The end of beginner/intermediate/advance – that is hurting your training

The end of beginner/intermediate/advance – that is hurting your training

A few years back I moved to Scotland – I was well into calisthenics and I started training at the local Circus School The next months that followed were some of the most fun, yet frustrating months in my training career.

I absolutely fell in love with acrobatics, handstands, moving and seeing how my body was changing. I didn’t know much about programming for body weight, circus movement, or acrobatics. So I attended all the group classes and was just learning as much as I could and enjoying myself – the training added up to 15-20 hours a week – which I absolutely loved.

I even got ripped, not even knowing about it.

There was just one problem…

6 months in – and I felt like I had hardly made any progress.

Don’t get me wrong, the six pack was there, my handstand was getting better, my tucks were getting tighter, and I definitely was more flexible and mobile – BUT when friends and family asked how I was doing….

I had nothing really to show for all the training I had completed….

What was going on?

Knowing  that patience is bliss, especially in calisthenics, I kept on going.  

But then I got really frustrated and spent months researching, reading books and learning how to train and how to program this type of training in order for it to be effective.

Turns out that advanced gymnastics and calisthenics moves are way more complex than we imagine.

I realized my handstands were lacking serious shoulder mobility and were hindering me from being able to hold it during a free standing.

I also learned that practicing a few skills at the same time (like in my group training we would train for back tucks and back handsprings at the same time and then not train it for months) was hindering my progress as my body was getting confused.

The most surprising part is that I learned I am not the only one who has trouble with it. Once I started working with Calisthenics Academy – we saw people from all over the world struggling with the same issues.

During this time I came across an article which perfectly explained what was going on.

Dr. Tilly – the author of the article I am referring to, explains how a lack of personalisation, even at the level of competitive gymnastics is hurting athletes progress.

He described a program where all the students are given an assignment that was the same level of difficulty: 3 sets of 10 pull ups, dips, handstands, push-ups, and then 2 sets of 20 leg lifts. Something we all know, either from school or from gym classes.

No matter the level, it was the same training.

Now you might not be taking group training, but this is WHAT you will get in any calisthenics and gymnastic program online. They might assign you to the beginners/ intermediate/ advanced level- but you will be doing the same as all other folks in your group.

What’s the problem with that, you ask?

Well. Here it is.

Problems with the one-size fits all training routines

Below is a breakdown of some of the few problems that one-size fits all training creates:

1. Promoting Compensation, Movement Dysfunction, and Possible Injury Risk If Too Challenging

“Say for example part of your conditioning assignment is 3 sets of 5 handstands and push-ups. You send your team of 20 gymnasts to do it. Maybe for 12 of them, they are appropriately challenged by the workload, they fall in the middle of the bell curve, and it will serve its job to make them adapt and get stronger.

However, for 4 of them it may be too challenging and with the “get it done” mindset, they may have to cheat their range of motion, use a poor form like excessive back arching, or may simply just not do it.

Not only is this dangerous and engrains movement dysfunction (as quality slips away), it also really doesn’t help them on the performance side because they won’t truly develop strength. When you consider the  fatigue, things start to tank even faster. It will likely get them to be overwhelmed and frustrated.

Taking them a step back in a regression that demands perfect technique is better for their safety and long-term development of strength.”

2. Not Promoting Adaptation/Development If Not Challenging Enough

“The other side of the coin to the example, there may be 4 athletes who breeze through them and as a result don’t really get a challenge that stimulates development. Although this is not really as concerning with the compensation and danger side, they aren’t going to continue to get stronger/faster/more powerful, etc.

These athletes need a progression to make sure it’s challenging enough for them.

Dr. Tilly summarized not personalizing a training program as:
“Slamming a square block into a triangular hole may not be the best choice. The whole “1 step back for 2 steps forward later” and building a house on a concrete foundation versus sand analogy is a good fit here”

A recipe for disaster in terms of safety & hindering athletic progress & performance development by months

We are individuals, with different characteristics – one-fit-all training will not cut it!
No only you will not progress effectively, but you’re also risking injury.

Do you need any other reasons why a cookie cutter workout should not be used again?

So why on earth are we are still not personalizing these workouts?

In his article, Dr. Tilly talks about a coach’s ego. That’s it’s the culture and the way we always doing things, but the biggest problem is that:

IT’S EXTREMELY HARD.

When you get a bunch of people coming for a workout, you would have to analyze every single one of them and give them personal options.

For the coach it’s IMPOSSIBLE.

How on earth can you personalize a training program for every single person based on their PERSONAL STRENGTHS, MOBILITY, FLEXIBILITY, and HISTORY?

That calls for a serious, hours-heavy and expensive personal training program.

Well… unless you can leverage technology to do just that…

And this is why personalisation is at the HEART of what we are building inside Calisthenics Academy.

As you join the program, you will be run through a comprehensive athlete assessment to figure out EXACTLY where you are on the progressions and create a fully personalized training program just for you.

But that’s not all.

As you do your workouts, the system will adjust sets and reps based on your personal feedback, making sure wherever you’re at the workout is optimal for your progress.

Click here to learn more about the Calisthenics Academy.

We know you will love it.

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!
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.

pasted image 0 11

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!
Bare Minimum Workout from a professional acrobat

Bare Minimum Workout from a professional acrobat

If you’re in a fitness rut, The Bare Minimum Workout is for you.

Have you left the office after work too exhausted to work out? Ever been stuck in a cycle of exhaustion and lack of exercise because of

minimal calisthenics workout with Rocco Lapaire professional acrobat

play time!

poor food choices? Or are you just bored with your current routine?

This happens to the best of us; I’ve experienced all types of workout plateaus, ruts, jeesh even valleys!…and that’s why I developed my “Bare Minimum” workout. It’s not a substitute for a full training plan. It’s more like insurance to make sure that you never, ever get out of shape. Consider it a way of bulletproofing your long-term fitness goals.

This workout combines basic everyday fitness needs with focused skill training. It can be tailored to meet your goals. This can mean, for example, doing it in the shortest amount of time with as little equipment and space as possible. With it, you’ll never, ever get out of shape. 

It’s a do anywhere, anytime workout.

Before you get started, though, you need to lay your fitness goals out. What does your body need to achieve your goals? Do you have any special exercises, like physical therapy exercises?

Get creative, and make sure the program you lay out for yourself is reasonable. Try building it with little to no equipment, and short enough to squeeze into even your most hectic days.

You are the creator of your plan, these are your goals -make this program your go-to when you can’t get a longer routine in. Smart, focused, and diligent training will yield results!

1. My “Bare Minimum” workout

I’m an acrobat, so I set myself very specific goals.

I’m an acrobat, so I set myself very specific goals. My body needs specialized exercises to make those goals a reality while protecting my joints from the wear and tear caused by advanced acrobatics.

My current goals: increase the flexibility of my active and passive splits; have a reliable one arm handstand.

My fitness needs: PT to prevent shoulder and wrist problems to continue my acrobatic work. For the splits, I need enhanced joint mobility and strength.

My Bare Minimum (BM) Workout: I start off with a PT warmup. It stretches my wrists and shoulders, preparing me for handstands.

I then go into a routine with a variety of handstands, wrist strengthening exercises, and split stretching that addresses my body’s needs and moves me closer to my goals. The entire routine is 45 minutes.

Wait, what? 45 minutes?!

I know that for many people, 45 minutes is excessive for a “Bare Minimum” workout.  But my routine caters to my career as a full-time acrobat.  Remember, this program is customizable! Unless you’ve got the same needs as me, working on a one-arm handstand and splits, you’ll want to create a shorter workout that still keeps you on track with your long-term goals.

So let’s talk about YOU.

I think that it’s safe to say that there are three broad goals for general fitness:

  1. Lose weight
  2. Maintain current weight
  3. Gain muscle mass.

You can obviously add more goals to this list, though. Do you want to increase your cardiovascular endurance, so that you can run your first 5k/10k Marathon? Or maybe you want to focus on your chest and back, or your glutes! These are all goals that can be included in your Bare Minimum workout.

2 A BM booty workout routine

Shake that booty!

Fitness goals:  Lose 10 lbs and have a perfect booty.

Fitness needs: Expending more calories, increasing glute size and strength.

So what should your BM workout look like?

I’d suggest high-intensity interval training. Consider workouts like Tabata, burpees, mountain climbers, jumping rope, and other high-intensity full body moves guaranteed to burn some fat. Set a timer and do it for 15 minutes with a little rest as possible. It’s better to do an easier version of an exercise than have down time.

Now for the targeting –go for the hardest squat/lunge-type exercise you can do. Air squats, lunges, and squat jumps are all fair game. The key is to have a full range of motion. Pick an exercise or resistance level to do at least 8 and no more than 12 repetitions.

Bang out 3 sets and you’re done. Stretch and go home…unless you’re already home.

Never forget – these exercises all rock, but only if you absolutely nail the form. Every one of the above exercises is a risk for knee injuries if done wrong.

3 Bodyweight beast

Fitness goals:  Muscles, muscles, everywhere.

Fitness needs: Gain muscle without creating imbalances that lead to injury.

This is a staple bodyweight workout.

These are the three most important and complex exercises you can do: squats, pullups, pushups. Now make a workout around them.

Warm up with some wrist, knee, or shoulder PT.  You have to warm up anyway, so might as well keep your joints healthy. Almost every athlete develops problems in one of these three areas at some point. Some have problems their whole careers. If you really don’t feel warm enough yet (are you sweating yet?), go ahead and run around the block once or something.

The routine

Do 8-12 pullups, 8-12 pushups, and 8-12 squats. No more than 90 seconds of rest between each exercise.  If you can’t do a full pull-up yet, try pull-up negatives or pull-downs. If a normal pull up is easy, throw “pull-up progressions” at google and you’ll get a host of great sites like this one:

When I say 8-12, I mean pick a challenging-enough version of each exercise that you can do no more than 12 but can get at least 8 repetitions in. 8-12 is the NASM standard for hypertrophy (gaining muscle size).

This whole workout will probably take you as little as 20 minutes altogether, especially if you’re already warm. The only piece of equipment you need is a pull-up bar. Don’t have one? Use a door frame or jungle gym, fire escape, or the underside of some steps. Still, nothing? We’ve got you covered.  Now you have a basic bodyweight staple you could do even in your bedroom if you had to.

There is always a way.

If your workout can be done quickly, anywhere, at any time, you won’t have any excuses. So what are you still doing, reading this?

Share your Bare Minimum Workout with us in the comments, or on Facebook!

Extra resources to help you create your Bare Minimum Workout routine:

The Best and Worst Exercises for Bad Knees

Knee Physical Therapy You can Do at Home

Five Exercises for Rotator Cuff (Shoulder) Pain

calisthenics academy the ultimate calisthenics training program

 

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PRO ACROBAT with an extensive experience in movement science former Cirque Polynesia & Cirque Dreams acrobat and owner at http://gravityentertains.com/ Receiver of National Academy of Sports Medicine certification, 8 years experience in Martial arts. After a career in performance he passionately wants to bring movement disciplines to the masses
A Little Reminder That Hard Work in Calisthenics Pays Off

A Little Reminder That Hard Work in Calisthenics Pays Off

For a lot of people pursuing  calisthenics, it’s a relatively solo endeavor. You’ve got the book open in your living room, garage, or some other area of your house, and you’re putting in the time to give your muscles a punishing workout Paul-Wade-style. While you might tap into the growing network of social media sites where you’ll find like-minded Convict Conditioning disciples, when you’re doing the actual workouts, you’re probably on your own.

That’s a lot like the solitary confinement Paul Wade endured while serving time in prison. And for the purists, that may suit them just fine day in and day out. But even Paul Wade wasn’t in solitary confinement for his entire 19 years in prison. He spent a lot of time locked up with a cellmate, including the ex-Navy Seal who taught him the basic principles for building supreme survival strength. And he gained a following of inmates who respected him, feared, him, and wanted to be like him because of this strength, endurance, and confidence and the ability to do hard work.

Being around like minded people is the kind of environment that fosters success. A lot of us need just a sliver of encouragement, hope, or head-nod from others to know we’re headed in the right direction, and that all the hard work will be worth it. In a traditional gym setting, you might have a personal trainer or at least a group of friends who are there to cheer you on, witness your transformation, and even inspire you to achieve your goals.

A good way to remind yourself of what’s possible is to tap into the growing number of videos posted by Convict Conditioning believers. It’s incredible to see what other people have been able to achieve through bodyweight training. Prepared to be amazed. Prepared to be inspired. And prepare to recommit yourself to the Convict Conditioning way. Take a look at this brief collection of Convict Conditioning fans who have paid their dues.

Just Another School Day at Convict Conditioning High

Inspired by Convict Conditioning, this high school wrestler mastered some of Paul Wade’s advanced moves and shows off his skills and abilities in this short video. He does push-ups weighted by a 20-plus pound chain. He does uneven handstand push-ups with one hand on the floor and one hand on a medicine ball. He climbs a rope with pure grip strength, and he muscles his way through a ton of parallel bar dips. And he doesn’t stop there. If a high school student can achieve this kind of success, so can you.

Bust Free of All Weakness in 9 Months

hard work

strenuous workout a step towards convict conditioning

Source: YouTube

When Francesco Vaccaro decided to pursue Convict Conditioning, he went all out for nine months to see how much muscle strength and endurance he could really achieve through bodyweight training exercises. Nine months might seem like a long time, but you have to remember it took Paul Wade years to master the advanced Big Six moves. So in the big picture of life, nine months is just a drop in the bucket. Check out what kind of badass muscle strength this guy was able to achieve with a nine-month commitment. And when it gets to the part where he’s doing handstand push-ups, check out the lady on the yoga mat fixated, mesmerized, and completely entranced by his superhuman strength.

Always in Training

hard work

Convict conditioning workout

Source: YouTube

Personal trainer Geoff Graue lives by this motto: “The game of life has no off-season.” In 15 years of training professional sports stars, college athletes, and people ready to step it up to lose weight and build muscle strength and endurance, he’s made it his mission to teach people how powerful bodyweight training can be. And he’s not the fat guy roaming around the gym telling people what to do. He’s the real deal. Check out his incredible muscle strength and coordination in this video, including the one-legged squat direct from Paul Wade’s Bible of bodyweight training.

Double the Muscle Strength

If you’re dedicated enough to go the distance in Convict Conditioning, you can move on to Convict Conditioning 2 to try and master the moves of brothers Al and Danny Kavaldo. These tattooed tough guys don’t just talk mean, they can back it up with real muscle strength earned one rep at a time through years or bodyweight training and conditioning. Wanna learn how to get strong enough to execute the human flag, make fingertip pushups look easy, or build bridge strength so powerful you could arch your back and take the weight of a full grown man? These guys will show you how it’s done.

Just a little reminder that hard work pays off. Stick with the program, be patient, and you’ll be on your way to busting free of all weakness and achieve supreme survival strength.

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!
10 Inspirational and successful  Vegan Calisthenics Athletes

10 Inspirational and successful Vegan Calisthenics Athletes

Most of you have doubts whether you can really train as an athlete while following a Vegan diet. There is a long list of athletes who have stuck to a Vegan diet and still made significant contribution to the field of Calisthenics. Before discovering who these athletes really are let us look at what a Vegan Calisthenics diet is all about.

Vegan Calisthenics

Vegan Calisthenics

Source: Roar24

The beneficial Vegan diet for athletes

Plants are a rich source of protein and can greatly benefit those who are trying to build up their muscles. The athletes need to have the recommended intake of protein as decide by different sports bodies. Luckily even if meat is denied completely the vegan diet does provide an adequate intake of protein so here are some of the reasons why an athlete should opt for a vegan diet Calisthenics diet benefits in the first place.

  • When you consume an ample amount of fruits and vegetables the fiber optimizes the process of digestion and it reduces the possibility of a bloated tummy. The bloated stomach can be a big hindrance when you need to workout. When you say no to meat than you would not really have to worry about the cholesterol levels rising up and clogged arteries as well.
  • Great cardiovascular health is essential for Calisthenics athletes. The plant based diet is very low in saturated fat. When your cardiovascular system is in optimal state then you would not have a problem in running longer, jumping higher and training harder on a daily basis. Stamina maintenance is also a crucial aspect for an athlete and this is only possible when you have a great cardiovascular health.
  • The plant based diets contribute to increased endurance.
  • Most athletes struggle with maintaining their physique. When you are on a plant based diet this struggle becomes a lot easier because you are not consuming a high fat diet.

Successful Vegan Calisthenics athletes

Vegan Calisthenics

Vegan Calisthenics expert

Source: Uncrueleats

Here is a list of the top 10 Calisthenics athletes who have been consuming a vegan diet, but still have been able to carve a name in the field of Calisthenics.

  1. Frank Medrano: When we talk about the top Vegan Calisthenics Athletes the name of Frank tops the list. He is a 100 percent Vegan. He is an ardent consumer of super foods and ensures that his diet is low in fat. When he has to get in peak conditioning he makes sure that he cuts down on his sodium intakes and increases the consumption of vegetables. His fitness is truly an inspiration for those Calisthenics athletes who want to say goodbye to meat and switch to a veggie diet.
  2. Stephen Hughes: He is a popular pro street workout athlete and he supports the street workouts across the globe. He initially switched to the Vegan diet to see how it would affect his performance and the results were simply mind blowing. His mental and physical energy increased greatly once he switched to the Vegan diet. His diet primarily includes mixed vegetables, sweet potatoes, broccoli, mixed nuts and fruits.
  3. Noal Polanco: He is the well-known Vegan Fitness star. He follows a plant based diet to the core and has still been able to make a name in the field of Calisthenics. His diligence and determination is truly inspirational and he has helped many others to switch to a plant based diet. Noal has proved to the world that you can be muscular and super fit despite following a vegan diet. Noal has a great liking for veggie salads, fruits and nuts.
  4. Ricky Warren: He is a renowned Calisthenics coach and athlete as well. He has got massive experience in bodyweight training and 7 years of experience in Martial Arts training. Currently he gives bodyweight training workshops to fitness trainers. Ricky is in the process of embracing a complete vegetarian diet. He maintains his fitness by eating vegetables, but he consumes fish as well. He has quit the red meat and is willing to become a Vegan Calisthenics
  5. Dan Attanasio: He is also a reputed name in the world of Vegan Calisthenics. He first started his training with weight lifting. Dan has excelled in Extreme Calisthenics as well. He follows Vegan lifestyle and makes sure that he has lots of great superfoods in his diet as well. Hemp seeds, Gogi berry, Cacao and Maca are his favorite foods.
  6. Bill Mc Carthy: He is a great power lifter and strength and conditioning coach. Bill completely relies on a vegan diet and believes that there is little need for supplements when you are on a vegan diet. He only consumes B12 supplements. His strength is a proof of the fact that vegetables are sufficient to address the needs of the body.
  7. Dusan Dudas: He is a skilled Vegan body builder. The prime reason why Dusan decided to give up meat and dairy was due to his family health problems. Once he switched to a Vega diet completely he witnessed immediate health benefits.
  8. Patrik Baboumian: He started off his career as a bodybuilder. He has continued to improve his strength by switching onto a Vegan diet completely.
  9. Alexander Dargatz: He is one man who has won a number of bodyweight titles. He has also undergone massive strength training. He enjoys a Vegan diet and has still been able to continue his winning spree.
  10. Joel Kirkilis: He is a powerlifter and a Vegan Body Builder. He has various accomplishments to his credit and has tried out various lifts. He decided to turn vegan because he did not favor animal exploitation.

 

Now you should wipe the apprehension from your mind that fitness and training require an intake of various meats and fats. Plant based diet is best for any athlete’s health. All these men are a living proof of this fact. If you have decided to start with Calisthenics training follow in the footsteps of these successful athletes and switch to Vegan diet.

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!