Is bodybuilding possible with calisthenics?

Calisthenics training plan

Here you will find two bodyweight training plans: one is aimed specifically at beginners, while the second workout is specially designed for advanced calisthenics athletes. The calisthenics workout for beginners optimally prepares you for the advanced plan. Because many muscles are involved in bodyweight exercises at the same time, it is advisable to do a calisthenics full-body workout like this two to three times a week. The correct execution of the exercise should always be the focus. This is the only way to optimally train the target muscle and prevent injuries.

Calisthenics training plan for beginners

The following workout is aimed specifically at those who have never trained with their own body weight before. If you can't do the required number of repetitions at the beginning, that's fine. For each exercise you will find a link to a video that explains how to do it correctly.

Calisthenics training plan for advanced users

If you have already trained with your own body weight for several weeks or months, you can do this advanced calisthenics workout. As with any workout, make sure that the exercises are carried out cleanly and in a controlled manner. The advanced calisthenics workout is structured so that you do 3 sets of each exercise with as many clean repetitions as possible. This training principle is also called AMRAP (As Many Repetitions As Possible). Danger: Due to the high intensity, this workout is aimed at advanced and professionals who have been training for longer.

If you are not yet fully utilized after this program, here are two additional optional exercises to additionally train the arms in a targeted manner. Do three sets of both exercises with as many repetitions as possible.

Danger: After training, you should give your muscles at least 48 hours to regenerate. Muscles don't grow during exercise. The adaptation processes in the body that lead to the muscles becoming bigger and stronger take place during the recovery phases!

Tips for maximum success with the calisthenics training plan

If you heed the following training tips, you can successfully build muscle with bodyweight training and become efficient and strong even without a gym:

  • Warm up for five to ten minutes before training, for example by jogging, jumping jacks or jumping rope.
  • Correct execution of the exercise is essential to train successfully and prevent injuries. Therefore, always perform the exercises from the calisthenics workout slowly and in a controlled manner.
  • Make sure you drink enough fluids during your workout
  • A balanced, protein-rich diet is an important part of building muscle and your health
  • Allow your muscles to regenerate at least 48 hours after an intensive training session: The adaptation processes that lead to increased performance and more muscle volume take place after and not during training!

Questions and answers about the calisthenics training plan

Can you build muscle with calisthenics?

Definitely! Especially as a beginner, you can easily build muscles with bodyweight training. If you are already advanced, you can make the exercises more difficult with a weight vest or other additional weights in order to set new growth stimuli for your muscles.

What are the advantages of training with your own body weight?

On the one hand, you don't need a gym for calisthenics training and, on the other hand, the exercises are very functional. This means that you are strengthening muscles all over your body, which are particularly stressed in everyday life. This improves the overall posture and injuries can be prevented.

I can't do pull-ups or push-ups yet. Can I still start doing calisthenics?

Sure, because everyone started small! With aids such as rubber bands or lighter exercise variants (e.g. push-ups on your knees), you can also train with your own body weight as an absolute beginner.

Can I do bodybuilding with calisthenics and get really "big"?

If you plan to build up mountains of muscles and maybe even take part in competitions, sooner or later you will not be able to avoid looking for a suitable gym for training with weights. However, it is quite possible to build considerable muscles and an athletic body with bodyweight training or a home workout. With weight vests or a heavily filled backpack you can make the bodyweight exercises even more difficult and thus set new growth stimuli if your body weight should no longer be sufficient at some point.


By the way: If you prefer to train in the gym, we have also put together a full-body training plan for you. In the news and studies area you will regularly find summaries of the latest studies on muscle building and the latest trends in weight training and bodybuilding.