Calistenics vs. Weight Lifting

If you are planning to begin working out, but aren’t sure exactly what route to take to achieve your goals, you may consider different types of workouts. Calisthenics and weight lifting are two very different types of workouts, and they each allow you to reach better fitness levels (in their own ways). When deciding which route to go, it’s important to know exactly what each form of workout can do for you and what they cannot.


Calisthenics combine a number of different types of exercises, which all use your own body’s weight and it’s natural resistances for it’s only equipment. The overall goal of calisthenics is to increase blood flow and improve endurance and overall fitness. Most, if not all, calisthenic workout routines are either aerobic or anaerobic in nature, involving varied exercises using multiple repetitions of the same movements.

Calisthenics are very much used by sports players before a practice or game to prepare the body by increasing blood flow and the circulation, as well as stretching muscles to prevent damage.

Weight Lifting

Weight lifting targets the building up of muscles through the use of weighted equipment or resistance machines, which create the same effects without the use of heavy weights. These are designed to increase muscle size all over the body and generally do not target endurance at all. Depending on the end goal, the exercises will either use very heavy weight and short sets or less weights and more numbers of reps.

Professional body builders workout with heavy weights in short bursts of activity to greatly increase muscle mass. Alternatively, using less weights and doing more reps will build a leaner, less bulky, but still muscular physique.


Depending on your goals, if your main plan is to increase muscle mass and bulk up, you will definitely want to do a good amount of weight lifting. Calisthenics are not designed to increase muscle mass specifically, although, you will burn more fat and gain some muscle mass in the process. Calisthenics are definitely a good idea if you plan on weight lifting as well, because they can be used an efficient way to warm up and prepare the body for heavy weight lifting workouts.

Generally speaking:

  • Weight lifting is for building muscle mass in large gains over time.
  • Calisthenics are designed for overall health and fitness levels and are especially useful as a way to warm up for more strenuous types of exercise or workouts.
  • Combined, the heavier workouts will benefit by showing better results if calisthenics are included as a part of an overall workout routine.

Any athlete, regardless of sport or activity, will engage in some form of calisthenic exercises as a part of their workout routine. Calisthenics are an essential part of any workout because of the benefits to the rest of the body and it’s performance under stressful activity. Combining calisthenics along with a weight lifting workout can allow for better results.


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