Tag Archives: calisthenics

“One Skill a Day” Training Program

Sergio Oliva PosingHave you ever had this feeling that your training is going nowhere? Are you still torturing your body with the same old program you were using for last 5 years of training? Are you sincerely amazed with the lack of results? Ok, enough questions. We’ve both definitely been in such situation. You are doing 3 full-body workouts per week for a really long time. Then they just stop working. You get an enlightenment and try some sort of Upper/Lower Split.  Your gains skyrocket to stratosphere and your reason to live seems to be restored. You think that you’ve found The Program. However, after decent amount of time the story repeats itself. You get frustrated (and maybe depressed) one more time. What to do? There are lots of ways out. I’d like to discuss one of them today. What if you could train every day (or almost every day), and get outstanding results? Seems too good to be true, but my solution fits the previous sentence perfectly. Enter “One Skill a Day” Training Program.

One Skill a Day? Continue reading

10 Tips for Mastering the Perfect One-Arm Push-Up

Perfect One-Arm Push-Up by Alex ZinchenkoThe Perfect One-Arm Push-Up – many claim to be able to perform it, still there’s almost no video proof to back up those claims. Why so? Firstly, everybody has ego. And claiming that you can do such complex skill like the Perfect One-Arm Push-Up [POAPU] boosts that ego like nothing else. There’s no harm in bragging, unless you cannot back up your words. Secondly, it’s surprisingly easy to get trapped in improper technique with this skill. You can see lots of videos of One-Arm Push-Up but 99% of them are half-assed-twisted-body-feet-wide-pseudo-push-ups. That’s not what we’re discussing here. That exercise has almost nothing in common with real One-Arm Push-Up and is walk in the park comparing to our beast. Many people push this shitty technique as POAPU, but don’t be fooled. They just don’t have the patience to gain strength required for this move. Thus, they can forget about achieving anything great. Also lots of people don’t believe POAPU can be done the proper way, but that’s not true. It definitely can be achieved, but the process will require lots of time, hard work and patience. So let’s get closer look to what the hell that Perfect One-Arm Push-Up is? Continue reading

How to Achieve the One-Arm Handstand Push-Up

Convict One-Arm Handstand Push-UpNOTICE: To avoid any misunderstanding (and possible penis reduction in some individuals) by OAHSPU I mean wall-assisted One-Arm Handstand Push-Up (or as many people prefer to call it One-Arm Headstand Push-Up). You kick up into handstand with feet resting on the wall. Take away one arm and lower down until your head touches the floor. Then push back up.

So today’s theme is the mighty One-Arm Handstand Push-Up – the move that many people consider impossible. And only few individuals around the world take all their determination into a fist and are training for it day in day out. Are they out of their mind? Probably. Is it worth it? In my opinion, yes. And that’s not because I’m one of them. It’s worth the time and effort because OAHSPU is like holy grail for me. It matches all my requirements for ultra-heavy minimalistic no-tech upper-body pushing exercise, it resonates with my inner self and its “impossibility” adds some more spice to it. This move undoubtedly requires your full concentration, lots of time, effort and hard work. That’s what lures me to it. Are there better and safer ways to develop shoulder and triceps strength and size? Most definitely. But with all the safety you miss the romance of exploration.

Recently I was lucky enough to contact several people to provide some insights on the move. These people are Paul Wade, Jonathan Ferland-Valois and Logan Christopher. It’s always educating to hear [read] different people’s ideas especially if they are experts in the field (like these guys), so I figured out that it would be interesting to bring them all together and make some kind of a round table. I hope you’ll learn something new from this multi-interview and, of course, I won’t let you go without my own comments.

So let’s get to the questions: Continue reading

How to Progress Effectively in Bodyweight Exercises

Roadside Handstand by Alex Zinchenko

So you are serious about this calisthenics thing. You’ve seen lots of videos on YouTube. You’ve read some articles. Maybe you even read some books (!). But nothing helps. YouTube guys mostly lightweight, articles are rarely well-written and books often lack proper guidance (programming is bad or progression steps are too wide from each other). Most importantly they don’t teach you how to progress in bodyweight exercises effectively. Why? Majority doesn’t have the proper knowledge (we can see this often in street workout and crossfit movements). Others have the knowledge, but not willing to give it away for free. I understand those guys. You spend lots of time studying and experimenting on yourself and your clients. You put literally tons of effort and hard work in. It’s tempting not to give away the knowledge. But although strength training and nutrition are not rocket science (as everybody loves to say), they require individual approach. So there is no point in hiding the data. There’s simply no recipe that works for all. Everybody is different. My current program and diet probably won’t work for you. As well as something that guy in a gym does might not give you the same results as he got (of course, unless it’s steroids (and even if yes, same results are not guaranteed)). Everybody has different goals. For somebody it’s important to have less fat, for somebody – more muscle, for somebody – rough strength. Everybody needs different programming, but the principles remain the same. So it all comes to greed of particular so-called “guru” regarding not sharing these principles. But I digress. Let’s take a look at some common methods of progressing in bodyweight exercises. Continue reading

Why Train Rough Strength Style?

Rough Ring Strength Training at HomeIt happens that today is second Rough Strength birthday. So I decided to come up with something special and fundamental at the same time. I have written lots of articles on training and nutrition but I never wrote a whole piece on why I think Rough Strength method is superior to others for my goal, as well as for any strength-related striving.  I can speak about this whole day but I won’t bore you to death with long intros and will get straight to the point.

What Is Rough Strength?

I want people to have clear understanding of what Rough Strength is. Word ‘rough’ is used here meaning not only ‘hardcore’ but first and foremost ‘acquired without any luxuries’, ‘with minimal equipment’. It’s type of strength training you can use at home with anything you have at hand.

I don’t want it to be confused with trendy street workout or crossfit, or gymnastics, or powerlifting etc. Continue reading

Top 5 Exercises for Awesome Shoulder Development

Doug Hepburn Performing Handstand Push-UpYou may wonder why the F do I write an article on such trendy and obvious thing? Hell, you can search the internet and there will be tons of info on shoulder training. And I’m cool with it. However, I’d like to write the Rough Strength version. It’s the sum of my own training experience. Besides, there are lots of people who are new to training and they are wondering how to get those strong cannonball shoulders.

Why am I writing about shoulders? Why not legs? Why not biceps and abs? Because shoulders are the most masculine part of the body (along with traps). Nothing will make you stand out from the crowd like well-developed shoulders. Shoulder is one of the most complex joints, so it’s wise idea to develop them. If you noticed, all the upper body movement patterns are based on the shoulder position.

So here are Rough Strength top 5 exercises for awesome shoulder development: Continue reading

5 x 5 Strength Training Template: How to Do It Right

Reg Park 5x5 Strength RoutineRecently I got lots of e-mails on programming. All of the people wanted me to analyze their programs and say what I think about them. Some of them even wanted me to try their program. I try to answer all of my e-mails. But I get really bored to write the same thing over and over again. So I decided to write another post on basics. Specifically on 5 x 5 strength template. I really like this approach and always amazed how it gets lost and returns, then again gets lost, then returns again etc. But first of all, let’s take a look at some history of this famous training template.

5 x 5 Strength Training Template in History and Its Variations

Well, I don’t really know whether old-timers used exactly 5 sets of 5 reps. I think, that they came up with something like this at some point. Continue reading