Firstly, I’d suggest seeing a good chiropractor or physical therapist.
Here’s a tutorial by our friend Ryan at Gold Medal Bodies on the hollow body hold:
If you can work on this progression without pain, I would suggest that. As it’s an isometric, you may be able to use it as a sort of stretch that builds strength, kind of like a back bridge. Which reminds me, try to work on the bridge progressions if you can do so pain free. You might also want to try wall sits, especially if your squatting has been affected as well.
If all of that stuff still causes you pain, then seeking professional help is probably your best bet.
Those splits sound fine! You should also incorporate bridging at some point, perhaps when you wake up. I would just find it difficult to consistently take enough time away fromwork to work out so frequently. I mean once every hour or two over 12 hours is at least like 6 times a night. But it’s up to you. Personally I found it better to do a comprehensive workout at home, then do just one or two exercises at work. Like, if all you did in that time was pistol squats and, say, L sits at work, you’d be getting a lot better at those two exercises. What you’re talking about is essentially grease the groove but for like an entire routine. But hey, maybe it is easier for you to maintain and make progress that way, so try your way out for awhile and see how it works for you. But if your progress stalls, consider a more comprehensive training session at home.
So youre talking about strength training 3 days a week and cardio 3 days a week? Seems like a lot of cardio to me. I think someone focusing on calisthenics strength would be good with one or maybe two days a week of hiit, ideally sprinting. The jogging probably isn’t necessary though. Personally if I were doing a good sprinting session once a week I would feel like that was enough.
You can do a routine, just make sure the exercises are appropriate. Its perfectly fine to use standard push ups in your routine, but don’t go trying to do one arm push ups or something else more advanced if you’re not ready for it.
5×5 is a suggestion for a workout focused on strength. Its a good idea to ensure that you can do the basic exercises in fairly high volumes before you start focusing on harder progressions. So you should be able to do at least 30 clean push ups consecutively before training for one arm push ups. Even when you’re focusing primarily on harder variations for low reps its still a good idea to ensure you have the endurance to do the basics more. Higher reps allows your central nervous system more time to increase efficiency. Mix it up though, don’t do the same thing every time. Group exercises by which ones you can do together without tiring each other out. That’s what I try to do.
Lentils are used in a lot of Indian cuisine, vegetarian dishes, and can be used as a base for a soup. There are plenty of recipes online. I usually just cook it with a bit of garlic, onion, and lemon juice. It goes good as a side dish. You could roast some chicken and potatoes with a side of lentils. It’s pretty good when you mix it with rice. Lentils with scrambled eggs makes a solid porridge-like breakfast option. You could try mixing it with oats or grits too…lots of options!
Cardio probably isn’t necessary, but high intensity cardio like sprinting can be beneficial
Like Al said, youre doing fine man. It sounds like you have a build similar to me, I’m a couple inches taller than you and 5-10 pounds heavier. I’ve been training for…shit…close to 3 years now, and on the whole I weigh the same as I did when I started. I’m a lot stronger though, and a bit leaner and more muscular (I was already lean though). If you’re concerned about size, you seriously need to eat more. Like, for guys with our build, especially if you are enthusiastic about training, it actually can take more dedication (in terms of effort) to commit to eating enough to gain weight because we like burn everything off.
I recommend finding a quality staple food that you can simply add to your current diet, and just eat it whenever as a filler. I highly recommend lentils. There’s tons of protein in them (1 pound uncooked has about 120-130 grams of protein and costs like $1, at least at grocery stores near me), and they’re super easy and fast to cook. For athletes like us, I recommend red lentils specifically because they have about half the fiber of brown lentils (about 50g per pound instead of 100), and red also have 50% more calories (again, good for us hard gainers who expend lots of energy). They are both excellent sources of quality carbs as well. The only downside to red lentils is they’re a bit more expensive; at my local store I can get them for under $2 a pound.
Its not a complete protein though, but you can balance it out with chicken, eggs, certain grains, nuts, and seeds.
Muscle ups are hard, give it time. Get better at pull ups first. Also I’d suggest working on the L sit, pistol squat, and back bridge. Besides that, you may also want to start messing with handstand push ups and/or one arm push ups. Keep killing those basics though, consider those as skill training for now. Once you can do like 5 good reps, then I’d say its a good time to start using them in your regular workouts.
Personally I’m not too concerned about training specific muscle groups, but your concern does have merit, so I will address this.
Firstly, you don’t have to do the same exercises every time you train. You can alternate handstand push ups with dips or some kind of horizontal pushup if you want to hit your chest more. Basically pick exercises that are most conducive to your goals. To the extent of the importance of a well balanced physique, it is important to choose a set of comprehensive goals.
My long term goals are planche, more consistency with one arm pull up, and pressing from a back bridge to a handstand. Planche covers chest, and as far as my current regimen goes probably the most planche centric exercises are handstand push ups and back levers. Sometimes at work I will work on more planche specific drills like planche leans, tucks, etc.
And that leads me to my next (and hopefully final) point. There are many ways to construct a workout, and even the template of an upper body push and upper body pull has some wiggle room. Most advanced calisthenics blur that line. You could do muscle ups and handstand push ups and the muscle ups would be worming your chest…even though it’s more of a pull than a push. The same could be said for the back lever.
So get creative with your programming. Mix it up, don’t do the exact same thing every day, but have some idea of where you’re ultimately going. Personally I picked a group of exercises that are conducive to my goals (about 12 exercises, including a few barbell exercises) and sorted them into like 3 or 4 workout templates based on which exercises I could do in the same workout without wearing myself out too much to do well in all of them. And often those individual workouts dont go exactly as planned. They usually form the basis of it (often I do it as written), but sometimes I’ll do a different exercise or add another one or Something. It depends on the day, how much time I have, where I am, and if I’m training with someone else.
Food for thought
Al covered this in a recent Ask Al, he basically says going to failure is OK sometimes but doing it all of the time will likely be excessive and, in the long run, impede your ability to recover. The biggest concern with doing pull ups to failure is the possibility of over stressing the tendons if you aren’t conditioned enough for that kind of effort/volume. And yes, ideally you will be coming down to a full elbow lockout at the bottom.
I recommend starting from an inverted hang with your body aligned properly and then lower into the position, rather than lowering to a tuck and then extending your legs.
Awesome man! The back lever is definitely a skill to be proud of. I’d say generally keep doing what you’ve been doing, but I’d suggest utilizing straddle back levers for your workouts. If you can hold a full back lever for 3 seconds then you can probably hold a straddle for a few seconds longer, which is substantial. It will allow you more time in the position so you can become more comfortable and efficient with it. Once you can do a straddle back lever for like 15 seconds then try going back to the full back lever more regularly. I don’t know your amenities but I recommend getting a video of yourself or check a mirror because you want to make sure that you are indeed level and that your back isn’t arched.
You can always try it on a bench and let your legs hang, this way you can try to focus more on your elbow placement and see if you can figure out what’s going on. I’ve never had to pay much attention to this aspect of the elbow lever myself, but perhaps think about trying to drive your elbows and arms inward/toward each other while performing the lever. Don’t actually do it of course but just remember to keep emphasis on that drive before they even start to slip out, and I think it should be a bit more workable.
Yeah man totally do pull ups and chin ups on the same day. Think of them as variations of the same exercise. Just alternate grip every set. I would suggest though adding in some bridging and/or leg raises to your leg day, and you’ll have a pretty well rounded routine.
That’s the pull up tower I use. You can also build one in your back yard.
I’ve used the doorway ones before,
I recommend that one. It doesn’t leave scuff marks and as long as your doorway isn’t totally flimsy it should be fine. My 300lb friend used one in his apt (built in the 70s) without damaging the doorframe. And, crucially, it is quite usable. You can probably effectively do about anything muscle ups.
Can you touch your elbows together? If so you should be flexible enough. This could be one of those instances that you need some assistance in person. I agree in that it sounds like an unusual case as you likely have met the prerequisites for it.
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