Thinking out loud

Calisthenics is my 2016 Wonderland

The year leaving us, 2016, started with a setback. I got injured at the gym and my dreams of getting ripped before the summer started fading away. What good can you expect when two weeks in the new year something like that happens? Well folk wisdom says there’s no cloud without a silver lining. And folk wisdom is right. My setback led to what is now among my greatest passions: the discovery of Calisthenics.

I didn’t even think I would stick with it. In fact I wasn’t planning it. My plan was to train bodyweight a couple of months until my wrist is strong enough to start lifting again.

My routine in the beginning wasn’t that specific either. I was just doing some bodyweight exercises I knew or had seen. Trying to add some external resistance in some way since I thought it wasn’t enough.

I now realize that my injury was a tumble in the rabbit hole. I was going deeper and deeper until I landed in Wonderland. And that Wonderland is exactly where I needed to be.

So almost a year has gone by and what have I learned? Here is a short list of Calisthenics related lessons:

  • You don’t need external resistance or equipment to train effectively. I’ll say that one more time. You don’t need external resistance or equipment to train effectively. Nothing wrong with having it, but you don’t need it.
  • Calisthenics is not something acrobats or only crazy-strong people do. It’s for everyone. It’s adjustable.
  • There is much more to training than pure muscle strength. In fact, to unlock your full muscle potential you need to train other functions. Balance, coordination, neurological control, mobility to name a few.
  • Although not impossible, it’s harder to injure yourself. Bodyweight is generally kinder on the joints. In some cases it will even heal old injuries.
  • You can literally train anywhere.
  • There are fantastic sources of information on the subject. You can find some on YouTube, read a book or a blog.
  • It will take a long long time until you can say you truly mastered the basics. Pushups ain’t that easy. Easier said than done fits perfectly here.
  • You can build muscle and strength with moves that you never considered as exercises.
  • It’s all about progress(-ion) which…
  • …never ends!

The lessons don’t stop here, but I will. The main lesson I guess is that even if something does not go your way, you can find alternatives. And those alternatives may prove to be the thing you actually wanted.

Happy New Year!



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