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Calisthenics for Bodybuilding?

So, my life changed and I can’t hit the gym except for Saturday’s and Sundays. However, I do want to constantly increase my strength and low BMI physique. I was curious if I changed into calisthenics versus weightlifting could I still achieve my goals as fast. I travel for construction and only have enough room in my vehicle for food and clothes and the hardware I use. Does anyone know a good workout routine to build muscle as effectively as I would in the gym?

Edit: So, I plan to still hit the gym during the weekends. I am just looking for bodyweight workouts to do during the week to continue to grow muscle.

If you could build a physique as effectively without a gym as with, there would be none left. Can you be more specific as to your goals please? And what your limits for equipment are? Pull up bars? Kettlebells? Bands? All fairly transportable.

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I can’t bring any bars, kettlebells… however bands I should be able to do. I install solar panels so our trucks don’t have any extra space besides what we already have and a little room for luggage and food. My goal is to increase muscle mass, I currently weight 170lbs… when I started working out I weighed 160lbs, I want to weigh 200-250lbs in muscles. Lean built, as I am already lean. I believe this is what you mean by goals? If not can you ask a more direct question haha.

There is no calisthenics workout that will build muscle as effectively as a weightlifting routine. That should answer your question very directly.

As Dagill has suggested, there are ways to use MINIMAL equipment that can be transported in a car without taking up much space. Resistance bands are an EXCELLENT option. You can do a lot with those. and maybe 3 kettlebells of different weights. That equipment alone would help tremendously. Maybe a pull up bar you can attach to a door frame as well.

Another thing to consider: perhaps you could purchase a gym membership to a large chain gym, or a couple chains, that you could use in the places you travel to? And when you’re in a town or city that doesn’t have those chains, you could always seek out a different gym and either try to get a free day pass, or a cheap one to use use temporarily.

Or, if you’re staying in hotels, or even motels, oftentimes you’ll have at least some kind of gym on site.

People that travel for work just have to be creative, but it can work if you put some thought and effort into it.

I will not be recommending any calisthenics routine for the purposes of bodybuilding. Calisthenics are not a reasonable substitute for traditional weightlifting. It can be a supplemental training method, but should not be primary.


Well. I am traveling until 2020 fall hits and then I will be back into another gym. But after that I’ll be back to traveling after… like from December to fall again. So, ideally I would want to be able to do something to not lose progress. I figured calisthenics couldn’t replace a gym. I am going to do more research. But maybe I can fit like 2 small kettlebells. I know they get bigger as the weight increases. I’ll probably google some stuff. I have been able to increase my weights 10-15lbs every week (depending on muscle group) so I would like to be able to keep that pace.

Edit: Not all the hotels have gyms and if they do the equipment is really raggedy. I had a bioforce set at the first gym and the clips kept snapping off as I start to perform reps. The next one did not, and I don’t have the proper license to drive our company vehicle to a gym. I travel about 6 hours away from home.

that doesn’t matter. I’ve trained in some reallllllllly shitty gyms effectively lol. Just have to be creative.

is Uber or Lyft, or a taxi an option?

Also, how often are you home?

I can definitely understand not having gym access several days in the week. I own and operate a small business, I have a 5 year old son who I have custody of half the time, among other responsibilities. So there are days when the gym is simply not an option for me. I have to make the most of the time I have. I’m generally in the gym about 3 days a week. Would it be possible to find 3, or even 2 days, per week to train at a gym? I know of a great 2-day per week training program that I actually made significant progress doing. You hit the gym hard for 2 hours out of every week. That’s it. Minimal time commitment, very effective program. If you’re interested, I’ll link it.

My thoughts - KB and BW work during the week, something like this during the weekends:

The reason I ask the questions I do is partly to fill in what I think are important gaps, but also to make sure the person actually has a decent grasp on what they’re trying to achieve.

I’d echo everything said by the above posters. Explore every avenue mentioned above, and make sure you have a rock solid nutrition plan. This is another area where life on the road can really cause you issues.

I thought about Uber/lyft but I know that would get expensive on top of a day gym pass. Our company usually tries to get the most cheapest hotels to save money, so they’re usually far from towns/etc. I’m only home late Friday, full Saturday & Sunday. My gym is closed Sunday. Share the program!

The dudes here have already given solid advice. As far as equipment to travel with, bands are the most packable option for sure. Could check out the adjustable KB from Titan that goes up to like 75lbs. Lastly a weight vest could be a solid investment to add some load to BW movements.

What are your stats and goals? Are you currently focused on losing fat?

Good article in bands from yesterday below. Get a bunch of jumpstretch/powerlifting bands, get creative, use plenty of volume, and can get a hell of a lot out of them.

I have no fat to lose.

I think I will hit the gym workout Fri/Sat, and hit calisthenics for the rest of the week and rest Sunday.

I just want to touch on this.

Going from a lean 170 to a lean 200 lbs is one thing, depending on your height of course (5 8’ and up and it’s pretty achievable if you’re completely dialled in on your nutrition and training). Going to a lean 250 lbs is a whole different ballgame, especially with what I suspect is a fairly active job.

If you can get to the gym on the weekend, I would suggest going Saturday and Sunday for one upper and one lower where you bust your arse each day with the most bang for your buck exercises (think some kind of squat, vertical presses, horizontal presses, posterior chain movement and three to four upper body pulls). Then on weekdays you can do bodyweight and band stuff to fill in the gaps. Then you’re going to need to eat and since you’re wanting to stay lean, you’ll need to be very careful on food selection which means quantity of food may end up being way higher than is comfortable.

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Link please?

I am going to meal prep high calorie/protein. So far I have been eating rice, with a meat and a vegatable… And then I will eat a sandwich, and for breakfast I eat some eggs and a vegatable… also taking protein powder… and snack on energy bars throughout the day, I am 5’11.

At 5 11’ and 170 lbs the last thing you should be worrying about is body composition. Until you hit at least 220 lbs or so just eat, and eat, and eat some more. I’m 5 7’ and a bit and at 185 lbs and lean I just looked small. Chances are you wont start looking muscular until you hit around 220 lbs and even then you’ll have a ways to go. That 250 lbs is a good target for your height.

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Well, I don’t have any extra money to purchase kettlebells or bands.

If you have any other routines I can do, I am definitely open to ideas. Trying to start working out again tomorrow evening haha.

/// I will be able to purchase stuff this upcoming weekend. I need to get a bigger suitcase to be able to carry the extra stuff.

lol thansk jshaving, I missed that.

why would you put them in a suitcase? That sounds bizarre. I’d just put equipment wherever you can squeeze it in in your truck and carry it separately.

https://www.t-nation.com/workouts/2-times-a-week-for-twice-the-gains this is the program I was talking about. It’s so simple, and so effective. It’s one of the few programs I’ve gone back to multiple times. When life gets busy, this is my go-to.

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