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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet

Building muscle with calisthenics isn’t as easy as with weightlifting. Weightlifting was created for this very reason – to improve your physique To get your muscles to grow it’s crucial to lift heavy. But what is considered ‘heavy’ changes all the time as you get bigger and stronger That’s why most of the equipment in gyms allows to quickly increase or decrease the weight you’re lifting. This feature allows for all the exercises, machines and training plans to be optimized for bodybuilding. It’s completely different with calisthenics. Bodyweight training is all about moving your body and your weight is pretty much constant in short periods of time. Of course, you can use only a part of it just like when you’re doing australian pull ups, but when you get to a point where you pull or push your whole body, it’s pretty much all the weight you have. And this is the moment a lot people make the mistake. As you get bigger and stronger, how do you progress on a lat pull down machine like this one? Well you probably increase the weight. And how do you progress when you learn your first few pull ups? You try to do more pull ups. I know I’m generalizing, but I think that’s pretty common and instinctive approach for both cases for most people. If you’re doing what I just said, then that’s probably why you can’t build more muscle with calisthenics. It’s because of this wrong way of progressing your workouts. In the first example, you increase the difficulty of each rep, whereas in the second one you increase the number of reps. You’re slowly getting out of the optimal rep range for hypertrophy and you start to work on the muscular endurance instead. What you should do is to make the exercise more difficult by increasing the weight you’re pulling or pushing. Let’s quickly get through the best ways to do that. Weight vest This is the most versatile option, but only to a certain weight. The vest I have weighs 10 kg and it is very comfortable and pretty easy to put on. Maybe a 15 kg one would be good as well, but anything above that gets very bulky and can be difficult to put on by yourself. These are the biggest drawbacks of the vest in my opinion. On the other hand, they do have a few unique features, that other weight types that I’m gonna talk about, don’t. First of all, you can use it to do exercises like push ups, squats or calf raises. Most other weights can’t be used for this purpose or are much less comfortable. Secondly, most vests are made of multiple smaller weights, that can be removed to control its mass very precisely. The vest is also easy to move around, if you train outside. You just put it on and go to your training spot. Waist weight This type of weight is the best for bigger loads. With a proper belt you can comfortably put on even 100 kilograms. It’s great for doing pull ups, chin ups or dips. It cannot be used for push ups though. I’ve seen many different ways of attaching the weights to your waist, but the simplest one is with a belt or piece of cloth and a plate weight, kettlebell or even a bottle of water or sand. You just do what you have to to make it work. Ankle weights although they’re made primarily to make the ab exercises harder, they can also be used as a weight for pull ups or dips. Their weight is usually small, going up to around 5 kilograms (11 lbs) combined, but they can be successfully used in conjunction with the vest to let you adjust the weight even more freely. So if your goal is primarily to build muscle you should approach progressing the workouts like this. Lets take dips as an example. You can do 10 reps maximum with your bodyweight. After a month of training you see that you got stronger and can do 13. Instead of going further with the number of reps, you should attach additional, let’s say, 10 kilograms (22 lbs) to your body. This will bring your max reps down to 7 or 8. Exactly where you want it to be. After another two months of training you get to 12 reps maximum with this additional weight, so you add even more weight to bring your max down and so on. As long as your max reps stays between 6 and 12 you’re doing it right. This should be true for all the exercises you do. Pull ups, push ups, dips, leg raises, chin ups and so on. Here is my workout routine that is aiming at building muscle. It can work wonders if done for a longer period of time. It’s gonna be only upper body though, because legs are too strong for those types of weights and I train them with a regular barbell and set of weights on a separate day. I deliberetely made some mistakes in this workout, so I can analyze it and correct them for your better understanding of the subject. I’m doing 4 sets of every exercise, close to max reps in each set. I start with wide grip pull ups with a 10 kg vest. In the first set I managed to do 10 reps. Then I did 9, 8 and 7, so every set was in proper rep range. Nothing to change here. The next exercise is handstand push ups. Here I didn’t add any weight, instead I increased the range of motion by doing them on parallets. That being said I was able to do 7, 6, 5 and 5 in consecutive sets. Generally speaking the exercise is a little too difficult, because in 3rd and 4th set I got out of the 6-12 range. However in a few sessions I will be able to do one more rep in every set, so that’s not a big deal. After that I did dips with both vest and ankle weights, so approximately 14 kgs of additional weight. On the first set I did 15 reps and that is way above the desired 12. Next sets looked like this: 13, 12 and 11. Almost all sets were above the desired range, so I should have added more weight. Probably around 20 kgs in total would be right. Next, I did push ups with 10 kg vest. I also used parallets, because the vest decreases the possible range of motion slightly. The results look like this: 14, 11, 11, 9. As you can see the first set was above the desired range, o I should’ve add a little more weight to make the exercise harder. Then I did toes to bar with 4 kg ankle weights. I was able to do 11, 7, 7, 6 and that’s all great. And lastly, I did chin ups with both vest and ankle weights again, so approximately 14 kgs in total. I managed to do 8, 7, 5 and 5, so I shouldn’t have added the ankle weights. It made the chin up too difficult and on 3rd and 4th set I was able to do only 5 reps. As always bear in mind that I’m only talking about the training aspect of building muscle. There’s also diet that is just as important in this process. Also genetics have to be taken into consideration, because not everyone puts on muscle with the same ease. This is all for this video. Leave a thumb up if you liked it and stay tuned for more videos! See ya.

100 thoughts on “Can’t BUILD MUSCLE with Calisthenics? Here’s why

  1. Bro. No hate, this video is misleading.
    Every single rep ranges brings the same strength, endurance and muscular hypertrophy. Saying that 1-5 works only strength. Is stupid. Ronnie Colman mr Olympia actually said that the way to gain a lot of mass is only by lifting heavy. And I don’t say that’s not true, I just say that’s minimalistic as fuck. There are 3 prime ways to build muscle.
    1 mechanical tension – heavy weights low reps
    Metabolic stress – “the magic hypertrophy”
    And muscle damage, which is done with negatives and gaint sets on one muscle for the most part. And this is SIENCE PROVEN.
    So stop telling me that hypertrophy range is the only muscle building way or the most effective one, because even if you tell me it’s not just that 1-5 reps are not building muscle at all it’s just not as effective, still bull shit.
    Let me change the solution for you “hypertrophy trainers”.
    If my max dips is 10 and I keep training 5×5 until I can do 5 dips with 100 lb. will I be still be able to do max 10 dips? Of course not. But how. 1-5 doesn’t work on your endurance isn’t it? Guys stop being minimalists and think that theres only 1 way. Because for perfect hypertrophy you need low medium and high reps. Your body needs it all. It’s not a video game that you invest all your coins is strength or only hypertrophy. Once again. No hate bro. Just think about it seriously from logical perspective and not all the bull shit that you hear on the fitness industry. Keep up with the great work
    And I forgot to mention. Muscle always grows by some kind of ways when progressive overload occurs. If your pull ups max is 10 when it will be 12. Your back will get bigger and stronger by some kind of way even if you don’t feel like it really did. This makes up for all exercises

  2. all you had to do instead of adding weight is first improve your form can do harder exercises, that's how you progress in calisthenics. such as do handstand push ups without your feet on the wall and with a back and shoulder aligned.

  3. Not that good video. Beside weight vest one can also change the lever of an exercises or use a more advanced exercise. For example, instead of pull-up do archer or 1 hand pull-up.

  4. That’s all great and dandy you’re highly skilled at calisthenics…only problem is… you’re pretty small sorry to burst your bubble nothing you’re doing is working for any kind of real hypertrophic results.

  5. i am kind impressive about this coment section… there's anyone acusing this guy of juicing.
    The calisthenics base is so polite, it's a shame that in body building is about acusing each others of "fake-naty"

  6. Calistenics is slow though for me at least. After 2 months (from a fat person that did no exercise for years) I can only do 3 pull up from 0 but I can now do 50 push ups from about 5 at the start but I'm still a bit of a fat ass so maybe I can get all that up once I burn some more fat off

  7. well youre right plus in weight lifting you can target a single muscle or a small muscle group and hit it hard( for example bicep curling)

  8. people cannot understand . Time – under – tension. This is what counts. Look at rowing teams, look at gymnasts. That physique sucks?

  9. don't repeat what bb bullshitters keep spewing . fitness industry is just slowing people down by minimizing the reps. High reps are good for you

  10. it all depends what type of body u want, calisthenics is for lean ripped bodies, weightlifting is for thick muscles more bulky not necessarily stronger

  11. Hey man, with calisthenics you can also increase muscle time under tension, range of motion, adjust angles or progress through more difficult exercises to make progress and build muscle. Of course, its more difficult to do so, but it is possible.

  12. Or what you could try if you want to keep it strictly calithenics.

    Simple increase your volume rather than resistance,
    As an example pushups:(start off with flat pushups for 12reps, then straight into incline pushups with the same reps then dips for the same reps with no rest and then shoulder pushups with no rest, moving from 1 exercise to the next with no rest in between do 3 round with no rest, this will create high volume and will really work your muscles like you would with weights, after your last round you will go from being able to do 12 reps to barely being able to do 6 this creates hypertrophy 😉 if you want to try this with added weight feel free but it may prove difficult as you will feel this with your own body weight!

  13. Man this is sad.. Thanks for the 101 on what picking up weight does… Your body weight is also weight.. progressing through calisthenics training isnt just do more pullups and push ups.. its pretty obvious what your next steps are to build more muscle once you have hit a soft cap.. you are progressively learning to maximize your balance and body control..

    would you hit the same exercises in the gym everyday forever? No.

  14. You can built muscles with just the increase of volume. Studies showed that less weight but higher reps have the same grow stimulation than high weight lower reps. The only thing which counts is training till muscle failure. You can also make workouts harder in calisthenics with adding weights and you can even increase difficulty with slight variation. pull ups for exampe. Easy version is chin ups with narrow grip, than chin up with wide grip, after that pull ups with overhand grip, than increase the wide of your grip, very wide pull ups with overhand grip are multiple times heavier than a chin up.

  15. It s easier for calisthenics as well. Doing 4 repeats you will get stronger. Doing 8 repeats you will gain muscels. Doing over 10 repeats you will improve your endurance. Now when you want to do calisthenics train so that you only can repeat the exercise 8 times then you eill gain muscels

  16. Yeah but studies show that up to 30 or so reps you're still going to build just as much muscle as someone who does 1~3 reps as long as you match the volume. I'd rather trust studies, no offense.

  17. Calisthenics builds real muscles that actually work. They look different from the puffed up ones that you get from weights

  18. Resistance is resistance when you get too good at pull ups and push ups you get a weight vest then keep adding weight the stronger you get you will gain crazy strength size and athleticism

  19. Every calisthenics practitoner has the same problem. A disproportionately developed body, that is, everyone has thin legs. Because there are no effective calisthenics exercises for the legs but only for the upper part of the body.

  20. This was literally one of the most honest and best videos on Calisthenics I have seen! I always thought I was doing something wrong because I didnt manage to do e.g. 3 sets of 10 Pullups but rather 10, 9 and 7 or so 😀 Good to know that I am not alone! 😀 Thanks a lot!

  21. First, there is no "hypertrophy rep range." you can build muscle with muscular endurance training meaning high reps, just go to failure at least in the last set, so increasing reps is good way to progress. And second, if you wanna use external weights just go to the fucking gym and lift weights

  22. 2:48 Be careful where you go tho.. I dont think its a good idea to go near banks or buildings like that… people might not think its a weight vest…

  23. The way I see it is different…Bodybuilding is for people that want bulk.Being as big as possible and having giant muscles.People that do calesthenics do it to get a beautiful muscular body and to improve their health, strenght and stamina.Ask any girl what they find most attractive.A giant bodybuilder or a very sexy bodied calesthenics guy? Most of them would go for the calesthenics type of body.Even normal looking guys, thin or with a little belly will mostly be prefered over the bodybuilder.That's not opinion,that's fact !!! So bodybuilding is about quantity , calisthenics is about quality.

  24. When you do dips I’m sure you shouldn’t be snapping your elbow inwards at the top of each push . Looks painful

  25. I have to ask this nagging question in my head. If I am fairly fresh I can do 25kg dips of 7-8 reps decreasing the weight for next few sets (I do this at the gym because the bench press doesn't seem to fatigue me much). But if I started with Archer push ups on Parallettes (my home workouts) then do dips for my 2nd exercise I can JUST manage 8 reps with no weights at all. Would that build the same muscle mass? I assume yes but if I am fresh on my home workout and start with dips I can do 20-25 which makes me question it.

  26. sorry, but this video lacks so much information. What about increasing the height of your pullup? don't just go for tons of reps, pull as HIGH AS YOU CAN for sets of 5, and as your range of motion drastically increases over time, tell me you're not building muscle with calisthenics. most people don't know it's possible to pull yourself so high that your waist touches the bar. So why add weight to your pullup so soon? youre barely even moving without any added weight. lol

  27. Lies. Although I'm not proud of my mistakes, I did go to prison, and they took all the weights before I hit the yard. All we had was pull up bars, and dip bars for equipment and people including my self got pretty yoked up, and I don't mean just fit, I mean yoked the hell up. It's all in muscle confusion when you are limited on equipment, get creative and change up the routine on each body group before your muscles adapt to your routine.

  28. While I've not yet done it, it stands to reason that one could increase both weight AND reps for growth and endurance.

  29. It seems to me that if you can no longer put on muscle mass with calisthenics then you should have been using weights all along.

    But wait, why is there this need to get so big in the first place?

    I can see that you are very fit and healthy. Your form is excellent, and there is no fat to be seen on you. You are very lean, strong, and well proportioned.

    I watch videos on strength training for vegans, as I only eat plant based. Don't worry, unlike some of my vegan brothers and sisters, I am not here to criticize your diet, or any of your subscribers. But getting back to my point, I see a problematic trend in that sub-community. The potential for psychological disorders like Body Dysmorphic Disorder. I am not a doctor, of course, and I am not suggesting all body builders, vegan or otherwise, suffer from it. But is it not true that as we develop our strength and physical form we run the risk of being deluded?

    Maybe our goals should be centered around health first and foremost.

    I like your approach. It seems healthy. My question is: are you frequently concerned about getting bigger? Do you ever have doubts when you compare your body to that of weight lifters?

    Shouldn't a toned and strong body be as accepted as someone with massive muscle? Because the whole body building community seems vain to me.

  30. HAHA @Trainingpal jesteś sławny nawet na Ali 😀 Obczaj zdjęcia w aukcji.

  31. when you say 12 max reps…what do u mean like 12 reps in a row or 3…rest then another then another 3…rest another 3?

  32. ——Just eat enough——
    Most people who train calisthenics dont eat enough-—–calorie surplus——

  33. Is Cali for building mass? I thought it was more about general strength, including tendons, joints, flexibility, motility, equilibrium, proprioception…
    Maybe there are different INTERPRETATIONS of the goals. I would never use Cali for mass as the main obj.

    There is SO MUCH to learn/improve in so many fields of body dev, that running after mass will always be a secondary priority. As somebody already noticed: if you pull-up 20 times, it would be adisable thinking to use only one arm, instead of adding weight. You will get much more athletic.

  34. Lack of creativity in calisthenics will get you stuck on a plateau. That's the beauty of the discipline, more than one way to skin a cat. If you're dead set on a single way then you won't see the results. It's art baby!

  35. I use a basic rule: Bodyweight is for tendons, ligaments and fascia; Weights are for muscle. Technically everyone should to Bodyweight training before getting into weights to make sure structural integrity is there to prevent joint injuries.

  36. I rarely see progress pics/videos of guys who didn't lift weights before they started CALI. What does this mean? That you cant gain muscle with calisthenics, just maintain it like you guys? Guys who do both say weightlifting buids muscle and strength a lot faster.

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