The Instigator
vkv
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Kc.Nycolle
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Calisthenics is superior to gym machines and free weight training

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
vkv
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/16/2013 Category: Health
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 14,760 times Debate No: 40667
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

vkv

Pro

Hello this is my first debate in debate.org. As I'm new here, I'm not used to the rules for debating.

I would like to argue that bodyweight training aka calisthenics, gives better results in terms of strength, stamina and endurance, reflex training, muscle mass, lesser injury especially in the joints, when compared to training either with machines in the gym or with free weights.

Basic rules apply.
1.No semantic re-interpretation
2.1st round for acceptance only
3.No trolling and profanity
Kc.Nycolle

Con

Hello and good luck on your first debate. I would like to accept your challenge. And for the memo, I am a relatively new member too. Let us begin.
Debate Round No. 1
vkv

Pro

Bodyweight calisthenics is something which has been with us since ancient times, even before barbells, free weights and machines were invented. Calisthenics is basically the art of using one's own body for physical development, be it strength, power or endurance.
One of the earliest records of calisthenics training was handed down to us by the historian Herodotus. It is the story of how Xerxes was perplexed when his huge army couldn't defeat the 300 Spartans of Leonidas. Ancient Greeks knew the secrets of calisthenic training unlike the modern 'fitness trainers'. Look at the statues of Greek gods, how perfect their physiques are. They are not like the bloated bodybuilders who we see today. Or even better, take a look at physiques of modern gymnasts. They are perfect. They not only look strong, but also 'are' strong. They could win any strength or bodybuilding contest easily. Their body is in perfect proportion. All they use is their own bodyweight and a set of hanging rings. Training with bodyweight is what mother nature intended.
As the centuries went by, the tradition of calisthenics also vanished. Nowadays, people see calisthenics as some kind of aerobic exercise or maybe some high rep push ups. The last of the breed to appreciate calisthenics was Charles Atlas (with his system of dynamic tension).
The role of gyms today has transformed totally. An average gym goer tries his best to 'look' strong rather than actually 'be' strong. The invention of plate loading barbell and step size dumbell made bodyweight work as a sidetrack. All people know is the basic push up or deep knee bends. They use it as warm ups or to develop light endurance.
Modern day fitness industry, and fitness magazines have brain washed people to believe that they need all flashy equipments, be it for chiseled pecs, for six pack abs or for big biceps. 'To get buff, we need to go to the gym' they say. They even advertise whey proteins and special protein shakes for nutrition. All this is done for one sole reason: money.
I'll discuss some of the advantages of bodyweight training and modern methods for strength development.
Requires very little equipment
All that is required is just your bodyweight and some free floor. The most you'll need is a place to hang from, which you can find easily, maybe stairs, a loft hatch or even tree branches.
But for gyms we need extra weights, which are mostly costly, or expensive machines. These are hard to store at home and can't be used while on the go.
Another big plus is that bodyweight training is free unlike the expensive gm memberships.
Develops useful, functional, atheletic abilities
Calisthenics is the ultimate form of physical funcitonal training. In nature, the human body was meant to move itself around, before being able to move external objects. Some weightlifters may be able to squat hundreds of pounds but may find it difficult to walk up two flights of stairs. Some powerlifters may be able to bench hundreds but may find it difficult to comb their hair properly due to unnatural development of their body. No matter how advanced you get, calisthenics can be made to prove as a challenge to you.
Maximises strength
Modern gyms advice people to isolate their muscles individually and work them out. But calisthenics works the muscles as they were meant to be, in co-ordination with each other. It develops not only their muscles but also their joints, tendons and nervous system.
Another reason is that bodyweight works multiple muscle groups at once. Unlike the machines which isolate the muscles in an artificial way, this kind of training works all muscles together as it is used in everyday life, real movements.
Protects joints and protects them for life
One of the major problem faced in today's 'gym fitness' is that most of the weightlifters and powerlifters have joint problems. When they force their body to hoist huge loads, by wearing straps and applying menthol heat rubs on their joints, the soft tissues of the joints get damaged easily. These very commonly include shoulder, wrists, knees, elbows. This is because the motions performed in gyms are very unnatural, not how the human body was evolved to move.
But bodyweight training ensures that the body moves as desired by each person. It's natural and toally safe. The only weight that the body has to bear is its own. Plus when the joints are trained progessively with bodyweight work, they become stronger day by day.
I conclude saying that bodyweight training is better than training by going to the gym or using free weights, if you want to live a healthy, active life with a supple strong body.
Kc.Nycolle

Con

Using machines to help exercise targets many different exercise groups. They also emphasis proper care of not only the equipment, but the body as well. They help to alert you to your stopping point. Using gym equipment also provides support to people. Those who join a gym are normally either attempting to get into shape, or trying to keep their bodies in shape.

Calisthenics are used often as an alternative to a gym, or for people who are exercising for fun, such as physical education classes. Machines are used for training for certain events and for working out certain muscles groups. While there is nothing wrong with calisthenics, gym machines help to train your body faster and more efficiently. Take for example a treadmill. A treadmill is a great way to get into shape. Not only can it help with your weight, it can help with your running skills. You can set it for different inclines or declines, you can set it so that you have to run at a certain speed, and you can use it indoors. Many people use treadmills at home even. You can run while studying, reading, or even watching television. You also have the opportunity to use it all year long, instead of when it is warm enough to go outside and run.

Gyms provide people with an opportunity to see how others are keeping themselves healthy, and can provide support for people who are struggling to get in shape or stay in shape. It can be very difficult for people who don't have support to keep or get into shape. In a gym you have the support to keep going.
Debate Round No. 2
vkv

Pro

Hi Nycolle. Thanks for aruguing with me. We'll start the rebuttals.

"Using machines to help exercise targets many different exercise groups. They also emphasis proper care of not only the equipment, but the body as well."

Isolating each of your muscle groups is the worst thing you can do by calling it training. Consider the tricep pressdown. When do you use such a movement, standing still and pressing down with just your elbow joint in action but not the shoulder, in your everyday life? Contrast this with traditional push ups or dips. You get your shoulder joint also in action, as it was meant to be moved along with your elbow joint. You can challenge any gym rat presses a lot on the tricep pressdown. I bet you that he won't be able to perform 5 proper one arm push ups with the feet close together. His elbows will snap.

Isolating your muscles is unnatural, also it leads to imbalances in your body. All muscles are meant to be worked together. Take the plank for instance. You'd think its just for the core. But when held longer than a min, you'll feel every single muscle contracting to keep you steady. An even better example would be the plank done with one arm. It'll integrate muscles you never knew you had.

"They help to alert you to your stopping point. Using gym equipment also provides support to people. Those who join a gym are normally either attempting to get into shape, or trying to keep their bodies in shape."

Calisthenics DOES help you to know your limits, thats what is called fatigue. And it spreads throughout your body, not just a certain muscle. You don't need the gym to get in shape. Why waste money No matter how many crunches you do on the machines or even the twisting cable crunches, you won't reduce an inch of your fat unless you redefine your diet properly. Isolating just the abs will NOT help you get your six pack. If you want to lose fat, first refine your diet, second exercise your entire body. Only then your body fat will reduce.

"Machines are used for training for certain events and for working out certain muscles groups."

If you want to train for certain events and working out certaing muscle groups, you can do the same with calisthenics. Name the muscle group, I can tell you an exercise for it, and it can be made to suit your needs, it can be made as easy as you want or as hard as you want.

"Gym machines help to train your body faster and more efficiently."

Gym machines train your muscles to work in isolation, and by muscle I mean just muscle. It does not help train the joints, which are the ones holding the muscles together. You're as strong as your weakest link. If your joints are weak, your body will tire out before the muscles do so. You can ask any bodybuilder, pain in the joints is their worst nightmare. Thats because they have been training their muscles more than their joints. When you workout and then rest, muscular tissues rebuild a lot faster than the tissues in the joints. So when you keep adding weight in your machines, your muscles get stronger while your joints have a hard time catching up. Ultimately it leads to injury. This does not happen when practicing calisthenics. You can perform harder variations only if your muscles AND joints are strong. No other go.

"Take for example a treadmill. A treadmill is a great way to get into shape. Not only can it help with your weight, it can help with your running skills."

Why do you run on the treadmill? To get stronger legs? To get a cardio workout? To get endurance? Or just for fun? You keep running to get nowhere. No it does not help you with your running skills. Unless you are an athlete, you cannot expect the same kind of flat surface, that the treadmill offers, in the outside world which is full of obstacles and irregularities. You want stronger legs, do squats or even better, pistols. You want cardio, do some burpees or high rep squats. Or run up the staircase a couple of times and you'll feel the burn within minutes when compared to hours of running on the treadmill. You want endurance, do high reps of squats. You want fun, go outside and have fun running around the park or around the block, or in the beach.

"You can set it for different inclines or declines, you can set it so that you have to run at a certain speed, and you can use it indoors. Many people use treadmills at home even. You can run while studying, reading, or even watching television. You also have the opportunity to use it all year long, instead of when it is warm enough to go outside and run."

Why do you HAVE to run at certain speeds by setting the inclines? That's like forcing the body to run at a speed you expect it to, but naturally it may/may not be in a position to do so. You want to run harder, then RUN harder outside, push yourself, time yourself, run up and down a hill, do whatever it takes. When a dog chases you, you run faster than you expect, but never as fast as Flash. Thats how you get stronger and fitter, by pushing your limits. Why waste such valuable space at home and a lot of money for a treadmill? Do squats, or burpees, or even better, JUMP. It helps with strength and cardio. And all you need is a little floor space. You also save money for better investments.

Seriously, I can't help but laugh. Why do you want to run when you read or study or watch television? Why do you need to multitask and jeopardize both running and other activites? If you want to run, just run. If you want to watch TV, watch. If you want to read, just read. And for the record, it doesn't have to warm ENOUGH for you to go outside and run. If you don't want to get wet in the rain, wear a raincoat or a jacket and go for a run. If its cold outside, wear a sweater and run. Basically, use your common sense when you want to run outside, considering that you don't get hurt. No one is going to stop you except maybe your parents or your spouse.

"Gyms provide people with an opportunity.."

Why do you want to compare yourself with others? If you think you are fit, then think again. Advanced gymnasts are a LOT fitter than the average Joe. There's always someone better than you in this world. In gyms, most of the times, it turns out that people compare themselves with fitter people and try to mimic them, and it fails to work for them and then worry why it happened so. Ultimately, these are the people who quit the gyms for which they paid LIFETIME membership. You don't need people to support you when you can support yourself. Thats how kids learn to walk. They help themselves. But we adults are expecting someone to come help us out. Strap up your pants and get fit with calisthenics. Its just you and your body.

"Calisthenics are used often as an alternative to a gym, or for people who are exercising for fun, such as physical education classes."

Yes calisthenics is fun. But it can't be said it IS an alternative to gym. I'd say, that times have changed, that gyms are being used as an alternative for calisthenics. Look at the army and military boot camps. They don't use gyms. All they use to train is your body and a horizontal bar. And these are the people who are strong and fit. And they used their own bodyweight. There isn't a need for machines or weights.

I conclude by saying that, calisthenics is still far better than gym machines. It can help you get raw, brutal strength, muscle, power and endurance. Look at the old time strongmen, like Sandow, Atlas, Grimek. They used just their bodyweight. All you have to do is stick to basics, which are pushups, pullups, dips, bridges, squats, handstand pushups, leg raises, horizontal pullups. Each exercise can be made to suit each person. It can be made as easy as needed or as tough as you could harldy ever imagine. This is the principle of 'progressive calisthisnics'. Take it in small steps and you'll have a body which is functional, strong and fit for your everyday life.

Kc.Nycolle

Con

Kc.Nycolle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
vkv

Pro

vkv forfeited this round.
Kc.Nycolle

Con

Kc.Nycolle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 3 years ago
Josh_b
vkvKc.NycolleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Because gym machines are a relatively new product, I say that calisthenics certainly have more staying power as it is used today despite advances in technology (reliable resources-pro). muscle isolation is unnatural (convincing argument- pro)