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Calisthenics Vs. Weightlifting

Omkar Phatak Feb 24, 2020
Distinguishing between calisthenics and weightlifting is comparing two fundamentally different forms of exercises. In here, we identify the pros and cons of opting for each.
If you have finally decided to start working out, the first question that might have cropped up is what kind of exercise routine should you go for. Two of the many varied options you could go for are calisthenics and weightlifting.
Before you choose, the first thing to know about is your body type and the second one are your exact goals and expectations from exercise. Your goals will pretty much decide what kind of routine is best for you. Your body type will decide your metabolic rate, which in turn, will help you decide on the intensity of exercise that you must go for.

Fundamental Differences

Calisthenics is a combination of a number of aerobic exercises and other types of workouts which are aimed at improving overall fitness. It involves repetitive movements without the use of weights.
The main difference that stands out in this debate is that calisthenics uses the body weight itself as resistance for strength growth, unlike weightlifting which uses external weights.
Calisthenics involves a number of simple movements that are aimed towards increasing body flexibility and promoting proper blood circulation. It requires no machines, weights, or any kind of exercise apparatus. It uses the body weight itself as natural resistance for the development of muscles.
The exercises involved in calisthenics routines are pushups, squats, sit-ups, leg lifts, jumping jacks, lunges, and dips. Along with stretches, it is a major part of an athlete's workout routine.
On the other hand, weightlifting and body building exercises are aimed towards developing strength and muscle mass, with the use of resistance machines and weights. Weightlifting routines involve a rotational workout, that targets specific muscles at a time. It involves the use of different weights and various weight resistance machines.

Goals and Benefits

Repetitive exercises in calisthenics develops high levels of body endurance and can be used to achieve muscle toning. The main advantage of calisthenics routines is that it doesn't require you to have a gym membership or any kind of equipment. If your goal is purely fitness and agility with higher endurance, calisthenics are the exercises you should go for.
If muscle building and raw muscle strength is your goal, then you should go for weightlifting. You also need to make changes in your diet by focusing more on proteins than anything else.
It is suggested that initially, you opt for a gym membership and get a good instructor as weightlifting without proper guidance can be dangerous and it may lead to muscle tear and other injuries. Once you are adept at the technique, you can buy your own set of weights and work out on your own.
For beginners, weightlifting can be quite tough and they are better advised to start with calisthenics. Rigorous calisthenics can also help you gain muscle mass but it will take longer, provided you modify your nutrition plan accordingly. Deciding on your exercise goals might clarify your choice between these two exercises.
For strength in terms of muscle mass, endurance development, along with agility and overall fitness, you need an exercise routine that is a blend of both these exercise forms. A calisthenics routine, followed by a weightlifting routine is the ideal way to go, offering the best of both worlds.