Calisthenics Vs. Bodybuilding

Calisthenics Vs. Bodybuilding

If you’re new to bodybuilding or a fitness journey, you might be confused about whether calisthenics or bodybuilding is better. But the truth is, they both work great and depend on the type of body you want to achieve.

Whether you’re looking for a lean physique or a shredded body, it’s up to you to decide as both these training bring out different results.

So, you might have questions like, is calisthenics better for building muscle? Can you get ripped with just calisthenics?

Don’t worry! We’ll answer your questions in this post.

Read on to learn more about these types of bodybuilding to know which works best for you.

Calisthenics Vs. Bodybuilding

Is Calisthenics Better For Building Muscle?

People would agree that weightlifting is effective in building muscle. Is that not the only option? No! These days calisthenics is gaining traction for its impressive results, and of course, you can build muscle with just calisthenics.

Whether it’s resistance or strength training, the goal is to make your muscle stronger and bigger. If you opt for calisthenics training, you don’t have to go to the gym. All you need is a spacious area to exercise using your body’s weight, which includes push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, squats, and lunges.

Though it takes a lot of time and effort to build muscle with calisthenics exercise, you’ll gradually achieve toned muscles and a lean body by performing regularly. Over time, you can also notice improvements in endurance and strength.

However, if you’re training to gain muscle, you have to do it the right way, meaning having a strict diet, getting enough rest, and being consistent.

Of course, weightlifting is an effective workout, but this type of exercise puts tremendous pressure on the joints. So, if you deal with joint aches, calisthenics is your answer. If done right, calisthenics has impressive results and helps you retain mobility. So, with continuous training, you’ll keep gaining strength and muscle.

Can You Be A Bodybuilder With Only Calisthenics?

We know bodybuilders are famously known for lifting heavy weights to bulk up. So you might think that calisthenics may not show desired results like weight lifting, but the truth is, it’s possible!

The difference is that bodybuilding training utilizes various gym equipment and shows results within weeks. On the contrary, calisthenics uses one’s body weight and produces steady results, requiring time and patience.

You don’t have to sign up for a gym membership or rely on heavy equipment to be a bodybuilder. But you’ll need complete dedication and a strict lifestyle to achieve your goals. Moreover, it’s more convenient as you can train anywhere and anytime.

Since calisthenics involves compound exercises, it uses multiple muscle groups in your body that help develop strength and endurance.

You’ll need to put your muscles under tension so that they can break down or tear and rebuild with more mass.

This technique forces your muscles to work harder. So the more you exercise by putting on stress, it enhances growth and strength, allowing you to perform movements with flexibility and stability.

Also, it’s more advantageous, unlike weight lifting, which focuses only on one muscle group each session.

Though dedication is required, ensure that you’re not overdoing it, as rest is essential to restore the muscle.

Aim to train at least 3 to 4 times a week, and in between, you can engage in cardio exercises to keep your body moving. Recharge your body with nutrient-dense foods and protein, and get enough sleep.

Can You Be A Bodybuilder With Only Calisthenics?

Can You Get Ripped With Just Calisthenics?

It’s a yes! You can absolutely get ripped with calisthenics. What’s so great about bodyweight training is that it can help you achieve your dream body, just like traditional exercises does.

But nothing comes easy, so as long as you’re willing to put in the hard work and train consistently, you can achieve it.

As mentioned, you don’t have to go to the gym. You can start with basic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, calf raise, chin-ups, side plank, jump squats, etc. Then, move on to challenging steps like pistol squats, handstand push-ups, frog squats, front and back levers, iron crosses, etc.

Likewise, there are different variations of exercises that you can incorporate with a calisthenics workout routine. With regular training, you’ll not only gain muscle mass but also burn a good amount of calories allowing your body to get ripped.

Calisthenics Vs. Bodybuilding Pros And Cons

So what are the pros and cons of body lifting and weight lifting? Though both these exercises are effective in their own way to help you achieve a great body, they come with advantages and disadvantages.

So, knowing the consequences before starting your journey is best to ensure you’re on the safe path.

Pros And Cons Of Calisthenics


  • You can exercise anywhere, be it the playground, park, or at home
  • Equipment is not necessary
  • A cost-efficient way to stay fit and healthy
  • With a proper diet, you can achieve an impressive body
  • An excellent way to build mobility, stability, and flexibility


  • It can be challenging to develop lower body
  • Patience and hard work are essential as it takes time to show desired results
  • Calisthenics can be challenging for beginners

Pros And Cons Of Bodybuilding


  • It boosts metabolism
  • Bodybuilding helps in improving body posture
  • It helps develop strong muscles
  • Improves bone health
  • An excellent way to build strength and muscle


  • Lifting too much weight can dislocate joints or tear muscles
  • It requires investment
  • It might cause breathing problems

Conclusion – Calisthenics Vs. Bodybuilding

Calisthenics and bodybuilding enable you to achieve your fitness goal efficiently. But it’s up to you to decide which works best for you depending on what type of body you want or the exercise you’re more comfortable with.

Though calisthenics takes more time to produce results than bodybuilding, it still is an excellent way to transform your body or physique and gain overall strength.

Moreover, calisthenics may be a better option if you’re someone with a busy schedule or looking for a cost-efficient way to gain muscle mass.

Jason Shaw is an experienced bodybuilder, gym owner, nutritionist and content creator for many websites. He has competed at a high level and wants to bring that experience in muscle building, fitness and nutrition including supplements to our many readers, whether you're a skinny guy want to build muscle or a seasoned bodybuilder.

Similar Articles


Best SARMs For Bulking

Most Popular