What is Weighted Calisthenics?
To understand Weighted Calisthenics, first, we need to know, What is calisthenics?
Calisthenics is a form of strength training in which a person uses their own body weight to perform the exercise.
Now let’s understand What is Weighted Calisthenics?
Weighted calisthenics is a form of strength training in which a person performs Calisthenics exercises by adding external weights.
In simple words, Weighted Calisthenics is an upgraded version of Calisthenics exercise.
Well, Weighted Calisthenics is not pure calisthenics because you are adding external weights to the exercise, but it has its own advantages. The additional weight will help you to level up and boost your strength and muscle growth.
Who Should do Weighted Calisthenics?
Weighted Calisthenics is not for everybody. It is for the people who have mastered normal Calisthenics moves and got comfortable doing it. So by adding on the external weights, they are making exercise more challenging. You can’t level up by doing exercise in which you feel comfortable. So to keep gaining and growing, you need Weighted Calisthenics.
Why Weighted Calisthenics is Important?
Weighted calisthenics is beneficial because if you have mastered a particular calisthenics move and are still doing it over and over again, then you won’t gain much from it, and your growth will be limited.
Your progress will be stagnant, and you don’t want it. Right! You want to level up. You want to grow.
So, to take your fitness to the next level, you need to do exercises that challenge you, not the ones in which you feel comfortable. Weighted Calisthenics will help you to:
1. Build incredible strength
When you add extra weight to the exercise, it will be hard to perform, but with consistency, your body will adapt itself by developing more strength to tolerate the workout, and with time you will become good at handling that weight.
2. Track Your Progress
You can track your progress with weighted calisthenics.
For example: You are currently doing Dips with 5 kg of weight. You mastered it and now performing Dips with 7 kg of weight. You tracked that now you can handle an extra 2 kg weight.
3. Efficient Workout
Your workouts will become more efficient with Weighted Calisthenics.
For example: An advanced athlete gets exhausted at 300 Push-ups in 15 minutes. He wore a 10 kg Weighted Vest and now gets all out at 150 push-ups in 9 minutes. So Weighted Calisthenics helps you to save time and works more efficiently.
Weighted Calisthenics exercises
Almost all Calisthenics exercises can be made more challenging by adding external weights. But to explain briefly, how it can be done?
We did a few exercises and shared them with you. It will help you to understand better.
Push-up is a great Chest, Shoulder, and Tricep workout. If you have mastered Normal Push-ups, then Congratulations! But now it’s time to Upgrade and make them more challenging by adding some weight.
So we used Weighted Vest, Resistance Bands, and Free Weights to make Push-up more challenging.
Squats are great for your Quads, Glutes, hamstrings, and calves. If normal squats are no more challenging for you, then make them hard by adding some extra weights. It will make the exercise harder, and you will gain more from it.
Here we are using Free Weights, Weighted Vest, Resistance Band, and Dip belt to make Squats more challenging than before.
Pull-up is just an excellent exercise for your back muscle. But, If Normal Pull-ups are not challenging you anymore, then it’s time to level up your workout by adding some extra weights. Adding on weights will make your Pull-ups much more challenging, and you will gain more strength and muscle.
Here we used Dip Belt, Weighted Vest, Dumbbell, and Resistance Band to make Pull-Ups harder.
Dips are an excellent exercise for Chest, Triceps, and Shoulder. Mastering this move will develop a good amount of strength in you. But if Dips are not challenging enough for you, then let’s make them hard by adding extra weights.
Here we used Dip Belt, Resistance Bands and Free weights to make Dips more challenging.
5. Squat Jump
Squat Jump is a great exercise for your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. If you have mastered this move, you already have a good amount of leg strength and endurance. But we have to keep growing and not get stuck in one place. So let’s level up and make it challenging.
Here we used Ankle and Wrist Weights, Weighted Vest and Free Weights to make Squat Jump harder.
Chinups are an incredible workout for the biceps as well as your back. If you have become really good at doing chin-ups and it’s not much hard for you. Then it’s time to upgrade the exercise and make it more challenging.
Here we are using Weighted Belt, Weighted Vest, Free Weights and Resistance Bands to make Chin Ups more challenging than before.
Lunges are an amazing exercise for quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. They are great exercises for beginners who want to strengthen and build muscles in their legs and butt. But if you have mastered lunges and got comfortable in doing them. Then let’s make them more challenging.
Here we are using Weighted Vest and Free Weights to make Lunges harder than before.
8. Inverted Row
Inverted Row is a great beginner’s exercise for the back. This exercise also involves your Biceps and Shoulders. If you got comfortable doing Inverted rows and they are no more challenging. Then let’s make them challenging.
Here we are using Weighted Vest and Resistance Band to make Inverted Rows more challenging than before.
Many exercises in which you feel comfortable can be made more challenging by just adding on weight. If some calisthenics exercises are easy for you, then add on some weight, and you will see incredible changes in your strength and muscle growth.
If you already do weighted calisthenics and have mastered exercises with a certain amount of external weight. Then increase the weight and make exercises harder than before.
Give Weighted Calisthenics a try, and you will be amazed by the gains you see in yourself.
Types of equipment for Weighted Calisthenics
So, that was how Normal Calisthenics Exercises, can be converted into Weighted Calisthenics. But to make exercises challenging we need some special types of equipment. Those equipments will help us to perform weighted calisthenics. Those Special equipments are as follows:
1. Weighted Vest
Weighted Vest looks cool, Didn’t they? They look like body armour. But instead of their cool looks, they are great for your Weighted Calisthenics training. They come in various weight ranges. A weighted Vest can make almost all calisthenics exercises more challenging than before. So, If you have mastered a particular calisthenics move and want to make it even harder, then wear a weighted vest.
- Very Versatile. Weighted vests can be used for almost every calisthenics exercise.
- It comes with enough weight to make Upper Body exercises (Push-ups, Pull-ups, Dips, Handstand, etc.) enough hard.
- It’s easy to Add and reduce Weights.
- A weighted vest is expensive equipment in comparison to others.
- Not enough weight capacity to make Lower Body Exercises (like: Squats, Lunges, etc.) very challenging for Advanced Athletes.
- Applying too much pressure with Weighted Vest may lead to Bad Posture, Injuries in the spine, and joint pain.
2. Free Weights
Free weights are any weights that you can pick up and move around. People keep comparing Free Weights V/S Bodyweight Training. But why compare when you can combine Free Weights and Bodyweight and get excellent results from it. The most common type of free weights found in the Gym are: dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, chains, and medicine balls.
- Free Weights has the Highest weight Capacity (i.e. you can add a lot of weight) compared to other equipment.
- Sufficient weight to make lower body exercises (like: Squats, Lunges, Squat jumps etc.) very challenging.
- Weight can be easily added and reduced.
- It can also be used for some upper body exercises (like: Push-ups, Pull-ups, and Dip), but the way it’s used is pretty uncomfortable.
- Limited scope in upper body exercises. You can’t use it to make many upper body exercises challenging.
- You have to purchase weights separately. So the heavier you want, the more expensive it becomes.
3. Dip Belt / Weight Belt
A belt wraps around your Lower Back area. Wear it, add some weight, and you are ready to workout. Just from the name, don’t think that you can only use it for dips. You can also make other exercises way more challenging with this equipment.
- Dip belt has a high weight capacity, which means you can add a lot of weight. Great equipment for advanced athletes
- Get comfortably fit.
- Easy to add and remove weight.
- Not very versatile. However, you can do more than dips like: Pull-Ups, Chin Ups, and Muscle Ups. But the scope of this equipment is low.
- Squats can be made challenging, but you need an elevated surface with space between your legs, so when you squat down, there must be enough space for the weights to pass.
4. Ankle and Wrist Weights
Ankle and Wrist Weights are training devices that add on weights and make it a bit difficult to perform a movement.
These weighted straps wrap around your wrist and ankles. They come in a variety of weight ranges.
- It’s one of the cheapest equipment on the list.
- Easy to wear and remove.
- Gets Comfortably fit
- This equipment has the lowest weight capacity on the list.
- Due to their low weight, these straps cannot make exercises hard enough for advanced athletes.
- Weight capacity is fixed. You can’t decrease or increase the weight like other equipment on the list.
5. Resistance Bands
Resistance Bands are elastic bands made from rubber.
These bands come in multiple resistance levels. Resistance bands create resistance while performing the exercise. Most of the resistance gets created when you are at the peak.
For example: If you are performing Banded Push-ups, you will start feeling the pressure while getting up, and when you reach the top, the pressure will be at its peak.
- Lightweight and doesn’t take up enough space. It’s easy to carry around and workout even if you are travelling.
- Neither expensive nor cheap. It’s affordable equipment.
- It provides a fair amount of resistance that makes Upper Body and Lower Body exercises challenging.
- It has a low scope. We can’t make much calisthenics challenging with the use of Resistance Bands.
- It doesn’t fit comfortably and is also not comfortable to use.
- Although it can make Pull-ups and Inverted rows more challenging, but for that, we need to look for an object that can hold the band or need to tie it up with a heavy weight.
Calisthenics exercises are great for building muscle and strength. But some Exercises can be easy to perform for some advanced athletes.
If you have mastered calisthenics moves, it’s time to level up by adding external weights and converting your Calisthenics exercise into Weighted Calisthenics. We have shown how some Exercises can be made challenging by using the equipments. We have listed 5 types of equipment and also mentioned their advantages and disadvantages.
Try Weighted Calisthenics as it will develop incredible strength and build up muscles.