Feedback on my workout/Back to basics

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    Hello all,

    I have been doing calisthenics properly since about January and have always worked out in some format but what I have realised it I have typically jumped from workout to workout and have never spent sufficient time on my foundations. Which in this case is effective pull ups, push ups and squats. I have put together a routine which I am happy doing and can stick to which I believe will give me a good foundation to advance off once I hit my targets. I just want to make sure I’m not doing anything critically wrong and open myself up for any advice. I’ve put my current achievement (today) and my goals.

    The Workout (I do this three times a week)

    On the bar:

    3 sets of 5 pull ups and 5 chin ups back to back with 5 minute pause between sets

    4 sets of 8 commando pull ups with 5 minute pause between sets

    3 sets of 6 straight hanging leg lifts with 2 minutes pause between sets

    In my room: (I either walk or cycle, depending on how much time I have, to the bar which is 1.5km away and do the rest when I get back)

    Handstand training, I’m not keeping count of time I’m working on my form and aiming to do freestanding handstands. I think I spend between 2 – 5 minutes in actual handstands.

    35 full (i.e. butt to heel) squats

    5 sets of 14 L7 push ups (I swap hands halfway through the set) with 5 minute pause between sets

    1 minute 30 seconds of combined planks (1min front, 30 seconds each side and 30 seconds front again)

    I also do some bridges as a stretch for my back before or after my squats.


    1. On the bar firstly I want to add reps to my leg lifts (up to 3 sets of 10) and my commando pull ups (4 sets of 10) and after this will start adding reps to my pull ups and chin ups (aiming for 3 sets of 10 pull ups and 10 chin ups back to back) before starting to cut down on the rest periods until they are all 2 minutes between sets. When I achieve these things I will start looking at doing more varieties of pull ups and other exercises on the bar.

    2. When I can confidently hold a free standing handstand I will start doing handstand push ups (against the wall).

    3. I want to build up to doing 100 – 150 squats in one set. I prefer doing one big set of squats than doing multiple smaller ones. I am adding five reps per workout. When I have hit that goal I’ll start working on shrimp and pistol squats.

    4. I am going to build up to 5 sets of 20 L7 push ups and then cut down on the rest period (to 2 minutes between sets) and add incline one arm push ups and negatives to start moving towards a one arm push up. But I’ll worry about the specifics of that when I arrive.

    5. I want to do 6 minutes of combined planks.

    P.s. Robby, have you considered a career in personal training? Because your advice is always spot on and you seem (as much as I can tell online) to have a really good manner for helping people 🙂


    Hello Robby,

    Thank you for the feedback. Here are the changes I have made so far and the results.

    Firstly, I did a pyramid starting at five down to one with pull ups and chin ups and alternated them with a pyramid set of diamond push ups starting at ten and deducting two each time. So, 5 pull ups, 5 chin ups, 10 diamond push ups, etc. I did that without any pauses except for breathing when I couldn’t finish the set and getting from the bar to a flat bit of ground for push ups. The effect, I never got to starting again at four or doing my commando pull ups or leg lifts. I was smashed, I think in a week or two I’ll have build up to starting again at four, three, two and then one and finishing off with commandos and leg lifts but today I couldn’t manage.

    When I go back I did L7 push ups but I dropped the sets back down to ten reps and reduced the pause between sets from five minutes to one minute. That was okay actually.

    I haven’t started doing handstands facing the wall because I need to get more confident landing from that position. I’m going to do that outside because I don’t want to worry my housemates with any huge smashes in my room.

    Yes, the book looks interesting. I’d like to read it at some point although there are a lot more pressing buys and reads for me at the moment. Marketing is an easy enough skill to pick up, if you ever decide to take the jump I am happy to give you a few pointers. I’m fairly business minded, am looking at doing a degree in that field and teach Business English so I might be able to guide you on the first few steps. Also, if you do want to avoid the corporate gym scene try and find a few martial arts centers to operate from. Also some of the more practically minded groups might be really interested in what you do. I worked nights for a year and a half and it was horrible, I lost a lot of my fitness during that period. I sent an email to a friend doing nights quite a while back with some advice. I’ll find it again and forward it onto you. But I would advice not to view nights as a long term thing. Keep it in mind and I look forward to your advice on here 🙂 it is really helpful. Good luck with the charity fund raiser!

    Robby Taylor

    thanks again for your suggestions man! are you on facebook? you can find me through Al’s page

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