Moritz Köhler

First Post
Hi Guys,
just a few weeks ago I started to really commit to wanting to learn everything I needed to learn to start and ultimately master Calisthenics.
The first book I´ve read was Convict Conditioning and I overall really like the philosophy of it. But I didn´t feel like that it really gave me concrete routines. Like what exercises and why? Sure the Big Six with each their 10 steps to mastery are really well explained and he says you should start easier than you think is your level to make long term gains and not burn yourself out and at the end, he gives some regimes without really explaining why and how they work.
Like how should I know where to start to build my athletic performance sustainably?
How can I know when to progress in my techniques and reps?
How can I know how many rest days I need?
Also what time a day is best?
Rather fasted workout or with some food in your stomach if with food how long before and how much?
How can I figure out my caloric and protein requirements?
What is an optimal macronutrient ratio for performance, strength and muscle gain?

I also really want to learn about how all the muscles, joints and other things in the body are called. Like how does muscle growth really work etc?

Now I´m reading Your Body is your own Gym and I also wonder how I can know if my source is correct in their information. He, for example, says cardio makes you lose muscle and is inefficient for fat loss. There aren´t any studies for that claim for example and I don´t know enough about this stuff yet to determine whether he´s right or wrong. In the next chapter on nutrition, for example, he teaches you to eat way more protein than you need and unhealthy animal foods and 5 times a day which is ridiculously unhealthy advice which I know cause I really studied nutrition. But how the f*** can I really learn about the other things from a reputable source that gives proof for their information?
And of course you need more protein for muscle growth but also there it´s confusing to me how much exactly. You hear everything from 1-3 grams of protein. I tend to lean towards 1,7-2,5 I guess but I honestly don´t really know.
Also intuitively it makes sense for me that bodyweight is healthier than Gym training and can produce the same or better Physique. Also that it actually produces real athletic ability and grows you on every level of your being. But is that also evidence-based? With that, I feel the most yes but with the other question, I´m still in the dark.

I would love to get some answers and recommended resources. :)
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Moritz Köhler, welcome to the StrongFirst forum.

You are asking for advice about resources that don't come from StrongFirst. Our bodyweight program and instructions are contained in the book, Naked Warrior. If you'd like advice on bodyweight training the way we teach it at StrongFirst, you're in the right place. Otherwise, I suggest you ask elsewhere.

-S-
 

Moritz Köhler

First Post
Ah okay, I understand. What´s the difference between the way you with Naked Warrior teach Bodyweight Training and other bodyweight training schools/modalities ?
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
@Moritz Köhler, the way we teach everything we like to describe as "an inch wide and a mile deep." We choose, carefully, a limited number of exercises and then apply our core principles, which are the same across all modalities - bodyweight, kettlebell, and barbell.

-S-
 

Pavel Macek

Level 8 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Step 1: Read The Naked Warrior & Hardstyle Abs by Pavel, and practice.
Step 2: Read the bodyweight strength training articles on our blog, and practice.
Step 3: Sign up for a Bodyweight Course, or learn from an SFB certified instructor, and practice.
Step 4: Sign up for an SFB Bodyweight Certification, learn, practice, and teach.
 

WhatWouldHulkDo

Level 6 Valued Member
@Moritz Köhler , I'll just throw out that it sounds like you might be paralyzed by an abundance of information. Convict Conditioning isn't StrongFirst, but there's some good stuff in there - those progressions are what started me getting back into shape a few years ago. Don't let perfect be the enemy of good. My very generic advise:
  • Cut out a slice or two of your day, and start practicing the skills as frequently as you can.
  • Don't rush the movements. Always keep complete tension & control, no bouncing.
  • Don't go for a muscle burn - stop before that happens. Save it for the next session.
If you want "optimal" training, you gotta get some coaching, like Steve and Pavel are saying - the internet or a book just won't get you there. But, if you're like most of us, you can afford some learning by trial and error - just get started and get stronger.
 

Marc

Level 6 Valued Member
Naked Warrior is a great source for bw and the general principles of strength.
Othet than that I can really recommend FitnessFAQs. They have a programme called Begin Bodyweight which might be what you are looking for.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Pushups, chinups, running and or walking, L-sits or knee-raise hangs on the bar.
Bodyweight stuff isn't rocket science. Situps are probably a waste of time though.

  • The Push: One-Arm One-Leg Pushup, Wall-Supported Handstand Pushup
  • The Pull: Tactical Pull-up, Hanging Leg Raise, Front Lever
  • The Squat: Pistol
Basic skills:

At the Bodyweight Course, you will learn the:

  • Pushup, and variations to help achieve a one-arm pushup
  • Single-leg squats and the progressions that build to the Pistol
  • Tactical Pull-up
  • Abdominal exercises
  • Programming
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

Here is a Dan John's article about the fundamental pattens that have to be addressed:
The 6 Foundational Movement Patterns | T Nation

Some of them are barely impossible to perform without additional weight / resistance. As a portable device, rubber band may be interesting for the hinge (deadlift). Indeed, once you reach the pistol, building some consecutive répétitions may be "enough" for the regular Joe.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Pavel Macek

Level 8 Valued Member
Master Certified Instructor
Quote from a SFB Bodyweight Manual:

Do not try to unreasonably maintain the “purity” of bodyweight only training.
Applies to all bells as well.
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Quote from a SFB Bodyweight Manual:

Do not try to unreasonably maintain the “purity” of bodyweight only training.
Applies to all bells as well.
I agree. The purists are interesting as they are living proof of what bodyweight training alone can do (as are those who only do kettlebells or barbells) but to be biased against using good equipment (especially equipment that is easy to store at home like kettlebells) for the sake of purity alone is not logical.I think the same way about chinup bars and pushup bars - extremely important stuff but hardly takes up any space at home - get them!

I'm not going to get too far with the barbell because it's not something that lends itself well to in-home training when you get to heavier weights. I've got mine set to 340lbs and it's a good supplementary exercise (loosely following the PTTP protocols) for me. I've got another barbell set to 95lbs I use for curls and presses, but to go serious with barbells I should be following a cycling programme and keep adding weight etc, and really I should be doing squats and bench presses too, which need a cage and a bench, and spotters - no thanks! My judo buddies (several of them) are very good barbell guys who go to the gym and can lift into the 600lbs range... but only in those particular lifts. There are a lot more movements in judo than just deadlifting and pressing your opponent, and at least half of judo is pressing and pulling your own body around your opponent or off the floor.

I'll say though that S&S has given me a great deal of practical strength for judo. I'm known as "the monster" for my strength. Sadly, my skill is woefully lacking but I'm learning slowly to get better. I'm getting quite intrigued with bodyweight training compared to barbell training because 1. I can still get very strong with it through multiple reps of 220lbs (my own bodyweight) and 2. I can train movement patterns that are relevant to judo (like pulling or pressing myself up on an opponent) that are not barbell-lifting moves. So, I'll be weaker than some of my friends in regards to certain particular movements like pulling straight up or pushing straight forward, but I shouldn't be too lacking in lifting or pulling myself up and around. I might not be lacking in conditioning though if I'm doing my bodyweight stuff for reps. Also, the L-sit type exercises that are easily done with bodyweight give me nice core strength for judo, and virtually all bodyweight exercises involve gripping something which strengthens my grip. Stopping S&S would be idiotic though, and I'm not ever considering that! S&S is what got me thus far!
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

1. I can still get very strong with it through multiple reps of 220lbs (my own bodyweight) and 2. I can train movement patterns that are relevant to judo (like pulling or pressing myself up on an opponent) that are not barbell-lifting moves
I think you underlined something important: the total poundage you can lift per amount of time (per session, per week, etc...).

Up to a certain point, you'll build strength, especially if due to your anatomy, you can not build up insane volume. However, after a while, you begin to target endurance (which is also necessary of course).

I noticed that 2 sets per day, very close to failure, gave me what I need in terms of muscle endurance and strength gain at the same time, without bulk or fatigue.

Kind regards,

Pet'
 

Kozushi

Level 7 Valued Member
Hello,


I think you underlined something important: the total poundage you can lift per amount of time (per session, per week, etc...).

Up to a certain point, you'll build strength, especially if due to your anatomy, you can not build up insane volume. However, after a while, you begin to target endurance (which is also necessary of course).

I noticed that 2 sets per day, very close to failure, gave me what I need in terms of muscle endurance and strength gain at the same time, without bulk or fatigue.

Kind regards,

Pet'
Let's say someday I can do 3 sets of 15 reps of pullups and dips. That would be not just strong but conditioned! Yikes!
 

pet'

Level 8 Valued Member
Hello,

@Kozushi
If you do supersets of dips and pull ups, sure you'll gain plenty of conditioning, meaning muscle endurance.

When I tried this kind of protocol, my conditioning went through the roof. Nonetheless, strength gains are harder to achieve that way.

The best "compromise" between strength and conditioning / muscle endurance I found is to do relatively long sets, with short (or even very short, no more than 25s) rest between sets. Most of the time, I did not exceed 5 sets per exercise, 2 to 3 times a week.

This is easier to do this with upper body exercises. For lower body, a regresssion of squat works well (pistol -> cossack -> Hindu -> regular -> jump -> lunge)

Kind regards,

Pet'
 
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