Calisthenics and gym both work quite well for everybody and a question of which one is better for you pops up. Calisthenics can be defined as body weight exercises. Anything from jumping jacks, pull-ups, burpees, and swinging on the monkey bars to jump squats and good old fashioned push ups can qualify as calisthenics. In other words, the only weight you are using is you.
On the other hand, the gym can provide you access to specialized weight training machines that you otherwise may not have in your home, whether it’s due to costs or space. There is not much research available that will say one is better than the other. Both calisthenics and weight training at a gym can be a great addition to a fitness program, so choosing one over the other will come down to your specific goals and needs.
Let’s look at the pros and cons below:
You don’t need any special equipment to do calisthenics, which can save you money in the long run. Space is also not an issue so you don’t have to worry about storing anything.
If you don’t mind spending some money, for a membership fee the gym will provide you with the necessary weight training equipment needed. Of course, membership costs will vary from gym to gym.
Calisthenics can pretty much be done anywhere, including a gym. If you travel a lot this is good news for you because you can work out right in the comfort of your hotel room. And since there is no equipment needed, you don’t have to squeeze anything extra in your suitcase.
Many gyms have multiple locations allowing you the flexibility to use it anywhere you go. Sometimes you have to pay an extra fee, but it may be worth it depending on your needs. If your gym does not have multiple locations and you travel a lot you should be able to at least find a hotel with a fitness center, although it may not offer as much specialized equipment that a gym would.
Strength, Tone, And Endurance
If you’re looking to increase muscle tone, strength and endurance, you can achieve that with calisthenics. The drawback is it may be more slow and steady since you can’t necessarily add weight to your body unless it’s with a weighted vest or similar item.
Weight training at the gym allows you to increase the weight used in exercise easier than you could doing calisthenics, therefore increasing your muscle strength, tone, and endurance at a slightly faster rate. If you are looking to body build, weight training at the gym would be a better option.
Ease Of Start
Doing calisthenics can be an easier way to introduce strength training to anybody at any fitness level. Because you have less to buy and figure out, the more you may stick to the exercise routine.
Starting weight training on the specialized machines at the gym may present a challenge if you are a beginner. However, most gyms offer an introductory session to new members to help them get familiar with the equipment.
Your fitness level and the level of instruction given to properly execute an exercise, with or without weights, will be different and will therefore impact your risk of injury. Both calisthenics and weight training at the gym can have the same risks, except at the gym now you have equipment added to the equation.
What would be your preferred method of exercise?