Calisthenics and Bodybuilding?

LvlUpStr

Double-Digit Post Count
Too much in a single day. Seems like you are trying to get so many variations of the same exercise in one session and IMHO that is a bad way to go about it. This I know for I tried it myself.

Keep it simple and effective. Pick/make exercises that are challenging. The reps and sets are up to you but I recommend no more than 5 sets of whatever amount of reps you choose to do.

A template I been following for years is this:
Pulling exercise
Pushing exercise
Core Exercise
Pulling Exercise
Pushing Exercise
Legs

and in that order.
Thank you, I have reduced the number of exercises by half of what they were.There were too many exercises on the previous routine that I did these past three days and I found that I could have performed the exercises with more challenge. As you know, that type of training is excellent for conditioning and muscular endurance but not as much for strength and building the muscle as it is more similar to the Beachbody type routines that I used to do.

I have ordered the Mirafit chain belt and I will use it for the calisthenics exercises.
 
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JohnDoeman

Double-Digit Post Count
@NX3DT - Time under tension is the name of the game for all hypertrophy work whether weights or calisthenics. I highly suggest using calisthenics because the hypertrophy you gain will not outpace your joints / connective tissue. If you're not looking to size-up like a professional bodybuilder, then calisthenics will be plenty sufficient with enough time and patience. I am a living example of why gaining mass quickly with weights is a bad idea (joint problems, reduced cardiovascular abilities, sleep apnea...etc) and I personally am on a crusade to drop muscle mass to a point before I decided to "bulk up".

To continue, you can achieve your goals through a few tricks. First is understanding time under tension (TUT). You can achieve this through high reps at a faster pace or less reps at a slower pace. Easier calisthenics movements will require more TUT versus more difficult movements (i.e. a normal push-up will require up to 60 seconds of TUT per set while a one-arm push-up will require only 15 seconds or so per set). The TUT required for hypertrophy is inversely related to the intensity or difficulty of the movement.

A fun way to increase TUT for hypertrophy is called the "mechanical drop set". Something I read about at T-Nation. An example of this is starting your set with a difficult version of a movement, like one-arm push-ups or any other choice movement. When you reach technical failure for that movement, you move to an easier version like a normal push-up, reach technical failure again, then move to something like a kneeling push-up. Continue this to a pre-determined point to complete failure.

Example
- Feet elevated push-up *to technical failure*
*move directly into*
- Normal push-up *to technical failure*
*move directly into*
- Kneeling push-up *to technical failure or complete failure*

You can expand this or change the movements all you want. This also compresses your gym time while increasing the needed TUT for your muscle building. Lastly, the reps for hypertrophy using calisthenics is higher than the range for weights (if you do not add resistance). I would suggest starting with unweighted or non-banded movements for as long as you get results. You must consider your joints even with calisthenics if you choose to add weight or resistance.
 

WeightedPullups

Double-Digit Post Count
Still think you got too much going on but if this works for you then by all means go for it. As for the belt you mentioned, the chain in the pic isn't one of the stronger chains out there.

I used both of these and prefer the Rogue one due to how quickly I can remove and re-attach the chain. But both are great and comfortable and worth the money.

Rogue Dip Belt

De Rigueur Dipping Belt for weighted dips, chins - IronMind-www.ironmind-store.com



Thank you, I have reduced the number of exercises by half of what they were.There were too many exercises on the previous routine that I did these past three days and I found that I could have performed the exercises with more challenge. As you know, that type of training is excellent for conditioning and muscular endurance but not as much for strength and building the muscle as it is more similar to the Beachbody type routines that I used to do.

I will try to find a compromise between the 10, 8, 5 repetition range because I am not sure of the quality of the chain belt yet but it is a chain belt but if I can perform the exercise with 40KG, I will change the repetition number to 8, 5, 3.

Here is the page for the chain belt.
Weight Lifting Belt - With Chain | Mirafit

Day 1 Chest and Triceps
3 Circuits of 10, 8, 5
Straight Bar Dips
Parallel Bar Dips
Korean Dips
Chest Press
Archer Push-Up
Tricep Extensions

Day 2
3 Circuits of 10, 8, 5
Chin-Ups
Narrow Grip Pull-Ups
L-Sit Chin-Ups
Around the World Chin-Ups
Wide Grip Pull-Ups
Negative Chin-Ups

Day 3
Squat 12, 10, 8
Pistol Squat 12, 10, 8
Walk Lunge to Step-Up Reverse Lunge 12, 10, 8
Front to Back Squat and Plyo Lunge 12, 10, 8

Day 4 Recovery

Day 5A Plyometric Training 1
3 Circuits
Chest High Pull-Ups 10
Dips on Straight Bar 12
Clapping Push-Ups 10
Head Bangers Pull-Up Grip 10
Typewriter Pull-Ups 10
Jump Muscle-Ups 12
Clapping Pull-Ups 8
OR
Day 5B Plyometric Training 2
Behind Back Clap Push-Ups 15
Explosive Parallel Bar Dips 20
High Explosive Chest Pull-Ups 20
Incline Fast Push-Ups 60
Explosive Toe Touch Push-Ups 20
Clapping Pull-Ups
Clap Push-Ups

Day 6 Back and Biceps

Day 7 Legs

Day 1 and 5 Calisthenics Technical
Muscle Up
Switch Grip
Half Lever
Front Lever
Back Lever
Planche
Korean Dips
Handstand
 

LvlUpStr

Double-Digit Post Count
@NX3DT - Time under tension is the name of the game for all hypertrophy work whether weights or calisthenics. I highly suggest using calisthenics because the hypertrophy you gain will not outpace your joints / connective tissue. If you're not looking to size-up like a professional bodybuilder, then calisthenics will be plenty sufficient with enough time and patience. I am a living example of why gaining mass quickly with weights is a bad idea (joint problems, reduced cardiovascular abilities, sleep apnea...etc) and I personally am on a crusade to drop muscle mass to a point before I decided to "bulk up".

To continue, you can achieve your goals through a few tricks. First is understanding time under tension (TUT). You can achieve this through high reps at a faster pace or less reps at a slower pace. Easier calisthenics movements will require more TUT versus more difficult movements (i.e. a normal push-up will require up to 60 seconds of TUT per set while a one-arm push-up will require only 15 seconds or so per set). The TUT required for hypertrophy is inversely related to the intensity or difficulty of the movement.

A fun way to increase TUT for hypertrophy is called the "mechanical drop set". Something I read about at T-Nation. An example of this is starting your set with a difficult version of a movement, like one-arm push-ups or any other choice movement. When you reach technical failure for that movement, you move to an easier version like a normal push-up, reach technical failure again, then move to something like a kneeling push-up. Continue this to a pre-determined point to complete failure.

Example
- Feet elevated push-up *to technical failure*
*move directly into*
- Normal push-up *to technical failure*
*move directly into*
- Kneeling push-up *to technical failure or complete failure*

You can expand this or change the movements all you want. This also compresses your gym time while increasing the needed TUT for your muscle building. Lastly, the reps for hypertrophy using calisthenics is higher than the range for weights (if you do not add resistance). I would suggest starting with unweighted or non-banded movements for as long as you get results. You must consider your joints even with calisthenics if you choose to add weight or resistance.
Thank you for the response, I researched mechanical drop sets and I have applied it to the workouts.
 
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Deleted member 11594

Guest
When I'm working through a hypertrophy weight training program I split bodyweight exercises up into these 2 categories and treat/manipulate each differently:

1. Bent Joint: Dips, Pull-ups, Pistol Squats, Push-ups, Handstand Push-ups, Rope Climbing, Muscle-ups, etc.
2. Locked Joint: Handstands, Planche, Front/Back/Side Levers, Press handstands, Straight Arm Ring Supports, Advanced Ring Exercises

The bent joint exercises I insert normally into my main workout. For example, shoulder days often include something like 10x8 push press, 6x12 handstand push-up variation, 4x12 DB lateral raise, and so on. A chest day could be push-ups for a dynamic warmup, 10x8 bench press, 8x8 weighted dips, 8x8 DB bench...you get the idea.

The locked joint exercises I train in separate sessions as skill work. I tend to keep most of my skills on maintenance and focus on improving just one (two moves max) at a time. During my last hypertrophy phase, I greased the groove with planche and press handstand; those two have a lot of crossover so I like training them together.

I also had 2 dedicated sessions per week for press handstand and planche where I trained each for 20-minute time blocks. Sometimes this was back to back and other times spread out over separate sessions and/or days. I just did my best quality planching and pressing to handstand during the sessions, resting as needed. I hope this helps!
 

Anna C

More than 5000 posts
Elite Certified Instructor
I also had 2 dedicated sessions per week for press handstand and planche where I trained each for 20-minute time blocks. Sometimes this was back to back and other times spread out over separate sessions and/or days. I just did my best quality planching and pressing to handstand during the sessions, resting as needed.
That's a great idea for programming bodyweight training! I've been looking for some way to program my practice for SFB and I think this might be what I'll use. The "bent joint / locked joint" seems arbitrary to me, maybe will make some more sense as I think about it. But I really like the time block idea. Thanks @WillBass
 

LvlUpStr

Double-Digit Post Count
Still think you got too much going on but if this works for you then by all means go for it. As for the belt you mentioned, the chain in the pic isn't one of the stronger chains out there.

I used both of these and prefer the Rogue one due to how quickly I can remove and re-attach the chain. But both are great and comfortable and worth the money.

Rogue Dip Belt

De Rigueur Dipping Belt for weighted dips, chins - IronMind-www.ironmind-store.com
That belt looks great, do you know where I could buy a similar quality belt from the United Kingdom?

I tried the routine and it was excellent but I am thinking of working out legs after chest and triceps day to rest the upper body since the pull-ups on back and biceps day work the triceps as well.
 

Glen

Quadruple-Digit Post Count
That belt looks great, do you know where I could buy a similar quality belt from the United Kingdom?

I tried the routine and it was excellent but I am thinking of working out legs after chest and triceps day to rest the upper body since the pull-ups on back and biceps day work the triceps as well.
Looking at them I think mobility tools in Wales do one similar
 

Deleted member 11594

Guest
That's a great idea for programming bodyweight training! I've been looking for some way to program my practice for SFB and I think this might be what I'll use. The "bent joint / locked joint" seems arbitrary to me, maybe will make some more sense as I think about it. But I really like the time block idea. Thanks @WillBass
Happy to help! Yeah, fair point. In the past, I've included front lever (locked joint) sets in with deadlift/back workouts since it is essentially an isometric pulling exercise. It's just what makes sense for my goals organization right now.
 

Nate

Triple-Digit Post Count
Would either of the following make sense for muscle? Since hypertrophy can happen near failure w/ weights as low as 30%, I thought there may be some transfer here. Or I could be wrong...

Russian Bear Bodyweight Adaptation (since you can't change 90%, 80%):
Hard set near failure
2nd set = 3/4 of the reps of set 1
3rd - ?? sets: 1/2 of reps of set 1

It'd give some stimulus near failure & accumulation of submax work as I've heard from Plan Strong etc. Would you have to weight these to keep rep max low enough or would this work for higher rep ranges?

Or

Time Under Tension
Sets are for time. Do full reps if possible, but go to partial reps or static holds to finish time if necessary.
Week 1: 35 sec sets
Week 2: 40 sec sets
Week 3: 45 sec sets
.... go to 60 & reset? May be too long.

It'd give time under tension that's adaptable to individual exercise variations or difficulties.

Thanks!

edit: Looks like I may have posted too early. Section 8 of Beyond Bodybuilding has competative ladders that looks like the ticket.
 
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Steve Freides

Forum Administrator
Senior Certified Instructor
The Bear is PTTP first - 2 sets of heavy weights. So you could shorten the subsequent sets, but doing less with a heavier weight isn't the ideal choice for hypertrophy - but, all that said, it could work, too. Particularly if you're doing the version of PTTP that's 5-3-2 with the same weight, you could just carry on with doubles, or better, a mix of singles, doubles, and triples.

Interesting ....

-S-
 

George Locke

Double-Digit Post Count
Hello,

@NX3DT
On YouTube, there is an interesting channel called "Red Delta Project". Here you can find plenty of information regarding muscle building using bodyweight and programming.

Most of the time, you find very similar contents to what @North Coast Miller said.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Just wanted to chime in and say that Red Delta Project/Matt Schifferle's approach for bodybuilding with calisthenics has a lot of appeal for me too. Rather than hitting muscles from all angles, he emphasizes mind muscle connection, something which may have some basis in science (see Can using the mind-muscle connection enhance hypertrophy? ). My own preferences lean away from the kind of variety you're working with, but unless you're planning to compete, fretting over what's optimal is less important than consistency, and having fun/keeping it interesting is probably going to help with that. (Especially if you're getting results.)
 

LvlUpStr

Double-Digit Post Count
Thank you for all your responses, the advice has helped me a great deal. I have gained muscle and the muscle-ups have improved greatly since I have been using the chain belt.

I have added some traditional hypertrophy bodybuilding exercises after the calisthenics practice while reducing volume and increasing the frequency of the workouts.
 
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LvlUpStr

Double-Digit Post Count
I have created three different upper body workouts for different days while focusing more on the 3x8 repetition range and reducing the amount of sets per workout.

Calisthenics

Pre-Workout
Wall Extensions 3x10
Dislocates 3x10
Cat-Cow 3x10
Full Body Circles 3x10
Front Leg Swings 3x10
Side Leg Swings 3x10

Bodyline Drills
Plank 3x10s –> 3x15s –> 3x20s –> 2x30s –> 2x45s –> 1x60s
Side Plank 3x10s –> 3x15s –> 3x20s –> 2x30s –> 2x45s –> 1x60s
Hollow 3x10s –> 3x15s –> 3x20s –> 2x30s –> 2x45s –> 1x60s
Arch 3x10s –> 3x15s –> 3x20s –> 2x30s –> 2x45s –> 1x60s
Reverse Plank 3x10s –> 3x15s –> 3x20s –> 2x30s –> 2x45s –> 1x60s

Handstand Training
Wall Walks
Wall Kick-Up
Wall Float
Split Leg Kick Up
Straddle Handstand
Full Handstand

Pair 1
Weighted Pull-Up 3x8
Weighted Dips 3x8
Pair 2
Weighted Squat 3x5
Deadlift 3x5
Pair 3
Pseudo Push-Up 3x5
Front Lever Pull 3x5
Hypertrophy
Negative Chin-Up 3x8
Bodyweight Tricep Extensions 3x8
Core
Dragon Flag 3x5
Half Lever 3x5
 
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