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Can I learn calisthenics skills while doing bodybuilding workouts. I am currently doing a 3 day full body split and would love to learn the movements like planche and front lever. Plz help.

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  • I don’t see why not... Feb 23 '18 at 15:26
  • Can anyone suggest a program. Feb 23 '18 at 15:36
  • I've added an extensive answer, please let me know if you have any further questions.
    – MJB
    Feb 23 '18 at 21:10
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I personally think it will only benefit you doing both weight training and calisthenics, I've been doing it for years and it has given me great results.

A few tips though:

In your first year, focus on the basics. Master the push-up, the pull-up, planking, maybe work on the handstand to start your first real move. Don't start doing everything at once. If you try to learn a planche, a front and back lever and all this stuff at the same time, you won't get anywhere.

If you do balance work, start your workout with this. If for instance you're going to learn a handstand, don't first hit the benchpress and try to do a handstand afterwards. The hardest part of a lot of calisthenics moves is the balance and your shoulders will be way to tired to get any real practice in.

Don't overtrain your shoulders. If you're going to train things like muscle-up, handstand, planche, front levers. This involves a lot of shoulder work. There is no real need to also hit shoulders with the weights. You'll be doing shoulders basically every time you train because of all these calisthenics moves anyway.

Same goes for abs. You'll be doing so much balance work that you train your abs every single time you workout, there is no need to also train them with weights on a separate day. Obviously if you want to add some ab work on a day you can do this during the calisthenics part while doing stuff like L-sits.

If you keep doing full body splits you want to dedicate at least 20 minutes of every workout to calisthenics, preferably at the start. I'd highly suggest you do this because you have to practice the movements a lot to learn them. You can't do this once a week, you have to do it at least 3 days a week. You should also only focus on 1 move at the start if you only train calisthenics for 20 minutes at a time, a few times a week.

You can mix in some calisthenics movements to your workout to start mastering the basics. From now on every time you train back, do pull-up variations. I personally sometimes do 120+ pull-ups in 1 back work out, doing 4 or 5 variations of pull-ups. This will boost your calisthenics progression.

Some other options:

A general workout plan could be: (if you train 3 days a week with a bodybuilding split)

  • Day 1: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of legs.
  • Day 2: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of chest & biceps.
  • Day 3: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of back & triceps.

A general workout plan could be: (if you train 3 days a week with a powerlifting split)

  • Day 1: 1.30 hours strengh training, only doing big lifts (bench press, squat, deadlift), add arms if you have enough time for this.
  • Day 2: 1.30 hours of calisthenics
  • Day 3: 1.30 hours of calisthenics

A general workout plan could be: (if you train 4 days a week with a bodybuilding split)

  • Day 1: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of arms.
  • Day 2: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of legs.
  • Day 3: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of back.
  • Day 2: 45 minutes of calisthenics followed by 45 minutes of chest.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me. If you want any proof that I know what I'm talking about, my instagram is in my profile so you can check me out there.

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    he said he does full body workouts
    – Esrien
    Feb 23 '18 at 21:17
  • 1
    He did, I'll add that. Thanks. Doing full body workouts only makes it easier for him to add calisthenics.
    – MJB
    Feb 23 '18 at 21:31
  • Is it good if I do 20 mins on learning handstand and then do 45 mins of my full body split Feb 24 '18 at 11:26
  • @Liftedsafe01 Yes, that would be a good way to start. Just make sure you manage the amount of shoulder work you do on a day. At first you're shoulders really have to get used to doing things like handstands so if you train shoulders to much it could cause an injury.
    – MJB
    Feb 25 '18 at 11:42

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