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Combining Calisthenics and Weight Training, Program Review?

Good morning everyone,

I was hoping for some thoughts on my program please. I would first like to give a bit of background about me and why I am training this way.

I’ve been training in the gym for over 15 years. Over the years I’ve done everything from “German Volume Training” your typical “bro-splits” you see in the magazines. I’ve competed in 1 bodybuilding contest to which I made 3rd place in the middle weight division. I don’t plan to do another one but it was a good experience.

As I get older, I am more concerned with striking a balance if you will. I don’t want to gym to rule my life but I want it to be a part of my life.

Now I don’t train in a commercial gym anymore but train at home. I have been blessed to be able to have a pretty kickass gym filled with plenty of barbells and dumbbells. I also became introduced into the wonderful world of calisthenics thanks to “Convict Conditioning”. As I became more engrossed with the lessons that book taught, I questioned why do I need to lift weights at all. As I love lifting weights however and have access to them, I’m not quite ready to give up the iron just yet.

This is why (through trial and error) I have come up with a balanced routine of calisthenics and weight training. I want to focus on progressive calisthenics and weight training equally. I love them both. I want to share this routine with the other members of this site and see what they think.

So here is what I have come up with.

Day 1 Calisthenics Focused Push A

Dips: 3 sets/ 10 reps
Handstand Holds: 3 sets

Day 2 Weights Focused Pull B

Hex Bar Deadlift: 3 sets/ 5 reps

Day 3 Calisthenics Focused Legs A

Front Levers: 3 sets/ 1 min.
Shrimp Squats: 3 sets/ 10 reps

Day 4 Weights Focused Push B

Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets/ 5 reps

Day 5 Calisthenics Focused Pull A

Towel Pullups: 3 sets/ 10 reps
Wall-walking Bridges: 3 sets/10 reps

Day 6 Weights Focused Legs B

Barbell Front Squats: 3 sets/ 5 reps

This routine is followed over a 2 week period ideally, taking an off day every other day. This means that I’m normally training 3 times a week. The exercises listed above are just my main exercises I’m striving for progressive overload on. They are my “strength-work” if you will. Once I get the prescribed sets and reps, I’ll either try to add reps or add weight respectively.

After my main exercises are done. Then I typically make room for my assistance work. I generally just try to give the rest of my body with higher rep “pump work”. I work through the basic movement patterns (i.e. push, pull, lunge, hinge etc.) to turn it into a full-body workout. So I guess this routine could be summed up as a “Push, Pull, Legs Focused Full-Body Workout” spread over a two-week time span. I try to just have fun with this as this assistance work is just to fill in the gaps. If I’m short on time, I just do my mandatory exercises and call it a day.

I have went through a lot of trial and error to design a routine that eliminates a lot of fluff, focuses on calisthenics and weight training equally, and has plenty of room for recovery. I tried to keep it as simple as possible as I think routines don’t need to be complicated. I have used very rigid routines in the past and find they are hard to stick with if there isn’t room to wiggle.

I would love to hear your guy’s thoughts as I’m pretty proud of what I’ve came up with. If you have any more questions about it or if I didn’t explain something thoroughly, please feel free to comment.

A lot of humeral internal rotation there, might want to add some band pull-aparts and scapular wall slides.

Yes sir. I appreciate the feed back. I love band pull-parts and do a lot of rear-delt work in general. I had a fair amount of front deltoid pain when I was younger from too much heavy pressing movements. I’ll include band pull-aparts, bodyweight face pulls on rings, and rear delt work in general in my assistance movements.

I have also done scapular wall slides as well. I came across that exercise when I was scouring the internet for “training your back if you have no pull-up bar”. I came across a good youtube channel ironically called “calisthenics and weight training”. The wall slide was one of the exercises he demonstrated.

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Sounds good. Might want to do something that hits your hamstrings more directly, your leg work is quad dominant.

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Thanks for the tip. Any good hamstring exercises you recommend? I’ve been doing a fair amount of glute ham raise work as of late. For some reason, I love doing more body weight exercises for lower body as it feels better on my knees.

Two questions…

  1. Your current age?

  2. Based on your pic and screen name…
    DO you still believe?:wink:

Looks fine, I would once in a while drop the towels push up the volume on pullups and possibly dips as well.
Cranking up the reps with something like ladders can be especially effective for bodyweight stuff…

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But I still believe
I still believe
Through the pain
And through the grief

Through the lies
Through the storms
Through the cries
And through the wars

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Appreciate the feedback. I do like to do classic pull-ups sometimes anyhow.

:+1: hell yeah!

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I forgot to include a crucial detail in how I measure my progress. I don’t count sets anymore and just focus on getting quality reps in. I go for a “rep total” in my progressions. It helps me keep my form honest because I’m not overly concerned in getting all the reps in a prescribed number of sets. For example, if my rep total goal is 10 total reps, I do as many sets as needed to achieve the reps.

At first, I thought I came up with something new but then I realized I did no such thing. Chad Waterbury wrote an article called “Total Reps for Muscle Building” (or something along those lines) and it advocates a similar system. One key point I liked was worrying about the reps and let the sets take care of themselves. That was a game changer for me.

I think this style of keeping track of progression is a bit unorthodox as I can’t find too much information on it. I however felt affirmed in knowing I wasn’t the only one who loves using a “rep total” system.