Before diving into too much detail, the simple answer is yes. However, when it comes to building muscle using callisthenics, there’s a lot for things that need to be considered.
Building muscle often occurs as a result of exercise and training and getting a combination of things right. If you are able to build an environment, your weight free journey may prove to be successful.
The Conditions Needed To Build Muscles
Muscle building, also known as hypertrophy, is defined as skeletal muscle fibres enlarging in an attempt to overcome high levels of force and tension. This means that in order to build muscle, you need to provide high enough levels of force and tension that your body needs to overcome to complete the movements in your training programme.
Resistance training is able to build the right environment and conditions for hypertrophy to occur as your muscles are forced to work through the force’s resistance being applied while adapting to the stress you are placing on it.
This resistance can come from machines, free weights, barbells or even your body weight. The weight source doesn’t matter. You simply need to ensure that the resistance from your weight source is able to supply the force and tension needed to build muscle.
Bodyweight Versus Weight Training
When it comes down to building muscle, the amount of force and tension needed will differ from person to person. Low resistance levels will reduce the risk of stimulating muscle hypertrophy.
Weight training makes this easier as you can easily adjust the resistance by changing your weight selection or level to increase the difficulty. However, bodyweight training relies on your body weight which will more than likely remain the same, but this doesn’t mean that the resistance will remain the same. You can make straightforward changes to your environment or modify your workout to increase the resistance. For example, if push-ups become easy, you can shift your angle and try to perform a pike push up. This will put more resistance on your shoulders and chest and increase the intensity of the exercise.
Increasing The Workout Difficulty And Intensity
So, in a similar way to weight training, you need to progressively adjust your weights and workouts to increase the intensity, except with bodyweight training, you will need to adapt the workouts and not the “weights”. This requires a bit more creativity and thinking, but it will help you to understand your body and its limits a whole lot better.
It’s important to remember that we determine the conditions and variables of the exercise that we decide to perform. Variables include the number of reps and sets, resting time and the speed at which we perform the workouts.
The speed at which we exercise plays an important part in the effectiveness of our workouts. Faster isn’t always better. Slower, controlled movements are able to create a lot of tension which is beneficial to building muscle.
Simply put, when training with your body weight, you’re able to create tension throughout your body, which creates body movement that involves multiple body parts. This has proven to be far more helpful as opposed to the isolated movements performed in weight training. In fact, the human body was designed to be able to support itself while making connections with multiple joints and moving seamlessly as one unit.
Callisthenics is just one of the workouts that you can do in order to get fit and healthy. Learn about other workouts with our Personal Training Diploma. Follow this link to find out more about it.