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Street lifting: the art of weighted calisthenics | Ultimate guide (2024)

Street Lifting is a relatively new sport that has gained rapid popularity in recent years. And it’s not without reason. It’s an incredibly cool sport where pure strength, mobility, and skills come together.

What is street lifting?

Street Lifting is a strength sport that combines street workout (weighted calisthenics) and powerlifting.

The goal of this sport is to add as much weight as possible to bodyweight exercises. Originally, this included only the pull-up and the dip. However, nowadays, competitions also include the muscle-up and the back squat.

Differences in wording

Street lifting, street workout, and weighted calisthenics are often used interchangeably as terms. However, there is a clear distinction.

Street lifting is a competition format where 2 to a maximum of 4 street lifting exercises are performed.

Street workout is a term used interchangeably with calisthenics and refers to outdoor training with bodyweight exercises.

Weighted calisthenics is a training method where bodyweight exercises are enhanced with additional weight. This includes street lifting exercises but also extends to exercises like the handstand pushup and isometric exercises such as the front lever, back lever, and planche.

Disciplines within street lifting

There are 2 types of street lifting competitions, namely the multi-lift and the 1rm.

streetlifting multi-lift

In a multi-lift competition, participants aim to complete as many repetitions as possible with a specific, predetermined weight. The challenge lies in not only showcasing strength but also endurance, as the goal is to sustain a high number of repetitions with the given load.

The standard weights for the pull-up/chin-up (32kg) and dip (48kg) serve as benchmarks, but it’s important to note that these weights can vary based on factors such as the specific competition, age categories, and gender.

Participants in multi-lift competitions must strategize and pace themselves effectively to maximize their rep count within a set timeframe. This format adds an element of intensity and stamina to the event, requiring competitors to balance strength and endurance in their performance.

Street lifting 1 rep max (1rm)

In the 1rm competitions, the emphasis is on executing a single repetition with the highest possible weight, testing the participant’s maximum strength in specific exercises. Each competitor is granted three opportunities to perform a clean repetition, aiming to showcase their peak strength within those attempts.

These competitions offer two distinct styles: the ‘classic style’ and the ‘European style’ (also referred to as all4).

The classic style concentrates on two fundamental exercises: the pull-up/chin-up and the dip. Participants in this category aim to demonstrate their maximum strength in these essential street lifting movements.

On the other hand, the European style expands the repertoire by including additional exercises. In addition to the pull-up/chin-up and the dip, participants face the challenge of the back squat and the muscle-up. Notably, men execute a bar muscle-up, while women perform a ring muscle-up in this category.

The 1rm competitions showcase the raw strength of street lifters, pushing them to lift the heaviest loads possible in a single, controlled repetition. It’s a display of pure power and an opportunity for participants to set personal records while navigating the challenges of different styles within the competition. The diversity in exercises adds complexity to the event, requiring athletes to excel across multiple movements and showcasing a well-rounded strength profile.

Exercises in street lifting

As described above, competitions consist of a maximum of 4 exercises. To assist you, here are 5 links to the different types of exercises:

  1. Weighted pull-up
  2. Weighted dip
  3. Weighted muscle-up
  4. Ring muscle-up
  5. Back squat with weight
 
 

Where to practice street lifting?

As you may have noticed, there has been a significant increase in the construction of calisthenics parks all around the globe in recent years, and this number is rapidly growing.

To familiarize yourself with calisthenics exercises, it can be beneficial to earn your initial stripes in such a park. You’ll likely find plenty of calisthenics practitioners willing to help you on your way to your first pull-ups, dips, and muscle-ups.

However, the calisthenics park may not always be the ideal place for a street lifting athlete to train. Since you primarily train with heavy weights, you’ll need considerably more equipment during your workouts. Think of weights and a sturdy bar/dip station, as well as reliable boxes/elevations for safe training.

Therefore, I recommend that if you want to lift heavy weights, you explore a gym with good dip bars, pull-up bars, and squat platforms. Take a look around to see if there are any specialized powerlifting or calisthenics gyms in your area.

Competitions

There are quite a number of local competitions organised all around the globe. Thereby, there is one growing organisation that’s been pushing the quality of street lifting championships to the next level.

In Germany, Final Rep organises annual competitions following the European style of street lifting. Naturally, many athletes from European countries, primarily France, Italy, and Germany and The Netherlands participate, given the popularity of this variant of street lifting in that region.

However, in the last worlds edition, there were also quite some athletes from Asian as well as North American countries.

What do you need to practice street lifting?

Of course, you need a pull-up bar, dip station, and squat rack. But if you want to get the most out of your street lifting training, you can use the materials below.

Dipping belt / weight belt

To train weighted exercises, you naturally need a dip belt to add weight to your pull-up, dip, and muscle-up.

This is likely the most crucial purchase for your training, so it’s wise to invest in a high-quality belt. In this blog, you’ll find what we believe is the best weight belt for street lifting.

Joint support

Since you’ll be working with heavy weights, it’s wise to support your joints. You can do this with knee sleeves, elbow sleeves, and wrist wraps.

Squat support

To get the most out of your squat, it’s best to use squat shoes and a lifting belt.

Grip

Liquid chalk/magnesium is ideal to provide your hands with more grip. This is crucial during pull-ups and muscle-ups with heavy weights.

Training at home

Do you want to train all of this from home? Then it’s important to invest in a good setup. The best option is to go for a power rack. But if this takes up too much space, you can also opt for a pull-up station. However, keep in mind that you can’t squat in it.

Any other questions?

We wensen je veel succes met je street lift training. En als je nog verdere vragen hebt over street lifting of calisthenics, laat het ons weten! Je kunt contact met ons opnemen via info@heavyweightcali.com of het contactformulier invullen.

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