Workout has been updated

I would like to create a fitness routine, using body weight movements. I really like the idea of calisthenics. Right now, I am doing 3 circuits of:

   Push-ups (semi-close grip)  : 15
   squats (full)               : 15
   plank                       : 1-2 min
   Pull-ups (regular)          : to failure (5 if i'm lucky lol, I didn't get pull-up bar till recently)
   Chin-ups (regular)          : to failure (5 if i'm lucky lol, I didn't get pull-up bar till recently)

EDIT: I should have stated this earlier, but I am NOT using a gym. I DO have a barbell with weights for it, so I could do dead lifts but I can't do squats with it.

EDIT: the reason the planks are so high is because I have been upping my rest periods because I have been running on my off days and I'm training for strength. If you want to assert the soundness of this idea, please answer my post about it.

I started running on my offdays, so now I have 3 run days a week, 3 workout days and one rest day

Does anyone want to critique my workout/suggest alternative exercises

  • 1
    What are your goals?
    – brentlance
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 15:56
  • to gain muscle mass and to not neglect any important muscle groups. I generally just want to train my body to be a stronger, more efficient version of myself
    – Luke
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 0:49
  • OK. Busy for the next few days. I'll put you something together on Friday.
    – brentlance
    Commented Aug 20, 2014 at 21:42
  • Where's that workout?
    – Luke
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 0:55
  • Ugh. Sorry. Today ended up being very busy, to. I may be able to tomorrow morning, bit Monday is more likely at this point. Thanks for the reminder.
    – brentlance
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 0:56

2 Answers 2


How long have you been performing those exercises? Are they intense for you? The reason I asked is if you want to add new routines to the mix or want something different.

First, YES! Do include a running program also. None of your current exercises include pure cardio exercises. You can also replace running with some plyometric exercises. Skipping, knee jumping, etc are good examples.

Going by your current list, I would switch the order of the exercises to this:

  • Planks. Doing this first will warm your body towards the remaining of your exercises. Also, if your sessions are as intense as they ought, you certainly shouldn't be able to handle 1-2 mins plank session because the arms, chest, and core should be sore (unless you have tons of rests in between).
  • Squats. Well, if you're performing this with the proper form (and progressively increasing the weights), this should increase your legs and shoulder mass.
  • Push ups. Since you're performing a shorter rep than the next exercise
  • Chin ups. (There's a difference between chin ups and push ups though. Performing them separately will greatly benefit you as well. Anecdotally, pull ups work your lats and shoulders more than chin ups). Since it's to failure.
  • Deadlifts (progressively increasing the weights). Because until you start lifting higher weights, you won't really feel this exercise. But when you do, it feels good to know that rest is within sight.

If you want a new routine, I simply have 2 for starters:

  • Strong Lifts. It's free and you can perform it at home (of course, it's always safe to have a spotter as your lifting weight increase. Or you can purchase a squatting rack). All you need is a barbell, weights, bench-press bench, and a squatting rack
  • Assistance bodyweight exercises. If you're not exhausted from the above exercises, add bodyweight exercises to the mix. Again, include some plyometrics exercise into the mix as well.

I'm certain there are numerous exercises that can be suggested. But keeping the number of exercises to a minimum will vastly allow you to focus on a few exercises to reach your goal faster.

Good luck!


First, I will give you an example of a good program: http://www.startbodyweight.com/p/start-bodyweight-basic-routine.html

What makes this program better than yours?

  1. Progression. Your program does not specify how you will progress on the exercises. The routine I provided tells you to slowly add reps until you can do 3x8, then move to the next exercise in the progression.
  2. Muscle balance. Your program does not have a vertical push movement (shoulders) nor does it have a horizontal pull movement. The program above is more balanced with the addition of a handstand pushup progression and a horizontal row progression.

I do like your program because of its simplicity. You probably don't need any different movements, but you will definitely need some clear concept of progression.

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