Calisthenics practitioners, come on in...

Discussion in 'Self Improvement' started by HooEmAi, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    Fellow fapstronauts,

    I've been on a calisthenics journey for a while now, but things have grown stale for me, and I've been chasing too many reps at the expense of feeling depleted and possibly missing out on some gains. I was going to experiment a new way of doing things, to see if I could:
    1) feel less drained/more energized from less overall rep work, while still maximally stimulating muscle fibers
    2) work on the mind/muscle connection and maximally contracting muscles with more quality work

    I'm going to outline a sort of calisthenics bodybuilding routine below that I'll be starting with next week. Feel free to give me any feedback you may have on the routine. Feel free to post ways of feeling the listed exercises best. Feel free to post your own routines and your focus in doing them. Feel free! I'll be making this program right now off the cuff, so to speak, in this thread. The goal will be to keep in line with the "three to four sets" paradigm, in that it's been shown that 3-4 sets of a given exercise are all that's needed to elicit maximum hypertrophy so long as a certain threshold is reached. All exercises listed with no spaces between them, will be supersetted for time purposes. Here it goes:


    4x8 Weighted Dips
    4x8-12 Dead Hang Pull Ups

    3x10 Pike Press
    3x20 Row

    3x15 KB Hammer Curl
    3x15 KB High Pull
    3x10-12 KB Tricep Extensions


    4x25 V-Ups

    3x30 Oblique Crunch
    3x20 Hollow to Arch

    3x20 Pause Chinnies
    3x20 Pause Reverse Crunches


    3x10 Wide Grip Pull Ups
    3x20 Pistol Squats

    3x10 Mid Grip Pull Ups
    3x20 Lunge to Stiff Single Leg "Skater"

    3x10 Narrow Grip Pull Ups
    3x20 Side Runner Lunge Stretch

    2x10 Narrow Grip Chin Ups
    2x20 Back Roll to Stand/Jump


    3x10s L-Sit
    3x10 Hip Spreads

    3x25 V-Ups

    3x30 Oblique Crunch
    3x20 Hollow to Arch Hold


    3x Dips (*controlled reps/intensity to just before failure)
    3x Wide Grip Dead Hang Pull Ups (*same)

    3x Double Diamond Shoulder Extension Push Ups (*same)
    3x Aussie Row (*same)

    3x15 Lying Rear Delt Crucifix
    3x10 Hammer Bar Curl

    3x10+ KB High Pull
    3x10+ KB Tricep Extension

    The underlined exercises are priorities. I'll be working to better my technique, TUT, mind/muscle connection, and weight where applicable.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2018
    Mike Bonanno and Little kitty like this.
  2. tiredofbeingtired

    tiredofbeingtired Fapstronaut

    Dude don't forget you need rest days! I'm a really big fan of r/bodyweightfitness and it's recommended routine. It's a fantastic community with so much knowledge.
  3. Chrabel Crabsnap

    Chrabel Crabsnap Fapstronaut

    Hey mate, currently 5 months into training solely calisthenics. Before that I did a year of weightlifting. I'm no expert, but I would recommend a youtuber who is arguably an expert in this field. Check out fitnessfaqs youtube channel, very insightful stuff. Keep up the good work!
    Little kitty and HooEmAi like this.
  4. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    Been looking at the guy from Red Delta Project's stuff lately. His approach is lower volume/higher frequency than I'm used to, but I'm kind of gleaning what he says about working on form and maximally contracting instead of putting in more rep work. The amount of reps above are lowered a good bit for me, so we'll see how this plays out. I'll keep updated in this thread about how the "peak contraction" work with more focus/intensity plays out in comparison to my previous higher weight/volume approach.
  5. Tony Greenshrine

    Tony Greenshrine Fapstronaut

  6. Tony Greenshrine

    Tony Greenshrine Fapstronaut

    Let me try to imitate this given the equipment available to me and I will try to stay caught up here.

    Will let you know how it is going, whenever it may get going.
  7. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    I've edited some things. I'd been doing the routine before for about two months, but I'm really missing the principles of time under tension and rep work. So, I'm kind of hopping back onto something similar to what I'd done before, except that I'm using as few weights as possible (was using more before for rowing/isolation) and less rep work/cardio in favor of making sure each rep is performed with maximum contraction and fluid technique. So, the OP's been edited and this is what I'll roll with for another two months coming up after this week's rest.
  8. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    Going to start logging my progress/programming here:


    10x10 pull up/chin ups (3x wide, narrow; 2x hammer, chin up)
    superset with:
    3x20 pistol squats
    3x20 reverse lunge to stiff leg skater (hands touch floor)
    2x26 side lunge/ stretch
    2x15-20 back roll to squat to stand (17 reps each set to fatigue)

    Felt good; nice cardio workout. Worked on full ROM for the pull ups and chin ups. Didn't dead hang each rep, but rotated shoulders and let arms go straight before each rep.

    2/09 Time Under Tension/Perfect Form Day

    3x dips 21, 20, 18
    3x dead hang wide pull ups 12, 12, 10

    3x diamond to shoulder extension pushup 32, 30, 28
    3x aussie row 10, 10, 14 (perfected form on last set; one second hold chest touching bar each rep)

    3x15 lying rear delt crucifix (bodyweight rear delts)
    3x15 kettlebell high pull (30 lbs. each)
    3x10 kettlebell tricep extensions (30 lbs. each)

    Good workout. Humbling how harsh perfect reps can be. I mean, perfect. Never done them this way before. I was so pumped and in pain from the calisthenics portion. The key was to actively squeeze the elbow into the chest with the pushes. And to contract the tris simultaneously, fully. The pullups and rows took care of their own contractions with the pauses at the top.
  9. Winner11

    Winner11 Fapstronaut

    My workout routine currently consists of front lever training 4x a week and back lever training 2x a week. Still recovering from elbow tendonitis on both arms but left one is worse.
  10. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut


    3x dead hang wide pull ups 13, 12, 9

    3x15 V ups
    3x15 Ab Wheel

    3x20 Oblique Crunch
    3x20 Hollow to Arch

    2x20 Pause Chinnies
    2x20 Reverse Crunch

    Working the pull ups whenever I'm near a bar. They're tough to do with perfect form, dead hang. But I think the muscles/movement pattern will catch up to how I did them before, in time. I used to go straight arm, with no lockout/pause/hang. They're like two different exercises!
  11. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    You mean you strictly train these statics alone? Or do you have supporting accessory and supplementary exercises to work the musculature involved to support these two main statics?
  12. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    There have been a few of you straggle on in, but no one's really said what they're up to. What're you guys/gals all up to in your training?
  13. Winner11

    Winner11 Fapstronaut

    Just currently training these static holds. Literally nothing else. I know my progress is gonna stall if i don't add supplementary work (say weighted chins for FL), but I just came back from a 2 and 1/2 month injury and I am taking it very slowly right now. I plan to slowly add more exercises to my training, like pull ups, scapula work, flexibility work (shoulders wrist legs) and so on and so forth, to make it more rounded.
  14. Winner11

    Winner11 Fapstronaut

    I'm also training my static holds under the Steady-state cycle (SSC) method by gymnasticbodies as it has given me good results in the past.
  15. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut


    Weighted Dips 4x8 (70 lbs.; working on getting a pause in each rep/deeper reps)
    Wide Grip Active Hang Pull Ups 4x12

    Elevated Pike Press 3x10 (elevated one leg straight up every other rep the last two sets)
    Bar Row 3x20 (85 lbs.)

    KB High Pull 3x10, 10, 12 (30 lbs.)
    Hammer Bar Curl 3x10 (70 lbs.)
    KB Tricep Extension 3x10, 10, 12 (30 lbs.)

    Good workout today. Felt brutal, though. My energy is kind of not up to snuff, but I'll take this as a reflection of my not having gained a single pound in three months. I'm going to work on ways of sneaking in more calories to fuel progression, since now I'm kind of working in some weights here and there. I'll wager even doing so, I still won't gain any weight, but will just kind of feel "fuller" as I do. My foods of choice are to utilize honey, bananas, and peanuts/peanut butter more often. I eat often, but don't like to eat huge meals. These foods give bang for the buck! Hell, I'll start to chart my weight, too. Weight today, 172 lbs. I want to see it at 173 by the end of next week. Let's make that a goal.
  16. Buřt

    Buřt Fapstronaut

  17. VirilitySupreme

    VirilitySupreme Fapstronaut

    That sounds like a great routine OP. I saw your post and wanted to give you a couple of pointers regarding mind-muscle connection, time-under-tension, etc.

    One "weird" concept that I have in my head while lifting grueling weight is to always have the muscle that I'm working on in the back of my mind, but also to focus and imagine the fibers from that muscle stretching and breaking while I am performing the movement. You know these anatomy images of muscle fibers you see in the books ? I imagine them contracting and breaking from the sheer weight that I am lifting.

    Mind-muscle connection is though to explain into words because if you haven't gone there yet and felt it, it could be though to understand. I hope you get to that level !

    Also, regarding time-under-tension, it is true that it can be a more succesful action towards hypertrophy than rep range.

    For example, I have seen better results from squatting 120 kgs for only 4 reps than squatting 100 kgs for 8-9 reps even while doing these 8-9 reps with perfect slow form and going ass-to-grass.

    When I do the 120 kilos, I go ass-to-grass as well, but when I am back in the starting position of the movement it can take me a couple of seconds to refocus. These 4 reps might take me a minute to do and I end up being covered in sweat from those reps. That's a way to conceptualize time-under-tension.

    Finally, don't forget to do your negative at the end of a set.

    Something I always try to do when I am struggling to get a rep is to perform as much as I can of the positive, hold it there and fight against gravity. This is especially important for dips and pull-ups in my opinion. I have noticed great improvements from simply adding that one negative rep at the end of each set.


    HooEmAi likes this.
  18. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    I looked them up and perused. It seems that it's bodyweight circuit training that hinges upon something like a dozen main movements in varying/scaled forms. And HIIT type cardio training. It's not reinventing the wheel, but they may very well periodize it for you and keep you accountable. My opinion? If you're excited about it, and have the disposable income, try it out and believe your ass of in it. Results are sure to come.

    If you're frugal like me, glean what you can from folks who have DONE it, take the principles and construct something specific to your goals and believe your ass off in it. The former? Less work involved and more accountability. The latter, you must dig and tailor it to work, then be accountable to only yourself.


    100 pull ups according to the grips in OP
    3x20 Pistols
    3x20 Reverse Lunge to Stiff Leg Skater
    3x26 Side runner Lunge
    2x10 back roll to squat/stand/jump
    *All superset with pull ups


    3x10s L-Sit
    3x10 Hip Spreads
    4x25 V-Ups
    3x30 Oblique Crunch
    3x20 Hollow to Arch Holds
  19. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut

    2/17 TUT day

    Dips (controlled; squeeze elbows in at top) 3x24, 23, 19
    Wide Dead Hang Pull Ups 3x14, 13, 11

    Paused Aussie Row3x14, 14, 12 (need to work on pausing better toward the end of sets, because I sacrifice them a bit)
    Double Diamond/Extension Push Ups (2 diamond pushups squeezing chest, then extend back into shoulder extension; counts as 2 reps for each) 3x40, 34, 32

    Lying Rear Delt Crucifix (hard to not bring abs into this movement, still working on foot placement/not tucking chin/spine/etc.) 3x15
    Hammer Bar Curl 3x10 (70)
    KB High Pull 3x10 (30)
    KB Tricep Extension 3x11,11,12 (30)

    My arms/shoulders are responding to the hypertrophy circuit at the end pretty well, already, in that I can tell they're holding a "pump: from glycogen storage. Yeah, I like trying to bring up the .22 caliber "guns" to at least some .38 cals lmao. Good training today, very much rep improvement, and the quality of the connection to the chest/biceps/back were unreal.
  20. HooEmAi

    HooEmAi Fapstronaut


    4x25 V-Up

    3x30 Oblique Crunch
    3x20 Hollow to Arch

    3x20 Pause Chinnies
    3x20 Reverse Crunch

    Doing away with ab wheel altogether for now. My upper body needs recovery from training days. And ab wheel kind of hits arms/grip/ shoulders/back as well as core. So I increased volume on v-ups.

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