Have you been training for a few months or years and still haven't seen any results? Are you bouncing in and out of your fitness routine due to recurring injuries? Or are you just getting started and want to make sure your Calisthenics journey goes as smoothly as possible?
If you have answered “yes” to at least one of the questions above, then this post will be useful for you.
What is Calisthenics and why do we do it?
Calisthenics is a method of strength training that mostly utilizes our own weight to get stronger. We do it because this type of training is very effective and produces fast results – even better than the traditional gym training session! Then there's the fact that it is also very enjoyable, which is always a welcome bonus.
Here is my blog on "The 7 Undeniable Benefits of Calisthenics Training!" to read more about it.
As with any other training program, there are simple guidelines that we need to follow to benefit more from Calisthenics training. Failing to follow these guidelines will slow down your progress or, worse, get you injured. You will end up sitting at home watching TV instead of enjoying your training session with your buddies at your favorite gym. This can be very demotivating and can be one reason someone will quit their workout routine.
Signs to look out for
Before the problem gets worse, you want to make sure you address them right away. One of the best ways to do this is to listen to your body and be aware of how it is doing. Noticing these subtle signals is essential in optimizing your training's benefits and avoiding injuries in the future.
That being said, here are the warning signs that you should look out for:
1. You're not getting any stronger
If you train your body, it should naturally show some progress over time. The improvement may vary between individuals, but a good rule of thumb is that if you are doing a routine regularly for 6 weeks and you are not getting any signs of progress in your strength, then you should closely re-examine your program.
2. You're getting sick more often
Every time you work out, you challenge your immune system's capacity to protect your body from stress. Over time, your body's system will get better at coping with these challenges, but it could fail if you push it too hard.
3. You keep getting injuries
This includes pain on the wrist, elbows, shoulders back, and etc. Minor soreness and discomfort are common in training, but take note of whether it appears regularly or lasts longer than you think it should.
4. You're not improving in the skill you're working on
Or you're getting worse even though you have been doing it for a while.
Are you experiencing one or more signs from the list above? If that's the case, you may be doing one or more of those mentioned below, so pay more attention.
The 8 common mistakes in Calisthenics training
1. Pushing yourself too hard in every training session
This may sound counter-intuitive, especially if you have gone by the "no pain no gain" fitness motto since forever. It has its uses, but it doesn't work most of the time. In most cases, pushing too hard in every training session will result in injuries or slow progress.
How to avoid this? I recommend limiting it to once a week of hard intensity training. Keep the rest of the training days easy and work on your form. Just keep it at a good pace.
2. Training too frequently
Your body can only handle so much for recovery. If you don't give it a chance to recover properly, it won't be able to deliver what you're asking for. You are likely to run into some painful joints soon.
The frequency of your training sessions should vary, depending on the type of program you are following and the level you're at in your practice. For example, training more than 3 times per week will be too much for a beginner, but 2 times per day for a seasoned athlete will be sufficient.
How to avoid this? If you are just getting started with Calisthenics, twice per week will be a good pace. Slowly increase your weekly sessions as you get better. Listen to your body and rest when needed.
For advanced practitioners, the frequency may vary. If you have been logging your training, this is a good time to check and see which training frequency gives you the best result.
3. Not training enough
In contrast with #2, not doing enough training sessions per week will result in slow to no progress at all. Your body is in continuous learning and adapting state when you're training. As such, you need the right frequency for your body to improve.
How to avoid this? Plan your weekly schedule and commit to it. An excellent way to increase your weekly training sessions is to find a training partner who can hold you accountable to your commitment.
4. Lacking consistency and duration
Good things take time. In this day and age, when everything is fast and immediate, we are beginning to lose that patience needed to achieve goals that really take time. Working with our body is not a short-term commitment, and results will not come quickly.
How to avoid this? Write down your goals and think of the long term. It helps if you understand the fact that you are in this fitness journey for a lifetime. Find an advanced Calisthenics or fitness practitioner and get to know them. It will give you a better understanding of the importance of the length of time involved in the process.
5. Practicing with the wrong exercise form
This is obvious, isn't it? Despite this, advanced practitioners can still make this mistake in their training. You could find yourself in this pitfall when, for example, you are in a rush to finish your sessions, are carried away with the pressure from your training buddies cheering on you to do more repetitions, or you are just not concentrating enough.
Paying attention to your exercise form will engage the right muscles, which means you get stronger faster, learn skills easier, and have a lower risk of injury.
How to avoid this? Be attentive to your practice in your next session. You can also have someone qualified to look at you or take a video of yourself doing the exercises and check on how you can improve your execution.
6. Progressing too fast
Too much, too soon is one of the most common mistakes. This can happen when you're hyped with excitement and fiery motivation, especially if you have just unlocked a new skill. However, achieving your first pull up doesn't mean you can immediately add a lot of it to your training routine.
How to avoid this? Stick with your current program and don't change it. Your current program should give you more results if you stick with it.
7. Not having enough guidance
Yes, Calisthenics can be done on your own without a problem, but this depends on your background and your capacity to assess your own execution and long term planning. You don't have to hire a personal trainer or even attend a group class to get the right guidance. Even a simple online course with proper planning will be enough for you to follow for some time. This will save you lots of time waiting for your progress to come. Sometimes, it will even save you a visit to a physiotherapist clinic to rehabilitate an injury.
How to avoid this? If you are serious, finding a good coach or teacher will mitigate all the common mistakes on this list. It may be pricey at the initial stage, but it will be worth it in the long run. If I am going to go 20 years back, this is one piece of advice I would give myself.
8. Maintaining bad recovery habits
Suppose you are serious about achieving your goals. In that case, you have to restructure your lifestyle holistically to get your desired results.
It is good for you to understand that your gains are not happening during the workout session itself. It is what you eat afterward and how restful your sleep is that will determine how much progress you will make in the long run.
How to avoid this? A healthy and balanced diet with less processed food, as well as good sleeping habits, will complement your training routine and prevent potential injuries due to overtraining.
Get a free e-book - "Beginner's Program for Calisthenics - A Complete 6 weeks step-by-step guide to get you started" as a gift from us!
Questions about common mistakes in Calisthenics?
To better understand the correlation between the signs and the possible mistakes in training, I've put everything in list format below:
Here's how I would summarize it:
- Listen to what your body is telling you
- Stick to your routine and work hard, but rest when needed
- Prioritize quality of practice over quantity
- Aim to be healthy in general
- When in doubt, ask a good coach or a friend who's been practicing for a long time
I hope you have learned something from my post. If you found these tips helpful, please share this with your family and friends! Do leave a comment, give feedback, or even a smiley in the comment section below – it will certainly make my day.
See you in my next post!