In a world of instant gratification, it's no wonder that many of us are eager to see results from our fitness endeavors as quickly as possible.
Whether you're just starting your calisthenics journey or you've been at it for a while, you might be wondering: how long does it take to see results from calisthenics?
The truth is, the answer is as dynamic as the discipline itself.
Calisthenics, like any form of exercise, is a journey that requires patience, dedication, and realistic expectations.
1. The Early Gains (Weeks 1-4):
In the initial weeks of your calisthenics journey, you'll likely experience some quick wins. Your body will start adapting to the new movements, and you'll notice improvements in strength, endurance, and overall fitness. These early gains are encouraging and serve as motivation to keep going. However, don't be fooled into...
Picture this: a scene from an action movie, the hero performing gravity-defying feats of strength, agility, and finesse, all without the aid of fancy gym equipment.
Is it just movie magic, or is there a real-world way to achieve such remarkable physical prowess?
Enter calisthenics – the ancient art of bodyweight training that not only makes those movie stunts possible but also offers a host of benefits that make it incredibly effective.
Calisthenics is more than just a workout; it's a philosophy, a way of life, and a path to unlocking your body's full potential.
So, why is calisthenics so effective?
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...
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.
T-Rex are extinct while small rat-looking mammals that lived underground for thousands of years now dominate the world.
Insects and octopuses are adaptation masters which have been around for hundreds of millions of years.
The biggest guy does not always win when endurance come in play.
David beat Goliath.
Even Thanos loses at the end!
You get the point.
You have to be “agile” in the way you approach things in order to finish on top.
It’s great to be the fittest too, to have the perfect plan, with the perfect timing and nutrition intake that goes along with it. Last but not least perfect sleep.
However, it just does not really happen in real life, thus the need to adapt to the conditions we are facing at that exact moment.
We all have unexpected changes of situations that occur from time to time.
The key is to know how to handle those changes.
Remember, your body is designed for motion. And so, investing in daily stretching and regular bodyweight training is a natural way to reconnect with the strength that is inherently yours. No quick fixes or magic potions needed - just you and your own body!
The Equipment Mirage: Less is More
Let's dissect another common fitness misconception: the perceived need for expensive and elaborate equipment. In reality, all you truly need for an effective bodyweight workout is a bar at a park or perhaps a couple of resistance bands at home. Work harder on less equipment, and you'll find it pays off.
Establishing Your Calisthenics Workout Plan
Starting with calisthenics can seem daunting, especially with the myriad of exercises available. So where do you begin? The answer is...
This might be the least sexy move with the most benefits you’ll see today.
The back bridge and its dynamic variations are an essential tool for overall back mobility and good posture.
It is something I have neglected for a good part of my life. I started to change that when I realized my mid/lower back was my missing link.
I’m still far from the acrobat level but at 43 it’s night and day compared to what I was able to do in my 20’s.
I like doing dynamic knee raises paired with the bridge to work on my motor control when up-side down.
It is surprisingly hard to lift your legs when the body is engaged into an arched position. This requires to re-calibrate how we use our hip muscles in order to lift our legs.
Go for 4-6 reps and repeat for 3 sets.
You can ideally mix those reps sets with 3 sets of maximum static holds.
If you can't do the full bridge yet, simply start with an elevated version of the bridge, with parallel bars or yoga...
Getting big, diced and shredded is the most common goal for most people, wether when they are getting started with fitness or already on the workout train.
But it’s a very far off, sub-optimal and inefficient way to approach training.
My goals are multi-dimensional:
1 - Lean mass and muscle density improvement
If you are 10-15% body fat (for men) or 15-20% (for women), you are a healthy individual. And more likely to perform better at ANY sport than someone under the 8-10% mark. Make sure to focus on muscle density and a fast metabolism. Yes you want to be lean, no you don’t want to be malnourished.
2- Performance based results
Your real-life capabilities – from sprinting to pull-ups, dips, and handstands – are an authentic reflection of your overall well-being. Mastering essential strength, athleticism, and skill-based activities showcases your true potential.
3 - Form and Mobility Enhancement