Hardkill

Questions about Fitness and Health?

27 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

3 hours ago, fridjonk said:

It most definitely can. But you must start doing weighted calisthenics with perfect form if you want some decent size. 

Well, if you're referring to exercises like weighted chins and dips, then yeah... They're as effective as barbell exercises. I'm not sure I'd classify them as calisthenics though -- they're in the same category as barbell exercises.

The problem we run into is that a callisthenic-only program is necessarily minimalist, relative to a complete barbell program, and if one were to get very strong on them, they'd likely encounter shoulder impingement and other problems. Doing too much chin relative to row, too much bench press or dip relative to standing overhead press, or not doing enough facepulls -- these 3 things lead to shoulder impingement once a lot of muscle mass has been accrued.

The bare minimum is a push, a pull, and a leg-dominant movement. But this is minimalist and therefore unsafe in the long-term. The most minimalist program that is somewhat safe only consists of 2 movements: standing overhead press (functions as the push) + deadlift (functions both as the pull and the leg-dominant movement) -- adding weighted chin/dip would help though, and if the reason a minimalist approach is chosen has to do with time constraints, the chins and dips can be supersetted -- just use the same weight that you just did on the chins and immediately do a set of dips, and repeat for the planned number of sets, unless doing only 1 set (which, while not optimal, is actually sufficient for novices to gain consistent strength and muscle mass). That's still greatly inferior to a complete program, which pretty much needs to include: squat, deadlift, press, bench (and/or dip), at least one scapular retraction movement (chin and/or row), and (not a main exercise but crucial for shoulder girdle health and deltoid size) facepulls.

Edited by The0Self

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@The0Self What's your obsession with deadlifts, squats, and bench press? ;) I've felt better after I stopped doing them and just focused on calisthenics, one-legged leg exercises, and explosive movements. The trio is definitely good for performance but the normal everyday human doesn't need those loads and injury risk factors because you need to have 100% correct form for it to be worth it in the long run. 

I really like Aaron Alexanders' way of movement and Josh from strength side. The combination of flexibility, mobility, and relative strength for feeling optimally at your best mentally and physically. But I do train with dumbells as well because calisthenics can't hit every muscle as you said, and I find dumbells to be better in every aspect over the barbell personally. 

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Posted (edited)

5 hours ago, fridjonk said:

@The0Self What's your obsession with deadlifts, squats, and bench press? ;) I've felt better after I stopped doing them and just focused on calisthenics, one-legged leg exercises, and explosive movements. The trio is definitely good for performance but the normal everyday human doesn't need those loads and injury risk factors because you need to have 100% correct form for it to be worth it in the long run. 

I really like Aaron Alexanders' way of movement and Josh from strength side. The combination of flexibility, mobility, and relative strength for feeling optimally at your best mentally and physically. But I do train with dumbells as well because calisthenics can't hit every muscle as you said, and I find dumbells to be better in every aspect over the barbell personally. 

Again, as long as you're progressing on at least a push, a pull, and a leg-dominant movement, you're doing alright for general health and fitness. It's only when you want maximal strength, fitness, and muscle mass that each of the following 5 basic movements become minimum requirements for maximizing progress/potential while preventing injury: squat, hip-hinge, vertical press, horizontal press, scapular retraction. They aren't necessary for all purposes.

Periodization is required when fitness is so high that the amount of stimulus required to cause adaptation necessarily requires a workload that also causes one to incur a level of fatigue that makes adaptation impossible. A catch 22. The solution was always thought to be periodization (which does work quite well)... That is... until a recent invention called conjugate ("Max Effort + Repetition Effort / Dynamic Effort + Repetition Effort").

At a certain level of strength (i.e. before 500 lb deadlift), the squat, deadlift, and bench will need to be limited for optimal results; only trained for speed sets and maxes, as (while their stimulus-values are through the roof) their stimulus-to-fatigue ratios are very poor. At this level, periodization can actually be avoided with a particular system called "conjugate" -- it's an adaptable training style that is arguably the most effective training invention as of right now. It involves 1. Maxes, 2. Speed sets (in a specific way that is scientifically proven to involve the highest workload density a particular human is capable of in its training modality), and 3. Hammering the crap out of easy-to-recover-from (high stimulus-to-fatigue ratio) exercises such that by the time you get to the sufficient level of stimulus required to adapt, you've only incurred a tiny, tiny fraction of the fatigue you'd necessarily incur just training the barbell lifts. The speed sets also involve very high stim/fatigue even while using the main barbell lifts, since they use such light loads; usually 3 ultra-fast-as-possible reps followed by 1 min rest for 10 sets, with 50% of that week's 1RM weight + up to 30% in band tension.

The joys of running ingenious systems like that are harder to come by without barbells.

Examples of exercises with high fitness-to-fatigue ratio: hip thrust, good morning, reverse hyper, glute ham raise, close grip floor press, band facepulls, JM press, Pendlay row.

If you get really nerdy and holistic with programming, you can work out some really effective strategies that get you a lot stronger and fitter than most would think is reasonably possible. To get ultra-strong and really push your body to its limit level of fitness, barbells aren't really replaceable. And there's really no way around training with barbells and squatting well over 400 lb if you want bone density 6 standard deviations above the mean -- which would almost certainly mean you won't bite the dust due to the accelerated failing of health caused by being bedridden from a broken hip, like so many elderly people do.

Frankly, it's rather difficult to apply the same level of holism and goals of stratospherically high fitness without the inclusion of barbell exercises, but if that's not what you're after, that's perfectly fine.

Edited by The0Self

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@ilkjnkh It depends on how your body deals with various types of food, so you'll have to try for yourself. However a Whole Food Plant Based Diet is considered the most balanced diet and the healthiest among the balanced ones for the majority of people across the globe. So this diet is an excellent start if you're wondering.

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On 4/9/2021 at 1:59 PM, ilkjnkh said:

@Hardkill I have a question. Whats the best diet ever possible?

There is no best diet out there in the world. If any body tells you that the paleo diet or the keto diet or the Atkins diet or whatever diet they tell you is the best then they are just being too fanatical or too proud about following that specific regimen they follow.

Eat moderate amounts of protein, moderate amounts of healthy fats (with a minimal amount of saturated fat), moderate amount of carbs (with a minimal amount of sugar, only have alcohol occasionally or never at all, don't smoke, eat minimal amounts of processed foods, eat lots free range non-corn fed animal products, eat fish or seafood about 1-2 times a week, eat 7-11 different kinds of fruits and vegetables a day, drink about etc. That's what I follow on a daily and weekly basis.

Also, if you need to lose weight then cut down on your caloric intake by 250-500 calories per week for about 2-4 weeks. If that's still not enough then cut down on your caloric intake by another 250-500 calories per week for about another 2-4 weeks. Keep cutting down by the same number of calories about every 2-4 weeks until you get to your desired level of bodyweight.

Also, make sure that the hormones in your body pertaining to your metabolism such as your thyroid hormones, insulin, etc. are in check because if they aren't functioning normally or adequately then it's going to be extremely difficult if not impossible to make truly significants changes to your bodyweight.

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