Calisthenics is an effective training method that is becoming more and more popular. Many people are attracted to the training method especially since the gym closures in 2020 because they see maximum freedom in training and functional, solid progress through the sport. Calisthenics also offers a great challenge because there are many exercises to learn and perfect.
The following training methods will bring you more progress for your workouts and bring the possibility of team workouts. Especially pyramids or EMOMs are more fun in a group and provide incentive to reach new bests and push limits.
One of the Keys to Calisthenics Success is the right Training method
There are many calisthenics exercises and methods, but not all of them are equally effective. So if you want to try calisthenics to improve your physical and mental fitness, you should take a look at these five effective training methods:
1. Super Sets
2. Drop sets
3. Circuit training
Each of these calisthenics methods has its own benefits and can help you take your training to the next level. Below, you'll learn more about each method and how you can incorporate them into your calisthenics workout.
1. Super sets
Supersets are an effective form of calisthenics training because they combine two different exercises, each working a different muscle group. By combining exercises, you can train more effectively and improve faster. An example of a superset would be a combination of pull-ups and push-ups. By combining these two calisthenics exercises, you will require less rest and work your cardiovascular system harder.
Popular beginner supersets:
Rowing and elevated push-upsClimb-ups (with resistance band) and knee raises
Mountain climbers and plank holds
Popular advanced supersets:
Muscle ups, straight bar dips and pull-ups without releasing the bar
Pull-ups and dips
2. Drop Sets
Drop sets are another effective calisthenics method that you can incorporate into your workout. In this method, you do a set-up to the predetermined number of repetitions and then decrease the weight you have on your dip belt or weight vest.
Drop sets are a great calisthenics exercise because they not only make you stronger, but they also improve your endurance. By lowering the weight, you can do more repetitions and thus work your cardiovascular system harder.
As an alternative to going down with the weight, you can also make an exercise easier from set to set by taking a stronger resistance band or replacing the exercise with an easier variation, e.g. going higher and higher with your hands for push-ups.
Popular Drop Sets:
3. Circuit Training
Circuit training is a popular calisthenics workout because it's a great way to train your whole body in a short amount of time. In this method, you will do one set of calisthenics exercises and then immediately start the next exercise.
You can structure calisthenics circuits in different ways. Some people decide on a specific tempo and do as many repetitions as possible within a given time. Other people do a set of a certain number of repetitions of one calisthenics exercise and then start the next exercise, without time pressure.
Calisthenics circuits can also be adapted to your current calisthenics level. So if you're just trying out calisthenics, you can incorporate easier exercises into your circuit training. Once you improve, you can expand your circuit training to include more difficult calisthenics exercises.
Popular calisthenics circuits:
Rows, pull-ups, elevated push-ups and support hold (beginner)
Muscle ups, pull ups, pistol squats and handstand hold (advanced)
Calisthenics Podcast covering better progress
ADVICE YOU NEVER HEARD OF BEFORE
Pyramids are another calisthenics method that you can incorporate into your workout. In this method, you will do calisthenics exercises in a specific order and either go up or down with the repetition numbers. The exercises are performed one right after the other, but there are breaks between the different steps of the pyramids.
Pyramids are a great to do in a group setting and can be done with many exercises.
Example pyramid for beginners:
10 push-ups (elevated hands if necessary), 5 pull-ups (with resistance band if necessary), 10 squats, 20 second plank hold, 60 second rest
8 push-ups (elevated hands if necessary), 4 pull-ups (with resistance band if necessary), 8 knee with resistance band), 8 squats, 16 seconds Plank-Hold, 60 seconds rest
6 push-ups (elevated hands if necessary), 3 pull-ups (with resistance band if necessary), 6 squats, 12 seconds Plank-Hold, 60 seconds rest
Example Advanced Pyramid:
5 muscle ups, 10 straight bar dips, 5 pull ups, 10 push ups,120 seconds rest
4 muscle ups, 8 straight bar dips, 4 pull ups, 8 push ups, 120 seconds rest
3 muscle ups, 6 straight bar dips, 3 pull ups, 6 push ups, 120 seconds rest
EMOMs are another calisthenics method that you can try. In this method, you will do one or more calisthenics exercises every minute and try to keep going for as many rounds as possible. You can choose to change the exercise every minute, do multiple exercises per minute, or do the same exercise for several minutes in a row.
EMOMs are great for people who want to use calisthenics as a cardiovascular workout. The fast pace will make your heart beat faster, and you'll work up a sweat faster.
The type of calisthenics exercises you do in an EMOM is completely up to you. Some people aim for calisthenics exercises that target the same muscles, such as pull-ups and rowing. Others opt for complementary exercises that target different muscle groups, such as pull-ups and dips.
Example Calisthenics EMOMs for beginners:
20 minutes of 10 squats and 10 seconds of Plank
30 minutes of 6 Hanging Knee Raises
10 minutes of 5 push-ups (with elevated hands if necessary)
Example Calisthenics EMOMs for advanced athletes:
20 minutes of 5 pull-ups and 10 Knee Raises
30 minutes of 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups
10 minutes of 3 Muscle Ups