What is Calisthenics?
The term calisthenics comes from the Greek words ‘Kalos’ meaning beauty and ‘Stenos’ which translates as strength.
Originally, calisthenics was a method of promoting health, ‘and thus securing beauty and strength’, in school children, but it’s evolved into a training method that shares a lot in common with gymnastics. Unlike gymnastics though, it can be practiced outdoors and is known as a ‘street workout’.
Most people discover calisthenics by seeing someone doing an advanced version of it. For many of its current practitioners, the man they saw was probably Hannibal Lanham, also known as Hannibal for King, whose version of calisthenics, which he practiced in parks around Queens, New York, brought the discipline to the attention of millions.
For Gallarzo though, his inspiration was much more local. ‘Prior to getting involved in calisthenics I was already into fitness, I was a personal trainer at a big corporate-style gym, so doing the traditional type of lifting,’ says Gallarzo. ‘There was one guy that used to come in and do some muscle ups, and I’d never seen that before. I started researching it and saw it on YouTube and was amazed, and that started my transition to experimenting with bodyweight training.