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Calisthenics Progression - How to progress in Calisthenics

This article is dedicated to progress and answer the most important questions about performance improvement in bodyweight training. The following aspects will be dealt with:

  • What is the difference between progression with dumbbell weight and progression with body weight?
  • How does progression work with Calisthenics?
  • What is important to keep in mind?

Those of you who have been training with Bodyweight for a while know:

The increase in performance is enormous and all too quickly you get to the area of extremely high repetition rates for the appropriate muscle stimulation. Of course, that's not too bad at first, but you have to be aware of the fact that those who work with too many repetitions no longer focus on muscle growth, but on increasing strength endurance. This may be a profitable training method, especially for the martial artists among you, but if you’re focusing mainly on muscle building and therefore more on "aesthetic aspects", you have to rethink this point and ask yourself: How do I achieve my goal most efficiently with bodyweight training?

The average gym user uses a simple trick for this:

He simply puts weights on it, thus increasing the load and generating sufficient muscle stimuli for constant muscle growth. This is not so easy for bodyweight athletes - after all, we would have to gain weight in order to increase our muscle build-up and this is usually counterproductive. Instead, we have to use another trick in this situation: In sports like Calisthenics, the intensity of the exercise is increased by changing angles and levers, by adjusting speed and volume. This creates new stimuli for your body, which in turn ensures further muscle building. Or in other words: In order to build up your muscles continuously, sooner or later you have to expand your exercise repertoire.

How does progression work with Calisthenics?

progression in calisthenics

It is especially important that you reach the point of muscle failure during muscle building training. So why train 100 squats when you can achieve the same effect with 30 Pistols? Again: Basically there’s nothing wrong to work with a high repetition range! Even if you have to do 100 squats per training session to reach the point of muscle failure, you will stimulate your muscles and stimulate their growth. It is much more a question of efficiency!

The good thing about bodyweight training and especially Calisthenics is that the exercises are almost infinitely modifiable. If you don't feel busy with normal pushups, just try Diamond Pushups, Decline Pushups, Archer Pushups or other push-up variations instead. If pull-ups are too easy for you, try them one-armed or Muscle-ups. The changed angles and levers lead to a completely new form of muscle stimulation which means that the muscles are further developed.



But what if even the most difficult technique becomes too easy?

Well, there are a lot of other variables that can intensify your training either. Change the speed for example! A deliberately slow Archer pushup is even more difficult than a normal one. Another alternative is to shorten your break time - however, you should make sure that you still allow your body enough rest, otherwise it can quickly come to a phsyical overload.


What should you pay attention to when it comes to progression in bodyweight sports?


Usually, every fitness studio has a trainers who will correct you in your execution. However, if you train with Bodyweight on the street or in the park, you often don't have anyone at hand who can give you the right tips. Especially when working with advanced exercises in Bodyweight it is of immense importance that the movements are carried out correctly. Because of the increasing degree of difficulty the exercises become more and more complex. They demand more from you and the danger you do them wrong increases as well. Therefore, you should only venture to the next difficulty level if you are absolutely sure that your movement is correct and you are ready to take a new step.

Variety brings you new training motivation!

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Apart from the positive training effect for your muscle stimuli, the extension of your training plan has another psychological advantage: It brings you variety in your everyday life, which will motivate you anew! Of course, it may seem a bit frustrating for one or the other if he or she does not master every exercise directly like a professional. But with the new challenges come new successes. You don't learn to rest on your laurels, but to build a constant increase in training into your fitness program. And by the way, it's great fun to try out new exercises!

Progression in Bodyweight

All in all it can be said: Progression in body weight is very well possible. It may take a little more effort than just putting an additional weight on the pull-up bar. Learning to master the new exercises will take time, but your body and muscles will thank you for it. Especially if you are able to master your everyday life with ease thanks to your solid fitness and the next move to the fifth floor is not a problem but a fun workout.


Are you looking for the perfect Calisthenics equipment to start out? We at Pullup & Dip offer you various high-quality Calisthenics equipment. Go check it out now!

calisthenics equipment


Do you want to do more pull-ups?

Then we recommend you our FREE eBook with the top 23 tips for more pull-ups

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Recommended articles:

Weighted Calisthenics – Best Exercises, Equipment And All You Need To Know

Top 8 Calisthenics Exercises To Get a Wide Back

Top 8 Calisthenics Exercises to get you started!

Tags: Calisthenics

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  • FREE US Shipping above $200
  • FREE return shipping within the US
  • Shipping from US warehouse
  • Incl. Tracking
  • 30 days hassle-free returns
  • Don't love it? Send it back!
  • Premium quality products
  • Buy once, train forever