Calisthenics is a type of workout that utilizes only bodyweight exercises to build strength, flexibility, and endurance. It has gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and many people are turning to calisthenics as their primary workout routine. The most commonly asked question about calisthenics is whether it builds muscle faster than lifting weights. In this blog post, we will explore this question and give you a clear answer.

The Basics of Calisthenics

Calisthenics has been around for centuries and was used by ancient Greek soldiers to stay in shape. The word calisthenics comes from the Greek words kallos, meaning beauty, and sthenos, meaning strength. This type of workout involves using your own body weight to perform exercises such as push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and dips.

Calisthenics is a form of functional training, which means that the exercises mimic movements that we use in our daily lives. It helps to improve our overall fitness and reduces the risk of injury. Calisthenics is also a great way of improving flexibility and mobility.


Weightlifting is the sport or exercise of lifting barbells. It often refers to several distinctive activities, one of which is a form of exercise, weight training, and three others that are competitive sports, namely, Olympic weightlifting, powerlifting, and bodybuilding. The origin of weightlifting can be traced back to ancient Chinese and Greek culture, whose written texts recorded physical strength, endurance, and skill. Weightlifting was included as an official sport in the Olympics, originating in 1896. Weight training involves a series of exercises intended to strengthen muscles and increase muscle mass. The exercises may involve resistance training using the body alone with gravity as the opposing force (push-ups and pull ups), using free weights (barbells or dumbbells), or using exercise machines with weights or pulleys that force the body to work against their resistance. Free weights generally require more effort to lift, pound for pound, than weights on machines.

Weight-training exercises are intended to work certain muscle groups. Each exercise has a specific form that should be maintained by the athlete. The athlete decides how many repetitions (reps) and sets will be included in the exercise. A repetition consists of a single cycle of lifting and lowering a weight in a controlled manner, moving through the form of the exercise, and a set is a number of reps performed without a break. Tempo refers to the speed at which the set is performed. Beginners typically start out with one to five reps per set and one or two sets per exercise, raising the number of reps and sets and increasing the tempo as they gain strength and endurance.

Muscle Building with Calisthenics

When it comes to muscle building, calisthenics can be just as effective as lifting weights. The key to building muscle with calisthenics is to increase the resistance on your muscles. This can be done by increasing the number of repetitions, decreasing the rest time between sets, or by adding a weighted vest.

One of the main advantages of using calisthenics to build muscle is that it is more functional than lifting weights. During a calisthenics workout, you are using your own body weight, which makes the exercises more natural and functional.

Building Muscle with Weights

Lifting weights is one of the most popular ways to build muscle. It involves using external weights such as dumbbells, barbells, or weight machines to increase resistance on your muscles. Lifting weights is an effective way to build muscle because it allows you to progressively overload your muscles over time.

The main drawback of lifting weights is that it can put a strain on your joints, especially if you are lifting heavy weights. Lifting weights can also be intimidating for beginners who may feel overwhelmed by the equipment and the gym environment.

Calisthenics vs. Lifting Weights: Which is Better for Building Muscle?

When it comes to building muscle, both calisthenics and lifting weights are effective. The key is to choose a workout routine that is challenging and progressive. Calisthenics is a great way to build muscle without the need for external weights. However, if you are looking to build muscle quickly, lifting weights may be the better option.


Benefits of Calisthenics

Calisthenics has many benefits, including:

    • Improved flexibility and mobility


    • Increase in muscular endurance


    • Increased core strength


    • Functional training that mimics movements used in daily life


    • No need for expensive equipment or gym membership


    • Can be done almost anywhere


Benefits of Lifting Weights

Lifting weights also has many benefits, including:

    • Increased muscle mass


    • Improved bone density


    • Reduced risk of injury


    • Stronger joints and connective tissues


    • Increased metabolism and calorie burning


    • Improved overall strength



Both calisthenics and lifting weights are effective ways to build muscle. The key is to choose a workout routine that is challenging and progressive. Calisthenics is a great way to build muscle without the need for external weights. It is functional and can be done almost anywhere. Lifting weights is also effective for building muscle quickly, but it can be intimidating for beginners and may put a strain on your joints. Ultimately, the best workout routine is one that you enjoy and can stick to in the long term.