5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Calisthenics

Bodyweight training (calisthenics) is one of my favorite forms of exercise for building a great body. Done correctly, you can use bodyweight training to get rid of your man boobs.

What I really like about bodyweight training, is how functional it is.

What I mean by this is it's useful in your everyday life.

Bodyweight training is all about moving your own body through space.

Since your body is with you 100% of the time, getting good at moving your body can be very useful, heck it could save your life one day.

If your life is never put at risk, then at the very least, getting good at moving your own body around will make your life more convenient, AND it will fill you with confidence knowing that you could move your body should the need arise.

Once you start experiencing the benefits of being able to move your body around, bodyweight training is something you can really start to get obsessed about.

When you become obsessed with a hobby, you are far more motivated than when you're just trying to lose your man boobs.

Imagine having a hobby that happens to have the fringe benefit of helping you to lose your man boobs.

As you enjoy yourself working on your hobby, your man boobs just melt away on the side, and before you know it, you've got a great body, you're 100% man boob free, and it didn't even feel like you were trying.

Compare that to PUNISHING yourself every morning on the treadmill, for the sole purpose of losing your man boobs.

That's how MOST people try and lose their man boobs, and it's no wonder then why most people never succeed at losing their man boobs.

If there's no passion, and all you're doing is PUNISHING yourself at the gym and punishing yourself at the dinner table, then when the going gets tough, you'll just throw in the towel and give up.

But hey, bodyweight training isn't for everyone.

It's one of those things you'll have to try and see how it goes for you.

A lot of guys prefer to do weight training instead.

Weight training can get you great results with your man boobs too.

Which form of exercise you choose should depend on which you can get most passionate about.

To help inspire you to give bodyweight training a go, I thought I'd share with you a video I watched today by this calisthenics pro, titled “5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Calisthenics”.

The reason I'm sharing this video is because it's seriously motivating.

The guy in the video, Chris, has built a great body using calisthenics, and he's very good at calisthenics. Watching him move the way he does in the video makes you want to become a calisthenics pro like Chris.

There are some flaws in the video though, so be sure to read my comments about it below the video.

Here's the video:

5 THINGS I WISH I KNEW When I Started Calisthenics | 2018

Though the video is supposedly aimed at newbies (since it's titled “5 things I wish I knew when I STARTED calisthenics”), Chris shows off with a bunch of advanced exercises that no beginner could wish to be able to do for a good number of months or years.

But there are still some good lessons to be learned from this video.

Here are the 5 things Chris wishes he knew when he started calisthenics:

1. Get good at the basics, achieve high reps on the basic exercises

This is a really powerful lesson.

Don't even think about the fancy advanced exercises before you can pull off a good number of reps on the bare basic exercises.

Now Chris uses the example of the diamond push-up, which is really not all that much of a basic exercise for a newbie.

What Chris SHOULD be showing you here is the standard push-up with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.

Before you start doing fancy push-up variations like diamond push-ups, clapping push-ups, one arm push-ups, feet-elevated push-ups, or whole bodyweight push-ups (a seriously tough exercise where your feet are not touching the ground), aim to be able to do at least 50 standard push-ups in one go.

Work on doing solid reps on the standard pushup before you move onto more difficult exercises

You shouldn't just be dong push-ups though.

Even if all you want to do is lose man boobs, you should also be targeting other areas of your body, namely your back, shoulders, and legs.

Basic exercises for your back include inverted rows, chin-ups, and pull-ups. Aim to get to 50 inverted rows, and 20 chin-ups and dips.

A basic (though extremely tough) exercise to do for your shoulders is the handstand push-up. Aim to get to 10 reps.

A basic exercise for the legs is the bodyweight squat, aim to get to 80 to 100 reps.

2. Use perfect form

Keeping good form is important to avoid injury. When your form starts to break, then stop.

If you can't do an exercise with perfect form, then pick an easier exercise, get good at the easier version, THEN try the difficult version with perfect form.

If there is no easier exercise, then do negatives or partial reps (see #4 below).

3. Improve grip strength

Sure, a dead hang is one way to improve grip strength. At the end of my calisthenics workouts, I usually do a dead hang to further blitz my forearms so my grip gets stronger.

But the trouble with the dead hang is that it is a static (isometric) exercise where your joints are not moving.

Studies show that isometric exercises result in limited strength and muscle gains.

I find you get better results with a DYNAMIC exercise where your joints are moving and your muscles are shortening and lengthening.

I've developed some phenomenal grip strength with one of these:


And here's a good cheaper alternative:


I would recommend getting two of these so you can train both hands at the same time.

These grip strengtheners are way better than doing dead hangs on a bar.

4. Do negatives

When an exercise is too difficult for you to do, negatives are a good way to gradually increase your strength, so you can eventually do the positive version of the movement.

But negatives are not the only way.

Another way you can break into a new tough exercise, is by doing partial reps.

With dips for example, I started off by doing a static hold at the top of the movement.

When I could do a static hold for a full minute, I then started descending by an inch before pushing myself back up.

As this got easier, I then descended by 2 inches, then by 3 inches, then more and more until I was doing full reps.

Negatives work better for some exercises, and progressive partial reps work better for others. You just have to try both and see what works best for you.

5. Be consistent and have goals

Sure, be consistent.

But don't be too hard on yourself with goals.

I don't know what Chris was saying about doing 50 diamond push-ups today then doing 60 tomorrow.

Again, he's just showing off.

If 50 is all you can do today, then it's unlikely you'll be able to do 60 tomorrow.

There are times when your body just won't respond, you'll be stuck at a certain number of reps, and this can go on for weeks.

You can use various periodization methods to break past plateaus, or you can just keep trying and be patient.

Either way, if you don't reach your goals, then just be sure to be consistent and keep at it regardless of whether you meet your goals every week or not.

Don't Worry About The Fancy Stuff

Chris is just showing off with the muscle-up and what's this, the “hafesto” wtf? I'd never hear of that, why on earth would you want to ever do an exercise like that?

Stick to the basics.

You can build a phenomenal body with just the basics.

More difficult advanced calisthenics exercises are for building further strength, further enhancing your appearance, further enhancing agility, and for showing off.

One Of The Most Important Things For Beginners

One of the most important things is as a beginner, when you find an exercise difficult – like pullups, say you can only do 3 reps, then you have to train FREQUENTLY.

Not just daily, but multiple times in the day!

That's how you progress.

It depends on your level of conditioning, and on your own body's unique ability to recover, so you have to play it by how you feel.

If you do 3 sets of 3 pull-ups now, and then try it again in half an hour and find you can barely do 2 reps, then you're training too frequently.

Once you start doing more and more reps, you'll find you need a longer time, up to 48 hours, to recover.

How To Lose Man Boobs With Calisthenics

There's one way to do calisthenics to get good at calisthenics and build a great body.

But if you want to lose MAN BOOBS, then you've got to do things differently.

To get started on losing man boobs with calisthenics, check out Bodyweight Chest Exercises For Losing Man Boobs here:


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