Building Massive Muscles with Calisthenics: Can It Happen or Are They Lying to You Again

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image by: https://pixabay.com/en/users/Comfreak-51581/

The calisthenics epidemic is reaching global proportions. More and more people are gathering at specially equipped playgrounds to do push-ups and flex their muscles for strangers walking in the park. Some of the guys are big. Very big. Many are muscular enough to pass for MIT (Men in Thongs a.k.a. bodybuilders).

Bodyweight kings give a lot of hope to the naive crowd wrongfully convinced that steroids exist only in the gym. For some illogical reason, people think that individuals who train with bodyweight exercises are always natural because the “excess bulk” would slow them down and prohibit the development of more advanced moves. Only an individual whose steroid knowledge is limited to urban legends would fall for this baloney.

Here’s how the world really works: big bodyweight brahs pin their glutes with synthetic hormones just as hard as the gym rats.


Don’t believe me? Get ready for a quick history lesson.

Once Upon a Time Gymnasts Were Small

Photos and videos from the past reveal that gymnasts have not always been the gigantic gorilla-like creatures that we see in the muscle media today. In fact, most of them were rather small and average. Look at the video below if you don’t believe me.

This clip is from 1938. The gymnasts in the video don’t look like the mass monsters part of the modern bodyweight/bar community. There are more vintage clips and photos that show the exact same thing – lack of mass compared to today. What’s the reason for the size difference? Has anything changed since then?

Training

You don’t have to be a gymnast or a rocket scientist to guess that gymnastic training has evolved tremendously. But is this really enough to explain the growth that we see today? I don’t think so. The athletes from the video above are doing advanced movements on the rings such as the iron cross. The execution is not super clean but more than adequate to count.

Furthermore, the evolution of gymnastic training is focused towards skill development – not mass. This is not bodybuilding. You don’t get extra points for nice biceps. In other words, hypertrophy is not the mission of the coach. The goal is to build a guy who can do the gymnastic stuff correctly. Therefore, the training techniques are oriented towards skill improvement rather than mass increase.

Truth be told, most street workout athletes can’t even do the advanced moves. In most cases, the guys perform pull-ups, push-ups, dips, handstands, front lever, muscle-ups and some planches. Those are difficult exercises but not nearly as difficult as an iron cross or a maltese on the rings. And yet some of the street workout legends are twice the size of old-school gymnasts. I don’t think training is the reason.

Nutrition

As far as I know, a protein is still a protein. Nothing fundamental has changed in the world of nutrition. If anything, one could argue that today the average humanoid eats worse food than before. We live in the era of McDonald’s and the like. That’s why attributing the new age growth to Earth-shattering breakthroughs in the field of nutrition is illogical.

Moreover, there are guys like Hannibal For King who take great pride in eating junk food.

Supplements

One thing is certain in this life – a protein shake before bed is not going to take you to 195lbs @ 5% body fat.

A man has to be very gullible to trust the labels carefully designed by the marketing monkeys working for supplement companies.

Higher Testosterone Levels?

According to the scientific community, the testosterone levels of modern men are lower in comparison to previous generations. In other words, your grandfather had way more testosterone than you.

Studies say that during the last two decades testosterone’s shares have been falling by 1% every year.  If this trend continues, men will soon be born with inverted dicks.

Why is that? What’s the reason for the drop?

There are many factors – food, lifestyle, social pressure. I am not a scientist, but in my humble opinion, the number one reason is the slave world we live in. You can’t be a man anymore.

With the rise of new technologies and feminism, men and women have been sort of equalized.
I’ve worked many office jobs over the years. I spent 8 years in a department made of 1 man and 8 women. According to some, a similar experience should raise your testosterone levels because there’s a constant sexual stimulation, but that’s not true when the women next to you are hardcore anti-boner material. But even if they were models, sooner or later, the estrogen ocean around you will attack your soul.

My co-workers used to get on my nerves every single day. I hated their irrational thinking. I hated their mood swings. I hated their slow pace. But before all, I hated their inability to see how ineffective, bitchy and naive they were.

Many employers prefer to hire a larger percentage of females because women are willing to work for less, don’t cause as many problems (oversensitivity and fear) and have a stronger desire to please. Thus, the male population in offices is often kept low.

The madness does not end here. The modern emasculation is larger than life and can be seen everywhere.

Many movies have been promoting the man-child model for a really long time. In most American sitcoms, there’s always a guy who behaves like a teenager even though he is 30 or older. A popular example that comes to mind is the Big Bang Theory. Most of the guys there are men-children, aren’t they? Those guys are supposed to be elite scientists, and yet they seem scared of everything. Their women are the ones pulling the strings.

Furthermore, in many “romantic” movies men are presented as imperfect creatures that should do everything to earn the love of a woman and please her.

This creates a sense of unworthiness in males.

You are never good enough.
Your dick is not big enough.
Your salary is too small.
Your biceps are too small.
You don’t last as long as the porn actors and have to enhance yourself with Viagra.
Women can now get pregnant in a lab, and therefore, you are almost useless.

The list goes on…

Many years ago, I watched a movie called Roger Dodger. During the intro, a guy explained why males will soon be degraded to sperm donors. It’s happening.

Another reason for the low testosterone levels among men is the rise of the average body fat percentage. Currently, it’s quite acceptable to be 20% body fat. Actually, 20% body fat is on the low side. Seeing a man over 25 years of age who doesn’t have a beer gut is becoming a rarity.

Why is that bad? Simple: fat loves estrogen. The fatter you are; the more estrogen loves you. This is why bulking ala Rippetoe is a big no-no. Milk coupled with extra body fat turns you into a lactating cow carrying an estrogen bomb inside.

Why am I telling you all of this?

Simple: Testosterone is numero uno when it comes to growth and strength. Test is the motherfucker in charge of your muscular growth. Deadlifts can’t beat it. Squats can’t beat it. Barbell rows can’t beat it. Leg presses can’t beat it. Front levers can’t beat it. Planche push-ups can’t beat it. Food can’t beat it. Testosterone is the KING. It holds the future of your growth in its hands.

The drop of testosterone levels in males today suggests that we should be smaller – not bigger. And yet there are many “natural brahs” who are way larger than the guys from the past.

How is that possible? I already told you. It’s neither training nor nutrition – it’s steroids.
Steroids raise your testosterone levels to record highs. They make you a superman compared to the average person. Consequently, guys on steroids surpass their natural potential by a large margin.

The Truth

As always, the truth has been right in front of you the whole time.

The biggest guys in street workout/calisthenics/bodyweight training are not natural. Many are taking steroids.

As anticipated, the naive brahs refuse to accept this truth. They want to believe in the “purity of bodyweight” training. Those poor souls are convinced that steroids and similar “cheat tactics” are saved for “narcissistic” bodybuilders and fitness models.

People will be people. We may do different things, but at the end of the day, our goals are exceptionally similar. For example, there are endless amounts of businesses in the world, but all of them have the same aim – money, freedom, glory, growth.

The world of muscle is no different. Bodyweight training is just another way to generate muscle. Nobody starts training because push-ups are cool. People are after the looks. Skills and strength are secondary. That’s why we shouldn’t act surprised when we learn that there are bodyweight brothers who pin their glutes in order to get stronger and more muscular. After all, bodyweight training is just another business meant to generate muscle, sex appeal, and money.

They aren’t all big.

The majority of the kids in the bar community are small and 100% natural unless you count the hormones contained in modern food (most of it is estrogen anyway). Very few of the bar athletes are big. I would even go as far as saying that most look like malnourished ectomorphs holding a strong grudge against leg training.

This is why I often advise desperate naturals to try bar training. You are less likely to go into severe depression and jump out of the window.

Vanity, Marketing, Social media whoring

You don’t have to be big to do bodyweight stunts. In fact, it’s detrimental. Every extra gram equals more weight that has to be lifted. That’s why there are plenty of fragile looking teens who can do some crazy stuff on the bars. Their muscles have adapted to the stress of bodyweight training.

The question is, why are so many calisthenics guys that big? Vanity and marketing.

The bodyweight stunts look cool, but they don’t attract as many people as the ripped muscular physiques.

What’s more impressive? A skinny fat guy doing 10 muscle-ups or a shredded mofo doing 1 muscle-up

Exactly. In order to attract a crowd, you don’t have to be the best. People are not attracted by your skills. They are interested in your personality and looks. There are many examples of champions who are boring and not loved despite being great at their respective sport. At the same time, there are average players who market themselves perfectly and build their personal brand.

For example, there are amateur gymnasts who can do more advanced stuff than people like Lazar Novovic, Hannibal For King, Fortress, Zef…etc. And yet the gymnasts don’t have a large following. The reason is not a lack of skills, but poor marketing.

I know a guy who started gymnastics at a relatively old age – 16 years old. Currently, he is 30 years old and can do exceptionally advanced moves on the rings. Why isn’t he famous? He hasn’t built his brand. He hasn’t created the Hollywood illusion that people lust after.

So, how do you build your brand? How do you become a social media slut?

You spam the hell out of people with images of yourself sharpened in Photoshop. This is the eye candy that will captivate the attention of the crowd. However, that’s not enough to create the perfect illusion. The perfect illusion is complete only when people believe that they can have the same thing one day. Only then people will listen to the piper.

P.S. Instagram motivation helps a lot.

Let’s look at some bar stars and think.

source: YouTube.com

source: YouTube.com

Lazar Novovic – a very famous man in the world bodyweight training. Legend has it that the guy got huge by doing push-ups, pull-ups and dips. According to one of his transformation videos, he is about 6’1” @ 194lbs {huge numbers} and has body fat in the single digits. Hmm… Those stats are exceptionally similar to the ones of Jeff Seid – a guy accused of being a questionable natty by many.

Lazar technically fits in the guide for natties (barely), but that doesn’t mean he is natural. There are people who are smaller than him and juice their brains out. Not to mention that he is pretty young for a muscled hero and is already at the limits.

One thing is certain – he has an exceptional muscle quality that many bar athletes capable of the exact same stuff or even more don’t possess.

One example would be Tazio Biondo. This man can do one arm pull-ups for days, and yet he doesn’t look nearly as built as Lazar, Hannibal for King, Adam Raw, Juice BeastMode or other Gods of the Bars. Why is that? Some will say that he doesn’t follow a proper muscle building diet. Others will say that he doesn’t have the right genetics. Both of these statements could be partially right. Some guys don’t have the genetics to build massive muscles. However, very often genetics is used as a cover-up hiding shadow pinning.

Bottom line: Many of you will do 1000s of push-ups, dips and pull-ups without ever getting close to the muscular development of Hannibal or Lazar. End of story.

Forgot about Dre  ZYZZ?

Not many realize it, but Aziz Shavershian /better known as Zyzz/ had stats similar to those of Adam Raw, Lazar Novovic and other bar stars. He was about 6’1″ and fluctuating between 190 – 210lbs. The man was open about his steroid use and didn’t play the natural card.

zyzz

Of course, many will say that Zyzz had to use drugs because of his wild party lifestyle. They will try to convince you that you can look like Zyzz naturally if you go to bed at the right time and eat your vegetables. That’s a fairy tale for the naive.

I don’t care how many hours you sleep. I don’t care what you eat. There is a threshold that cannot be overcome with protein powder and power naps.

Try it if you don’t believe me. Sleep, train hard and eat right. You can also be a sweet brah a.k.a. vegan. Call me when you transform from an ectomorph into a 200lbs shredded muscle monster.

Also, keep in mind that most of the big guys in street workout aside from Hannibal are pretty young – under 25-26. In other words, they got to that level in a few years of training. Can you imagine how big they will be in 5 years? Phil Heath, you better get ready.

Hannibal For King

Oh, man. This guy comes with some gold. He has/had an obvious gynecomastia. There are videos in which his nipples look ready to lactate. I understand that gyno does not equal steroid use by default, but when you are close to 40, it’s a little hard to explain it with puberty, isn’t it?

Moreover, Hannibal has said many times that he eats junk food very often, and yet he is super lean 24/7.  He is close to 5-7% body fat – a state that is very hard to reach and maintain if you are an average dude.

In the video below, Hannibal For King has a blatant gynecomastia. Both of his nipples display that condition. To see it, go to 3:27.

In case the video is deleted from YouTube or you can’t play it due to technical reasons, here’s a snapshot.

Is Hannibal For King On Steroids?

Adam Raw

Adam Raw is a huge guy – 6’1″/185 cm @ 209 lbs/95 kg @ 7-10% body fat. Those stats are monstrous.

Can you imagine what would happen if he suddenly starts taking roids and train like a bodybuilder? Big Ramy 2? Haha.

Adam-Raw-PullUp

via: http://www.rooshvforum.com

Convincing People Is a Waste of Time

Convincing people is a major waste of time for the most part. The more you try to persuade someone, the more he pushes you back. It’s a self-preservation mechanism. People want to protect their beliefs more than anything. They don’t want to change their personal worlds. It hurts too much.

That’s why I no longer argue with too much passion. To me, the image is pretty clear.

Besides, I have found out that the best way to convince people is to let them crash. Only when the pupils have done all the push-ups and pull-ups, they will learn that getting to 190-200lbs of shredded muscle is not a walk in the park. Nothing convinces as well as personal experience.

Q: Should I give up if they are not natural?

Not at all. Bodyweight training is great for the upper body and the core. You can develop exceptional upper body strength naturally with the help of a bodyweight program although limiting yourself to just bodyweight stuff is not needed.

Don’t give up. Just adjust your expectations and move on.

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61 comments

    1. fucboi

      I think I need to revamp my question. What are your thoughts on Chris Heria’s body-Can it be achieved with calisthenics only/is it a good representation on what training mainly calisthenics will do for muscle growth?

      1. Truth Seeker Post author

        He doesn’t look like the biggest guy out there, but only he knows whether he is natural. You can definetely reach your upper body potential with bodyweight exercises if you do difficult variations or add weight.

        1. fucboi

          Thanks for the responses.

          In other news, this article was levels ahead of previous ones. I can’t specify what made it so good, but the flow, word choices…everything is damn fine and makes reading a breeze and more fun than ever.

    2. Truth Seeker Post author

      Possible on paper, but in reality…genetics and stuff count a lot here. There are people who can get close or even surpass this guy a little.

  1. TheBicepsFLEXKilla

    At the long last. I love your posts man, this is the only blog I check everyday for a new article. You are a true eye opener keep up the good work.

  2. Bane

    What i don’t understand is that most of the naturals who believe that these mofos are also natural , look like SHIT after years of training and yet AGAIN they want to believe ! How stupid can you be ???

    1. Truth Speaker

      It’s because they’re not training right so as a result they don’t look like…

      Wait they are?
      Okay then their genetics are ba…

      You say their genetics are fine?
      Well whatever it is, they’re natural and you’re just a hater so fuck off…

      Steroids are the new natural… I mean natural is the new steroids… I don’t even know I’m gone.

  3. Mo

    What are your thoughts on the muscle size of Olympic ring specialists like Chen Yibing and Arthur Zanetti? People like to point out that they do the most difficult things possible on rings and are very short. Do you think their size is actually the result of this?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Ring training definetely builds your upper body, but when we are talking about pros…you never know.

      1. Rodney

        Doubting? Really

        One guys is Five Three and 126 lbs and the other is five one and 135 lbs but you’re saying they are juicing…. Real “mass monster” If you stood next to him you’d say he is rather small. Face it some guys are big and muscular some guys aren’t. You started by posting some videos of Olympic Gymnast from 70 plus years ago and compare them to some aholes on the internet trying to sell you something. You’re using apples to draw conclusions on not even oranges but some alien sifi food in startrek. When some body points out the to Olympic Gymnast you DOUBT the “Mass monsters” who weigh less than the average 17 year old obese teen chick in the United States.

        Oh my…..

  4. Michael

    Oh, man, I love your way of thinking, your writing style. It is precise, filled by facts and clear statements.
    Thank you for your attempt to make world better.
    P.S.: I still can’t get e-mail notifications on updates. Help me please

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      The notifications are working. The problem is that I just don’t send them very often. Thank you for the support.

  5. muji

    This site cannot be accessed in my country, so i have to go to unbloock.com in order to access it. Please fix this. Thanks

      1. muji

        Ah, it’s probably because my laptop was connected with my college wifi that i was unable to access your site directly. Well, keep on writing brother!

      2. ofa

        My phone internet provider blocked your site (XL and Smartfren form Indonesia) I have to reach it via proxy if i open your site from phone.

  6. rottenapple

    Lazar Novovic was maybe natural a few years ago (on older pictures he looks way more natural and smaller), but now his look, BF and muscle mass are insane – guy have a classic PS look
    Funny thing is that he claim to train only calisthenics and to eat only home made food, even without supplements haha which are simply bs lies
    But people are gullible and stupid – just look number of visits on his YT channel, guy is making thousand of dollars only from that thing alone hah

  7. Jason bleha

    rotten apple brah calisthenics is enough to reach max natty limit, supplements don’t do much at all

    Guy pins his flutes and does callisthenics because test is the creator and callisthenics is sufficient stimulus for overall growth

    Article was entertaining, keep it up truth seeker

  8. natty fan

    bodyweight community is so naive about steroids. btw is it okay to train ohp and weighted dips in same session ? tnx

  9. Banter

    I’ve been trying all my life to get the perfect body, even although I know it’s not attainable, I keep trying anyway. It’s like I get fed up with it then I go back to trying it again.

  10. Gregory

    Hey, dude. I always follow up on your articles since it’s taught me a lot about fake natural bodybuilders, but I’d like to ask you a question. Do you know who Mike Matthews is? He has an amazing body and he always posts scientific researchs. Do you think he is natural? I think he is.

  11. Piscontino

    sup, nattyornot…

    what happened to Johnny’s Adventures In The Muscle World series… was fucking hilarious. BTW just red your first two books, really eye opener. Always tune to your post. Keep them coming. Best.

  12. Νick

    First of all a BIG THANK YOU and second of all BRAVO for such a great blog/site . I am a teen (15 years old) and your training advice is SPOT ON also love how you downplay supplements i was almost brainwashed from my idiotic bro-scientist friends to buy them in order to “grow like a weed” yet i didnt and i am bigger than them in a shorter period of time after getting my dips and pull ups to 3×20 and 3×15 respectively instead of spending 2 hours “pumping ’em muscles” . I also do some sprinting for my legs because I play soccer . Albeit I have one question for ya : Can I follow the same training cycle you did to get 41kg weighted pull up to build mine’s too and also can i apply the exact same to dips ?

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thanks for the support. You can follow it but be careful. Yes, I’ve done the same for dips. Watch how your body reacts and change things if you have to.

  13. Νick

    Thanks too for the response ! I may ask 2 dumb follow-up questions but nevertheless: In your weighted 41kg pull ups article you said in one comment that if you wanted fasted results you would have added a little more accessory work and would have trained more frequently can you go into a little bit more detail there and second do i need any direct shoulder work i have read your article regarding shoulders and you said that overhead barbell press is king or are dips and pull ups enough. As of now i do two workouts A & B and workout 3 times a week alternating between A and B e.g. Monday A Wednesday B Friday A Monday (2nd week)B Wednesday A and Friday B in A i do my dips and a little extra tricep work like 1 set of light close grip bench press and in B my pull ups with 1 light set of dumbbell curls What would you change ? Finally thanks for your comment,sorry if i have been starting to irritate you and also sorry for my big posts .
    Btw do you want testimonials ? lol

  14. Νick

    Also a final question regarding diet . I have read your articles (all i think) regarding diet and you say low carb is the fastest way to get ripped . Would you recommend a calorie deficit at that age ? I am not fat probably 11-12 percent, I can see my abs in good lighting and my obliques are always visible but would like to get to 9-10%

  15. Νick

    I think I may have to revamp my final question anyways : would you recommend a calorie deficit ( I want to try out the low carb thing and see how i respond to it ) at 15 years of age ? Thanks in advance

    1. Július

      Yes you can. It is safe to be on a caloric deficit at your age. You want to lower your bodyfat by 1-2% that equal maybe 1-2 kg? Get on a small caloric deficit for about 2 weeks and you are where you want to be. He never said low carb is the fastest way, it is the good way because carbs are not essential for your body. You can lower your carb and fat intake no need to cut just your carbs. By the way the fastest way to lose weight is not eating at all 😀

      1. Nick

        Haha thanks for your time I was thinking about losing 1-2lbs per week so to lose 2 kgs would be 4 weeks (1 month) if my math is correct . I just asked the question because everyone else on youtube (matt ogus,matty fusaro) say that it will interfere with growth . Thanks for your kindness and time anyway

  16. Alim

    I only have one question for you; How do you obtain your virtuoso writing skill like this? is it a gift by default, or do you chisel it everyday?. I have to admit that this is the best ‘Real Truth Site’ on bodybuilding world.
    Regard from Indonesia.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Thanks for the support. My writing skills have improved from writing for nattyornot.com mostly. However, I don’t think I am that special.

  17. andy

    How many Exercise should we need?(the bodybulind guy said that we need more Exercise to hit my chest,it’s ture?)

    Thank You!

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      There is not a set number. You can do 5, but you can also do one. Usually, more than three per body part is not needed.

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      I will tell you what I think. There are guys who have better genetics for this muscle game. I have bad muscle building genetics and know for certain that even though I am the same height as this guy, I will never ever be even 180 lbs in a lean condition. Others, however, may reach 180-190 lbs. Also, I’ve seen guys on steroids who carry less muscle than this guy. What’s the truth? Is he a freak of nature? I don’t know. All I know is that you may do the exact same things he does (planches, one arm pull-ups…etC), but you are still not getting this size if it wasn’t meant to be. In other words, natty or not, this size is not produced by training.

  18. palmac

    Great article as usual. A few points.
    1. Resistance training is resistance training, how its administered doesn’t matter, weather it be bar or dumbbells or body weight, is irrelevant. If the work hits the muscle in adequate doses the job is done!
    2. Pussy men. The PC world is a female movement. Correctness is destroying what it is to be a man, and the white nights out there are letting them do it! Never forget to be a man, because despite the constant male bashing, we males are brilliant and literally created everything there is in the world. Females by comparison have invented NOTHING. Let me repeat that, NOTHING.
    Also females have been having sex with men for millions of years, they want and need our seed, so dont think you need to change a fucking thing. Go pick your ass, fart, leave junk all over the place, be late, look at other girls, watch porn, get drunk, come home late, work on your car, warm your hand down the front of your pants, forget anniversaries, no flowers. Do ALL this, females love it, even it they dont know it. As soon as you dont do things like this you’re in trouble with the opposite sex. Women like men who treat them like a man should. Poorly.

    3. My wife suspected I was banging another women. I let her sweat on it. 6 months later she was skinny and started giving head a again! Never let them think you are a lock.

  19. rottenapple

    Also, one interesting story about Lazar Novovic
    A few years ago, his work was presented to well known Serbian bodybuilding champion in forum discussion (I can provide links to discussion on serbian)
    He said that is quite obvious that guy is on GH and other stuff, and that is full of shit with stories like “only hard work and home made food”
    And guy look even better and bigger today – you do the math
    It’s amusing to watch people who still believe in all his bs

    1. Truth Seeker Post author

      Sounds interesting, but I don’t understand the language. You have to be quite crazy to believe that some muscle-ups and close grip push-ups can make you look like him though 🙂

  20. bhuvanyu sharma

    lazar novovic your stats are wrong he is 6’1 at 180lbs please get it checked he sure is natty and ripped .does’nt look so big to me.

  21. pat mak

    Man,i don’t think this is right! You can’t just accuse someone of taking steroids just cs they look good or 200lbs shredded or whatever…maybe you are not in that position to judge? Have u every tried eating right 6 to 7 meals a day with adequate protein intake and never skipping a day at the gym and working out so hard for a long period of time? I had. I’ve been accused of takin steroids by all my friends and every single person i meet and u know what? it feels good and bad at the same time!feels good cs i know i reached this naturaley with alot of dedication food training and discipline and i feel so proud….But it feels really really bad at the same time cs ur the only one beleiving this and everybody is thinkin “i would look like that if stick a needle in my ass”! Im 21 yrs old 180 cm 83 kg shredded haha i might say now and i think i can be 90 shredded if i keep this up! So please im not saying everybody is clean or so all im saying don’t just assume that….don’t bully on people who you might not be able to reach what they have just because you didnt try or you failed … thats it thanks peace

    1. Dom

      Excellent articles. Thank you and I look forward to a time when most people realise the truth about the fitness and associated industries. At the moment most ‘innocent’ people seem oblivious to what is really going on. I train calisthenic type stuff and never get ‘big’. I have relatively low bodyfat I think and I have definition but I don’t get bigger doing calisthenics. Using weights makes me bigger to an extent; that is add 5 kg or 10 kg max to my bodyweight over a period of time without extra protein or any other supplements but eating more food and increasing weights. Doing calisthenics might define certain muscles a bit more but that could just be because of fat loss as the muscles do not seem to get much bigger, if at all; unlike when using weights and increasing the weight used over time. But then I also stretch (really flexibility training) the muscles while doing calisthenics and this changes the shape and makes muscles look leaner too I think. I also mean extreme type stretching, which ‘we’ call ‘flexibility training’, not the type of stretching I see people in the gym do, for a couple of minutes…For example If my biceps had a workout I would stretch them by putting arms in an arm-bar type position (gently and slowly though) to really stretch them and stretch all parts of arms for about 15 minutes. This wouldn’t work so well for someone with hyper-extended joints though. I also have friends who are very skinny and practice ‘hardcore’ calisthenics all the time and have amazing calisthenics skills and strength. They have been training for many years and have not got bigger. They stayed skinny.

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