Calisthenics workout routine

Calisthenics Workout For Dummies (8 Frequently Asked Questions)

Exciting, isn’t it?

You discovered something new.

And whenever you discover something new, you want to do it as perfectly as possible.

To you that ‘new thing’ is Bar Brothers.

And questions have started popping into your mind recently.


  • How can I become a Bar Brother?
  • How should I do this?
  • When should I do that?
  • How much of this will improve my strength?
  • Etc.


A lot of good questions.

And a lot of these questions (Probably all) have been asked before by someone else who just discovered Bar Brothers.

Just like you.


By now you might start wondering…

“What kind of questions did they ask?”

Nothing special really.

Want to find out?


Of course you do!

When I started calisthenics, I have to admit, I did not know anything.

You could call me a calisthenic dummy.

However, just like you, I wanted to know everything.


If you started out just like me, you probably asked yourself a few of the 8 questions I am going to answer.

So let’s take the next step in your Bar Brother journey.


Bar brother Training


Question 1: How should I start my Bar Brother training?


You know the answer to this question.

It’s simple, but not easy.

“What do you mean?”, you might think.


Well..what do you think about going outside and doing 10 push ups to begin with?

You probably expected more.

But to be honest, it’s not that difficult

Don’t look for some magic answer, because there is not magic answer.


My advice usually is: ‘Go outside, put your hands on the floor, stretch your legs and start pushing yourself up until you can’t push up any more’.

And when you can’t push yourself up any more, do 10 more push ups.

And then do 10 more.

That’s how you start.


But to give you a more guided explanation:


1. Start with your goals. Write down 5 results which you want to achieve. This is extremely key in getting the right mindset to train.

2. Make yourself a routine which you can use.

3. Set specific dates and times in your agenda as to when you are going to train.

4. Get your training gear. Make sure you have a comfortable shirt and wear gloves if you prefer, which can prevent blisters.

5. Act. So how can you start right now?


Stand up from behind your laptop/computer/or put your phone down.

Put on some workout clothing.

Put on your shoes.

Open the door and walk outside until you find a piece of ground where you can do push ups and do at least 10 to 50 (preferably 50 if you are really motivated).

You go back home, hang your goals above your bed or on a place where you can see them every day.

And when you are done, you tell yourself: “From this day on, I am going to be the strongest version of myself”.

That’s your first day of training.


Calisthenics Workout


Question 2: How many reps should I do?


There are people who say this does not matter.

There are people who says it does.

I am somewhere in the middle.

This depends on what you are going to train.


Do you want to train cardio or strength?

Training cardio, which means burning fat as much as possible is all about having a high heartrate for a longer time.

This means, you have to increase the number of repetitions and decrease the difficulty of your exercises usually this is more than 12 repetitions.

When you want to train strength however, you need to focus on more difficult workouts which really stretch your muscular capabilities.


Usually max 6 to 8 repetitions of a difficult exercise.

So my advice would be to find a few cool exercises which you want to learn and focus on your technique and strength for the first part of your training (Low repetitions, high difficulty level).

For the second part of your training focus on the cardio, maximizing your output (High repetitions, low difficulty).


Note: Not all bodies work the same, these are general guiding lines. The most important thing about calisthenics is finding out what works for you. Getting to know your body and mind.


calisthenics workout manly man


Question 3: How many sets?


Actually there is no limit to the number of sets.

So the question is: “How much time do you have?”

Usually you can take 3 to 4 sets as a standard, but if you have more time and ask me how many sets?

I would reply with: ‘How about all of them?’.

“But how much is all of them?”

Until you can’t do any more, that’s when you have reached ‘all of them’.


Regarding the time in between sets:

  • For cardio, minimize the time as much as possible, the lower the better.
  • For strength, take 1-3 minutes rest after your exercises.


Bar Brothers Groningen Beginner Routines


Question 4: Where can I find good routines?


One of the best and most viewed posts of this website has 14 Bar Brother beginner routines, which will give you enough inspiration to train for months.

My advice is to choose your routines based upon what you are going to train.

Want to train your chest? Make a chest routine.

Want to train a muscle up? Make a muscle up routine.


How good a routine is depends on what you want to train.

You could have the best routine in the world, but if it does not help you in training what you want to learn.

It’s a bad routine for your specific goals.

So set clear goals and follow up on those goals.


Calisthenics diet


Question 5: What should I eat?


Did you know that great bodies are made in the kitchen?

Of course you do!

At least I hope you have not been eating bad food while training your ass off in the hope of getting the body you want despite all those toxins.

You are probably already eating some healthy things.

All you need to do is cut the bad things.


There are essentially 3 ‘NO-GOs’ in food:

  • No sugar
  • No grains
  • No dairy

These foods intoxicate your body, destroy your digestive system, cause inflammation and make you fat faster than you can train this has been thoroughly researched.

These are three life saving and fat burning tips for a good Bar Brother diet.


Remove these three things and add more of what you do need:

  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Grass-fed meat


In addition, you should eat whenever you feel hungry during an 8 hour time frame.

This stimulates your metabolism and increases the effectiveness with which your body transforms food into both muscle and energy.

Eating healthy foods whenever you feel hungry within an 8 hour time frame is all you need to do especially when you start off.

When you don’t have a big appetite try to eat 2 to 3 big and by big I mean really big meals during that 8 hour frame.


Do this for the first two months or so and when you get to an intermediate level you can change your food intake based upon how much muscle you want to gain.

Don’t trap in the fall of setting up tens of eating schedules when you aren’t even training on a consistent basis.

It’s like trying to build a home without a foundation.

It always starts with training your ass off.

And I know you are capable of that.


T-shirt bar brothers add


Question 6: Where can I buy a shirt?


So you want to represent Bar Brothers?

That’s good, that’s real good!

You can find premium t-shirts via the Bar Brother Shop.

These are high quality shirts which are highly suitable for training purposes and have a Bar Brother logo printed on them.

Spread the Beast Mode!


Bar brothers Routines For beginners


Question 7: How can I start or find my own Bar Brother group?


You know that doing it with others is better than doing it all by yourself.

And that’s true.

Doing push ups all alone is not easy, but it’s easier than starting a group.

Because to start a group, you need to inspire.

You need to inspire other people to start training too.


How do you inspire others?

  • By becoming the best version of yourself first and by carrying yourself like that.
  • By telling other people about your awesome training.
  • By getting results, people want to see results.


So here are a few steps:

1. Find out if there are any groups in your area by using Facebook.

2. If this is not the case, start training with your own routines.

3. Tell other people about it.

4. Make your own facebook group.

5. Add people who want to train with you to a whatsapp group or facebook group so you can set training times.

6. Hold a weekly group training (this is a key element). Simply meeting, training together as a group on a fixed point in the week will create momentum.

View it like riding a bike, when you are starting off you need to invest energy, but when you get going it’s so much easier.

That’s what happens when you start training in a group, everybody adds energy to your progress (Sounds a little abstract, but you will understand when you apply it).


Calisthenics women workout


Question 8:  How do I become a Bar Brother?


This question probably brought you here.

And as you probably suspect, the answer is surprisingly easy.

Here is the only way there will every be to become a Bar Brother.

Are you ready for it?


It is called train-your-ass-off and after get yourself some more train-your-ass-off.

When you are done doing that, take the Bar Brother beginner requirements exam.

Afther that you take the official Bar Brother exam.

And you can call yourself the true definition of a Bar Brother.


But that’s not where it ends, from that point on your responsibility is to inspire others and to set a standard.

So people can look up to you and feel motivated to achieve the same.


Any more questions?

Ask them below!

If you don’t have any more.

You have no excuses to leave this page and not take action.

I know you know.

Beast Mode On!


Rich Andoh


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52 thoughts on “Calisthenics Workout For Dummies (8 Frequently Asked Questions)

    1. Hey bro,

      It depends on what you want to train!

      1) Cardio means you have to minimize time between sets and exercises and maximize repetitions.
      2) Strength means your optimal time between sets is 2-3 minutes and between exercises, depending on how difficult your training is 1-2 minutes.

      Of course these are general guiding lines, try them out for yourself and adapt them if you feel that’s necessary for you.

      Hope this helps you!

    2. They said in a video when training your body before able to do calestincs that you should working out every out her day, I don’t know what to do after that though.

      1. Hey Nick,

        The only way to become better at calisthenics is by actually doing it.

        My advice, especially when you are a beginner is to start with working out 3 times a week.

        As you progress and depending on your goals you can build it up!

        Hope this answers your question!

        Beast Mode ON!

  1. Should you have a rest day for recovery when doing pull ups or any exercise for that matter??? or is it good for one and not for another??



    1. Hey bro,

      Thanks for the question!

      If you are just starting out my advice is to train 3 times a week max.

      By doing so you give your body enough time to repair itself by training every other day.

      When you have reached a more intermediate/advanced level you can start training strength 3 days a week and cardio or technique on the days you want to give your body rest.

      So monday strength, tuesday cardio, wednesday strength, thursday cardio/technique.

      Techniques sessions are purely based on finding the right technique for different exercises, but that’s for a more advanced level when you have enough strength and cardio and start focussing on your front lever or back lever for example.

      Again this is a personal advice, which you can use to guide your training. Use it to find out what works best for you.

  2. If I want to concentrate on full body and have a goal of doing flags & muscle ups should I always start by doing flag and or muscle up specific strength routines and then do full body cardio routines or should I alternate between routines like cheast, arms abs legs etc? Also, how do I keep from creating a disproportioned look….small legs, big upper body?

  3. Hey Craig,

    That’s a really good question.

    My personal advice would be to start off with the routine that’s going to help you with achieving your goal.

    So if it’s a human flag, do that routine, muscle up, do that routine etc…

    In addition to that, alternate the second part of your training by doing different routines, such as chest, arms, abs, legs etc. With most routines however you train the upper body completely, due to the compound nature of body weight workout (compound means that you use multiple muscle groups).

    Read this blog post for a more detailed explanation:

    What it boils down to is that you do 2 different routines. 1 focused on your goal and the other to completely drain your body or pay more attention to certain parts such as legs/abs etc.

    That’s my personal advice, but try it out for yourself and see if it works. It does for me…

    Beast Mode ON!

  4. As of now I have 4 days splits 3 days rest. Mon: intense back Tues: abs Wed rest Thur: chest fri legs.. Weekend rest. Should I change that split into something more of a upper/ lower body split?

  5. Hey Bro I starting calisthenics and following those workouts of beginner and training six times a week of 45 minutes and my goal is to get strong and big like those bar brothers is this okay of how I’m training or not can you give me any advice.Thank You

    1. Hey Ty!

      That’s great to hear!

      First of all, you are training on a consistent basis which is a really good thing.

      Training 6 days a week is awesome, just make sure you are training hard enough. The 45 minutes are a minimum not a maximum.

      It’s better for you to train for example 3 days hardcore than 6 days without any effort. But if you are training hard core all six days, I would say keep going bro!

      So summarize, as long as you are training hard enough you are doing the right thing, there is no such thing as training too much if you listen to your body.

      That’s my opinion, find out what works for you!

  6. Hey. Look, I made a routine in order to start training… So, tell me if It’s fine.
    This would be for… the first month.
    10 squats, 10 push ups, 5 dips, 20 sit ups, 30 sec plank, 5 pull ups, 10 leg raises, 20 standing calf raise, 10 lunges.
    4 sets, 1 min rest between exercices, 3 min between cycles.

    So, this would be a full body training… 3 times a week, or more if I can. I want to get strenght so I can achieve a muscle up. Maybe I’ll start adding dips and pull ups so I get more strenght in the arms or so.
    So, what do you think?
    Anyway, this page is awesome.

  7. Can i do the upper body routine six times a week ? Can i do the biceps triceps six times a week ? Is it necessary to take protein supplements ? I heard Lazar novovic neva took any kind of supplements. Is it true ?

    1. Hey bro,

      You can do whatever you want, but training only a few muscle groups is not going to be too efficient.

      I would advise you to start training at least 3 times a week for 45 minutes, depending on your level this is a minimum.

      From that point on start doing two routines every training session including 1 muscle up routine:

      Once you master the muscle up you can start training for the challenges:

      Beast Mode ON!

  8. Hi I am looking to start bar brothers training programme. Never done anything strength wise for a while just always been cardio workouts. Where should I start. Should I follow the routine in the bar brothers starter pack and if so can you recommend a programme to get me going?

    1. Hey bro,

      Welcome to the movement first of all!

      Unfortunately they are not available in the store any more, due to a request to remove them by bbdc who hold the rights so for merchandise contact the dc chapter. Hope this helps!

      Beast mode On!

  9. In my town, we are our own Bar Brothers Team, but I wanna be the most than I can, I´d like be a Bar Brother official, can someone help me ?

  10. Started the first month of your six month essential workouts for beginners. I’ve been doing my max to failure on push-ups and legs which is much higher number of reps than listed, but now think I may be cheating myself on energy to maximize my pull-ups where I’m weaker. Is it better to do the exact number of reps listed for each exercise and then increase number of cycles to exhaustion?

    1. Hey John,

      Good question!

      It has a lot to do with your overall goals.

      The higher the reps the more you will be focusing on endurance instead of strength. In the case of push ups you clearly have more strength than the routine or your current execution requires. You could progress to a more difficult variation by slowing down the movement or by simply adding a more difficult progression. Maxing out isn’t necessarily a better method. Especially not when it comes to hyperthrophy.

      So my take, for strength gains stick to a 12 or lower rep range if you are able to do more than the required amount of reps, add a more difficult progression of the same exercise. Make sure your quality of execution is optimal. If you are focusing on endurance more stick to a higher than 12 rep range of an exercise which is easily done by you. You can also combine both of course.

      So it really has to do with your goals. Strength. Endurance. Hyperthrophy. Injury repair etc…

      Beast mode ON!

  11. I have really really bad sweaty hands and I just started the system and sometimes I have a hard time doing pull-ups because I’m losing my grip. Is there any recommendations on the type of gloves to wear? Would those cross fit gloves work??

    1. Hey Manuel,

      Great question!

      I’m personally not a proponent of gloves, I can recommend you to use chalk. It’s really cheap and you will develop calluses which will protect your hands. Then again, it all depends on your personal preference. My advice is don’t wear gloves, because your hands aren’t made of sugar and not wearing gloves will give you true grip strength. Once you start wearing gloves you become dependent and that’s something your don’t want to be.

      Beast mode ON!

  12. Hi i want to ask what’s the different between doing cycles and doing all sets of an exercice and then move to the next exercice ?
    Thank u 🙂

    1. Hey Hamdi,

      Great question.

      Time efficiency and intensity.

      But over time and depending on the level of neurological stress you might change to a more set based approach, but as a beginner, doing full body circuits is the best way to build a solid foundation in a short period of time.

      Beast mode ON!

      1. Thnx a lot man
        Another question please
        I was training in the gym for 6 months and i want to try this calistenic program should i start from the begining or i can start directly the advanced level
        Beast mode ON 🙂

        1. Hey Hamdi,

          Great question.

          What do you think? If you are asking this question, chances are that you aren’t advanced yet ;).

          Start where your skill matches the challenge.

          Beast mode ON!

          1. Alright man thnk u so much 😉
            I still have a lot of questions i want to ask if u don’t mind is there any way to contact u ?

  13. I used to do weight lifting for about a year and a half but found it boring, so i jumped right into doing the intermediate programs that you’ve listed. If i were to do a 3 day a week plan (cardio 1 or 2 days a week on rest days), would doing the planche cycle and the upper body cycle as one day, and the human flag cycle and the parallel bar workout the other day work?

    1. Hey Tom,

      Great question!

      It all really depends on your current level of strength and on how good your basics are.

      Can it suffice, ‘yes’ to achieve certain goals. Then again it all depends on what those goals are.

      Beast mode ON!

      1. I can do your beginner requirements challenge, but the goal I have right now is to get more control of my body (basically just getting better at overall calisthenics). Some of the intermediate routines are definitely too hard for me right now so I picked the 4 easiest and mashed them into a 3-day split. I was just wondering if the workout split I have seems like not the best option for me. (I do have to do variations for 2 ab exercises but that’s it)

  14. Hello bar brothers! I have a question. I get started with the absolute beginner workout. The full body workout. Should i begin with 1 day training and 1 day rest? And what can i do at my 1 day rest day? Stretching or cardio or absolute nothing? My next question. When i start my 6 six month training i read about . One day training and then i read about 1 day doing the leg dominate routine? What is the leg dominate routine? I cant find a expaination about it! Thnx bro s. Keep it up!

    1. Hey Lowie,

      Great question!

      Start with 3 days of training a week and build it up over time. You will simply be too sore to go from 0-100 if you don’t have a background in some kind of sports.

      You can find leg routines on the website, just type them in the search bar.

      Keep up the good work.

      Beast mode ON!

  15. I started my training today:) I am 31 years old 180cm and 93 kg. I smoke eat badly and i am weak and always tired. But i am motivated and read a lot off the information you send me. Now i must do the do part! I focus on a 12:mond yourney to get started with baby steps. Today i did 3 min off jumping rope. Then i did the bar brother warming up. I didnt expect the lion walk was so heavy! 🙂 Then i went for a 5 min run outside. Then i came home and did the flexibility exercies from bar brothers also heavy shit! Then i did thecbeginner all body exercies. I did all the reps 10 squats 10 push upps 10 dips 5 leg raises 30 sec plank 10 sec superman. I only had trouble with the chin up i did barely 3. So i did 1 set. And that was enough for me now. Now i ve got something too build on. Tomorow i rest and then i do the same routine. I hope this is good too start with. Greetings all!

    1. Hey Lowie,

      Whoop Whoop!

      Awesome job :D, you are really kicking some ass.

      You can be proud of yourself. You might experience some soreness tomorrow though ;), build it up slowly and listen to your body.

      It will reward you in many ways.

      Beast mode ON!

  16. Hello. I have a question about food. What are grains and what are dairy? And also what kind off food are vegetables, seeds and gress fed ? Can i eat pasta?

  17. Started my journey yesterday with my boys learning beside me. I’m 36 years old, 172 cm and 111 kg, so I have a lot of weight to lose, been really sedentary and eat horribly(my biggest vice being soda) but saw some bar brothers videos the other day and was amazed at the body attained with this method of training. Love the fact that only body weight and willpower is needed. I’m starting slowly doing the no equipment beginner workout until i can get my pull up bar setup in my basement, and attach my dip bar to my home gym downstairs. My body is telling me how out of shape I am today but will get back out there again tomorrow, will keep updating in the future thanks for all the advice and tips on your terrific website!

    1. Hey John,

      First of all! You can be proud of yourself and on how honest you are with where you are at this point.

      That’s definitely the first ‘leap’. For parents it’s usually also to set an example, so their kids don’t make the same mistake.

      There are many stories which I’ve had the privilege to read fortunately. So there are a lot of people who started where you are :D.

      I can highly recommend you to read David’s story:

      Keep up the good work and thanks once again for sharing your story. Whatever you need, I’m here to support you.

      Beast mode ON!

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