenics videos on youtube capture peoples attention.
This is a good thing, anything that gets people wanting to move Im all for.
Like all things fitness though, people don’t quite know how to think about what they are seeing.
Watching bodyweight feats is impressive, but bodyweight training is very similar to weight lifting in that the hardest skills and abilities take YEARS to progress to.
And they all start out doing the same BASIC, aka, Foundational movements
Pullups and Chinups
Everything that is bodyweight training starts with those elemental movements.
Bodyweight training is lifting your own skeleton. Its that basic.
Bodyweight IS something everyone should be capable of doing.
And Bodyweight training is NOT a separate form of training apart from weight lifting.
The foundational patterns of human movement, squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull, these patterns are the same. Whether you apply them to your own weight or moving weight, the principles don’t change.
The difference is that when you are lifting weights, you are moving your weight plus extra weight (or bracing your weight to move external weight).
Bodyweight training and weight lifting are not mutually exclusive. I encourage people to do both. And if you are strong you SHOULD be able to do both with competency.
That said, there’s a few things that bodyweight trainings (aka calisthenics) has going for it that weight lifting doesn’t.
1. No Gym Necessary
Going to a gym is great, I love the gym, and personally I’ve never been one to train at home. I like the experience of going to sacred space. But in regards to sheer practicality, calisthenics can be done ANYWHERE.
The excuse of “i don’t have time” is rendered a moot point. As is not having money for a gym membership. Burpees and bodyweight squats and pushups are FREE. If you want to use time and money as an excuse for not training, then calisthenics will absolutely kill such nonsense. There’s literally nothing else that you need, other than your own body to train properly.
2. You Can Train Anywhere
Sometimes you’re gonna have to make do with whatever time and materials you have at your disposal. In a hotel room, on the road, or at home. You can use literally any place in the world to train. You only need gravity, the floor/ground, maybe something like a tree or ledge to hang on to (or a bar) and maybe a wall to do handstands.
4. You Only Need Your Body
Im restating a point here, but calisthenics really does murder excuses to not train. You’re basically saying you refuse to move and get up off your ass
5. Harder to Get Injured
Unless you attempt something ridiculous, or slip off a piece of equipment, its fairly difficult to injure yourself doing bodyweight training. Your body will naturally limit your force output as you fatigue, and you can regress and progress a movement to suit your level of ability.
To be able to move your body efficiently and with control is what Athleticism IS. Many sports up until the 1980s were reluctant to have their athletes lift weights out of fear they may get slower and stiffer. This was largely untrue, but the tradition of “body” only training in sports and martial arts is not invalid; the vast majority of sporting activities are NOT lifting weights, but moving your body in various patterned ways. And most combative sports, you can develop immense strength by lifting OTHER people, not external weights.
Do weight NOT build athleticism?
They DO, but foundationally, bodyweight strength IS more important. You can in fact be very very strong in the gym, but be shitty at moving. It is a phenomenon confined to powerlifters, but I have seen that.
In contrast, your lifting strength might be middling, but if you excel at bodyweight training, I’d guarantee you are athletic.
Bodyweight strength IS athletic strength. If you can perform basic bodyweight movements like squats, lunges, dips, pullups, pushups, situps, I can assess that you have some Basic level of athleticism and your musculoskeletal system is not dysfunctional.
If you cannot do these things at all, gravity and aging is going to fuck you up, to say it bluntly.
Bodyweight Training Guide…
I don’t actually have one I’ve written myself. I’ve always been a die-hard gym-goer.
That said, there is a guide I recommend, which my bro Matias wrote, and is freakishly freakishly comprehensive.
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