Calisthenics Vs Weights: Which is Better to Increase Muscle Mass

calisthenics vs weights

I constantly have to be listening to comments from proud people with their calisthenics workouts, which are the best, the natural, not like weights. I also hear people from the GYM say that calisthenics does not help to increase muscle mass, that you need to lift the weight.

Well, there is a light beyond the religions of fitness and conflicting dogmas, let’s see what is being cooked here, and I will explain why choosing between calisthenics or weights seems absurd. Let’s start the calisthenics vs weights comparison.

Calisthenics vs weights

Calisthenics is a method of physical training in which only body weight is used. We can compare it with martial arts. Weights are the gym equipment which helps to gain muscle losing fats. In below, we will describe some facts on calisthenics vs weights.

Well, both and none at the same time. You can increase muscle mass with weights or with calisthenics, and you can also waste your time. This will depend on a diet (hyper-caloric, rich in protein, etc …), rest, if we are very stressed, and the training volume, repetitions, intensity.

calisthenics vs weights

If we compare the calisthenics vs weight training program, weights can usually offer faster progress than calisthenics. It because, for example, weights are easy to adjust and are increasing As our strength improves. We would have to be vigilant and make sure that once we can do 10-12 repetitions of the exercise, we would have to put weight (dominated and ballasted bottoms, push-ups with a partner or weight on the back … squats at one foot, squats with a partner in tow …).

But wait! Have you noticed one thing? We have stopped doing calisthenics. We are using external weights! So once again, I repeat, THE ABSURD DISCUSSION.

If we strictly adhere to the concept of body weight, without added weight, then we would limit our progress a lot, because once we can do 15 or 20 dominated, pushups or squats in a row, we will no longer achieve great results with that exercise, we need to increase mechanical stress and metabolic stress, and for this you could make variants (one hand or foot), but it will remain to limit and does not fit and being able to raise or lower a few kgs on the bar.

The smartest thing would be to stop discussing whether one training is better than another and begin to understand that diversity is rich. As I like to say, “go back to your roots.”

If you practice calisthenics because you don’t want to spend money on a GYM, do as I  ride it yourself. You can make homemade Bulgarian backpacks, lifting cages and jumping crates made of wood, basketballs filled with sand … all ” homemade ”, cheap and very efficient. You can also go to a park, mountain or beach and use the weight you find there. It is not ideal, but better than nothing.

Let’s do what we are designed to do. Run, jump, climb, lift, lift heavy things, transport them, throw them, or throw them.

We are still animals, don’t forget it. Our body is a complex machine of gears that work in absolute homeostasis. Don’t fool him with gadgets and new-age training machines or shoes that squeeze and deform our feet.

I hope I have clarified some points about this matter and that it has opened the minds of some people and thus avoid dogmatisms in the world of fitness. We already have enough with the infinite myths that have yet to be eliminated.


If we go back thousands of years ago, we realize that natural training is THE OWN LIFE. All wild animals are fit because their life model demands it, not because they intentionally dominate or press bench.

Life in a natural state, for us, as humans, involved running to flee from predators, jumping, climbing trees, picking up branches … movements with bodyweight, which is now called calisthenics.

However, life in a natural state also forced us to have to lift rocks and heavy logs, transport them, lift them above our head throw objects, and much more. Movements are clear with an external weight and natural.

We are designed to move around our environment, handling our body with mastery, and to interact with our surroundings, lifting, moving, and throwing objects. Thus, he who only limits himself to do calisthenics or weights, one without the other, will spoil much of his natural potential.

It should be noted that in nature, we do not have multi power or other guided machines. So, when I talk about weights, I talk about functional movements such as squats, deadlifts, press military, rowing with bars, bench presses, strides … Those for whom We were perfectly designed. It does not mean that you can not include other movements, which can have many benefits according to the needs of each person. Then comes another open debate, which seems to be more interesting, or not … now we’ll see.

If you liked the article, please do not forget to share it on your networks and comment below if you have any questions.