Calisthenics and Diet – Does it Really Work?

If you’re reading this post I am guessing you are open to learn more about calisthenics and diet. Does calisthenics workouts get you more defined? Does it help you to lose weight, gain muscle and get stronger? I am sure you will get different answers depending on who you ask, but my answer is absolutely!

What about diets? How important is it to eat right to lose weight, gain muscle and get stronger? From my personal experiences I would say it is very important. You may have heard phrases like «training doesn’t give you abs, the kitchen do» or «we dig our grave with the teeths». The saying is actually true, we become what we eat!

Why Calisthenics Help You to Lose Weight Fast

 

You have probably seen the laid back guy who ease along at the local gym. He is sitting on a pull-down machine waiting for his next set off reps. When he has finished his sets, he takes a ten-minute break before starting on his bicep curl sets. Between his sets, he takes a good look in the mirror before talking about the last football match with his friends.

Just for the record, I know a lot of people who workout like this. Any workout is better than no workout. But the question is; is this an effective way to set your metabolism in high gear? I think we can agree on the answer, it really isn’t.

When we know that pull ups is a better exercise than the pull-down machine, then why do most people use the machine? The benefits you get from the pull ups beats a bicep curl any day of the week, but most people focus solely on the bicep curl. I think some reasons for this are laziness and comfort. It is more comfortable to sit on your butt and do pull-downs. However, adding pull ups to your training will give you a lot of added benefits. Exercises where you use multiple big muscle groups in synergy are hard! But they are also very effective.

When you lose weight, calisthenics exercises will get easier because you use your bodyweight as resistance. That means that you get better and stronger. If you’re train calisthenics consistently this will work almost without your awareness. It’s like your uncounscious want’s you to lose weight so you can get better. This may sound strange to some, but habits that we don’t think about runs a lot more in our life than we are aware of.

 

Working the Big Muscle Groups in Synergy

 

A lot of the machine based exercises are designed to work one specific muscle group. Sure, this will increase your strength. But there are some benefits you will never achieve by doing isolation exercises. Our body are designed to move as one piece with the muscles working together. If you’re are looking for strength, increased muscle mass and athletic abilities you should train the big muscle groups in synergy.

There are more than one way to do this, but training calisthenics sure is a good option. Most of the typical calisthenics movements will work many big muscles in a single exercise.

When you do bodyweight exercises you will gain muscle mass, which will in turn increase your metabolism. You will also burn a lot more calories by activating many muscle groups than only a single group during a training set. If you’re are wondering how to start your training, I just did a post with bodyweight workout routines. If you’re are looking for a new routine to get started, you can find it Here.

 

Adding some Cardio or High-Intensity Interval training

 

If you really would like to get in shape, add some cardio and HIIT as well. A combination of strength training and cardio is good for you. Not only for your shape and condition, but also for your health in general. It seems to me that many focus at one or the other. I personally think we need both.

What I typically see is that when people get in their midlife crisis they start walking, running or bicycling. Of course with all the newest stuff in training gear that money can buy. This is better than doing nothing, but for some reason a lot of people think cardio is more important than strength training as you get older. That’s just not true.

With high intensity interval training you can get a little of both worlds. Many studies have shown that short HIIT sessions will actually improve your condition more than steady long cardio trainings. But the sessions are pretty intense, so it is not smart to do them to often. HIIT has a bonus, you get the afterburn effect. This basically means that you will burn calories after your workout is over.

If you’re would like to learn more about high intensity interval training, you can read my post about it Here.

Is There a Calisthenics Diet?

 

I don’t know and I don’t care. People tend to overthink the diet when it comes to training or loosing weight. Some get obsessed with counting calories or weighing the so-called macro’s. And we all know that diets are only shortterm. Why not adopt a simpler approach to eating healthy?

Eat real food, the fewer ingredients the better. Most of the time, you cannot go wrong consuming foods with only one ingredient like asparagus, chicken, avocados, apples, sardines or a beef. The less processed food you eat, the better. If you’re are eating good clean ingredients most of the time, you don’t have to count calories.

The Simple Diet to a Healthy Life

 

There is probably as many opinions of a healthy diet as there are people in the world. That’s why I am going to stick with some simple ideas that have helped me.

 

– Start the day with healthy energy – food that contains healthy carbohydrates.

– Base the rest of your meals around a healthy protein source. Like eggs, fish, chicken, meat etc.

– Eat lots of vegetables and salads. I always fill my plate with salad before the rest of the meal. This leads to more salad than if i did it the other way around.

– For most people, eating fewer carbs will help.

– Keep hydrated, water is your best source.

 

The closer your meals are to nature – the better. I think most people know how to eat healthy deep down, but the main problem these days are processed food without nutrition. Keep it real and do it simple is my advice!

 

If you’re ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Stefan

 

 

 

 

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