I had the pleasure to chat with Antal last week.
We talked about how using the Online Calisthenics coaching program changed his life since 2021.
He went from a complete calisthenics beginner to being able to achieve the muscle up and more.
Within 2.5 years!
In our interview, we talked about his favorite moves, the healthy foods he prioritizes and other practical habits that he now implements in his life to keep progressing.
He also shared some of his future goals and advices for those who want to get started like him!
The world of fitness is mostly images of youthful vitality and boundless energy.
It's easy to get the impression that if you haven't started your fitness journey in your early twenties, you've missed the boat.
But let me tell you something that's not talked about enough – it's never too late to embark on the incredible journey of calisthenics.
So, is 30 too late for calisthenics?
Not by a long shot. In fact, your thirties can be the perfect time to dive into this transformative discipline.
I started calisthenics at 28.
1. Natural Movements Know No Age: Calisthenics is all about embracing the natural, primal movements of your body. Push-ups, squats, pull-ups – these are movements that humans have been doing for millions of years. And guess what? Your body doesn't forget how to do them just because you've hit 30. In fact, these...
If you can already to 15-20 clean pull ups, this is for you.
This is a technique where you start with the hardest repetitions.
Do as many as you can.
Then you lower the weight, just a little, and try to add more repetitions than during the previous set.
And so on.
Rest 3-5 minutes between sets.
Here is the pull ups drop set I did last week while training with my friends in Venice Beach.
It took us about an hour to complete.
Our backs felt good after this one!
While motivation is the golden ticket that everyone is looking for, the hard truth is that it does not exist.
So you can keep searching, but you are wasting your time.
Instead, look for inspiration!
This can come from anywhere: watching your favorite athlete train or play a game, observing animals and insects move with perfection, learning more about your favorite sport or workout system etc...
Pro athletes don't need motivation, healthy and fit people neither.
Their common treat is discipline. And ANYONE can build up to it.
Neuroscience shows that discipline creates motivation, not the other way around.
"Doing the thing" (discipline) will always beat "thinking about the thing" (motivation).
If you are brushing your teeth every day, it means you can build the habit of working out every day.
If you are a beginner, start at your own level, where you make every minute of your workout count and push a...
This a rather advanced movement which goal is to control your mid-back extension through the shoulder blade shrug pull.
So do not attempt if you are a beginner or lack proper back strength and mobility.
You have to guide the whole movement through your glutes, core, mid-back and shoulder blades.
Make sure to externally rotate your shoulders, by trying to "bend the bar" as you pull.
Performing this move requires good back-core strength, and overhead mobility foundations!
This exercise is also great improve front and back lever control.
Advanced is when you can do 15-20+ pull ups, 50+ push ups, 25+ dips, 100+ squats.
Adding weight to your sets and reps will help increase your muscle mass and overall strength level.
I did not plan this workout but ended up doing the heaviest pull up I've ever tried.
Life can be unpredictable!
Here are the pull ups sets I did:
And here are 3 ways you can design your weighted calisthenics workout sets:
- Progressive overload: increase the weight as you go and decrease the amount reps as needed.
- Ladder training: Starting as heavy as you can with low reps and lower the weight as you increase reps.
- Pyramid training: start with high reps low weight, then increase weight with lower reps then go back up to higher reps...
You have to grind for growth.
But here is how you can save time with fewer reps and harder sets, on days where your schedule gets in the way: add partial reps and/or isometric holds between each repetition you do.
In this video, I’m only doing 2 pull ups, but each way up and down was a good challenge.
Aim for 10 sets reps total, depending on your level, for a good back and core workout.
You can use that method with any movement you want.
Those days come in cycle. Here is another tip I use when that happens.
I believe we create our own energy, and that it’s up to us to make the best of what we have.
The way I deal with lower energy days is by reducing the overall amount of reps I do during a workout, and focus on intensity exclusively.
I mean that I try to not let my "low energy feeling" days keep away from doing some type of explosive work along the way.
I'll reduce the volume and pair it with some lighter work.
In this last muscle up set I did, I did not have the gas for more that 3 proper reps.
So I focused on what I was able to do. I added straight bar dips reps and partial pulling reps as well as isometric holds to make the set as demanding as possible.
To recap here is a set you can repeat 3-10 times:
You can also mix this superset with other supersets. This method applies to any movement or set.
The Secret To Better Handstands?
The handstand is a journey!
No matter what your current level is, there is always something to learn and improve.
This video is great for handstand beginners and intermediate level.
Do the following exercises to improve your handstand:
- Shoulder mobility drills (overhead and lateral) x 1 min x 3 sets
- Tuck jumps x 5 x 3-5 sets
- Clean pike lean and hold x 10-15 sec x 3-5 sets
- Donkey kicks x 5 x 3-5 sets
Make sure to warm up your wrists thoroughly before each handstand session and do NOT over train it if you feel your wrists getting tender or sore.
Switch to another body part to finish your training session, rest your wrists for 1-2 days and go at it again!
The mighty muscle up!
Watch the progression video until the end!
He started at the very beginning, with the Online Calisthenics Level 0 workout program, and has made so much progress in 2 years.
He went from a complete beginner that could barely do 3 mediocre pull ups to achieve the all mighty muscle up, with very decent form, in 2 years!
Let's note that in the meantime, he also torn his ACL and meniscus playing soccer and we went through a few month of rehab training in 2022.
The key is to visualize your big goal and set every small steps that will lead you there.
Then stick to the plan, consistently.