The training plan
The focus of this Calisthenics training plan is to learn Handstands and Back- or Front Levers while building overall strength and muscles mass and it is designed to be combined with the weekly HOC Calisthenics class.
3-5 min light exercises (jump rope, running, jumping jacks, etc.)
Lunge position with side rotations
- Level 1:
3-5x 20-45s Chest to Wall Handstand
- Level 2:
5 min freestanding Handstand attempts
3x 30-60s Chest to Wall Handstand
- Level 1:
Skin The Cat 3-5x 5
- Level 2:
Back Lever hold 5x 10-15s
- Level 3:
Front Lever hold 5x 10-15s
3A: Pull-Ups 3x 5-15
3B: Dips 3x 5-15
4A: Hanging Rows 3x 8-15
4B: Push-Ups 3x 8-15
5A: Squats 3x 15-25 / Pistol Squats 3x 5-10
5B: Floor L-Sit 3x 10-20s
As an addition to the participation in the weekly class I recommend to train this plan 1-2x per week.
During my absence I recommend to train this plan up to 3x per week.
Notation of the plan
3x 5-10 means that you will perform 3 sets of the respective exercise and choose an intensity that allows you to perform 5-10 repetitions.
Exercises A and B will be trained alternatingly.
I recommend writing down the number of performed sets and reps of each session.
Adjusting the exercises
Pull-Ups: if you can’t do full Pull-Ups yet, do Negative Pull-Ups instead (jump up and lower yourself slowly in 5-10 seconds). If you can do a few Pull-Ups but less than 5, do the maximum number you can and then complete the set by adding more Negative Pull-Ups.
Dips: if you can’t do full Dips yet, use a rubber band for assistance.
Push-Ups: to make it easier place your hands on an elevation, to make it harder place your feet on an elevation.
Hanging Rows: adjust the height of the bar/rings (higher bar/rings = easier, lower bar/rings = harder).
Squats: work on bodyweight Squats first and then increase difficulty by using weights or working on Pistol Squats.
L-Sit: start with a feet assisted L-Sit (sit upright, start pressing through your arms to lift hips off the floor but feet remain on floor), then move on to a Tuck L-Sit (L-Sit with knees bent) and then work on extending them more and more.
The most fundamental principle of increasing strength and muscle mass is progressive overload.
Therefore we need to increase one of the following variables from session to session and week to week:
- Option 1: increase the number of repetitions for dynamic exercises or seconds in case of a static hold
- Option 2: if you didn’t manage to increase reps (option 1) for 3 sessions try to increase the number of sets
- Option 3: if you reached the upper limit of the given repetition ranges you can increase the exercise difficulty (for example from Band Assisted Dips to Full Dips or from Tuck Back Lever to Advanced Tuck Back Lever).
Rest times between sets
Handstands: 30 – 60s
Back Levers: 1.5 – 3 min
Fundamental strength: 1 – 2 min