“I’ve been asked this question dozens of times after suggesting to people that all they really need to be strong and fit is their own body and a little guidance. Yes, you can get very strong by lifting heavy things, be they barbells, dumb bells, kettlebells or rocks, but you don’t have to lift any of those to get strong. I’m not here to dismiss those other methods of strength training or claim that any one is better than the next as they all have their place. I would just like to dispel some common misconceptions about body weight training also known as Calisthenics.
The human body is capable of amazing things, one of which is the ability to make itself seem to defy gravity, or in some cases, amplify it! You weigh a specific amount, but with subtle positioning changes you can increase or decrease the leverage of an exercise to make it feel more or less difficult. This is the same principle as adding and subtracting weight on the bar. No matter what your starting point is, you can progressively make the exercise more difficult by changing the leverage and your body position. Most people don’t realize the advanced levels that calisthenics training can be taken to and the average person would have to work a very long time to even come close to “maxing out” the movements.
Another often overlooked aspect of Calisthenics is the extent of the muscles used while performing various movements. Perfectly executing even the most basic movements, like push ups, pull ups, and squats will require you to engage every single muscle in your body. While each move has particular muscles that are the prime movers, most body weight exercises when properly performed are total body exercises.
Now that you understand a little more about the benefits of Calisthenics, consider adding them to your workout regimen. In addition to being a stand-alone form of training, it is an excellent complement to kettlebells, running, biking, yoga or any other form of exercise you may already partake in. Contact us at Primal Fitness Pittsburgh to see how you can sign up for our Progressive Calisthenics Course! When you can master your own body, you will gain superior strength!”
Even as a child Ryan Williams was always interested in bettering himself through fitness, whether it was racing his Dad in the yard or doing less than perfect form pushups to show off for family members. That lifelong pursuit has now come full circle with his desire to help others achieve their health & fitness goals. Running has nearly always been a part of Ryan’s fitness path, participating in division III collegiate track & field as a sprinter/hurdler/decathlete, then more recently moving on to endurance events such as marathons and challenge hikes. During college Ryan also developed a deep passion for strength training. Never getting caught up in the hype of the latest fitness craze, he always trained using fundamental principles that stood the test of time, incorporating both free weights and bodyweight movements. After a brief hiatus from any strength training 8 years ago, Ryan has since used calisthenics exclusively for his strength training. Ryan Williams became certified through the National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) in June 2014 and obtained his PCC in July 2014. Drawing from his own experience and PCC instruction, he now looks to guide people with their strength and fitness goals as a certified personal trainer specializing in calisthenics.