But, is bodyweight training for everyone and does it get results?
I’d be lying if I said that everyone training alongside me at the Bondi Beach Outdoor Gym is impressive. In fact, most people are simply walking through performing some crunches or chin-ups and then hanging around to watch the experts. But that’s fine. No one is stopping them or mocking them, or correcting their technique, because it appears that everyone here is trying to do something out of their comfort zone. This is a very different kind of workout and yet it feels so normal, like something I should have been doing my whole life.
To be honest, I consider myself relatively fit. I have a resting heart rate of 45 BPM, a body fat percentage of around 10% and run an 11.5 second 100m. I cycle around 30-50km a week, I lift heavy weights anywhere from 3-4 times a week and enjoy the occasional yoga class or swimming session, but here I am a fish out of water. By conventional accounts, I’m fit and strong, but what I have been doing for the past ten years does not prepare me for this type of training… what I have been doing for ten years just seems less…. natural.
Fast forward a few weeks and many chin-ups, push ups (and around 6 muscle ups later) I can tell you that without a doubt, bodyweight training gets results. Physically, I’ve noticed the strength crossover in my weights training and aesthetically, I’ve certainly become more ‘cut’ around my midsection. The real beauty of it has been the time I’ve saved by training out of the gym and I’ve learned to love the social aspect that comes with meeting friends in the park for a workout on the chin up bars and TRX.
So, is it for everyone?
Honestly, I would say that it’s not for everyone, particularly if you’re the type of person who doesn’t like a challenge or possibly being at the same level for a number of weeks. Bodyweight training is tough. No matter your fitness level, you will find it hard to progress and progression with calisthenics does not come easily. If you’re a beginner, or looking for something a bit more measurable, perhaps hit the gym with a qualified personal trainer to get you started. For those looking to get into calisthenics/bodyweight training, there is a treasure trove of information on YouTube, or to gain the real “bro science” education, simply hang around your local outdoor gym and ask for assistance from the most impressive person there.
Want to learn more about the future of fitness? Head on to our final post about Back To Basics- The Future of Fitness.