You are praying for a new passion.
More meaning. More motivation.
You’ve been looking. Doing in-depth research into the best possible ways to train.
You know that your body needs it.
Your joints are cracking and popping with every single step you take and when you reach for your toes you feel like a your are in a straight jacket.
Like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz.
Nonetheless, you are proud of all the workout plans you’ve found. All the routines. All the exercises.
You want to start, but how often should you do it? Can you do it every day?
You still don’t have an answer to those questions so you haven’t come any further than, typing the words ‘calisthenics workout plan’ into Google.
Let me explain why you are already doing calisthenics every day and which 3 reasons should convince you to increase your daily dose of calisthenics.
Can I Do Calisthenics Every Day?
Contrary to weight lifting in the broadest sense of the word, calisthenics basically implies training with your own body weight.
The question whether or not you should do it every day depends on this concept.
Because if calisthenics is training with your own body weight, you are essentially ALREADY doing it every day.
Walking, standing, sitting, laying down all require recruitment of muscles.
You’ve been doing it ALL your life so you don’t even consider it training even though it is.
People who say you can’t do it every day, clearly don’t realise that you already are.
Therefore it’s not so much about whether or not you should do it.
It’s about the dosages in which you do.
The real question should therefore be: “How should I dose my calisthenics training?”
Well, that question doesn’t have an easy answer.
This depends on 1001 factors.
The major ones being:
- History of training – What is your past experience? Have you ever trained 5-6 days a week or are you starting from 0? If the latter is true, your body simply needs more time for adaptation. It’s essential to realize that this adaptation is NOT just physical but also a mental adaptation.
- Goals – What are your goals? These will determine how high your training intensity will need to be.
- Rate of recovery – How fast are you recovering? This relates to your progress.
- Progress – Are you progressing every training? If you aren’t either you aren’t using enough intensity or you aren’t recovering enough.
So to answer your question we need to know: Your history of training, your goals, your rate of recovery and whether or not you are making progress on a chosen degree of intensity.
Generally, a beginner should start with at least 3 days a week as a bare minimum.
Less will not yield any results, more will usually lead to a mental crash.
Every year at the beginning of January hordes of people start their training with good intentions.
Because they want results fast, they don’t just decide to train 3 times a week, but start with 5 times.
After week one they are so sore that they simply cannot train the following week.
While they still have good intentions, this experience has traumatised them and they decide that training isn’t something for them.
This is an annual occurrence.
No history of training. Too high goals. Low rate of recovery and no progress.
A recipe for quitting too soon.
Don’t make the same mistake.
Key Takeaway: ‘There is no simple answer’.
It depends on multiple factors.
Be conservative and start with 3 days a week.
And build it up over time.
Now that you know how often you can do calisthenics as an absolute beginner, why should you start increasing the dosage?
Here are 3 reasons that you need to take into consideration.
1. Calisthenics Creates A Daily Sense Of Freedom
When your body is your tool, the world becomes your gym.
You might know this phrase, but it rings true in many ways.
The questions you need to ask yourself now:
‘How well do I know my body?’
‘How can it be used as a tool?’
Simple questions, but complex answers.
You aren’t tied to fitness machines.
You aren’t tied to a geographical location.
You are ONLY tied to your imagination.
This in itself creates so much freedom that people generally get scared and resort to the ‘safe zone of gym machines’.
You know this to be true, but what will you do with that knowledge?
2. Calisthenics Develops A High Degree Of Transferable Strength
While the golden age of body building has provided us with the image of HUGE steroid filled guys on gym machines, the reality of it is that they actually trained themselves out of strength.
Into an aesthetic body that has in reality sacrificed the ability to move for the pursuit of an unrealistic image.
I want to make it clear that body builders deserve all the respect, but when it comes to the question: ‘What can you actually do with your body?’, they fail miserably.
That’s because isolated moves aimed at just increasing muscle mass create very little transferrable strength.
A body builder can for example do a lat pull down with his own body weight, but will not be able to do a regular pull up, let alone a muscle up.
A calisthenics beginner will be able to do both.
A body builder will be able to hold his own weight above him with easy, but doing a handstand? No way.
A calisthenics beginner will be able to do both.
That’s because it’s not just about what you look like, but it’s about what you CAN do.
How does your calisthenics training prepare you for real life?
When you need to climb a tree?
When you need to hang from a cliff?
When you need to lift heavy shit?
When you need to duck and roll underneath a table to grab a ball?
Transferability is the name of the game and calisthenics has a high score when it comes to preparing you for life.
Not just for the mirror.
3. Calisthenics Is Fun And Has A Supportive Community
You know you need to spend more time outside.
You know you feel stiff after sitting down 8 hours a day behind a desk.
You know it’s important to spend time with motivating people.
All these things are known to you and that’s why you’ll like calisthenics.
Free vitamin D, a supportive group of people who lift you up and the ability to train outside.
The constant challenge of every exercise and the progressive nature of the skills you are practicing will keep you motivated.
You won’t be doing the same thing for years, you’ll be levelling up and doing higher level skills over time that will make you laugh when thinking about what you were doing before.
Some day you might even fly.
It’s all part of the developmental process where you increase the complexity of your skills and not just add another 10 kilogram weight to the same boring exercise.
While repetition is the mother of any skill, calisthenics allows you to add variety to those repetitions.
It’s a constant adding of layers and it never stops.
At the same time having friends tagging along.
And pushing you forward when you feel like giving up, while at the same time returning the favour.
That’s what it’s all about.
Why You Should Do Calisthenics Every Day
You know the answer now.
You are already doing it every day. Ever since birth.
That’s why you can walk. Talk. Jump. Run. Climb. Even blink your eyes.
You already are a calisthenics master in many ways.
You’ve been distracted from that same truth by mass marketing.
Perhaps you read a smelly ‘photoshopped’ magazines, selling you stinky lies.
You might have never seen someone train a handstand. Or maybe you just thought you weren’t cut out for this type of training.
The idea of training an hour a day is completely wrong, it’s actually something you do ALL the time.
Your body adapts to whatever you do, whether it’s sitting or doing push ups.
It’s the dosage that determines the effect however.
You need to start losing the idea that you need equipment other than your body to start.
Tin Man didn’t even have a beating heart, but it didn’t stop him from going forward ;).
You just need the to find the right intensity to make consistent progress.
That’s how you grow. That’s how you get the results you want.
What do you have? A body? A patch of grass? A bar? A door?
Nothing is holding you back anymore.
Beast mode ON!
PS. This post was inspired by Emilio Martinez and rewritten by Rich
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