Can you carry your own weight?
The human body is thousands of years in the making. All the muscles in the body were designed for one reason only – to move, to carry the body through space and overcome obstacles. Our closest relatives in the animal kingdom; the primates, are extremely strong. They are in fact the strongest animals, pound for pound, of body weight.
Men in the not too distant past knew that they were stronger than most animals of similar weight. In certain cultures, men did crazy things like wrestling bears and crocodiles. But no man in his right mind will wrestle or fight another primate of similar size, because they are even stronger.
Why are primates so strong? Simple, look at what they do all day; climbing trees! Primates are experts at body weight training, they can move with swiftness and agility across tree branches. If we did that all day, we’d all be super strong and tough too.
So what is the moral of the story? Simple, callisthenic training can transform one’s body into a very strong, agile and robust biological machine. The ultimate examples of people who do purely callisthenic training?
Most people would agree that these people are the epitome of fitness, agility, strength, flexibility with superb balance and co-ordination. Their proprioception is way above that of any "Gym rat". Best of all, you only need a floor and wall for most of the exercises. Add in a pull up bar and that's all the equipment you will ever need.
Below is a short list of callisthenic exercises even Olympic athletes will have problem executing:
Single leg "pistol" squat. (Try it on the BOSU, or with a kettle bell!)
Single arm pushups (Legs together. Legs apart is cheating!)
Handstand pushups (without the support of a wall if you can!)
Muscle Up (Pull with momentum till your entire torso above the bar!)
Single arm pull ups (Leave the other arm behind your back!)
Can you do even one of the above mentioned exercises? No? Do not underestimate what body weight training can do for you. It was used by our ancestors to build strength all around, it is being used still today by prisoners who have no equipment to work with, but need to build the strength to survive their very tough environment. Calisthenics is still one of the best methods to build rock solid, powerful muscles.