In Calisthenics, you are doing a workout that relies solely on your bodyweight. However, in weightlifting, you have to move or exert an external force towards an external object. Calisthenics can be done almost anywhere with very minimal use of equipment. You can train calisthenics at a gym, your local calisthenics park or even at the comfort of your own house, and usually is a cheaper option.
The Advantages of Calisthenics over Weightlifting
Calisthenics requires minimal use of equipment. In terms of equipment, if you have a pull-up bar and a dips station, you can easily get started with calisthenics right away. Of course, you can still do a calisthenics workout without any equipment at all, but it is usually less effective for building muscle mass and strength. Therefore, calisthenics can be done almost everywhere. However, to engage in weightlifting, you have to purchase a gym membership or buy weights (i.e. dumbbells or barbells) to start your own home gym.
Since calisthenics requires significantly less equipment than weightlifting, it can be a cheaper option over the long term.
There is a smaller risk for injuries since calisthenics exercises are easier on your tendons and joints. This is due to the fact that there are no external objects involved (unless you are doing weighted calisthenics).
Calisthenics usually works better on balance, speed, endurance, and flexibility than weightlifting does.
Almost all the calisthenics exercises are compounds movements that work on many muscle groups at once. For example, the classic push-ups work on your chest, triceps, and front deltoids (i.e. front shoulder). Compounds exercises usually burn more calories than isolation exercises since there is greater muscle engagement.
Calisthenics improves functionality better than weightlifting, which makes everyday tasks easier.
Obviously, there are some disadvantages too:(.
The main one is that with calisthenics it is harder to progress than it is in weightlifting. You can easily change the resistance you are lifting, pushing, pulling or holding when it comes to weightlifting exercises. You simply have to use heavier loads. However, changing the resistance you are using in calisthenics exercises is much more technically complex than it is in weightlifting.
With calisthenics, it is harder to isolate specific muscle groups than it is with weightlifting. When you want to isolate a specific muscle, such as isolating the biceps in a biceps curl, it is easier to use dumbbells or barbells.
In calisthenics, there is more learning effort to properly perform the movements than there is in weightlifting. This might hinder a bit your muscle building efforts.
Weightlifting and calisthenics have both their advantages and disadvantages over each other. Therefore, calisthenics is not superior to weightlifting nor the other way around. I highly recommend you to choose both, weight training and calisthenics to reap the advantages of both practices! No matter how you choose, to train as long as you are willing to dedicate the work to it, you will get closer and closer to your fitness goals. If you want to do both practices to enjoy all the benefits, then follow our Instagram account where we post daily high-quality about weight training and calisthenics. As always, work hard towards your goals and be consistent!