I started training a long time ago. Like almost everybody, I started with weights and made some pretty good progress in the beginning. But the progress got slower and slower and after a while, I didn’t see any changes at all. My motivation came back when I went to a progressive calisthenics workshop with Danny and Al Kavadlo. I started to train exclusively with bodyweight exercises and I got stronger and training was fun again. My main goal was to progress to harder exercises as fast as possible. I wanted to be able to do the one arm pushup, lots of pull-ups and all the other exercises from the Convict Conditioning book. I got stronger but again, my body didn’t change much. Then I discovered Adorian’s Old School Calisthenic Facebook page. He made great progress with high volume calisthenics workouts and basic exercises. I tried it and it helped a lot! I gained muscle with my abs still visible and I got a lot stronger in the basic exercises and my conditioning also went up! Metabolic stress is one of the three main mechanisms for muscle growth and I think it is the most underutilized.
Well, I didn’t do lots of really high volume training till then and I think this gave me a real boost. With the Old School Calisthenic’s approach, you use basic exercises you are already good at for lots of reps and that’s a great combination. And if your form gets bad you use easier exercise progressions.
I like the ’10×10 workouts’. You take two or three exercises and do 10 rounds of 10 reps of each:
- Close grip pull-ups: 10 reps
- Weighted pushups: 10 reps
- Leg Raises: 10 reps
This is just an example and you can find a lot more workouts in his PDF eBook: Learn More!
Give it a try and see for yourself!