People are always on the hunt for the best kind of a workout. They examine a variety of training methods including the benefits and drawbacks of each. Two of those types of training methods are calisthenics and bodybuilding. Many people wonder whether calisthenics is better than bodybuilding. In order to determine which training method is better, we need to take a closer look at the benefits and drawbacks of each.


Without a doubt, calisthenics is gaining popularity amongst the fitness community. People are beginning to recognize the benefits of this type of training. First, calisthenics predominantly consists of bodyweight exercises (Burpees, Push-ups, Pull-ups etc) which means that you are not required to purchase a lot of expensive equipment. Bodybuilding, on the other hand, requires you to either have a gym membership or purchase strength training equipment, which can get expensive. One of the best things about a calisthenics workout is that you can do it anytime anywhere. You can even do it at the park while your kids are playing on the playground or you can do it at home without having to spend time in traffic to get to the gym.

Furthermore, calisthenics workouts enable you to become more functionally fit and stronger. Although bodybuilding will still make you stronger, calisthenics provides you with a path to become a more functional athlete overall. Unfortunately, bodybuilding’s primary concern is appearance and muscle size. Therefore, you may see a bodybuilder with big muscles who struggles with many functional movements. Although a bodybuilder may look strong, he or she may not be as strong as their appearance suggests. Not only that, but also some bodybuilders do not have full range of motion in their joints.

Many bodybuilders use isolation exercises in order to develop good looking muscles. Calisthenics, on the other hand, uses a series of compound exercises targeting your entire body. For example, when you do burpees, a very common bodyweight exercise, you are taxing the cardiovascular system as well as training your upper body, some core and legs. On the other hand, for example, if you are solely doing bicep curls, like some bodybuilders do, you are only focusing on one muscle group. Therefore, you will burn significantly more calories if you do burpees compared to bicep curls. This, in turn, will lead you to become stronger and leaner in less time. Additionally, bodybuilding workouts may take longer to complete especially if you would like to focus on many muscle groups. Calisthenics allows you to workout more efficiently because every move works multiple muscle groups.

In addition to being an effective way to gain functional strength and endurance, calisthenics is also less likely to leave you injured. One of the main reasons why that’s the case is because there is a higher chance of overtraining a specific muscle group during bodybuilding workouts. When it comes to calisthenics, it’s almost impossible to overtrain a specific muscle. As we all know, excessive overtraining is what often leads to injuries. Therefore, if you keep focusing on your chest and biceps, but ignore your core and back, you will make your body more susceptible to injuries.

The only drawback to calisthenics is that some of the moves might be a bit challenging when you start. For example, you will not be able to do the human flag on your first attempt. However, relative to the benefits of calisthenics, this is hardly a drawback. Many people who switch from bodybuilding to calisthenics end up feeling shocked at how challenging the workouts are at first. The key is not to get discouraged nor demoralized. Being able to perform the human flag or hanging windshield wipers is more impressive than bicep curling 50 lbs.

As we can see, calisthenics is better than bodybuilding and should be a part of everyone’s regular fitness routine. It’s exciting, challenging, fun and efficient. With that being said, at the end of the day, the best workout for you will be the workout that you are most motivated to do regularly and one that brings you closer to achieving your fitness goals.