This is a topic of no small significance for me.
I’ve always had some level physical activity in my life: I was a runner for most of my youth and always maintained some level of calisthenics on top of that. I had only marginal exposure to weight training late in my youth but generally always held more esteem for calisthenics (and a fairly unstructured approach, at that), and this was further reinforced by my time in the Corps.
It was only well after coming back to civilian life that I began to take seriously structured and purposeful progression in my approach to calisthenics, and I began to progress into some low level of gymnastics (beginning with DIY parallettes and public parks and then progressing to stillrings). It was also around this time that I got into bicycles and very soon dropped running altogether.
It was in my research into calisthenic strength training that I finally discovered the value of weight-training and the barbell, specifically, in terms of its unparalleled necessity for any development of the largest and most essential muscle groups and the integrity of their respective structural components.
Having little to no history of proper instruction in the use of a barbell, Starting Strength and its associated resources very quickly became indispensable, though it took me a little while to commit at all to the program as such (even now, I still grant the stillrings their season, but the allowance of that little bit of diversity is perhaps more appropriate now at my level than it once was). I did eventually tire of shoddy equipment and the sometimes shoddier personalities at the one adequate selection from the small handful of gyms available to me and finally sprung for a decent rack, bar, and plates, so I suppose I’m well committed, at this point.
These days, I still bike, though not so much as I should, given that the bulk of my creative work keeps me at home (on top of other household duties), and I’ve got a mind to take up jiu-jitsu in earnest here eventually, but the way I see it, there’s always something to gain (quantifiably, even) and, frankly, the most to gain from the little bit of time one might reasonably spend under a bar.