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Calisthenics Vs Weight Lifting

Weight Lifting

Both Calisthenics and weight lifting are two forms of strength training exercises. Choosing between these two should depend upon your goals. If you’re stuck between these two methods try doing them separately and then choosing the one that suits you best.


Calisthenics is a form of strength training that uses your body for adding resistance to your muscles. You can perform calisthenics anywhere without any equipment. However, you may require a pull-up bar for doing pull-ups or other bodyweight exercises. Calisthenics mainly works on your strength, endurance, flexibility, and muscle coordination. The most common bodyweight exercises are push-ups, pull-ups, squats, lunges, and crunches.

Calisthenics is much more affordable and convenient than weight training as it can be performed anywhere without any equipment. Bodyweight exercises are also very easy to modify but require some experience and creativity. For example, to make push-ups easier, you can place your knees on the ground. Alternatively, to make push-ups harder, you can use only one arm.

One major benefit of calisthenics is doing compound exercises. These exercises target multiple groups at once. Compound exercises require a lot of movement which helps in burning a large number of calories. Doing compound exercises regularly can increase muscle definition and explosive strength in your body.

Weight Lifting:

Weight lifting is a form of strength training that uses weighted objects as resistance to build muscles. This method can be performed using free weights like dumbbells, kettlebells, or weight lifting machines. Weight lifting builds lean muscle mass in your body and strengthens your bones and joints. In weight lifting, you can easily increase the intensity of the exercise by simply adding more weight. The high intensity of weight lifting exercises helps in toning your muscles and losing weight.

Weight lifting involves isolated exercises to target a specific muscle group. Isolated exercises put a concentrated load on a particular muscle group which increases its strength and endurance. The most famous weight lifting exercises are bench press, deadlift, leg press, bicep curl, tricep extension, and shoulder press.

Lifting weights is not only beneficial for young people. Studies have found that people lifting weights after 40 can reduce loss of muscle mass and keep bones healthy.

In weight lifting, always choose weights according to the repetitions you are aiming for. If you want to lift heavy then keep your rep range between 6-8 and for lighter weight try hitting 12-15 repetitions. While doing weight training exercises, lifting too heavy can cause some serious injuries. So always choose weights according to these rep ranges only.

Which Is Better For Building Strength?

If you want to build muscle mass then weight lifting is the best option for the long run. Using external weights as resistance increases muscle hypertrophy. This develops the tiny tears in your muscles to boost your strength and build lean muscle mass.

It’s not that calisthenics doesn’t make you strong. The compound exercises require a lot of strength and experience. Although, with the right technique, you can increase enough resistance to these exercises to build both size and strength.

But if your main goal is to build strength in a specific muscle group then weight training is the best choice.

Which Is Better For Burning Calories?

We know that weight lifting is more intense than calisthenics but when it comes to burning calories, calisthenics is the one to go for.

Calisthenics targets many muscle groups at once and involves a lot of movement. This requires more energy, which your body generates by burning calories. Calisthenics also includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT) also known as circuit training. HIIT is an advanced training method that adds more movement and burns more calories.

Weight lifting also contributes to weight loss but is not as effective as calisthenics. The isolated exercises of weight lifting don’t require as much energy as the compound exercises of calisthenics. Yet, weight lifting still contributes to weight loss by building muscle. Increasing the amount of muscle in your body boosts your basal metabolic rate or the number of calories you burn while resting.

What If You Combine Both Calisthenics And Weight Lifting In Your Training?

This is the best way to enjoy the benefits of both techniques. Adding calisthenics and weight lifting together in your workout session will build strength and help in weight loss. You can do this by either doing a combination of calisthenics and weight lifting exercises on the same day or doing them separately on alternate days.

Combining these techniques will add a lot of resistance to your muscles. But it’s important to avoid overdoing them as it can cause injuries. Also, add rest days between your workout sessions so that your body can repair the muscles.

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