Calisthenics vs CrossFit: Which One is Better?

calisthenics vs crossfit

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When it comes to deciding between CrossFit or Calisthenics, the fitness community is often at a crossroads. These two training styles, each with its own unique approach, have long been compared. The different training methods both offer substantial benefits, addressing various aspects of fitness, but choosing one over the other ultimately depends on your personal fitness aspirations and lifestyle.

Is one truly better than the other? The answer isn’t clear-cut. If you’re aiming to enhance overall fitness, combining strength, agility, and metabolic conditioning, then the varied, high-intensity nature of CrossFit could be your match. In contrast, if your goal revolves around building muscle and mastering body control with exercises that don’t rely on any special equipment, calisthenics may be your go-to training style.

Understanding these nuances is crucial, and that’s where we, at Forte Fitness Equipment, come in with this concise guide. For fitness enthusiasts eager to delve deeper into what calisthenics can bring to their workout routines, continue reading for more insights. Whichever path you choose, the journey to health and fitness is uniquely yours.

What is the difference between CrossFit and Calisthenics

a serious sportsman exercising on gymnastic rings

CrossFit and Calisthenics are two popular workout styles, but they’re not the same. Knowing the differences between Calisthenics and CrossFit can help you pick the one that fits your goals.

Calisthenics involves using your own body weight to work out. It’s all about push-ups, pull-ups, squats and other exercises that don’t need equipment as such. This form of training is good for building muscle and flexibility, and you can do it pretty much anywhere.

CrossFit is different. It mixes weightlifting, cardio, and high-intensity workouts, as well as movements from gymnastics and calisthenics. It aims to boost your overall fitness and includes many types of exercises. CrossFit is also a sport and has a strong community vibe. You’ll likely need special gear and a gym for CrossFit.

So, what’s the main difference? It’s in the way you train. Calisthenics uses bodyweight exercises with controlled moves. CrossFit uses a wide range of high-intensity exercises. Your choice between calisthenics and CrossFit will depend on your fitness goals, whether you like working out with others, if you have access to equipment, and where you want to work out. Remember, the best workout is one you’ll keep doing.

Can you build muscle with only calisthenics?

black and white photo of man doing a press to handstand on canes

Absolutely, calisthenics can help you build muscle. Often synonymous with bodyweight training, calisthenics involves using your own body weight to develop strength and muscle. It’s not just about endurance; you can also build lean muscle with exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, squats, handstands, and human flags, among others. These movements have been fundamental in muscle-building routines for many years — and with good reason.

Achieving muscle growth with calisthenics is not only feasible but also highly effective. While it’s common to link muscle-building with lifting weights, bodyweight training can be equally potent for enhancing muscle size and strength. The secret to forging strength and muscle through calisthenics is embracing progressive overload. This means you’re gradually ramping up the intensity or complexity of your exercises. By regularly pushing your muscles this way, they’re forced to adapt and respond, which leads to stronger, more defined muscle development.

Which training is better for muscle building, Crossfit or Calisthenics?

Calisthenics and CrossFit both help build muscle, but they do it differently. While CrossFit is known for varied, high-intensity workouts, calisthenics focuses on exercises that use your own body weight. Think of moves like pull-ups and muscle-ups. These exercises don’t just build muscle, they also improve how you control your body’s movements.

Both Crossfit and Calisthenics requires patience. You start with basic exercises and add more difficulty over time. If done correctly, both these approaches build muscle, without pushing you to risk injury. Plus, you learn to control your muscles better, which is important in any discipline.

So, which one is better for building muscle, CrossFit or Calisthenics? It depends on what you want. If you’re looking for steady muscle growth and better body control without heavy weights, calisthenics might be your thing. But remember, the best workout is one that fits your goals and what you like to do.

What about beginners? Is Calisthenics training better than CrossFit for newbies?

group of people practicing weightlifting in a crossfit gym

Starting a new fitness routine can be daunting for beginners, and it’s essential to choose workouts that match your current fitness level to reduce the risk of injury. So, when considering CrossFit or calisthenics, which one is more beginner-friendly?

Calisthenics might have a slight edge here. Why? First, calisthenics exercises are widely accessible and don’t often require gym equipment. You can do exercises like push-ups and squats at home or a local park. This ease of access makes calisthenics a practical option for beginners wanting to ease into a fitness routine, or don’t feel comfortable training with other people to start with.

Second, the risk of injury can be lower with calisthenics for those just starting. It focuses on bodyweight exercises, allowing beginners to progress at their own pace. You’re lifting your own body weight, not external weights, which means you’re less likely to strain yourself when compared to the high-intensity workouts that CrossFit is known for.

However, this isn’t to say that calisthenics is without challenges. It requires discipline and consistency, and the progress can be gradual. But for beginners, this slower pace can be beneficial, allowing for the development of proper form and technique, which are crucial for preventing injuries and ensuring long-term progress.

On the other hand, if training in a group helps your motivation, or you want to access group coaching, but not going with a one-to-one PT option to start, Crossfit could be a better alternative for you.

The variety of exercises and methods that Crossfit offers can also be appealing for those who get easily bored from doing similar exercises day in day out, or those who want to learn different movements, for example pullups and muscle ups, as well as weightlifting clean and jerk and snatches.

So, is calisthenics better for beginners than CrossFit? It might be, especially if you’re looking for a workout that’s ‘easy’ to start and accessible. But the best workout for you is one that you feel comfortable with, can stick to, and fits your personal fitness goals. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer in fitness!

What Calisthenics or CrossFit equipment can I use in my training?

At Forte Fitness, we offer a wide range of calisthenics and Crossfit equipment to assist you on your new journey. We’ve recommended some of our favourite, and essential, tools below that can assist your calisthenics fitness journey.

Slant Blocks

Our slant blocks offer a portable tool that enables you to lift your heel up for any lunges, squats or other similar-type exercises. By doing so, you gain a deeper range of movement for your exercises that enables you to build up muscle and power quicker than conventional exercises.

You can choose from different types of slant platforms to suit your training style and preference.

close up of man's feet using the forte fitness slant blocks
calisthenics training,calisthenics routine,calisthenics gym workout,crossfit

Iron Cross Attachment

Challenge yourself with the ultimate fitness movement with our Iron Cross Attachment. As one of the most difficult fitness exercises to accomplish, this movement will help you to work in different levels of diffculty and progress towards achieving the iron cross.

Handstand Blocks

Handstands are a great way to challenge your upper and core body strength. By holding your body weight, either with the assistance of a wall or completely freestanding, you can build up muscle quickly.

close up on woman's hands as she perform a handstand using some round black handstand blocks
high parallettes l-sit


There are many advantages to using parallettes in your workout. From feeling more connected to your muscles to burning calories while building up upper body strength. They are helpful for progressions and variations of push ups, handstands, dips or L-sit holds. You can choose between low and high parallettes depending on the exercise and level of difficulty you want to achieve.


When summing up the face-off between CrossFit and calisthenics, it’s clear that both training methods bring valuable benefits to health and fitness. They’re different approaches, but each has its place depending on your goals, preferences, and lifestyle.

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that emphasises bodyweight training. It’s great for those who prefer a more gradual method that enhances body composition, flexibility, and strength without the need for equipment. It’s particularly noted for its convenience and accessibility, as you can do these exercises almost anywhere. Moreover, calisthenics is known for improving body control, strength, and endurance, all while keeping the risk of injury relatively low.

On the other hand, CrossFit is a more intense, varied workout that combines weightlifting, aerobics, and high-intensity functional movements. It’s excellent for those looking for a dynamic and challenging workout that can rapidly improve strength and body composition. CrossFit often involves a community setting, offering a social environment that can motivate participants to push their limits.

Both CrossFit and calisthenics are capable of delivering significant health benefits, including improved strength, endurance, and body composition. The choice between the two will ultimately depend on your personal fitness goals, the level of intensity you’re looking for, your risk tolerance regarding injury, and how you prefer to work out.

In conclusion, whether you opt for the bodyweight exercises of calisthenics or the high-intensity variety of CrossFit, both paths offer robust avenues to better health and fitness. The best approach is the one that aligns with your lifestyle, keeps you motivated, and is sustainable in the long term.

sports background. young athlete getting ready for gym training. powerlifter hand in talc preparing to exersising with the kettlebell.

Build explosive power with Forte Fitness Equipment

Looking for a powerful workout? Try calisthenics with Forte Fitness Equipment. It’s not just for CrossFit athletes—everyone can benefit from this type of strength training. You don’t need a full gym; our website has all you need for your calisthenics workout at home.

But we offer more than equipment for calisthenics. We know fitness is diverse. That’s why we also have gear for weightlifting, cardio, and even gymnastics. They’re all part of a good workout plan, helping with everything from strength training to fat loss.

What about compound exercises? We have equipment for that, too. These exercises work multiple muscle groups at once, a key part of strength training. And if you’re into interval training, we’ve got you covered. It’s great for fat loss and building endurance.

So, ready to start? Whether it’s a calisthenics workout or a full training program, you can find what you need on our website. Let’s make your home gym the place where you reach your fitness goals!

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