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Calisthenics en masse


Today I made a point out of not using either dumbbell or barbell. Instead I relied solely on my own body weight for resistance. I selected 7 different body weight exercises that I performed in cycles. I did 5 cycles, which made for a total of 35 sets. I let myself rest 10-15 seconds in between exercises and 90 seconds in between cycles. Here come the details:

1. Pushups, 3 variations. 5x10-15/variation. In total: 180 pushups.

2. Pullups. 5x6-12. In total: 42 pullups.

3. Dips, 5x6-12. In total: 46 dips.

4. Body-rows, 5x8-12. In total: 50 body-rows.

5. Shoulder-pushups, 5x10. In total: 50 shoulder-pushups.

6. Triceps dips, 5x20. In total: 100 triceps dips.

7. Bicepschins, 5x5-10. In total: 36 bicepschins.


The 3 variations of pushups were the following: ordinary pushups, inclined pushups with the feet on a bench and the opposite; inclined pushups with the feet on the ground. I performed these 3 variations without rest in between, so that 1 set consisted of all 3 variations (and never less than 30 pushups in total).

"Body-rows" means hanging underneath a smith machine-barbell and "rowing" myself up and down while making sure to keep the body stiff and stretch.

For the shoulder-pushups I hooked my feet into wall bars.

This routine resulted in high pulse and a great overall pump. I'm a firm believer in the many benefits of calisthenics. In the near future I will publish an article on the subject. Sometimes it is argued that calisthenics don't build muscle and that it is merely good for stamina and endurance. That is wrong. You can indeed build quality muscle with body weight exercises. If you have doubts - try my routine above, just once. Afterwards I guarantee that every instinct in your body will tell you that I'm right about the muscle building possibilities that come with intense calisthenics.

Daniel Schou, author of the blog.

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