If you’re looking to burn calories and lose weight, callisthenics might be the best way to achieve those goals.
It is a form of strength training that involves a lot of movement, much more, in fact, compared to many other forms of workouts. Since it requires more movement, gym-goers use up a greater amount of energy, leading to faster burning of body fat.
While callisthenics is a bit different from other workouts, it incorporates many of the same exercises, such as body weight exercises, strength training, etc. That is why many people are often confused about whether they can get better results by taking steroids, as is possible in the case of some other types of workouts.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing whether you should take steroids when doing callisthenics and how effective they might be.
Table of Contents
How Do Steroids Work?
Steroids function by mimicking the role of the primary male hormone, testosterone, in the body. When taken while undergoing resistance training, they cause muscle mass to grow and expand, causing your body to bulk up.
The majority of steroids are developed to help you build muscle, which is why they are most popular among bodybuilders. And they can remain in the body for a few days or as long as a year.
Why Is Steroid Use So Popular Among Athletes?
Steroids are used by most athletes in many sports, but they are especially popular among bodybuilders for muscle development. One of the reasons athletes choose anabolic steroids can help increase the recovery rate, allowing for harder and longer training sessions.
They do this by regulating cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. Cortisol can lead to a loss of muscle tissue and increase the time required for the body to recover after workouts. When you take steroids, the cortisol produced, when the body is under stress, is regulated.
This helps reduce the time the body requires to heal and recover from muscular trauma or injuries, leading to increased stamina.
Additionally, anabolic steroids can help decrease body fat by increasing the metabolic rate. Some scientists also believe that steroids can help oxidise fat, a process known as lipid oxidation. And when fat is oxidised, it generates energy as fatty acids get utilised.
Another effect, or more accurately, a side-effect of using steroids, is an increase in testosterone levels. This happens because steroids are generally synthetic forms of this male hormone. The body needs testosterone to build muscle, and in some instances, an abundance of the hormone will lead to muscle development even without exercise.
Besides that, steroids can improve the rate at which red blood cells are produced in the body. These cells transport oxygen to different body parts, such as the muscles, which can work harder with more oxygen. That is why anabolic steroids are often used by endurance athletes, though it is illegal.
Best Steroids For Callisthenics (Alternatives)
Using steroids for callisthenics is not advisable, but there are a few products that you can use to get the same results without any side effects. These products can be used when doing bodyweight exercises, mobility exercises, endurance training, and even full-body workouts.
For instance, you can include the Bulking Stack from Crazybulk in your workout routine to build muscles quickly. This stack includes four steroid alternatives that are completely safe and can help accelerate muscle growth, increase strength, and speed up recovery.
Another excellent option is the Cutting Stack, which is great for callisthenics since it can help you get a lean and ripped body. It can be used when undergoing weight training since it can eliminate fat without leading to a loss of lean muscle. At the same time, the formula can help increase strength and energy levels without any negative effects.
Finally, there is the Ultimate Stack, which has been developed to help you get the perfect physique for almost any type of sporting or bodybuilding requirement. This stack includes six compounds that work together to increase strength, stamina, and energy.
Should You Take Steroids While Doing Calisthenics?
Callisthenics has a few advantages when compared to many other forms of exercise. It does not require any equipment, targets each muscle of the body, and is not as hard on the tissues or joints.
Despite that, many people wish to go one step further in their training and often rely on strength-enhancing chemicals, like steroids, to boost their performance. However, as far as callisthenics is concerned, it is not a good idea to rely on steroids when training.
Steroids generally accelerate the development of dense muscles, and anabolic steroids can be indispensable for bodybuilding. However, for callisthenics, they may not be as beneficial because it does not provide enough resistance for the muscles to grow and expand when you take steroids.
Why Steroids Should Not Be Used When Doing Callisthenics
The primary purpose of callisthenics is to help you gain muscle mass, improve endurance levels, and increase strength. Taking steroids while doing callisthenics can help increase the strength-to-weight ratio but will reduce your stamina and flexibility.
This, in turn, will adversely affect your agility and range of motion, which are required in many of the forms used in callisthenics. Similarly, there is more to callisthenics than just bulking up, and exercises like street workouts require a lean physique.
Another thing you should know is that callisthenics often requires performing moves on bars that are situated high up. Athletes often need to perform push-ups, pull-ups, jumps, and other bodyweight exercises on such bars. These require a great deal of physical strength, which steroids can provide, but they will also lead to bulkier muscles, which can be a hindrance.
Additionally, there is the fact that steroids can lead to various unwanted side effects, such as fluid buildup, memory problems, weight gain, stomach upset, mood swings, etc. Because of these side effects and other health risks, relying on steroids when doing callisthenics is not a good idea.
Finally, using steroids to build muscle mass, enhance endurance, or increase strength is not allowed in most competing events. And many organisations have banned the use of steroids for athletes.
Building Muscle With Calisthenics
Callisthenics can help you build muscle, but this requires having a certain level of resistance in the body. This is because resistance acts in the same way weights do when you undergo weight training.
Keep in mind that using callisthenics for muscle building is more suitable for people who have a long-term approach rather than for those who want quick results. In this form of training, progressions are very important, and you can gradually increase the stress level and difficulty of exercises for longer periods.
It is crucial to perform only those exercises your body can handle. As you get comfortable with a particular exercise, the difficulty level can be increased. But this requires a lot of time, so athletes who need to bulk up quickly may not find this method the best.
Other Methods To Improve Performance
Many athletes do not rely on steroids and use other techniques to remain in top form, such as:
1. Performing Body Weight Exercises
Callisthenics allows you to build strength using your body weight as resistance. And such training can be further intensified by performing an L-sit pull-up or push-ups.
2. Weight Training
3. Mobility Exercises
As mentioned before, callisthenics requires a lot of flexibility and performing mobility exercises is the best way to achieve that. So, make sure to include exercises like dynamic stretches in your workout routine to keep the entire body extremely flexible.
4. Endurance Training
Callisthenics athletes require a lot of endurance since they need to move from one exercise to another quickly without taking breaks. Undergoing endurance training is the most effective way to build up stamina and train harder without getting exhausted quickly.
5. Full-Body Workouts
With callisthenics, it is possible to incorporate several types of exercises into a single routine. Different workouts provide varying benefits, such as improved agility, enhanced strength, greater stamina, etc.
Since steroids are mainly meant to help build bigger muscles, it can be said that taking them for callisthenics would be a counterproductive approach. Callisthenics requires a lean, agile body that can only be achieved through a regular training regime.
That said, there are a few alternatives, such as the ones mentioned in this guide, that may be helpful in achieving such goals. However, before starting to use workout supplements with your callisthenics routine, it is strongly advised to consult a certified trainer.
A professional trainer can suggest the best ways of using supplements to enhance your workouts and even share other tips that can make your callisthenics training more effective.
Founder of www.calisthenics-101.co.uk. Training calisthenics since 2012.
Currently working on: 30 second one-arm handstand, muscle-up 360, straddle planche.