Can I TRAIN Calisthenics Every Day? THE TRUTH REVEALED!

Can I TRAIN Calisthenics Every Day? THE TRUTH REVEALED!

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Since Calisthenics Academy was created, I’ve seen many athletes rely on excuses to avoid getting started.

“I can’t train every day, I don’t have the time.”

“You’re asking for too much! What about overtraining?”

“Daily movement? I’m no pro, that’s too much!”

These are valid fears new athletes may have. But I’m here to tell you that you can do calisthenics every day.

I want to alleviate these fears once and for all while showing you a better way of thinking about your daily training and movement practice. I’ll also share strategies to move every day without overtraining and still get amazing results.

Ready for it? Let’s get started

Let me get something straight:

Calisthenics & Movement is a lifestyle

…and yes, you should be moving every single day.

The typical get-fit-quick, 8-week program pushes for hours upon hours of working out from the get-go, with a strict schedule and training for optimal and quick results.

For a lot of us, especially when just getting started, it’s just too much to take on.

Some of the strategies from these programs are effective and get results, but they don’t tackle the thought-process behind exercising. They create a tall, seemingly insurmountable mountain that takes hours upon hours of daily workouts to climb.

But what of someone who’s never done this before? How can they get started when the first step of the journey is already so challenging?

The answer is simple…

MOVE EVERY SINGLE DAY

But then, you start wondering…

Should I move every single day?

Would I feel better if I did?

Hell yeah!

Regardless of what your program says, even when talking about these so-called “rest days,” you should be moving.

Now, moving might not mean a full-on 2h training session. It’s important to understand that moving doesn’t always mean training, though training usually means moving.

Before I talk more about this, let’s get something straight:

I’m worried about overtraining”

Or is that just an excuse?

Read this LOUD and CLEAR: overtraining is ONLY a problem for elite athletes in competition training.

If you aren’t a professional, elite athlete, overtraining has just about NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

And yet… trainers hear clients express this worry repeatedly.

Soreness doesn’t equal overtraining. Working out for 2, or even 4 hours in the day isn’t overtraining.

There’s a big difference between overtraining and over-doing:

When you get started, your body isn’t conditioned for long training sessions. It’s completely unused to the work you’re putting it through, and so you can easily overdo it, because your body isn’t conditioned yet.

Working out an hour every day is not overtraining.

This might sound like a lot to you, but if you progressively condition your body into being used to a one-hour daily workout, it’ll just become normal.

You can alternate between having very dynamic workouts and taking it a bit easier on some days, but moving daily is extremely important for your overall health.

So rather than worry about overtraining, you need to ask yourself:

Should I be training every single day?

I’m not talking about moving. I really mean “training.” Remember, moving doesn’t have to mean training, but training always means moving.

And the answer is, you don’t have to TRAIN every day, but you should definitely MOVE every day.

So if you train for an hour 3 days a week, you should still be moving the 4 other days. It as simple as practicing your handstand, stretching or a short yoga session. Or even running after your kids, playing tag.

Studies show that even just 15 minutes of movement will help you extend your lifespan by 14%. The best would obviously be a bit longer, with approximately 45 minutes of mindful exercise per day, but even just 15 minutes will have amazing results on your overall health and mindset.

The WHO estimates that a quarter of European adults, and four-fifths of European adolescents, are insufficiently active. This means that they don’t regularly engage in the recommended levels of physical activity. Across Europe, the lack of activity has contributed to over 500,000 deaths per year – deaths that could have been averted by enabling and encouraging all European inhabitants to engage in more dynamic lifestyles.

And you know what the recommended level of physical activity by WHO is?

15 minutes a day.

But the upside is massive:

“Engaging in these levels of physical activity substantially reduces an individual’s risk of developing one or more of the health problems or disorders set out, quite the opposite. This underlines the extensive benefits which physical activity can bring: in addition to promoting cardiovascular health, it is effective in treating or averting a broad range of serious non-communicable diseases, physical and mental health issues.”

In other words – it’s a life-saver.

“All efforts to increase levels of physical activity can be seen as life-saving medical interventions, as well as investments in human health and potential. Physical activity delivers longer, happier and more productive lives, contributing positively to economic and social outcomes in numerous ways.”

So should you be moving every single day?

Hell yeah!

But what about the results?

We all want results. And that’s good. We need goals to keep on moving, keep on progressing, keep on getting better. It’s really important.

There’s a sweet spot, though, where training more won’t get you more results. Unless you’re a professional athlete and you’re training for some sort of competition, consistency is more important than the volume.

So even though I know you want results – whether you get these results in 2 or 3 months won’t make much difference. What will make a difference is you building the habit of working out or moving, day in and day out.

Keep that in mind.

Yes, you’ll get there faster if you train 6 days instead of 3, but can you actually afford to train 6 days a week? or after 4 weeks, will you burn out and never want to train again?

It’s better that you train more slowly, and be able to stick to it for the next 6,12, 24 months. In fact, you should be able to commit to it for the rest of your life.

So let’s talk about how you can move, and even train, every single day without burning out while making sure that you’re moving forward a little bit every day.

3 Strategies To Optimise Daily Training

1. Cycle Your Training Focus

Working for hours upon hours of time working doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll improve.

You need to focus specifically on what you want to train and achieve. This will help you make progress much faster and more efficiently than if you didn’t focus your attention on your goals.

But you need to have first mastered the Fundamentals. If you’re just starting out and you want to master your handstand – that’s cool but you probably won’t have conditioned your abs, legs, or pulling strength.

If you want to have good form and master your handstand, you need to first develop the right muscles. This is how you’ll be able to go after more advanced moves.

This is why the training program in Calisthenics Academy starts with the fundamentals.

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Training your core will help your handstands, doing leg lifts will perfect your l-sit, pulling strength and vertical dips will help you eventually achieve a muscle-up.

Once you’ve got that – periodization and cycling come into play.

2. Split Workout Routines

I hear some of you saying: “But wait, how will my muscles grow if I train them every day? Don’t they grow during the resting time?”

This is where split routines can be used:

Split routines typically consist of either a 2- or 3-day split. With calisthenics, I’d stick with a 2-day split.

Examples of a two-day split routine could be:

Day 1: (PUSH + Legs): Handstands, Push-Ups, and Legs

Day 3: (PULL + Core): Pull-ups, Horizontal pulls, Bridges, Leg raises

Day 5: Back  (Progressions towards Bridges & Back Lever)

Another way you could split your training is based on the muscle group:

Monday         Chest and Triceps

Tuesday        Biceps and Back

Wednesday      Legs and Shoulders

Thursday       REST

Friday         Chest and Triceps

Saturday       Biceps and Back

Sunday         Legs and Shoulders

If that sounds confusing, here’s an easy solution for you.

This is how we create the routines inside Calisthenics Academy.

Our system gives you the ability to adjust the time of your workouts. You can pick the days and choose how much time you want like to workout for, from 30 to 90 minutes.

In the past, we had full and split body routines. Recently, we’ve deployed machine-learning algorithms to create the most optimal workouts for you.

Here’s how the routines are created:

When creating your workout based on time, we use 3 main elements to determine what goes into it. These are:

1. How long it takes to do each exercise

We gather data on how long it takes to physically perform each exercise and average it out.

2. Type of exercise

We categorize all exercises from each progression – core, arm, legs (and in the future, a back progression). When building your workout, our algorithm makes sure that none of the exercises in the same category are next to each other – that enables us to create the most optimal routine for you and give you time to recover.

3. History

We also track every last exercise accomplished. It helps for recovery.

Our system then rotates the exercises, so if you did a pistol squat, you’ll be run through other exercises in the queue before hitting the pistol squat once again.

This optimizes for effectiveness and recovery, so don’t need to build up your routine. You can just follow the program we set you, which will make your entire workout easier.

If you’re interested in Calisthenics Academy – you can find more details here – or Take an Assessment and see where you stand with the Fundamentals moves.

2. Autoregulation

Autoregulation is an important topic in calisthenics. It’s all the more important because it addresses the challenges we face as soon as we make a long-term commitment: some days a good, some day not so much.

Autoregulation is a tool that will help you adjust your training based on your performance.

Imagine you are coming into your workout but you are tired.

There are many variables that can affect the quality of your workout:

Sleep, emotional stress, illness, work, energy levels and diet all significantly influence your state of mind and body.

There are days when you’ll feel great and on the top of the world, where you just power through your workout. Other days you might be feeling really bad. Some weeks are amazing, some are miserable.

And unfortunately, there are too many variables to predict and plot how you’ll be performing on a specific day to be able to schedule the right kind of workout.

The old school of thought would say that you just need to push through it and train. But the truth is that these are real variables. Instead of fighting against them, you should work with them to make your training more effective. This is autoregulation.

The best thing about it is that you can easily train every day and simply adjust your training based on how you feel.

There are different schools of thought around this type of training. Calisthenics Academy uses a 5-point scale of RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion), where, based on the image below, point 7, 8 and 9 are combined into one level of Exertion.

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How does it look in real life? After every single exercise you do, we’ll ask, “How hard was it to complete that set of reps?” – based on your feedback, the system will automatically adjust your next set by adding or subtracting reps. This, yet again, will ensure that your training program is the best for you.

If you aren’t a part of Calisthenics Academy, you can simply use this spreadsheet to record your training and adjust your own workout.

So, can you afford to train every day?  

The short answer is yes.

But you don’t need to train every day.

Remember the distinction between training and moving – you need to move every single day. Moving can be as simple as a 20 min handstand practice, or 20 burpees, or 10 min of yoga – basically, movement snacks.

Few are the athletes who can devote their entire day to training without having to worry about other responsibilities.

We normally recommend 3-4 days per week 30-60 min each session. In addition to regular movement outside of these scheduled workouts.

Most people will be able to accommodate their workouts to this much training, and it’s a reasonable amount of time to give you optimal results.

If you’re a part of Calisthenics Academy, you can pick your 6-day schedule and the program will make sure that your workouts will be perfectly optimized for you.

Cover your bases

I might have focused on calisthenics workouts, but you need to remember to rest and eat appropriately. Working out is just a part of the process towards better health.

Can you afford NOT moving every day?  

I will repeat this again. Movement is life – scheduled training sessions are good, but ideally your days are filled with easy movement, stretches – whatever feels good.

Remember, just 15 minutes of moving will protect you from these issues:

  • Heart disease
  • Stroke Reduced risk
  • Overweight and obesity Reduced risk
  • Type II diabetes Reduced risk
  • Colon cancer Reduced risk
  • Breast cancer Reduced risk
  • Musculoskeletal health
  • Improvement Falls in older people Reduced risk
  • Psychological wellbeing Improvement
  • Depression Reduced

And this is backed by science.

Don’t Get Caught Up Living Other peoples lives

Remember, move every day, even when you’re not training.

You’re playing a long game with your health – this isn’t a short-term solution that will just help you now. You’re making a lifelong commitment towards a healthier life, habits, and mind.

Use autoregulation to adapt your training to days where you might not feel like you’re doing enough. If you’re moving, it’s enough.

Don’t let anyone else’s expectations or judgment of what’s right influence what might be right for you.

Choose a routine and a program that feel right for you: it won’t matter or work in the long-term, otherwise.

Don’t give up when you hit a wall. If you’re trying, that’s good enough.

That’s where you’ll find your own kind of happiness.

Move every day.

 

DO YOU WANT AN OPTIMAL TRAINING PROGRAM SO YOU CAN MAKE THE MOST OUT OF YOUR TIME?  

Lack of personalization is hurting your training performance. It’s a FACT

Imagine if some of these exercises above were too hard for you. Your body will try to compensate with a poor form, movement dysfunction and possibly risk injury if it’s too challenging. And now imagine if some of these exercises were too easy they wouldn’t challenge your muscles to grow – you’d simply be wasting your time.  This is why we created Calisthenics Academy: to offer a fully personalized training program reflecting exactly where your level is for optimal performance.

Take the assessment to see how do you stack up on the 8 fundamental calisthenics moves

calisthenics training assessment

calisthenics training assessment

Share the results and comments in our Facebook Group

 

calisthenics academy the ultimate calisthenics training program

 

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!
The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Parallets

The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Parallets

From helping your handstand to getting started with your l-sit, parallets should be a staple in any beginner’s hand-balancing workout. Let me tell you why:

Typically, Calisthenics tells you to stick with the bare essentials of equipment. Some rings, a pull-up bar and that’s it. But sometimes, having one or two more things at home can make your training easier.

Take hand-balancing, for example. It’s crucial to calisthenics, but it’s one hell of a challenge when you’re just starting out:

You need to get your legs up straight, keep your balance and hold your posture. Even if you’re using a wall or support blocks, your wrists and hands will usually get tired long before the rest of your body is ready to give up.

And that’s where a little piece of equipment like parallets comes in handy. They’re an awesome and affordable hand-balancing tool that allows you to do train longer safely. You can even go to our Calisthenics Academy shop and get them today.

But how can I use parallets?

Parallets can help you in so many different ways, but there isn’t much info about how to actually add them to your training, or how to work out with them. This is why we’ve created a guide. Let’s dive into it!

WHY SHOULD I ADD PARALLETS TO MY TRAINING?

Here are some of the awesome benefits parallets have:

  • Prolong your training. You can practice hand-balancing on the ground until you start experiencing wrist fatigue, then switch to using the parallets for the rest of your training session.
  • Prevent overuse injury. Hands and wrists aren’t naturally equipped to carry our entire body weight. If you don’t train them properly, they’ll quickly develop overuse injuries that take a lot of time to heal. As a beginner, parallets will help you train properly without putting too much stress onto your hands and wrists.
  • Add an extra step to your progressions. Is working on the floor too hard right off the bat? Try training with parallets as an extra step towards working on the ground.
  • Practice moves you can’t do on the ground. Can’t do an L-sit on the ground because, well, you just can’t yet? Start on parallets! They take you off the ground enough for you to get started.

6 ways to include parallets in your training

Here are 6 basic moves you can train on your parallets for a wider range of movement, easier progressions while safeguarding your wrists and hands.

Be careful with your wrists’ position! When starting, always keep them in a neutral position to prevent overexertion.

L-Sit
How-to: 
Keep your hips extended at the same level as your hands. Raise your legs as high as you can, preferably to a 90-degree angle, parallel to the floor. If you can’t, focus on keeping your feet off the ground while holding your back and arms straight.
Photo credit: Crossfit Magnus

Tuck-Sit
How-to:
Keep your hips extended, slightly in front of your hands, and your back as straight as you can maintain it. Your knees should be tightly held to get her and your head is held in a neutral position.
Photo credit: GMB Fitness

Push-up
How-to: 
Keep the parallets wide enough that your hands and shoulders are at the same width. Bend your knees if you need to, and lower down with your elbows tucked in. As per calisthenics, lower slowly while exhaling (4s) and push up quickly with a 1s pause each way. Watch out for your hip position and keep them aligned with your body!
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Tuck-Planche
How-to: Push down on your shoulders, round your back and pull your knees together, tight against your chest. Remember, keep your wrists in a neutral position.
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Dips
How-to: You have the option to do L-Sit dips, or follow the image with your feet on the ground. Keep your elbows tucked in and exhale while going down slowly (4s) and inhale coming up.
Photo credit: Desert Cart

Handstand (against the wall)
How-to: 
Place your hands on the parallets as close to the wall as you can while staying balanced. Align your head, shoulders and back, bring your stomach in to avoid the “banana” shape. Push your shoulders down and keep your head neutral (don’t overextend your neck). Try letting only your feet touch the wall.
Photo credit: Men’s Fitness

Wanna workout? Include your parallets!

  • Use the best warm-up for you.
    If you don’t have one, here’s a good warm-up routine from GMB Fitness:
  1. Shoulder circles – 5 times each direction
  2. Up/Down/Right/left neck tilts – 5 times each side
  3. Arm crossovers – 5 times each side
  4. Wrist stretches, fingers facing into and away from the knees – 5 times each
  5. Elbow circles with hands on the ground – 5 times each way
  6. Scapular shrugs, hands, and knees on the ground – 5-10 times
  7. Cat/Cow alternation – 5 each pose, hold for 3-5s
  8. Shake out those shoulders for a few seconds!
  • Dips – 5-12 reps
  • L-sit 5-10s
  • Tuck-sit 5-10s
  • Tuck planche 5-10s
  • Push-up – 5-12 reps
  • Rest 90s-2 minutes
  • Repeat steps 2-7 for no more than 3-4 rounds.
You can end your workout with a handstand (against the wall), holding for 10-45s.

 

Interested in getting your own set of parallets? Check out our shop at Calisthenics Academy!

Have your own experience with parallets? Share it in the comments or in our Facebook group.

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!

Improve grip strength and do more, faster.

A few weeks ago America Ninja Warrior competitor and professional rock climber Brian Arnold powered his way to the finals at the world’s most challenging obstacle course known as Mt. Midoriyama in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pure muscle and grip strength helped him make his way through Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the course. And despite falling on the Flying Bar in Stage 3, he set a new record for going farther than any other American, and showcased an incredible level of grip strength from day one.

Grip strength is crucial for rock climbers, parkour athletes, gymnasts, or baseball players gripping a bat to hit a homerun. But it’s also a critical element of calisthenics that can determine whether or not you can move on to the next exercise in the THE FUNDAMENTAL series of progressive exercises. It’s particularly important to develop grip strength to achieve the one-arm pull-up and one-arm hanging straight-leg raise. Calisthenics progressive exercises for these two moves will help you develop grip strength. But if your grip strength is what’s keeping you from progressing, you may want to add some grip-strength training to your exercise routine.

Is your grip strength powerful enough to tear apart a phone book like this guy? Watch the video.

Grip Strength Matters

You need grip strength to help you achieve the Big Six, but it’s more important than that. Grip strength is an indicator of your overall health and longevity. Healthcare professionals frequently used a grip strength test to measure improvements in strength after hand surgery. But it’s also used to predict problems with mobility as you age, according to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, a nice reminder that following calisthenics progression for the long haul will help you live a longer, healthier life.

If you’re having trouble with the progressive exercises to execute the one-arm pull-up or hanging straight-leg raises, improving your grip strength can help. Here are two ways you can improve your grip strength to help you progress through calisthenics:

Squeeze the Bar.

Hop on to your pull-up bar to muscle your way through a couple of reps. Take a break and repeat. Do that a couple of times, and you may notice that with eat set, your grip gets a little weaker until you’re clinging to the bar by your fingertips trying to eek out one more rep. But that approach isn’t the best way to build your grip strength.

Instead, squeeze the bar tightly while doing the repetitions for a set like you’re hanging on for dear life on an out-of-control roller coaster ride. Grip the bar, squeeze tightly, and then complete your reps. When you make the effort to use your grip, it triggers a response in your body that engages more of your hands and fingers to hang on and perform the exercise. And the result is a lot like everything else in calisthenics. Stick with it, and this habit will make your grip strength legendary.

Use Grip Builders.

You can buy padded grips to put on your pull-up bar to make it thicker. This modification makes gripping the bar harder, and forces you to squeeze a little tighter to perform the exercises that require grip strength.  But if  you’re on a budget, you don’t have to buy jack to improve your grip strength. Just wrap your pull-up bar in a towel to make the bar thicker and more difficult to hang on to.

Fat Gripz are something I am using and loving them:

At first, you probably won’t be able to do as many reps as you could without a towel wrapped around the bar, but backing off a little to exercise this way is an investment in building grip strength. You can also toss the towel over the bar, and squeeze the two ends of the towel to perform pull-ups or hanging leg-raises like this below. But be prepared to discover that this technique will turn any bar-pulling or hanging exercise into a tug-of-war torture match between the towel and your forearms.

Hang in There.

If lack of grip strength is holding you back, here’s another way to improve your grip strength. End ever set of exercises by gripping the bar, squeezing, and hanging on as long as you can. It’s one more way to engage build the kind of muscle strength and endurance you need to go the distance with calisthenics

Professional trainer, ex cross-fitter and a long time calisthenic practitioner. I started with Convict Conditioning and achieved levels of strength which enabled me to take part in street workouts championships. Check Out our Resources and Start Building Real Strength just using your Bodyweight!