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5 Life Lessons from Calisthenics Training

5 Life Lessons from Calisthenics Training

Discovering Calisthenic training was a formative experience for me. Not only for its physical benefits in terms of fitness, athleticism and health. But, also, for its whole philosophy.

The name Calisthenics come from the greek words Kalos – meaning Strength and Sthenos – meaning Beauty.

So, in essence, the calisthenic philosophy is “beautiful strength” .

Now, many people think that this applies only to Physical beauty and Physical strength. But, I would like to show that the “physical” is only one element. Actually, both strength and beauty come in a variety of non-physical forms too; such as the strength of character, the beauty of mind, and so on. With this in mind, I would like to share five ways in which physical Calisthenic training can help you in other

With this in mind, I would like to share five ways in which physical Calisthenic training can help you in other non-physical areas of life.

1. It promotes discipline

Say you set yourself a target of completing 300 full range of motion bar dips in a single workout. Or, perhaps your target is 500 push ups or 1000 squats. Maybe even your target is to attain a more advanced strength skill, such as a one arm chin up, or the Planche.

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Whatever the goal may be – it is clear that you not only need physical fitness to be successful. You also need mental discipline.

You have to be prepared to dedicate yourself fully to your training – completing set after set, rep after rep, hour after hour until you reach your target. No matter how much pain you may be in, or how much you may want to try something different. This kind of mindset is important – especially in today’s multi-tasking, easily distracted world. If you can instill dedication and discipline into your training – you will soon see the carry over into all areas of your life.

Whether writing an assignment for work, reading a book for school, or working towards starting your own business – you will be able to draw on the discipline you have already cultivated from your calisthenic training. And, in doing so, you will be a lot better equipped to work over and over again until you achieve your goal.

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    2. It teaches you to control yourself

    Calisthenic training is about being in total control of your physical body. Being able to lift it, maneuver it, and push it in a variety of different ways. But, again, the Calisthenic philosophy of being able to handle yourself extends far beyond the bars.

    The ancient Stoics used to write that we cannot control the external world around us – the only thing we can seek to control is ourselves. And, this self-mastery (also expounded by Platonic, Buddhist, Christian, Zen, and Hindu thought) is what Calisthenic philosophy encourages us to strive for too. Not only to be in control of our physical self. But also, our internal self. To be in control of our emotions, and in control of our desires.

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    To no longer be at the mercy of fears, lusts, and impulses. That is self-mastery.

    3. It shows you true strength and beauty

    As eluded to earlier, Strength is not just about being able to lift heavy things. Real strength is to be kind and caring – and to stay calm and composed, even when being provoked or persecuted.

    Real strength is taking a stand for something you believe in, and remaining yourself in a world that is always seeking to change you. So, if you do not have those qualities too – then, no matter how much you can lift, or how big you are physically – you cannot be classed as truly strong.

    And, it is the same with beauty.

    It is no good being physically beautiful if, in your heart, or in your attitudes towards other people, you are ugly. Real beauty is having a beautiful mind, and a beautiful soul. It is being graceful with every step you take, and every word you say, and with everyone you meet.

    If you have that level of inner beauty – then, it doesn’t even matter what you look like. Because everyone will plainly see that you are beautiful.

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      4. It helps you manage the fear of failure

      If you wish to attain more advanced calisthenic skills – you are going to fail.

      This does not mean that you will never reach your goal. It just means that along the way, you are going to have to deal with failures. You’ll try a certain hold – and fall. Or, you’ll aim for a certain rep count – and run out of energy. It is all a natural part of progressing. And, if you wish to continue to improve, you must actually make failure a part of every training session.

      So too with life. How many times do we simply not start something for fear of failing? But failure is not our enemy. In fact, the only sure-fire way to avoid failing is if you never have any ambition, and never do anything. In that situation, you will never fail – you will just be a failure.

      So, start to see failure through calisthenic eyes – as a sign that you are trying to learn ,and trying to grow. Then, you will actually embrace it.

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        5. It teaches you not to rely on externals

        Someone who lifts weights in the gym undoubtedly receives a lot of benefits from their training. So too does someone else who uses cross trainers, and other such modern fitness gadgets.

        But, in relying on those things to improve your fitness – you are, in essence, relying on externals. And, if someone takes away your gym membership, or closes down your weight section, or breaks your machine – you are lost. You don’t know what else to do in order to maintain your shape.

        Whereas, when you train Calisthenics, you never need to rely on anyone or anything else to get in shape. All you need is yourself.

        And, fortunately, wherever you may go – you’ll always be there.

        So, translate that to the life outside of fitness. In the same way, as many people say “i cannot get fit unless I have an expensive gym and a treadmill” – we all have a habit of saying “I cannot feel good unless I have expensive clothes, or possessions, or so and so’s approval”. But, in reality, you already have everything you need to get fit – and you already have all you need to feel good.

        You just have to learn how to correctly use what you already have.

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        Last Updated on July 10, 2020

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

        We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

        We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

        So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

        Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

        What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

        Boundaries are limits

        —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

        Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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        Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

        Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

        Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

        How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

        Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

        1. Self-Awareness Comes First

        Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

        You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

        To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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        You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

        • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
        • When do you feel disrespected?
        • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
        • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
        • When do you want to be alone?
        • How much space do you need?

        You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

        2. Clear Communication Is Essential

        Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

        Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

        3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

        Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

        That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

        Sample language:

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        • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
        • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
        • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
        • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
        • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
        • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
        • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

        Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

        4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

        Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

        Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

        Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

        We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

        It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

        It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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        Final Thoughts

        Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

        Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

        Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

        The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

        Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

        Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

        They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

        Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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