12 Telltale Signs You’re a Calisthenics Athlete

In the wide world of fitness, calisthenics is a relatively small niche. However, bodyweight athletes all face similar experiences in their everyday lives. If you regularly practice calisthenics (and if you don’t, here’s why you should), then here are some things you can probably relate to:

1. You carry chalk with you wherever you go.

I never leave the house without the absolute necessities: phone, wallet, keys, chalk. For us calisthenics athletes, you never know when you’ll find yourself near a bar, rail, scaffold, or any other potential training apparatus, so you just gotta be prepared for anything.

2. You do handstands and/or pull-ups on random objects.

When you’re a calisthenics enthusiast, the world is your gym; you start to see your environment in new and creative ways. That means anything—and I mean anything—can become a piece of training equipment at any moment.

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3. Your pull-ups aren’t just pull-ups.

To the average person, pull-ups are just an exercise. But to you, they’re an entire category of exercises, or even an art form. You can probably rattle off 10+ different types of pull-ups off the top of your head!

4. You’re constantly asking people to film you.

Being a visually exciting training style, calisthenics is largely fueled by social media. We’re always posting videos of our skills or scrolling through Instagram, watching others for inspiration. You probably have that one friend who you just need to give “the look” to and they automatically hold out their hand to take your phone.

5. You get more excited than kids do when you see a park.

For a calisthenics athlete, a park is the perfect place to hit a workout. It’s free, it’s usually not too crowded, and it’s got everything you need to get an awesome training session in. Odds are that when you come across a park with a bar setup, your face lights up like a child at Disney World.

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6. You have a love-hate relationship with leg day.

“I want my legs to be strong, but I don’t want them to weigh me down… better throw in some upper body training between sets.” Sound familiar?

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7. You recognize that there are different forms of strength.

To a weightlifter or a powerlifter, strength is measured in terms of absolute or maximal strength (how much total weight can be moved at once). But to you, strength is defined more so by the ability to move your body through space with power and control. Not to say that either definition of strength is better, they’re just different.

8. You’ve done this in a gym before.

When you’re in a gym and the music is too lit, sometimes you just can’t help but bust out some moves… even if you look like a total tool.

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9. Your training usually draws some attention.

Let’s be real: what we do isn’t something most people see everyday. So when you’re training in a public space—whether it’s a gym, a beach, a park, or on the street—people are likely to stop and stare… and maybe even whip out their cameras.

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10. People ask if you are/were a gymnast.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve been asked if I was a gymnast, I’d be richer than an Olympic gold medalist. If you regularly practice calisthenics in public places, you can probably relate.

11. Training for you is a social event.

Perhaps the most striking thing about calisthenics—besides all the crazy tricks—is the community aspect of the sport. The vibe at an outdoor gym is very different from your typical gym; there are no headphones in and everyone is socializing and cheering each other on. Training sessions for us oftentimes feel more like hangouts than actual training sessions.

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12. You get out of bed every morning and can’t wait to train.

I’ve never met a calisthenics athlete who woke up in the morning dreading their training session. In fact, some of us are so eager that we start training from the minute we get out of bed!

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Lindsay, otherwise known as LindSlaaay, is a calisthenic athlete, self-taught hand balancer, and overall fitness enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, Lindsay now resides in Los Angeles, California. From a young age, Lindsay has had a passion for movement, spending the majority of her youth as a dancer. As a student at UCLA, Lindsay took up interest in yoga, acrobatics, and calisthenics, combining her love of art and movement with her love of strength and fitness. While living abroad in Sydney, Australia, Lindsay further developed her passion for movement and began gaining attention on social media due to her unique combination of strength, balance, and creativity. Today, she can often be found standing on her hands or playing on the bars at Original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica.