8 Ways To Speed Up Your Calisthenics Training Results

You dream of doing all the ridiculously difficult routines you have ever seen.

Effortlesly hanging on those bars, while others are struggling.

You want to be as strong as the other Bar Brothers, transforming your body into something it has never been before.

But you know you don’t stand a chance of seeing that happen unless you truly commit yourself to doing Bar Brother training over the long haul.


Of course the big question is how? Achieving body weight exercise mastery is something few people ever reach.

Sure you get the occasional success, but it’s not as effortless as you would like it to be.

You worry that you are not progressing fast enough and that there is something missing in your training.


And the truth is, unless you can find that sweet spot/Beast Mode Territory that allows you to progress, you will never get where you want to be.

But there is a way to get there, to push your muscles to their limit, without any weights, whether you are advanced or a beginner.

I’m going to teach you my game changers.

Small adaptations to your exercises that can take your body and routines from average to effortless in ways you never thought you could.


The Minimum Requirements To Progress: Build Muscle And Increase Technical Strength


BAr Brother Resistance Training


You know the feeling, you just finished training, but you still sense that you have more juice left.

You do some more push ups, but it’s just not satisfying you in the way you want it to.

Doing beginner routines is awesome, but it’s just a little too easy.

So you want to start adding weight.

The result: you buy unnecessary weight vests, start doing your exercising technically inefficient and develop an injury prone body.


While at the same time your friends are doing stuff you wish you could in a shorter time.

Then you wonder, how did they do that?

To be honest, I have no idea, because I don’t know them personally, but I know how I did it.

Simply put, if you want to make progress in your body weight training, you have to do the following:


  • Train at a bare minimum of 3 days a week
  • Make sure your training time is at a minimum of 45 minutes
  • Do 1 routine of 3-4 sets for a technical move (e.g. human flag, front lever, handstand, back lever etc.)
  • Do 1 routine of 3-4 sets for muscle strength and to fatigue your muscles completely (Full body routine, tricep routine, push up routine etc.)


Make sure your first routine is a technical routine in which you start training for a technical movement.

The reason you should do a technical routine first is because you don’t have any muscle fatigue yet so you can fully concentrate on your routine.

In the second routine you will naturally be less able to apply perfect technique because your muscles will be more fatigued, in this second routine it is all about finding your limits and going FULL BEAST MODE until your muscles feel like melting off.


But what if you are a beginner and you can’t do two routines of both 3-4 sets yet?

Don’t worry you can still progress.

Focus on a technical move for the first 15 minutes of your training you can find routines for the human flag, front lever and back lever here.

You don’t need to do the entire routine, just take 1 to 3 exercises out of that routine and do them purely based on technique.


8 Ways To Increase Your Resistance Without Adding Any Extra Weight


Bar Brothers Resistance Training Extra Weight


So now that you know the basics, let’s add some more fun to it…

You will still make considerable progress using the basics, but if you use these game changers you will be playing on a whole other level.

Some people think that you cannot increase the amount of resistance in body weight training, because it’s based on your body weight which you cannot increase and decrease just as you would doing weight training.

This is WRONG.

Let me show you 8 ways in which you can increase the resistance of your body weight training:


1. The 8 count

You have probably been doing your exercises at an average speed.

Not too slow where you feel nothing is happening and not to fast where you feel you are doing some uncontrolled stuff.

Just right in the middle, where you feel comfortable.


Let’s do a little experiment, take a push up position and do 10 push ups just as you would normally do.

When you are done, do the same 10 push ups, but now decrease the speed by counting from 0 to 8 on your way down, when you are at 8 you are in the push down position and on your way up count from 0 to 8 again until you are in the push up position at 8.

You might have thought that you could not make your push ups any harder, well, I bet you found those second 10 reps much more difficult than the first 10.

Slowing down the movement allows you to make less use of your momentum.


When you do pull ups or push ups at a faster speed you sneak in some momentum which makes the exercise easier.

However, when you use the 8 count, you feel every single inch of that push up, which forces your body to burn the muscle completely.

Use this 8 count trick to TKO all your muscles in any exercise.


2. A trick of gravity

You have probably seen it already, people doing the same exercises you normally do but with a slight adaptation.

They do it a little differently, usually they use a different angle.

Let’s do another experiment, do 5 regular push ups, now grab a chair put your feet on that chair (keep your back straight) and do another 5.


You probably noticed that there is huge difference between the difficulty of both push ups.

That’s because in the first push up your weight is distributed evenly over your body.

Your point of gravity changes however,  when you add the chair (It lowers).

This gives your chest a much heavier load than it has in a regular push up.


3. The 100/0 rule

It’s just not using certain parts of your body to give other parts a bigger load.

By adjusting how the weight of the body is distributed just as in the little gravity trick you can increase the load, there is another way to do so.

When doing a push up or pull up for example, you are using two arms.

At least if you are doing regular push ups or pull ups.


You can increase the difficulty by doing your push up with one arm instead of two, the same goes for your pull ups and squats.

By shifting the body’s weight one arm or leg gets the 100% of the weight wherease it would normally be 50/50.

Remember to do both arms/legs to make sure your strength develops evenly.

Of course you can slowly build this up by doing 60/40, 75/25 and then 100/0.


4. Dropsets

A drop set technique, is one in which you tear the muscle by reducing the resistance after every exercise.

By doing increasingly easier body weight exercises for one muscle group.

Let’s take the push up as an example (You can also do this for other exercises btw).

If you have read the previous parts, you know that a push up can be made difficult in different ways: you can do the 8 count, change the point of gravity or use the 100/0 rule.


So let’s for example take the point of gravity.

By utilizing this rule, we can set 3 levels of push ups (Look here for an exact technical breakdown of these push ups):

  • One in which your arms are on the chair, where your point of gravity is near your feet (incline push up).
  • One regular push ups, where your point of gravity is nicely distributed over your body (regular push up).
  • And the push up where you have your feet on the chair, where your point of gravity is near your chest (decline push up).


We can agree that the incline push up is the least difficult and the decline the most difficult.


So what you do is that you start with the most difficult push up (decline) until you cannot complete any more repetitions.

Without any rest in between you switch to regular push ups until you can’t do any more and finally you switch to incline push ups until you can’t do any more.

When you are doing those final push ups you are really cutting down to the deep muscle fibers, which are going to give you some serious lactic acid build up (in other words, your body yelling STOP this madness) and that’s exactly what you want, because that’s the sweet spot.


5. Max the @#!@!$ out

Excuse my bad language, but there was no other way to say this in a more suitable way.

The only way your body will ever become stronger is if give it the idea that it’s current strength is insufficient.

Simply put, you have to convince your body it’s going to die if it does not change and when does your body feel that urge to change?

When you pass the comfortable treshhold, when you max out.


How many reps should you do?

Until you can’t do anymore, that’s how much.

How do you know you maxed out?

  • You know you haven’t maxed out when you finish your training and can still push out some pull ups, dips, squats or any other exercise.
  • You know you haven’t maxed out after squat training when you are not walking home like a penguin.
  • You know you haven’t maxed out after training when you don’t drop your glass of water due to muscle tension.
  • You know…


So what is maxing out?

It’s taking one exercise and doing that exercise until you don’t have a single repetition left in you.

Let’s take push ups as an example.

Put on your timer and set it to 15 minutes.

You start off with a maximum amount of repetitions and a minimum amount of rest.

When the time goes off you start, when you have reached your max you stop for a maximum of 10-20 seconds and you go again until you reach your max.

Keep doing this until your watch says peep and I guarantee you will need to censor the stuff coming out of your mouth (#@#@!$%#^).


6. The 5 count squeeze

One of the most potent and muscle tearing techniques in building your body is making use of isometric training.

Let’s take pull up as an example.

What you do is that once you have pulled yourself up, you hold that position for 5-10 seconds.

And let yourself go down, pull yourself up, hold it for 5-10 seconds and let yourself down again.


By doing so you put your muscle under continuous tension just as you do when you use the 8 count, but now you could add another five counts when you have pulled yourself up.

So essentially you would pull yourself up in 8 counts, hold yourself for 5 and then let yourself go down again for 8 counts.

Which would make one rep at least 21 counts.

I bet you never considered that one repetition could take 21 counts, well it can.


NOTE: When you have an injury, let’s say you have a limited range of movement, you can do isometric exercises to stimulate the muscle so just pull yourself up or push yourself up to the point where you are able to do so and then hold it, you can then combine this with the gravity trick to make it more difficult (Always consult a professional health practitioner first in the case of injury).


7. Develop negatives

Every muscle movement is divided in two basic phases: positive and negative.

During the positive phase your muscles contract.

For example if you do a pull up you contract the muscles and when you go down you lengthen the muscle.

This going down or lengthening of the muscle is the negative phase.


Studies show that especially this negative phase is extremely effective in causing hypertrophy (muscle construction).

This is an extremely useful tip when you want to start learning pull ups or chin ups.

Focus on your negatives by slowing down your movement in the negative phase.

While there might be a lot of exercises which are too difficult for you in the positive movement phase, such as pull ups or push ups or dips, you can always do them in the negative movement phase until you develop the strength to also do the positive movement.


With pull ups it would be jumping up, holding the bar and slowly going down.

With push ups it would be stretching your arms and slowly going down, the same goes for squats (make sure you have a matrass or something to fall on) and other exercises.

So develop your negatives in order to develop more strength for your positives.


8. <30 seconds resting

If you truly want to get those muscles of your to feel really uncomfortable, you don’t want to give them the time to recover completely during trainining.

My advice is to keep your resting time between routines (which consist of multiple exercises) at around or below 90 seconds.

But your resting time in between exercises should be lower than 30 seconds and in the best case 0 seconds.

Different people give different advises on resting time, but I personally like to minimize my time in between exercises and take my rest in between routines.

Find out what works for you, just don’t take too much time to find out ;).


Do You Want A Body That’s Powerful Or One That Is Just Strong Enough?


Bar Brother Resistance Training Body Weight


You don’t have to settle for a body that is just strong enough for you to do a few pull ups, a few push ups or a few of anything…

Take the analogy of this rock, doing a few of anything will make you strong enough to hold this rock (Maintain your current strenght), but not strong enough to push it backwards and take controle (Build muscle and strength).

You can achieve this by shocking your muscles in different ways that don’t require any extra weights.

You just need to know how, now you know.


Using these simple adaptations allows you to stimulate the deep fibers in your muscles which will activate your hyperthrophy in ways it has never been activated before, progressing on a weekly basis.

So put your list of new lessons at the heart of your Bar Brother Training toolkit.

Use them to boost your training results – your legs, arms, shoulders and technical moves.

Randomnly use them whenever you feel there is still more juice left and repeat, repeat, repeat, eventually you will incorporate them automatically.


Until finally...you don’t need to hold that rock.

You don’t even need to push that rock, because you willSMASH that rock to PIECES






32 thoughts on “8 Ways To Speed Up Your Calisthenics Training Results

  1. Hey, just found you guys recently and starting to get into it all. I did the ‘No Barz No Glory’ routine & pulled up sooo sore. In your article you are saying do 1 routine for technique then 1 routine for strength. So do you mean I should have done a ‘back lever hunt routine’ x 6 cycles and then go onto the ‘No Barz No Glory Routine’ x3cycles in the one session? or do you mean these on different days? It took me about an hour to do the No Barz because I had to have regular breaks in the last second and third cycle.

    1. Hey Luke,

      Awesome! Haha, gotta love the soreness!

      I usually like to combine a more technical routine with a more easy high pump routine. But if just doing one routine is giving you quite sore muscles adding another one would only be recommendable at a later stage of your training. You want to build it up slowly ;).

      Just stick to what you are doing right now and build it up when you have the developed the strength! Make sure you check out the 6 month plan!

      Beast mode ON!

  2. Hey brothers,

    Thank you so much for providing this thorough article, it destroyed any doubts about being being able to progress. I’m 5 weeks into the system and hit a plateau where I’m maxing out at 8 pullups. I started exercising with being able to do 1 strict, went to the gym 30 days, cancelled membership, started the system being able to do 6, then 8-9 for the last 4 weeks. It tells me I’m not getting stronger in that area, and the appeal to add weights is there. Are you saying that, after maxing on pullups for example, completing more reps with negatives or a hold will help, so that next time the number of consecutive pullups could go up?

    1. Hey Daniel!

      Welcome to the movement!

      Awesome stuff on getting from 1 to 9, that’s a HUGE improvement and really impressive!

      Yes, if you are empty on a full pull up you can always regress to an easier variation of the same exercise which in most cases is an eccentric variation.

      In addition to that, try “greasing the groove”, it’s a very taxing method, but it has HUGE results.

      Check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsCJsX0Xi44

      Keep it up! Be patient, solid strength gains take around 6 weeks, so you are really improving ‘fast’ already.

      Beast mode ON!

  3. Hey Rich,

    Let me take a wild guess?

    Any of these routines use to have 4 sets, Right?

    What about doing the first set as an “8count”, the second as “normal pace”, the third as “explosives” and the fourth set as a “maxed” ? Will it help to the progress?

    I will check it out…..

    1. Aus, aua, aua….. I did it. Used it on the chest addict wo. I never ever used the f…word so often.
      Repeater this on the Beginner leg routine……guess what? Me walkin’ like John Wayne.

    1. Hey Jan,

      It really depends on your goals!

      What do you want to achieve and when? In addition to that it depends on your current level of strength.

      Skills such as handstands can be trained daily, things such as muscle ups -especially for beginners- 2-3 times a week.

      Keep up the good work!

      Beast mode ON!

  4. Can I apply the 8 count and the 5 count squeeze on doing negatives? And how do I apply the 100/0 push ups and pull ups, is it like side push ups or side pull ups? Thanks.

    1. Hey John,

      Great questions! Definitely on the eccentrics, great to overload the muscle.

      With regard to the push ups and pull ups, thing about the progressions from regular push up to one arm, one leg push up. Or with pulling it would be the one arm chin up for example. So instead of two limps using 1. For squatting this could be the pistol squat.

      Hope this makes sense and keep up the good work!

      Beast mode ON!

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