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Why You Are NOT Building Muscle With Calisthenics

Further your knowledge. Improve your body.

Why you are not building muscle with calisthenics? Is this even true?

When it comes to getting stronger and bigger, training hard and consistently is what will work. No way around it. But there are many different types of training that a person can do. The most common and thought of is bodybuilding and another one is calisthenics.

Bodybuilding is more traditional, but does that mean it works better for most people? Why you are not building muscle with calisthenics? That is what Daniel Vadnal and Dr Mike Israetel talked about in a podcast recently.

Daniel Vadnal is an international calisthenic expert with decades of experience. In his YouTube channel titled FitnessFAQs, he talks mostly about bodyweight exercises, but also bodybuilding, and usually he has experts in the fitness industry to talk about anything and everything.

Dr Mike Israetel has a PhD in Sport Physiology and is the co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, a YouTube channel focused on hypertrophy. He is the person many bodybuilders turn to when it comes to anything related to building muscle.

The two experts on both sides of the industry talked about why you are not building muscle with calisthenics.

bodybuilder shows off back muscles

If you don’t know what calisthenics is, here is an explanation in simple terms: bodyweight exercises. That’s it. Calisthenics is a form of strength training that needs no or minimal equipment, such as a bar to do pull-ups, and uses your own body weight as resistance to get stronger and more athletic.

Related: Should You Transition to Calisthenics?

Why You Are NOT building muscle with Calisthenics

First of all, the title is very misleading. “Why you are not building muscle with calisthenics.” How can someone who built his entire fitness career around calisthenics talk negatively about it and say people are not building muscle with it?

Truth is, if you are doing calisthenics, you are building muscle. What Israetel and Vadnal talk more in this lengthy podcast is about ways to incorporate hypertrophy training with calisthenics to get the best of both worlds, something a majority of people sadly don’t do.

why you are not building muscle with calisthenics

Their conversation is incredibly elucidating for anyone, especially if you are a beginner. Israetel talks about the differences between training for size and for strength, how technique is more important than load when it comes to building muscle, how to find the best exercises for you, and much more.

In a previous article that we wrote, one of the cons of doing calisthenics was exactly bulking, as there are better and easier ways to accomplish that. However, the pros outweigh the cons and you should definitely try it. Don’t think of only squats, push-ups, and crunches as calisthenics movements, but also L-sit, muscle-up, and the human flag.

So, why you are not building muscle with calisthenics? You are, but you could be getting so much more accomplished in the same amount of time if you combine calisthenics with strength training.

Click on the video below to see both Israetel and Vadnal talking about the subject.

VIDEO – Why You Are NOT building muscle with Calisthenics

Timestamps of the video above:

00:42 – Differences in muscle vs strength training?

4:26 – Do naturals have to get stronger?

9:06 – Best technique for hypertrophy

13:23 – Finding most effective exercises

19:32 – When to switch things up?

26:33 – Failure training explained

37:15 – How much volume is enough?

45:56 – Mindset of a winner

50:31 – Bodyfat – bulking and cutting

1:01:22 – Free weights vs machines

1:10:45 – Stop dogmatic thinking

1:13:26 – Troubleshooting lack of progress

1:18:22 – Bringing up lagging body parts

1:20:37 – Healthy body image

Now that you know the controversy and conversation surrounding why you are not building muscle with calisthenics, maybe you want to increase your knowledge and progress further into your fitness journey.

Check out this curated list of links that you might find useful from BOXROX.

The Science Behind Light vs Heavy Weights for Muscle Growth

100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days – What Happens to Your Body?

5 Methods To Force Muscle Growth

Do This Bodyweight Test to Know Your Strength Level

How To Perform Reps for More Muscle Growth

The Ultimate Muscle Building Guide

8 Gym Hacks to Speed Up Muscle Growth

How Long Should You Rest Between Sets? Hypertrophy, Strength and Power Guide

How to Build a Bigger Chest at Home in 30 Days

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