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💪When it comes to calisthenics there are no secrets, but if you are coming from any other discipline you will find that calisthenics training requires a bit of a different approach and mindset to really make your training successful.
Today, I want to share with you 3 rules which I wish I had known when I was getting started. These rules are absolutely necessary for you to progress and build SUPERHUMAN strength:
Wherever you are at in your journey, I’m sure you will find Calisthenics training life-changing, both physically and mentally.
I was an iron-addicted meathead for a long time.
It was all about results and I wanted them fast.
That’s until I pushed it too far and got a serious injury.
I knew in that very moment, something had to change.
I looked to famous gymnasts, Olympic rings champions like Jordan Jovtchev and other popular athletes known for limited weight training for inspiration. Guys that would never touch a weight but have physiques most guys would kill for.
No wonder they call it the toughest sport in the world.
Jordan (below) is truly stronger than most bodybuilders yet, he trains only with only his own bodyweight.
But they all had more than just lifting strength to do these amazing things:
- 💪 healthy, strong, unbroken joints,
- 💪 amazing, functional strength,
- 💪 incredible flexibility,
- 💪 killer mobility,
- 💪 extraordinary body control
Are you noticing the total, complete health they all needed to achieve these feats?
I’ve spent years learning all there was to know about calisthenics, both from my own journey and from working with our awesome team to train over 4000+ athletes.
I have seen athletes making the same mistakes over and over again which prevented them from getting insanely strong.
The funny thing that they all kept on asking:
What is the secret to Calisthenics training?👀
There are no secrets!
If someone tells you there is a secret to calisthenics, run as far as you can. There are none. There are none in fitness, too. 80% of results will always come down to you actually doing the work.
I know, unsexy, but it’s true.
It took me years to stop searching for a secret source and focus on what was most important – training.
The game is on – It’s just you, your body and your mind.
What is different about calisthenics though is the approach you need to take. Coming from weight background, 30 minutes workouts and sweating it out I really had to adjust my training philosophy to understand what it takes to achieve body mastery with calisthenics, the strength, the skills, the control, the balance.
The switch was in philosophy. I stopped looking at workouts as something that I need to get out of the way, that is something I am just doing for 30 minutes a day or something I am doing to only look good.
Calisthenics thought me a lot about movement, life, persistence and patience. We wrote more on this approach in our Movement Athlete Manifesto which you can read here.
For now though, as you are getting started I want you to focus on 3 things and 3 things only. Apply them at the start of your journey and you will not only get stronger faster, become a better human but you will be more content with life.
The 3 principles below are applicable to any other fitness routine but are even more important in calisthenics.
Keep that in mind and you will succeed.
✅Rule # 1.
✊Be Patient and Consistent
It sounds like a no brainer, but you will hear me talking about it a lot. Why?
Because it’s the number one killer for those taking up calisthenics.
I don’t know about you, but if I don’t see results within a few weeks I am freaking out, I troubleshoot things, I change my diet and I go nuts. My attention span is very short and I have no patience whatsoever. It is so strange that we, as humans, want everything good to happen very quickly despite knowing the fact that to achieve something worthwhile you need to give it your all for a significant amount of time.
Nothing good happens overnight. Patience and consistency are critical factors for success. No great strength and physiques were built in 4 weeks.
What I want you to understand though, is that this is even truer in calisthenics. The reason why strength gains are so significant and stay with you for life is that building them takes time and you do that by slowly conditioning your body into it. Your nervous system needs time to adjust. So right here and right now I want you to set yourself on a journey of a lifetime.
Keep an eye on the prize and set short-term goals to keep you going. But focus on the process, on being present, on keeping the training every single day, on developing your body awareness, on training your skill. Yes, you can gain some decent amount of muscle in a short period of time with the right tools and regime, but do not expect to see results overnight.
Remember, it’s not a routine, it’s a lifestyle. Go slow but be consistent. Your nervous system will be slowly getting used to different movements and getting stronger.
✅Rule # 2.
👊No cheating. Focus on the full range of motion.
This one is a killer.
I see so many people doing half push-ups and saying that push-ups are not sufficient to build your chest muscles.
Whaaaat? Most of the people doing calisthenics simply are doing it wrong.
Now, I know it sounds basic but it can literally make a difference between you succeeding and failing. Performing all your repetitions in a controlled way with a full range of motion, taking it all the way down and all the way up is critical to your success.
First, you train for quality, when you get your form perfect, you can move on.
Another benefit of it is really exploring the movement and becoming hyper-aware of your body, your muscles, little tensions here and there. When you focus on that, breathe in and out it brings a different quality not only to the exercise itself but to your whole workout.
A recent study even verifies that you can maximize your gains in strength and muscles by doing a longer range of motion compared to cutting it short.
Try going super slow, try squeezing everything is there and feel your body, try to be as present as you can.
It’s hard especially when you are just getting started with calisthenics so keep that in mind.
☝️Push yourself with progressive resistance
This is the most important rule of all especially when you are just getting started. And although it’s so obvious in weight training when you just add weight, it must be rigorously applied to calisthenics.
There is a simple rule in getting better.
You constantly need to go further, you need to push yourself, you need to go beyond whatever you have right now. And this is a mindset thing.
Like in personal development to grow you need to keep on getting out of your comfort zone, same with fitness. I don’t want any of you not progressing. I don’t care what level you are, how good or how bad you are.
Every single day I want you to do a little bit more.
If you are not growing you’re dying, and in calisthenics like in any other fitness regime you must challenge yourself every single time. If you are not doing more reps, more sets, harder exercises or having shorter rest periods you won’t get stronger and your body composition will not change to the better! Period.
Progressive calisthenics gives you tools and structure to progress so use it wisely.
Keep these in mind, eat right (SUPER ESSENTIAL), and you will see results.
Just remember these 3 basic but essential rules:
- ✊ Be patient and consistent
- 👊 No cheating. Focus on full range of motion
- ☝️ Push yourself with progressive resistance
Now, all you need to do is get in the right mindset and set yourself up for success!
If you need help implementing these rules, The Movement Athlete Academy is always ready to help you out.
Here are just some of the Movement athletes, now enjoying the amazing superhuman strength and other benefits of calisthenics.
Are you ready to take your fitness
to the next level?💪💪💪
McMahon GE, Morse CI, Burden A, Winwood K, Onambélé GL. Impact of range of
motion during ecologically valid resistance training protocols on muscle size,
subcutaneous fat, and strength. J Strength Cond Res. 2014 Jan;28(1):245-55. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318297143a.
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