If you’re looking for a lean, muscular model physique, it might be time to ditch the heavy weights and excessive equipment and take up a calisthenics program. Forget ribbon twirling and rhythmic gymnastics, calisthenics is a hardcore workout that teaches you to defy gravity while sculpting out muscles you did not even know you had.
Breaking down the word itself, Calisthenics translates to ‘beautiful strength’. It’s literally just you working with the bars and rings to create the ultimate combination of bodyweight strength and control.
Calisthenics is easily one of the most humbling work outs you can do; there’s absolutely no room to cheat reps or get slack on your technique. You can only work at your own pace and aim to master your progression.
When I walked into Movement Co in Osborne Park I was met with an array of bars, rings and rock-climbing walls; essentially I felt like I’d stepped into an adults playground. And that’s totally okay with me! Movement Co is a mixed movement space that offers classes in calisthenics, gymnastics, handstands, parkour, climbing, strength and more.
As I started the class, head coach Jason Ahipene explained that basic calisthenics begins with body weight exercises like push-ups, chin-ups and pull-ups.
Once you’ve conquered those, you progress into the harder skills like muscle-ups, planche, levers and human flags. But believe me, those exercises are no way near as easy as Jason demonstrates.
It takes months, even years to build up the strength to achieve a muscle-up or human flag, so don’t be discouraged when you don’t get something straight away.
Calisthenics doesn’t discriminate between gender, both men and women can absolutely nail the progressions. If you’re looking for an incredibly rewarding challenge or something a little bit different, give calisthenics a go. But PSA: it’s addictive.
Once you’ve mastered one progression you’ll be chomping at the bit to tackle the next one. And that’s the beauty of it, there’s no real end game but only endless opportunities to learn and better yourself.
Take it up for a challenge; but go slow because your muscles will be sore!
Check out Beau’s report on yoga.
Beau is the owner and director of ONE Fitness Health Lifestyle in Subiaco.