Starting Calisthenics is very daunting, especially for someone who has never exercised before or if you only do easy, low-impact type classes like Yoga and Pilates. And searching around on YouTube doesn’t help as you will end up seeing ripped young men defying the laws of gravity, which will make you hide back further in your corner.
A Strength Pilates mat class is a hybrid class designed to build strength using Pilates and bodyweight exercises. It gradually progresses the attendees from building a good foundation in fitness using Pilates to developing more strength with Calisthenics training.
Before we see how Calisthenics training and Pilates method blend well, we will first look at them individually.
Common obstacles for beginners in starting Calisthenics
Though Bodyweight training is pretty simple and accessible as you barely need any equipment to do the exercises, most fitness enthusiasts still struggle with common bodyweight movements like push-ups and pull-ups.
Many new students attend our Calisthenics classes who have been doing High-Intensity training for months and still struggle with the standard push-ups on the floor. This is very intriguing if you consider that the push-up exercise is also done in their High-intensity sessions as well.
Here is a list of common struggles that first-timers attending a Bodyweight training class and let’s validate them one by one:
This is actually a very valid concern, especially if you always struggle with gaining the strength to do basic movements like floor push-ups. At our Calisthenics Fundamentals class for beginners, you will be guided with the correct version of the specific exercise that suits your level to be your starting point. So, you are never too weak for the class; you are just doing a different version of the exercise.
It’s either you get inspired, or you get intimidated observing a Calisthenics class. At our Calisthenics gym in Singapore, you will most likely get inspired by looking at the students who are in their 50s and 60s. They come from training in our Pilates classes which guided them safely in building their foundation.
A lot of people will back off when we tell them that it will take years to learn handstands or more than 6 months to get their first pull-up. With almost every aspect of our life sped up from the advancement of technology, people are more impatient to achieve their fitness goals. Unfortunately, unlike computers, our body still contains the same hardware that was built thousands of years back, and it will take time to work on it.
Beginners and even some advanced Calisthenics practitioners can do well if they work a little more in their body awareness. Since Calisthenics is known for its “Reps and Sets” style of training, it will miss the element of refining the move first before doing more.
Pilates practitioners’ struggles in doing Bodyweight training
Pilates is actually Bodyweight training, especially if you are doing mostly Pilates Mat classes. You can read my article to understand more about Bodyweight training here. But it is not very uncommon for a Pilates enthusiast to not like Calisthenics training.
Pilates has a very gentle approach in training; exercises are done with fewer reps and is a very low impact method of workout. That is why it is very good for rehabilitation. But if you want to progress further, the training approach has to change, and every now and then, you can add intensity or volume (repetitions) to your training.
Pilates is a very refined method of training where details are taken into account in very small movements over your entire body. From the position of your toes to how you hold your head up matters in a Pilates session.
You will get stronger doing Pilates, especially in the core area, but the upper body will need more training than just doing only Pilates. Doing just a single pull-up or doing a good push-up on the floor can still be challenging for someone who has been doing Pilates for years.
One of the most common concerns among women. Your muscles will not just pop out like magic as you wake up one morning; it takes time to build muscles, especially for ladies.
Doing bodyweight training will get your muscles toned and leaner, but getting bulky will be very unlikely unless you take some supplements to increase the male hormones in your body.
Why blend Pilates and Calisthenics?
Pilates and Calisthenics training have their own advantages and limitations, which can highly complement each other. This is one of the reasons why we started mixing them together in our Pilates studio.
Pilates to start your fitness routine
Pilates is an excellent approach to building a foundation for those starting their fitness journey, especially for older adults who are stuck in front of the computer desks for a few decades already.
This situation actually does not begin when you start working in the office, but from when you started to sit down in school for more than 6 hours a day. Your body has slowly lost its capacity to move.
Pilates training works very well in improving your body awareness, overall strength, and flexibility; thus, it is a safe place to start getting fit again. You can read my article on how a beginner should approach Pilates training to learn it faster.
Calisthenics training to stimulate your body further
Once you have built enough foundation in your fitness in Pilates training, Calisthenics will develop your strength further, so you have more capacity to move your body freely.
Strength training in Pilates class
Our Strength Pilates mat class is a blend of Pilates and Calisthenics training. It makes it very suitable for beginners who are just getting started or Pilates practitioners who plan to advance their work in Calisthenics training.
If you want to try our classes, we offer a 3 session introductory package. Hope to see you in the studio soon.