I'm doing bodyweight excercises for some years now with mediocre results (I know that the results can be way better when lifting, but due to time constraints, doing BWE at home is the way to go for me). To improve my results and accomodate my restrictions I made up my own program based on my experiences with YAYOG and Start Bodyweight, considering how my body reacts to different types of stimuli.

Basically my program is a split routine with workouts on four days a week (monday, tuesday, thursday, friday - for what it's worth), dedicating two days to push/pull excercises and two days to core/legs. More or less I will build my program upon the progressions from start bodyweight, e.g. start with assisted pull-ups, then eccentric pull-ups, normal pull-ups, etc.

I will do four sets of each progression, the first one being a warm-up set with a decreased load (e.g. 3/4 push-ups) and the subsequent normal sets with full load (e.g. normal push-ups). I will aim at 8-12 reps per set, gradually increasing reps until I reach the 12 reps, then proceed to the next excercise from the progression. I know that it's little rest, but I'll aim at sets of two minutes.


  • Day 1: Push-up, Pull-up, Pike Push-up, Australian pull-up
  • Day 2: Squat, Leg-raise (or ring crunch), (missing), Plank (maximum holding time)
  • Day 3: Push-up, Pull-up, Dips, Autralian pull-up
  • Day 4: repeat day 2

My aim is to build strength and moderate muscles. Is there anything to improve with this program? Are there any seriaous flaws? What additional leg excercise can I incorporate in day 2/4?

  • Actually, you are right, this is not really a matter of time, but of priorities. I dedicate much time to my family and this is why there is not so much time left for sports. But thanks for your well-intentioned advice ;)
    – Paul K
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 6:14
  • I'd do single leg exercises on your lower body day, lunges, pistol squats, Bulgarian split squats, etc. and throw in possibly some more gymnastic type stuff, e.g hand stands, L-sits, front levers and their relevant progressions.
    – Dark Hippo
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 7:40
  • @DarkHippo thanks for the inspiration, I will definitely consider that
    – Paul K
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 7:42

1 Answer 1

  1. This program could be improved by using incrementally and progressively increasing load(s) instead of relatively-constant (body) weight loads.
  2. The lack of progressive overload in this program is its primary serious deficiency for strength-training purposes.
  3. Low-bar back squats.
  • 1
    Well, I guess I did not make the point clear. I am using bodyweight progressions, that sort of implement progressive overload in bodyweight workouts, but instead of increasing weights, I'll proceed to harder excercises, e.g. from push-ups to declined push-ups.
    – Paul K
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 12:33
  • 1
    @PaulK, thanks for the clarification. However, changing an exercise from an easier version to a harder version fundamentally differs from changing the load of an exercise. The harder version of an exercise, as in the example that you gave, is harder because there is more weight on your hands (which could be good) and because it reduces the involvement of the pectoral muscles (which is not advantageous to stimulating them to get stronger). Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 13:24
  • 1
    Sounds legit. Would you recommend using resistance bands to increase the load, rather than doing progressions? I know that this is not possible for all excercises, but at the moment I'd like to work with what I've already got.
    – Paul K
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:14
  • 1
    To build strength, increase load progressively (for example, each workout session). Resistance bands, if you have multiple bands with differing resistances, approximate this more-closely than progressions of repetitions, but are a poor substitute for the finely-incrementable barbell. Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:27
  • 1
    Understood. I will consider your input, thanks.
    – Paul K
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 14:30

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