“When the barbells and machines began to really take over in the second half of the twentieth century, all of the hard-earned, ancient knowledge regarding bodyweight training became considered redundant. Immaterial to the modern age. Dazzled by the new gadgets and the methods associated with them, fewer and fewer people continued using these ancient old school methods and they began to die out.
Today, bodyweight strength training has been almost totally replaced by weight-training with machines, barbells, and dumbbells. Bodyweight training is seen as the feeble sibling of these newer approaches, and has been relegated to the sidelines. The old school skills and systems dwindled through disuse and became lost. All that survived was the basic minimum. Today, when people – even so called strength “experts” – talk about bodyweight training, they only really know the beginners’ movements – pushups, deep knee-bends, etc. To this they add a few useless and pathetic modern exercises, like ab crunches. These exercises are given to school children, weaklings, or are done as warm ups or to develop light endurance. Compared to the traditional, strength-based attitude, this approach could be called new school calisthenics. Old school calisthenics – which involved bodyweight systems designed to progressively develop inhuman power and strength – have almost died out.