Keep holding, just one more… One more push…
With the help of all my strength and will power I managed to pull myself for one last rep.
OMG, I did it! 12 reps of pull-ups as my last set!
With my last set of pull-ups completed I sat down on the near rock and thought about what my grandma has told me just before I went out for my back workout:
‘’Bozhidar, please stop doing those exercises. To begin with, you look like a monkey hanging down a tree. Secondly, you are going to stunt your growth and you are going to stay short and bulky all your life. Do you want that? What about this. Take out your bike and ride it instead?’’
But like most teenagers I didn’t listen to anybody.
Especially my grandmother. But because I was tired of arguing with her I simply said “Ok, see you later” and went out.
But our last conversation took the upper hand.
The whole memory I’m sharing with you was a while ago when I was 15 years old and I had just hit puberty.
Maybe my old sweet granny was right. Maybe I was ruining my growth potential.
Or maybe not?
Was I making a mistake by doing all those calisthenics workouts almost every single day?
Was I going to be forever short because of my choices?
I had to find the answer to all those questions. And I had to do it FAST….
Hi there, my name is Bozhidar and by the time I’m writing down this article I’m not 15 years old teen but a 22-year-old and sadly my vertical growth has finally stopped.
Yet, I’m not going to get taller than my current height. But that’s not the end for you or somebody you know.
Keep reading because by the end of this article I will give you all the answers you seek. It’s funny because I will answer way more things than you probably think.
But let’s start simple.
Let’s get the answer to this very simple but important question…
Does doing calisthenics stunt growth?
As far as I know, there isn’t any scientific study that proves that calisthenics can stunt growth.
That’s exactly why I don’t believe bodyweight training has anything to do with stunning my height and growth process.
Even since I know myself I’ve never been very tall. My biggest growth in height was before I become very serious about calisthenics and working out in general.
I’m currently 171 cm tall which is about 5 feet and 7 inches and if I think about it my biggest growth was during my early teens.
Way before I started to get serious about calisthenics or using additional weight as resistance.
But let’s answer that question in a much better way than that.
After my workout was finally over and I was feeling like a greek god – pumped, energized and filled with pride and joy that I had done something good about myself, I decided I was going to head back home.
But instead of turning CS:GO for another game I opened a new browser tab on Google.
I was very curious to find out if this was true or not. Was calisthenics bad for growth?
If science had proven that bodyweight exercises can stunt your growth then there should be some study or scientific research.
So I begin my investigation.
After investing 1 or 2 hours or research I came up to the conclusion that such proof didn’t exist.
I had found nothing on that topic. No studies. No scientific researches. Nada. Zero. None.
There wasn’t any trustworthy scientific research that was proving that doing calisthenics can stunt your growth.
I felt relieved and happy that I wasn’t doing anything that could potentially hurt me.
Sorry grandma, I love you very much, but you are completely wrong on this one.
Right after my research was over I was extremely happy because I was right.
Do you know that feeling you get when you argue with somebody and you are proven to be right and him wrong?
And to make things even better I shared with her my latest findings. At first, my grandma was a little confused but at the end of the day you can’t argue with science, can you?
That’s why you shouldn’t believe common fitness myths without doing some research on your own.
So as you can see calisthenics doesn’t stunt your growth.
We are not over. Not just yet.
I still have a few very important things to tell you!
Let’s answer the next most commonly asked question you probably have:
If calisthenics doesn’t stunt growth, what about lifting additional weight?
Does including weights stunt growth?
Can weighted calisthenics make you short?
Is it safe for me?
These thoughts run through my brain during one of the first few workouts where I included my favorite new weighted vest I had just purchased.
Even if I hadn’t found any proof about how you can stunt your growth with bodyweight workouts, I wasn’t completely sure about what will happen when I decided to include some extra weight in the form of a weighted vest.
Because I was still growing, I was very afraid of how it could affect my body. Even if my weighted vest wasn’t 200 lbs it was still heavy enough to cause doubts.
That’s why I repeated the same steps and did another similar research only to find the same results which were absolutely nothing.
There wasn’t any proof that you are going to stunt your growth if you use additional resistance.
As a matter a fact I managed to find exactly the opposite study that proved that using additional weights was harmless to teens.
And let’s use some common logic:
If you are a 15-year old teenager who mainly does calisthenics and only uses his body weight as resistance, how much weight can you add?
I’m assuming the number you guessed had only 2 digits right? You are correct.
My new weighted vest could only be upgraded up to 45 lbs and I could handle that amount only for doing dips.
That’s why it is completely safe for almost anybody to do calisthenics or weighted calisthenics without having the fear that you are going to become short or stunt your growth because of it.
But there is something I haven’t told you.
There is still a way in which calisthenics CAN stunt your growth.
Let me share with you how exactly…
How Calisthenics Can Stunt Your Growth
I wasn’t expecting that. The sharp pain that went through my right shoulder made me drop the pull-up bar immediately.
I didn’t know exactly what caused it but I knew it was bad. It was really bad.
Because of the lack of proper training program, no warm-up routine and following the basics of progressive overload I had caused myself an injury.
On the next day I tried to do a simple push-up and the second I transferred some weight on my right arm the sharp pain made me stop. I instantly fell down the ground and hit my knee on the pavement.
I SCREAMED in anger and pain while sadness and rage were eating me on the inside.
What have I done to myself?
Because of my injury, I was stuck. I couldn’t lift up or use my right arm without feeling pain or making the current injury even worse.
And the worst part about all of that was the fact that I couldn’t train anymore. I was unable to do 95% of all the exercises.
The only thing I could do was wait.
Wait for all my newly gained muscle mass, strength, stamina, and progress vanish in front of my eyes.
I don’t know what was worse – the pain or the lost progress.
A week later while I was waiting for my right shoulder to heal and thinking about how my life sucks I saw this quote on my Facebook newsfeed:
Well, I don’t usually take this type of pictures seriously but for some reason, this one got me good.
As funny as it sounds I haven’t taken the time to really think about what was the main reason why I’ve injured myself.
After some thinking and trying to figure out what has stopped my progress I found these few things were responsible for my pain and discomfort:
- Lack of proper exercise plan
- Lack of warm-up routine
- Not doing many of the exercises correctly
- Not knowing how to combine different exercises and how much to rest between them
After I figured out what were the things I had to improve I felt really good.
Now I had something I could actually do. And it wasn’t complaining or hating on everything.
In order to keep getting constant good progress, avoid future injuries and have good results I needed a good program that had short and effective warm-up routines, well-explained exercises and ready to go workouts.
A lot of things right?
But where on earth to go to find such a program?
Keep reading to find out…
How to make sure your calisthenics results NEVER get stopped again
After I wasted days trying to find a good calisthenics program for free I quickly understood that sometimes it’s a lot better to not be cheap and simply pay.
Yes, there is a lot of free information on the web but that doesn’t mean it’s the best. What’s out there isn’t structure well or simply doesn’t have any progression plan.
And you will most likely have the job to figure out everything on yourself.
The lacking structure could be very confusing for a beginner like me and that’s why I’ve got injured in the first place.
I didn’t know what the hell I was doing.
Sorry right shoulder pain, but I don’t want to feel you ever again.
No more DIY (do it yourself) for me.
So I prepared a budget of about $50 and started looking.
I knew it was going to cost a couple of bucks but having everything done for is going to speed up your results a lot, save you a lot of time, money and most importantly – keep you away from unwanted and useless injuries.
But only after 1 hour of searching for a good program, my motivation was completely destroyed.
I had stumbled upon reality. And it wasn’t pretty.
After seeing many scammy looking sites, poorly written programs and false expectations I felt cheated so I closed my computer and tried to forget about my defeat.
The battle was lost but not my goal. I was still going to find a solution.
Luckily for me a few days later I had the idea to simply ask a couple of workout buddies of mine about a good training program. I felt really dumb that I hadn’t thought about doing so in the beginning.
Surprisingly the ones that used programs recommended me to check out this program called Bar Brothers The System.
They told me it was good and it had everything I was looking for – complete progressive routines, good explanations of all the exercises and a nice warm-up short routine. My curiosity took over so I had to check it.
And so I did. After finding it out, and learning from multiple sources that it was good and it actually helped a lot of people I decided to buy it.
At the beginning I was a little skeptical but oh boy was I wrong.
Ever since I bought and used this program everything started to improve.
My exercise form, strength, skills, muscle mass, and even endurance. As I have already told the program comes with a nice and easy to do warm-up routine so bye-bye shoulder injuries.
I truly believe this program is one of the best things I have ever bought after seeing the results with my both eyes. In my opinion, it’s totally worth it.
Especially if you are into calisthenics and want to take your progress and skill set on the next level.
I believe this program works extremely well for both beginners and even more advanced athletes.
If you like to learn more about it I highly recommend to read my completely honest review by clicking the link here <<.
Inside my review, I also share a photo of my actual results I got from following this program and a ton of other good information you won’t find elsewhere.
If you simply want to see what the program looks like click here to see the official video <<.
And that’s how you protect yourself and keep the progress going.
Find a good calisthenics program, follow it strictly and don’t do stupid things.
Trust me, it’s not worth it. Especially if it’s going to cause you a lot of pain.
Now you know the real truth about calisthenics and if it can stunt your growth. Yes, I know that the answers and pretty basic but that’s the beauty behind the truth.
After knowing why there aren’t any issues with bodyweight exercises and even the use of additional weight don’t worry about your workouts.
But please be smart and don’t repeat the stupid mistakes I did.
If you want to speed a lot your results a lot and never ever have to worry about common problems I highly recommend you to read my Bar Brothers They System review from here <<.
And for all of you wondering about what is the mentioned weighted vest click the link here to check it out on Amazon.
Thank you very much for reading my article. I really hope it answered all your questions with the help of my short stories and experience.
If you have any questions about something inside feel free to leave it in the comment section below.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my post.
Here are other related calisthenics posts you may enjoy as well:
- 5 Best Books for Calisthenics To Boost Your Results
- Does Calisthenics Need Supplements? [What Science Tells]
- What is Needed to Start Calisthenics? [Top 6 Essentials]
- 5 Best Supplements for Calisthenics [Backed by Science]
See you soon,
Hey there, my name is Bozhidar and I’m a certified online personal trainer with University Degree in Sports and Nutrition.
With the help of my knowledge and over 8 years of workout experience, I can help you get on the next level. I own a home gym, do calisthenics, little gymnastics, and love to ride a bike.