Master the Fundamentals: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Calisthenics!

Calisthenics not only enhances physical fitness but also fosters a positive mindset, discipline, and a deeper connection with your body. The inclusive nature of calisthenics makes it an inviting and rewarding pursuit for everyone. Start your journey today, with this in-depth guide!

Benefits of calisthenics: Why you should start!

Calisthenics provides a fun and challenging workout experience. The fun aspect stems from the joy of exploring new movements, discovering what the body is capable of, and turning workouts into a playful, almost artistic expression of strength. The challenge in calisthenics serves as a catalyst for personal development, fostering resilience, discipline, and determination. Overcoming progressively challenging exercises can be highly rewarding, enhancing the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment derived from working out.

Moreover, calisthenics can be performed virtually anywhere, requiring minimal to no equipment. This makes it a flexible, cheap and convenient form of exercise that can be integrated into many environments and schedules.

How to get started with calisthenics (step by step)

Getting started with calisthenics is a rewarding journey. Here’s a a step-by-step guide to help you get started!

Step 1. Master the fundamental movements

The first step is to master the fundamental movements, you might have seen people doing crazy skills on the internet like handstands push ups or human flags. All these people have spent a lot of during the fundamentals and properly still do! The 5 fundamental exercises you must master, to build superhuman strength, is pull ups, push ups, bodyweight rows, dips and squats. Here are some pointers on how to perform the fundamental exercises with good form (before we get into programs):

Push ups

Start with incline push ups if you can’t at least do 5 push ups with good form on the floor, and progressively decrease the incline.

Dips

Fell free to skip the progressions you don’t find useful, and remember to use full range of motion (elbows bend at 90 degrees) and proper from.

Bodyweight rows

Pull ups

Skip the progression you don’t find useful and take you time, mastering pull ups is hard and takes a lot of patience and consistent practice.

Squats

Goals to aim for:
Aim for at least 10 pull ups, 12 dips, 25 push ups, 15 bodyweight rows and squats with perfect form, before moving on to harder exercises (if you already have these down, then read this guide on how to train for calisthenics skills).

Step 2. Follow a well-made beginner program

The second step is to follow a well-made program, doing random exercises at random times, isn’t going to cut it if you want to reach you goals. Follow a well structured program, with straight forward methods of progression for the best results. I have made a example of program you can do as a beginner and achieve great results!

Warm up:
Jumping jacks: 2 sets of 30 seconds
Arm circles: 30 seconds (both directions)
One super light warm up set of each exercise (you can do them before the main set)

SupersetExerciseSetsReps
1Push ups2-37-21
1Bodyweight rows2-35-20
2Pull up progression2-35-17
2Dips progression2-35-19
2BW/barbell squat2-35-21
Supersets = Means you switch between two or more exercises (instead of doing one at a time)
Aim for 3min+ rest between doing the same exercise

Weekly schedule

Mon: Full body
Tue: Rest
Wed: Full body
Thur: Rest
Fri: Rest
Sat: Full body
Sun: Rest

Step 3. Apply progressive Overload

Applying progressive overload is a fundamental principle in calisthenics to ensure continuous strength and muscle gains. Progress gradually by increasing the difficulty of exercises, adding more repetitions or sets as your strength improves. Patience is key; progress takes time.

Step 4. Get proper rest and nutrition

Give your body time to recover. Adequate rest is essential for muscle repair and overall recovery. Listen to your body and avoid overtraining.

  • Ensure you get an adequate amount of sleep each night, typically between 7-9 hours for adults. Quality sleep is crucial for muscle recovery, hormone regulation, and overall well-being.
  • Ensure you get enough calories to support muscle growth, and consume a well-balanced diet rich in whole foods. Include lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to support energy levels, muscle repair, and overall health.
  • Schedule regular rest days into your training routine. These days allow your muscles to recover and prevent overtraining, reducing the risk of injury.

Step 5. Be consistent

Consistency is most important! Regular and consistent training is crucial for progress. Establish a workout routine that you can realistically adhere to, and make exercise a habitual part of your lifestyle.

Common mistakes beginners make when starting calisthenics

Impatience and Unrealistic Expectations: Expecting rapid progress or attempting advanced movements too soon can lead to frustration and disappointment. Patience is crucial in calisthenics, and progress takes time.

Lack of consistency: Inconsistent adherence to a workout routine hinder progress. Without regularity, the body fails to adapt optimally to the training stimulus, hindering strength and muscle gains.

Poor Form: Incorrect form during exercises can lead to injuries and limit the effectiveness of the workout. Beginners should prioritize proper form over the number of repetitions, seeking guidance if needed.

Final thoughts

Connect with the calisthenics community for support and motivation. Join online platforms such as Reddit (r/bodyweightfitness), Instagram, and Facebook dedicated to calisthenics. Engage in discussions, seek advice, and find inspiration. If you’re at a gym, look for training partners who share your interest in calisthenics, fostering motivation in a supportive environment. Strike up conversations, ask for advice, and build connections with those sharing the same training space. Community engagement enriches your calisthenics journey, offering valuable insights and helps your keep your committed to your training.

Shift your focus from solely achieving goals to finding joy in the movement itself. View calisthenics as a lifelong pursuit rather than a quick fix. Enjoy the journey of continual improvement, and recognize that progress takes time and consistent pratice.

Good luck on your journey!

If you have any questions or doubts fell free to express them in the comment section.

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