Quitting Weights for Calisthenics

Why I’m Quitting Weights for Calisthenics

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In the world of fitness, there are endless workout options available, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. As a fitness enthusiast, I have spent years exploring different forms of exercise to achieve my fitness goals. Recently, I made the decision to quit weightlifting (for now) and focus solely on calisthenics.

Calisthenics, which consists of bodyweight exercises that target functional strength and mobility, has been gaining popularity in recent years.

In this article, I will share the reasons behind my decision to switch from weightlifting to calisthenics and explore the benefits of this form of exercise compared to traditional weightlifting.

Whether you’re a seasoned weightlifter looking to break up the monotony or a newcomer to the fitness world, this article will provide valuable insights into the world of calisthenics and why it may be a suitable workout option for you.

Reasons for Quitting Weights

Plateaued Progress

After years of weightlifting, I find that my progress has plateaued. No matter how much weight I lift or how many reps I do, I’m not seeing the results I once saw.

Ultimately, over time I have become way too programmed and focused on lifting heavier weights, rather than improving my overall fitness and mobility.

Increased Risk of Injury

reasons for Quitting Weights for Calisthenics

Even with proper training and perfect form, weightlifting can put a lot of stress on the joints and muscles, increasing the risk of injury. For me, it’s not so much that I’m not able to lift more, but physically, I simply don’t feel fitter. If anything, the opposite is true.

My body just feels abused and lacks any sort of appreciable mobility. Sure, I can still knock out a 3×10 set of heavy deadlifts, but ask me to pick a pencil or something of the sort outside the gym and, CREAK! In unison, all of my joints feel achy, sore, and overly tight.

Related Reading: The 5 Best Muscle Stimulators For Muscle Growth And Recovery

As I grow older, I realized that my weightlifting routine was not sustainable and that recovery was taking longer. I wanted to find a workout that would improve my overall health and fitness without putting unnecessary strain on my body.

Monotonous Routine

Weightlifting can be a monotonous routine that can become boring and repetitive after a while. I found myself dreading my workouts and lacking the motivation to hit the gym. I wanted a workout that was more dynamic and engaging, one that would keep me excited and motivated.

Benefits of Calisthenics

Improved Functional Strength and Mobility

weights vs Calisthenics

One of the key benefits of calisthenics is its focus on functional strength and mobility. Unlike weightlifting, which primarily targets isolated muscle groups, calisthenics exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, mimicking movements that are used in everyday life. This builds overall strength and improves mobility and flexibility, which can help prevent injuries and improve overall physical performance.

For example, exercises like pull-ups and push-ups require a wide range of motion that can improve shoulder mobility, while squats and lunges can improve hip mobility and range of motion. By incorporating calisthenics into your workout routine, you can develop a well-rounded fitness foundation that will benefit you both in and out of the gym.

Minimal Equipment

Another advantage of calisthenics is that it requires minimal equipment. You don’t need an expensive gym membership or a home gym setup to do calisthenics exercises. All you need is your body weight and some open space. This makes calisthenics a convenient and accessible workout option that can be done anywhere, anytime.

Related Reading: Home Workout Equipment To Keep You Ultra Fit

Variety of Exercises

Calisthenics offers a wide variety of exercises that can be modified to suit any fitness level. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced fitness enthusiast, there are calisthenics exercises that can challenge and improve your fitness level. From basic bodyweight movements like squats and lunges to more advanced exercises like handstands and muscle-ups, calisthenics provides endless options for a diverse and engaging workout routine.

According to personal trainer, Rachael Schultz, “Calisthenics can help build functional strength, which is important for everyday movements like carrying groceries or lifting a child. These exercises mimic movements we do in everyday life, making them a great option for overall fitness and injury prevention.”

Mind-Body Connection

Finally, calisthenics can help improve your mind-body connection. Since you are using your own body weight to perform the exercises, you need to focus on your movements and engage your mind to achieve proper form and technique. This can help you develop a better awareness of your body and improve your overall fitness level.


Truthfully, I’ll never quit lifting weights completely for calisthenics, but it will be my new approach to fitness for the foreseeable future. It simply offers a unique set of benefits that cannot be ignored. From convenience to injury prevention to improved mobility and mind-body connection, calisthenics is a great option for anyone looking to get in shape and improve their overall health and fitness. So, if you’re looking to switch up your workout routine, consider giving calisthenics a try.


  1. Can calisthenics build muscle? Yes, calisthenics can build muscle, especially if you increase the intensity and incorporate progressions in your exercises.
  2. Do I need equipment for calisthenics? No, you can perform calisthenics using your own body weight and minimal equipment, such as resistance bands or a pull-up bar.
  3. Is calisthenics better than weightlifting? It depends on your fitness goals and personal preferences. Both forms of exercise have their advantages and disadvantages.
  4. Can calisthenics help with weight loss? Yes, calisthenics can help with weight loss by burning calories and building lean muscle mass.
  5. How often should I do calisthenics? It depends on your fitness level and goals. Aim for at least three to four times a week for optimal results.

How-to: Transition from lifting weights to doing calisthenics full-time

Steps to quitting weights for calisthenics.

  1. Set Your Goals

    Before starting any new fitness routine, it’s important to have clear goals in mind. Do you want to build strength, improve flexibility, or increase endurance? Having specific goals will help you stay motivated and track your progress.

  2. Start With The Basics

    Calisthenics exercises can be challenging, especially if you’re used to lifting weights. It’s important to start with the basics and gradually increase the difficulty of your workouts. Begin with exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges, and focus on mastering proper form and technique.

  3. Incorporate Progressions

    Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can start incorporating progressions to make your workouts more challenging. For example, you can progress from push-ups to diamond push-ups, or from squats to pistol squats.

  4. Create A Routine

    To get the most out of your calisthenics workouts, it’s important to create a routine that includes a variety of exercises and targets different muscle groups. Aim for a balanced routine that includes upper body, lower body, and core exercises.

  5. Track Your Progress

    Tracking your progress is essential for staying motivated and reaching your goals. Keep a record of your workouts and track your progress over time with a workout journal or App. Celebrate your successes and use your setbacks as motivation to keep pushing forward.

  6. Be Patient and Persistent

    Transitioning from lifting weights to doing calisthenics full-time takes time and patience. Be persistent and consistent with your workouts, and don’t get discouraged if progress seems slow. With dedication and hard work, you’ll see results.

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