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The Johnston Karate Guide to Functional Strength


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Johnston! "#en
The Johnston Karate Guide to Functional Strength
Fitness Instruction! $st %dition
Copyright 2&$2'$(
All )ights )eser*ed+ This *ersion of the ,oo- may ,e freely distri,uted or copied for
personal or classroom use! ,ut may not ,e modified or used for profit+ It may also ,e posted
on any reputa,le #e,site as long as you do not offer the ,oo- for sale+ The trade paper,ac-
edition! ho#e*er! may ,e used for profit+ If you are interested in reselling the trade paper,ac-
edition! e'mail me and #e can set up discount pricing on ,ul- orders .
o#en/0ohnston-arate+com
Author & 1u,lisher ' "#en Johnston
%ditor ' T+"+2+ Johnston
3oo- 4ome 1age . http55strengthguidepdf+com
For more a,out me! please see the 6A,out the Author6 page at the end of the ,oo-+ If you
#ould li-e to *ie# full info on my 7ualifications! schedule a free trial class or consultation! or
contact me for any other reason! please *isit the follo#ing #e,page .
http55o#en0ohnston-arate+com5
For a free one'page list of supplementary resources I highly recommend! *isit the
8nderstanding Karate home page and clic- on the lin- near the top that says 6Supplementary
)esources6+
http55understanding-arate+com5
6For to me to li*e is Christ! and to die is gain+6
' 1hilippians $2$
9
Guide to Functional Strength
2isclaimer
This ,oo- is intended for people of good health and physical condition+ The training
methods and ad*ice in this ,oo- may not ,e for e*eryone+ Al#ays consult your physician
,efore starting a ne# e:ercise program+ I am not a physician! and as such! nothing in this
,oo- should in any #ay ,e ta-en as medical ad*ice or a su,stitute for medical ad*ice+ Also!
this ,oo- should not ,e used to replace ad*ice from your personal physician+
1hysical acti*ity al#ays carries #ith it a ris- of in0ury+ ;hen you practice the training
methods in this ,oo-! al#ays practice proper safety precaution! use proper techni7ue! and
apply common sense+ The author can not assume any responsi,ility for any in0ury! illness! loss
or damage that may result from follo#ing the training methods in this ,oo-+
Lastly! this ,oo- is not a replacement for formal instruction+ 3e sure to see- out a
competent! 7ualified instructor #ho may carefully o,ser*e your progress and pro*ide
feed,ac-+ This ,oo- is intended primarily to ,e a supplement to! not a replacement for! formal
training+
(
Guide to Functional Strength
Ta,le of Contents
Introduction ' <
"fficial trade paper,ac- and Kindle editions ' =
Fitness $&$ ' >
Transform your life? ' $2
Thoughts on Training ' $9
Specificity in Training ' $(
Setting Training Goals ' $<
;or-out 2esign ' $=
;or-out Templates ' $>
3asic template ' Ad*anced Training Session ' $@
Training 1rogram for Fitness Client ' 2&
An %ssay on Fle:i,ility ' 29
"ne Arm 1ullup Training ' 2=
Gymnastics 3ac-,end Tips ' 2A
Bo,ility #or- . tension fle:i,ility e:ercises ' 2>
Bethods of progression in calisthenics ' 9$
Strength training stations #or-out for gymnastics ' 99
Sand,ag training for functional! real #orld strength ' 9(
Ca*eman Conditioning 8nci*iliCed! Binimalist Training Bethods ' 9=
All a,out progressi*e calisthenics ' 9>
1rogressi*e Calisthenics Lifestyle ' (&
1rogressi*e Calisthenics for Strength ' ($
8ltimate Leg Training ' <&
Calf Training ' <$
1oetry in Botion ' <2
Kettle,ell Training Tutorial ' <9
Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith other types of ' <<
3ody ;eight Strength Training
"dd ",0ect Training for Strength ' =9
"ld Time Strongmen ' Training and )esources ' =>
Street ;or-outs . minimalist training! any#here ' A$
DCheat sheetE section ' A$
<
StrengthGuidePDF.com
Introduction
6Train hard! train hea*y! train progressi*ely! and train smart+6
' 3roo-s Ku,i-
Fou need to ,e as po#erful and functional as you possi,ly can ,e! for a long time into
your old age+ Calisthenics can gi*e you that+
' 1aul ;ade
This ,oo- is ,ased on my continuing research and teaching e:perience+ I ,elie*e in
continuously updating one6s -no#ledge ,ase and e:pertise! and as such! I am constantly
refining my teaching methods+ As such! this ,oo- is intended to represent the most up to date
information possi,le regarding ho# I teach fitness to my students+
Keep in mind that this ,oo- is not meant to ,e a comprehensi*e te:t on fitness and
health+ Consult your physician ,efore starting an e:ercise program! and ,e sure to contact a
certified fitness trainer to help you disco*er a nutrition and e:ercise plan that suits your
lifestyle and indi*idual needs+ For free articles a,out nutrition and e:ercise! please *isit my
fitness lin-s page+ Gisit my home page and clic- on DFitness Lin-sE near the top+
http55###+0ohnston-arate+com
=
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Get a 2&H 2iscount on the Trade 1aper,ac-s
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I can pro*ide #holesale 5 discount pricing on ,ul- orders of the ,oo-+ If you #ould li-e
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Fitness $&$ . A 3asic Tutorial
This is meant to ,e a concise article summariCing the ,enefits of e:ercise! plenty of
ad*ice and lin-s to 7uality resources that #ill gi*e you a good headstart! as #ell as a
recommended e:ercise list at the end+ If you #ould li-e to *ie# a *ideo demonstration of the
e:ercises! point your ,ro#ser to the a,o*e #e,site and clic- on the 6Fitness $&$6 lin-+ Just -eep
in mind that getting into shape and impro*ing your lifestyle ha,its Iincluding nutrition! rest!
scheduling! etc+J ta-e a long term! disciplined approach+
There are many ,enefits to e:ercise! including ,urning calories! ele*ating your mood!
and heart disease pre*ention+ 8sing cardio training to impro*e your fitness also impro*es
your circulatory system! strengthens your heart and lungs! impro*es ,one density! #hich all
help immensely not 0ust #ith other types of e:ercise! ,ut life in general? 3enefits to lifestyle
include impro*ed mood! stress 5 depression relief! ,etter posture! ,eing a,le to fall asleep
7uic-er! as #ell as sleeping more deeply+
Kot only that! strength training helps not only ,uild your muscle mass and strength!
,ut also your endurance! and performance of daily acti*ities such as lifting! carrying! and
#al-ing+ Four fle:i,ility is also enhanced! #hich helps to pre*ent ,ac- pain! and pulling
muscles+ Kot only that! e*en your ligaments and tendons adapt to training! and ,ecome
stronger! and less prone to in0ury+ The additional muscle and ,one density gained in training
also help in reducing in0ury to 0oints+ The meta,olism definitely gets a ,oost #ith effecti*e
training! #hich results in impro*ed ,ody composition+ The end result #ill ,e more muscle and
less ,ody fat+ Bore muscle doesn6t necessarily mean a ,ig! ,ul-y loo- ' ,ut regular! effecti*e
e:ercise #ill Ias a ruleJ result in impro*ed muscle tone+
Since this is not meant to ,e a comprehensi*e article! -eep in mind that there is a lot
more to understanding fitness than I can condense into 0ust a fe# pages+ Kutrition and
lifestyle changes are t#o important topics to consider #hen starting a ne# fitness program+
Also! it6s a good idea to 0oin a local gym #here a certified fitness trainer can help you figure
out the ,est options and routines+ Lastly! if you6re ne# to fitness! you6ll #ant to get at least a
,asic idea a,out nutrition! ,ody mechanics! and fitness concepts+ As such! feel free to read
hand selected articles I6*e lin-ed to from my Fitness Lin-s page+ Simply point your #e,
,ro#ser to my home page and clic- on DFitness Lin-sE near the top+
http55###+0ohnston-arate+com
Also ,e sure to chec- out the ,log ,elo#! #hich has plenty of FouTu,e playlists of
martial arts and fitness *ideos that I highly recommend+
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
If you6re 0ust starting out! I recommend calisthenics! also -no#n as ,ody #eight
training+ Calisthenics train the #hole ,ody . muscles and 0oints+ This means no e7uipment
re7uired! so you can practice the e:ercises any#here+ 1racticing calisthenics ,uilds functional
strength and muscle tone *ery naturally+ It also ,oosts the meta,olism+ %*en if you6re already
in shape! easier calisthenics e:ercises can help train your #hole ,ody! strengthen any #ea-
areas! and reha,ilitate 0oints+
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Fitness $&$ continued
I personally teach my o#n uni7ue approach to calisthenics! #hich is gi*en a general
description in the article D1rogressi*e Calisthenics for StrengthE+ By approach is mostly ,ased
on Con*ict Conditioning! #hich teaches training progressions that range from easy to insane
full ,ody strength+ I #ould highly recommend progressi*e calisthenics to anyone trying to get
into shape+ It6s an approach! not a set routine? "nce you understand the ,asic concepts! you
can ,ecome your o#n coach+
T#o other #ays to ,uild strength and muscle are #eights and machines+ If you decide
on either of these! start light! and ,uild gradually o*er time+ 3efore starting a program!
though! ,e sure to find a #or-out partner you trust! or *isit a local gym and tal- to a certified
fitness trainer+ Gradually introduce more protein into your diet from natural sources! and
supplements if needed+ IKuts! grains! cheese! mil-! *arious types of protein po#ders such as
#hey and creatine! etc+J
I also recommend -ettle,ell training+ 2ue to the ,allistic! full ,ody nature of a -ettle,ell
#or-out! it accelerates fat loss! pac-s on lean muscle! and ,uilds e:plosi*eness+ Kettle,ells
help #ith cardio! po#er! speed! muscle endurance! stance training! mental toughness!
efficiency in mo*ement! and strengthening your core+ Strength and stamina in the lo#er ,ac-!
legs! shoulders! and grip also ,enefit+ Caution and proper form must ,e used at all times #ith
-ettle,ells . as such! see- out a 7ualified instructor ,efore starting+
Change up your routines up once in a #hile if it helps you stay moti*ated+ Also! #hat
you do outside of the gym or e:ercise in general is 0ust as important! such as ma-ing any
necessary lifestyle changes! as #ell as getting the right nutrition and rest+ Al#ays try to eat
fresh and drin- things li-e #ater! tea! gatorade! fruit smoothies etc instead of sodas+
If you #ant to ,ul- up! #or- up to hea*y #eight and5or hard calisthenics e:ercises #ith
lo# reps+ If you #ant to tone up! you #ill #ant to start ,urning off any unhealthy #eight! #hile
also ,uilding muscle in challenging strength sessions+ The -ey is to ,urn more calories than
you ta-e in+ )emem,er to ha*e a small! nutritious meal after a hard #or-out! such as a
protein sha-e and a piece of fruit+ Also! al#ays gi*e your ,ody enough reco*ery time after a
#or-out+ Boderately hea*y to hea*y amounts of lifting should ,e done e*ery other day to
allo# time to reco*er+ IL4ea*yL depending upon #hat le*el of training you are at+J
Keed to lose #eightM Get out and get mo*in6? Get any -ind of cardio you can fit into
your daily routine+ 2o laundry! some yard #or-! #al- the dog! #hate*er? Get on the ,i-e! 0og!
ta-e an aero,ics class+++The list goes on? Find a friend to go outside and get acti*e #ith ' ha*e
fun #ith it?
Next page exercise list
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Fitness $&$ continued
Exercise List. Let6s loo- at some recommended ,ody #eight! dum, ,ell! and curl ,ar
e:ercises+ )emem,er to set realistic goals ' such as allo#ing a fe# months to achie*e the right
loo-+ Feel free to research other e:ercises as needed to help train for your o#n personal
performance goals! and tal- to your fitness instructor for ideas on ho# to t#ea- your routine+
$+ 3asic #armups and stretches+ ;armups should usually include 0oint rotations! #hich
oil up the 0oints! and some -ind of aero,ic acti*ity! such as s-ipping rope! #al-ing! or 0ogging+
Aero,ic acti*ity #arms up your ,ody temperature and increases ,lood flo#ing+ This helps to
impro*e your muscular performance and 6elasticity6! #hich helps to pre*ent in0ury Isuch as
pulling a muscleJ+
If you do not stretch correctly! in0uries can occur! so al#ays start slo#ly if you are ne#
to fle:i,ility training+ Start #ith a fe# minutes of static stretching! #hich is used to stretch out
the muscles #hile the ,ody is at rest! then mo*e onto dynamic stretching+ )emem,er to do
light aero,ic acti*ity such as #al-ing or 0ogging and some more static stretching! at the end of
your #or-out to cool do#n the ,ody+ Gie# the pages ,elo# for static and dynamic stretching '
###+,rianmac+co+u-5stretch+htm
###+,rianmac+co+u-5dynamic+htm
2+ 1ushup *ariations+ These #or- primarily the pectorals! triceps! and deltoids+ "ne
armed pushups are the gold standard in chest and el,o# strength+
9+ Curls #ith dum, ,ells . these #or- the ,iceps+ If done standing! use light #eight if
necessary to practice correct form+ If using a curl ,ar! sit in a sta,le chair #ith your ,ac- flat
against it! #ith your el,o#s loc-ed in against your ,ody+ This #ill help sta,iliCe the ,ody! and
isolate the ,iceps+
(+ Alternating front raises #ith dum, ,ells ' #or-s anterior deltoid+ Allo# your ,ody to
s#ing as little as possi,le . maintain correct form at all times+
<+ Bilitary presses #ith curl ,ar ' #or-s the deltoid muscles in the shoulders as #ell as
the core and legs! #hich you must use to sta,iliCe the #eight+
=+ S7uats #ith curl ,ar ' #or-s the 7uadriceps+ If you ha*e trou,le #ith your -nees or
an-les! lo#er the #eight or do s7uats normally #ithout the ,ar+
A+ LS-ull crushersL #ith curl ,ar ' #or-s the triceps+
>+ 2ead lift #ith curl ,ar ' #or-s grip strength #ith the erector spinae! gluteus
ma:imus! adductor magnus! hamstrings! and 7uadriceps ser*ing as the primary muscles+
@+ 1ullup *ariations . pullups are a compound e:ercise that primarily #or- the ,iceps!
and latissimus dorsi Ior 6lats6 for shortJ+ The lats are the largest muscles on the torso! and run
from your armpits to do#n ,eyond the ri,s+ Bost of the other muscles in the ,ac- also get
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Fitness $&$ continued
#or-ed ,y doing pullups+ Kot only that! your fingers! palms! and forearms are gi*en a great
#or-out ,y holding up and pulling your ,ody #eight as you grip the ,ar+ This translates to
,uilding grip strength+ Lastly! pullups gi*e your a,s and hips a great isometric #or-out+
3ecause of these ,enefits! pullups help train the ,ody for hanging leg raises+
To do a pullup! start ,y getting a good grip on a horiContal ,ar or anything sturdy you
can hang from+ Keep your shoulder girdle tight and your el,o#s slightly -in-ed in the starting
position! to help pre*ent in0ury+ Generally! #ith full pullups! you #ill try to pull your ,ody
#eight up until the chin clears the ,ar! and you then lo#er the ,ody until your arms and
shoulders are almost fully e:tended+ If you don6t ha*e the strength yet to complete the full
range of motion! start #ith easier *ariations of the pullup+ Also! to #or- strictly on grip
strength! try #or-ing on hanging grip #or- Iagain using a horiContal ,ar or anything you can
hang fromJ+
Gisit the page ,elo# for ideas on impro*ing grip strength '
http55goo+gl52@,(g&
$&+ Leg raises from a horiContal ,ar+ This primarily #or-s all the muscles in the a,s! as
#ell as your lats+ Fou also get some ,enefits to your forearms and shoulders! since they are
used to hold your #eight from the ,ar+ ;hen you first gra, onto the ,ar! do nothing else until
your momentum has disappeared+ Four ,ody should ,e still and your legs straight ,efore you
start the first repetition of the e:ercise+ Slo#ly raise your legs as far as you can+ As your a,s get
stronger you can increase your range of motion in this e:ercise+ If this e:ercise is too hard at
first! try hanging -nee raises or flat ,ent -nee raises+
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Transform your life
;ith time! patience! proper training! proper nutrition! and proper attention to lifestyle
factors! almost anyone can transform their ,ody and their life+ It ta-es a lot of time and
dedication . it could ta-e at least a full year to achie*e a trim! proportioned! fit loo-+ Fes! of
course you #ill see some results #ithin t#o #ee-s if youNre training at least t#ice a #ee- and
#atching your nutrition+
3ut to get a #hole ne# ,ody . trimming do#n #hile ,uilding up the muscles . is a long
term! difficult process+ It ta-es time to replace old ha,its #ith ne# ones+ Fou also ha*e to pay
a lot of attention to nutrition! losing #eight slo#ly Iinstead of too 7uic-lyJ! learning ho# to
train Is-illJ! ,uilding up the stamina and strength for truly intense training! #hile not o*er
training+ "*er training fatigues mind and ,ody! slo#ing your progress! and o*er training also
leads to in0ury+ Certainly! you do #ant to train hard! ,ut allo# for reco*ery+ 1ush past your
comfort Cone! ,ut not to in0ury+
The fortunate thing! though! is that hard #or- ,uilds not 0ust strength! ,ut #illpo#er
and confidence as #ell+ It ta-es guts and tenacity to train hard? Bost people gi*e up too easily!
,efore they see results+ 2onNt gi*e up? Clim, that mountain?
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Thoughts on training . Lslo# and steadyL
;hen it comes to training! #hether in martial arts or for any area of fitness! letNs
remem,er the old phrase . DSlo# ,ut steady #ins the race+E Ke*er ,e in such a rush that you
donNt plan your #or-out! or that you do not train your ,ody and mind through the preparatory
stages+ ItNs certainly great to feel out ne# e:ercises as a test of strength a,ility! ,ut do not
*enture into Do*er trainingE! #hich could lead to in0ury+ "f course! this is not to say #e
shouldnNt #or- hard #hen #e train? 1rogression is the name of the game+ ;e ha*e to -eep
steadily impro*ing each #or-out+ If #eNre using #eight! try to add sets! reps! *ariety! or #eight
each #ee-+ If practicing ,ody #eight training! change something up a little ,it each day that
you #or- out+
And remem,er slo# ,ut steady . gradual progress? This is especially true as #e get
older+ Aging is not a death sentence for your training . in fact! #e can continue impro*ing at
many things throughout a lifetime and maintain great health? 3ut #e must also ,e realistic
and remem,er that #e ha*e to accommodate a potentially slo#er reco*ery rate+ And #hen it
comes to progress! especially #hen it comes to us older athletes II #as ,orn in the A&s! myselfJ
'
DLonger is one thing+ Ke*er is something entirely different+ And longer al#ays ,eats ne*er+E .
3roo-s Ku,i-
If you #ant a pile of info on some sensi,le #or-outs! pic- up his ,oo-! Chal- and
S#eat! through the ,elo# lin-+ I donNt ma-e a single cent ,y recommending the ,oo-+ I ha*e
read his 2inosaur Training and 2inosaur 3ody ;eight Training ,oo-s and they ha*e ,een
#or-ing for me so far+ As such! I am happy to recommend his stuff?
http55###+,roo-s-u,i-+com5chal-OandOs#eat+html
$(
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Specificity in training
I am certainly a huge ad*ocate of ,uilding strength and fitness+ 4o#e*er! I also try to
remind all of my students that it is necessary to engage in training specific to your athletic
acti*ity of choice+ This #ay! you #ill ,e a,le to properly e:press that strength in mo*ement?
8nderstanding Sport Specific %:ercises http55goo+gl5f#$0GP
In the ,eginning! it is indeed important to ,uild Da,solute strengthE in the muscles
needed for your chosen acti*ity+ This pro*ides a foundation for the other end of the strength
spectrum! Dspeed strengthE or po#er+ "n the other hand! if you started on the speed strength
end of the spectrum I,as-et,all! for instanceJ! you can still get some ,enefits to po#er ,y
#or-ing on a,solute strength+
DA,solute strength . The ma:imum force an athlete can e:ert #ith his or her #hole ,ody! or
part of the ,ody! irrespecti*e of ,ody siCe or muscle siCeE
%:planation of strength ' http55###+,rianmac+co+u-5strength+htm
D1o#er QIForce R 2istanceJ S TimeT represents the product of strength and speed of
mo*ement e:pressed in ;atts+E
%:planation of po#er ' http55###+,rianmac+co+u-5po#er+htm
For a ,etter understanding! #atch this *ideo on the strength continuum+
Strength continuum *ideo on FouTu,e http55goo+gl5Py%U#>
$<
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Setting training goals
I try to -eep the ha,it of #riting out a training program for each ne# personal training
client+ This helps ,oth of us set clear goals to #or- to#ards+ "f course! #e ha*e to remem,er
that consistency! hard #or-! and moti*ation are paramount in any endea*or! especially
training? Granted! it is important to personaliCe #or-out programs! #hether for oursel*es or
for a client+ 8nderstanding our emotional and mental health at the time! not 0ust our physical
health! should Iof courseJ ,e ta-en into account #hen planning our training+
Also! #e ha*e to figure out S+B+A+)+T+ goals+ Specific! measura,le! attaina,le Ior
actiona,leJ! rele*ant Ior realisticJ! and timely+ If our goals are *ague and not concrete Ior
measura,leJ! there #ill not ,e any clear! o,0ecti*e #ay to #or- to#ards them+ Specificity deals
#ith not 0ust num,ers Ihitting a set 5 rep goal! or ho# much #eightJ! ,ut also! the reasoning
,ehind the goals+ 3asically! our long term goalIsJ should help us define our S+B+A+)+T+ goals .
li-e comparing strategy to tactics+
4ere is an e:ample+ 2o you #ant to ,ecome a ,etter competitor in ,o:ing or prepare
for a specific matchupM Fou #ill ha*e to define your strategy around this! and your training
goals and tactics must support your strategy+ "f course! your coaches #ill ,e of great help in
de*eloping a sound strategy for #inning+ The types of training you #ill #ant to set goals for
#ill include . attending the gym to #or- #ith sparring partners #ho can help you prepareV
impro*ing your physical conditioning Iset specific goals for road#or-! sprints etc ,ased upon
ho# many rounds the match #ill ,eJV highly specific pad#or-V highly specialiCed strength and
conditioning #or- that #ill impro*e the physical 7ualities needed to defeat your opponentV
and so forth+
3elo# is a great moti*ational article on S+B+A+)+T+ goals that includes a printa,le 12F
#or-sheet?
http55goo+gl5FJ1=(G
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;or-out 2esign
Set S+B+A+)+T+ goals . specific! measura,le! attaina,le! realistic! timely
For more a,out setting goals! *ie# the pre*ious article
;or-out fre7uency . $'9: 5 #ee- for ,eginners
;or-out structure . full ,ody #or-outs! push5pull split! upper ,ody 5 lo#er ,ody split! full
,ody 5 sports split! or other *ariation
Test your a,ilities in training progressions to *erify #hich progressionIsJ you #ill include in
the current or ne:t training cycle
Al#ays include at least some #armup sets ,efore your #or- setsV try to also include
s-ill #or- Ihand ,alancing! gymnastics rings! parallettes! or any other s-ill ,ased mo*ementJ
. e*en if youNre not a gymnast! this is still useful as it helps you de*elop control! stamina! and
general ,ody a#arenessV also try to include some mo,ility #or- and acti*e fle:i,ility I,ridges!
L'sits! t#ist stretches! 0oint #or- in generalJ
;or- *olume Iho# many total repetitions 5 setsJ and *ariety Inum,er of e:ercises per
#or-outJ . -eep relati*ely lo# if youNre a ,eginnerV normally I recommend no more than 9
e:ercises per #or-out and no more than ( or < total sets I2'9 #armup sets! 2'9 #or- setsJ if
youNre a complete ,eginner
Intensity and load . in #eight lifting terms! ha*ing more #eight . DloadE #ill ma-e the
e:ercise more intense and more li-ely to force adaptations+ In calisthenics! there are *aria,les
you can e:periment #ith that #ill ma-e an e:ercise more or less intense+ The harder an
e:ercise is! the less reps you #ill ,e a,le to do+ I do not ,elie*e there is any DperfectE rep5set
scheme? It depends on your ,ody type! your goals! the e:ercise in 7uestion! and other factors+
A ,asic guideline to -eep in mind is that you do need to ma-e sure that the e:ercises you
select are difficult enough to force adaptations! meaning that you #ill ,uild strength and
mass+
DAre Fou Sa,otaging Four Gains #ith the ;rong )ep )angeME ' article page! short 8)L '
http55goo+gl5%@F)"i
The a,o*e article is more #eight lifting oriented! ,ut the principles still apply to
calisthenics+ 4o#e*er! I #ill still lin- a calisthenics related FAU+ The author details some
training programs! from ,eginner to ad*anced+ FAU lin- '
http55goo+gl58F=t@L
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;or-out 2esign continued
;or-ing up . if youNre a ,eginner to intermediate trainee! slo#ly ,uild up repetitions
until you can meet the Dprogression standardE Iset amount of reps 5 setsJ for a particular
progression! then test your a,ilities again to see if you can mo*e up in the progression+ If you
canNt! there are a fe# things you can try . add an assistance e:ercise Isuch as using a #rist
roller to assist grip strength for pullupsJ or change a *aria,le or t#o in the e:ercise you met
the repetition standard for Iperhaps slightly change hand positioning! loc-ing do#n your form
,etter! using slo# eccentric reps! etcJ+
If youNre ne# to #riting #or-out programs! chec- out the modified *ersion of a training
program I #rote up for a client! #hich starts on page 2&+
Training cycles . as you ,ecome more ad*anced Iaround 2 years of trainingJ you may
need to e:plore more ad*anced #or-out structures or #ee-ly cycles+ I include an ad*anced
session template in this ,oo- as an e:ample+ It is on page $@+
The ,elo# article ,y the author of D"*ercoming Gra*ityE details ,eginner training
programs! as #ell as ho# to progress ,eyond them! and also lin-s out to intermediate
programs ' http55goo+gl5<8K92>
D"*ercoming Gra*ityE also has some ad*anced training program ideas+ I highly
recommend it . you can purchase a printed or 12F edition of the ,oo- at the ,elo# page '
http55goo+gl5r8CdK2
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;or-out Templates
Calisthenics Workout
;armups . cardio! mo,ility! stretches
S-ill #or- . gymnastics holds and agility drills
Core of the #or-out . calisthenics #armup sets and #or- sets Iadd sand,ags if desiredJ
Finisher . sprints! sand,ags or Dho0o undoE corner! then do nec-! gut! and grip #or-
Sandags Workout
;armups . cardio! mo,ility! stretches! calisthenics #armup sets
Core of the #or-out . clean and press! shoulder toss! upright ro#s! ,ear hug carry! curls!
deadlifts or s7uats! shoulder carry! farmerNs #al-
Finisher . pic- a Dho0o undoE tool to #or- for a fe# minutes! then do nec-! gut! and grip #or-
;armdo#ns . stretches! massage! acti*e fle:i,ility #or- I,ridges! hold lunges! etcJ
!o"o #ndo Workout
;armups . cardio! mo,ility! stretches Ifocus on the #rists! shoulders! el,o#s! and an-lesJ
Core of the #or-out . #armup sets #ith lighter tools! #ith a focus on techni7ueV #or- sets
using hea*ier tools or high rep #or- sets #ith lighter tools . ma-e sure to use a *ariety of tools
Finisher . nec- and gut #or-! Dho0o undoE ma-iage -igu I#rist rollersJ for grip #or-
Learn more a,out calisthenics ' DAll a,out 1rogressi*e CalisthenicsE article in this guide
Learn more a,out sand,ag training . see the article in this guide
Learn more a,out D4o0o 8ndoE ' http55goo+gl5G#T,ps
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3asic template . ad*anced training session
I prefer to ha*e slightly sophisticated yet also *ery difficult training sessions for
ad*anced martial arts students and competitors+ 3elo#! I detail a ,asic template for this -ind
of session! #hich includes #armups! mo,ility! strength and conditioning! and martial arts
practice! then a finisher+ For students #ho are tight on time! you can s7ueeCe all of this into an
hour! if you donNt do as many DroundsE+ 4o#e*er! a t#o hour session is prefera,le+ Compare
to a session at a ,o:ing gym+ "n Saturdays! #hen students . on a*erage . #ill ha*e more time
a*aila,le! I #ill normally run t#o separate sessions . one for strength and conditioning! and
another for martial arts practice! ,oth #ith DfinishersE . #ith a half hour ,rea- in,et#een
Iusually #ith sports drin-s in*ol*edJ+ 4ere is the ,asic template for a consolidated Dad*ancedE
session! #hich can ,e modified to suit intermediate students
;armup to s#eating . more or less depending on goals . ,ut if you need a lot of cardio for
your goals! youNll need a separate session altogether for it
Joint circling . primarily the 0oints youNll ,e using in the #or-out . do so ,et#een rounds of
s-ipping rope or #hen you ta-e a ,rea- during a run
;ater ,rea-
Bassage and stretch #hate*er is stiff . ta-e < to $& minutes of acti*e stretching
S-ill #or- . agility drills! hand ,alancing! gymnastics drills! #hate*er
;armup sets . #all pushups! chair pushups . that -ind of thing . easy e:ercises that help
you #arm up to the mo*ements in the D#or- setsE
;or- sets I#ill depend on goals! current le*el of conditioning! etcJ
;ater ,rea-
Stretch and DcircleE as needed
Bartial arts ,asics and drills! or forms and applications . depending on the day of the #ee- or
the style that the students are #or-ing on that night
Finishers '
Sand,ag training! sparring! grappling! any re7uired toughening Ifor a sport . such as rice
,uc-et training for ,ase,all or martial artsJ! #hate*er
Cooldo#ns '
;al-ing! repeat a fe# of the #armup sets from earlier! that sort of thing
Bo,ility e:ercises as needed for your particular sport or needs Ithe -ey is in0ury pre*entionJ
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Training 1rogram for Fitness Client
I #rote up a program for a ne# fitness client+ She is more or less totally ne# to ,eing in
a dedicated fitness program! ,ut she #ants to lose #eight and tone up+ As such! the program
had to start her off #ith the ,asics+ I chose a short list of training progressions for ,ody #eight
e:ercises+ The goal is to gently train e*ery area of the ,ody #ith easy! therapeutic calisthenics
e:ercises+ "nce the goal num,er of repetitions for an e:ercise is attained! #ith good form! #e
#ill mo*e up in the progression! in order to continue ,uilding strength . #hich of course #ill
also add some lean muscle mass+
4ere are the ma0or reasons #hy I #ill -eep the client on a steady diet of calisthenics+
Bost calisthenics e:ercises are compound mo*ements! meaning they act on multiple 0oints+
This means more muscles ,eing #or-ed instead of only #or-ing one muscle in isolation+
Sta,iliCer muscles get #or- as #ell+ As such! calisthenics ,uild functional athletic strength!
and as a result! #ill ta-e the physi7ue to optimal de*elopment . not some frea-y Dmuscle
magaCineE loo-+ Kot only that! they protect and strengthen the 0oints and connecti*e tissues!
unli-e hea*y #eights #or-+ Lastly! a steady diet of calisthenics normaliCes and regulates ,ody
fat le*els+ All of these fall in line #ith my clientNs goals+
I also need to e:plain a ,it a,out #hy relati*ely high repetitions are the #ay to go #ith
calisthenics+ The early techni7ues in each progression ha*e a reha,ilitati*e effect! especially
#hen done for *ery high repetitions+ I"f course! #hen you mo*e up in difficulty! it #ill dri*e
rep counts do#n+J 4igh reps also ingrain proper form! as #ell as demonstrate strength in a
particular techni7ue+ I;hoNs stronger at pushupsM Someone #ho can do $&! or 2&MJ "f course!
if you #ant to continue ,uilding strength through calisthenics! you canNt simply continue
adding repetitions+ At some point you ha*e to ma-e an e:ercise more difficult! #hich #ill
mean you #ill not ,e a,le to do as many repetitions+ Generally! to go ,eyond 2& or 9& reps is
to *enture into endurance ,uilding! rather than strength+ This depends on the e:ercise and the
person! though+
DAre Fou Sa,otaging Four Gains #ith the ;rong )ep )angeME ' article page! short 8)L '
http55goo+gl5%@F)"i
3elo# is a slightly modified *ersion of #hat I #rote up for her
1reliminaries
;e #ill ,uild up to doing all of the ,elo# #armups! mo*es! and holds+ 1ic- at least one
day during the #ee- to do all of the mo*es+ Fou could instead do your repetitions of one mo*e!
per day+ ISuch as doing your pushups on Bonday! s7uats on Tuesday! etc+J Al#ays remem,er
to #arm up for at least < to $& minutes ,efore doing any of the other e:ercises+ Anything that
gets your heart pumping+ Also! remem,er to stretch and #or- on your 0oints+ Fou donNt #ant
to do anything too rigorous right ,efore doing the e:ercises! or it #ill ta-e a#ay from them+
The guide ,elo# includes some other routines #e can ,orro# from later on once #e
ha*e you used to the ,asics+ The point is not to get stuc- on routines! ,ut to teach you the
approach so that you can ,e your o#n coach and figure out #hat routines are ,est for you
http55goo+gl58F=t@L
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Training 1rogram for Fitness Client continued
I recommend doing all of the listed mo*es and holds in one routine! since it ma-es for a
full ,ody routine+ Four goal at first is a minimum of $& repetitions per e:ercise+ That #ould
ma-e one set of $& repetitions+ If you -no# you can do more of the e:ercise! try to do a second
set of at least $& repetitions+ If you can do a third set of any e:ercise! great? If you can only do
one set of an e:ercise at first! add repetitions each #ee- until you can do one set of 2& or 2<+
Then! the follo#ing #or-out! try do the 2& or 2<! then do a second set for as many as you can
up to 2& or 2<+ "nce you ha*e ,uilt up to this! #eNll ,e a,le to start a more difficult e:ercise+
2onNt #orry . #e #ill e:pect less reps of the more difficult e:ercise! so #e #onNt ,e 0umping in
at the deep end?
;armup e:ercises . #eNll go o*er these each #ee-+ Just do the ones you can remem,er
#hene*er you #or- out! or design your o#n #armups+ At least include some -ind of cardio or
aero,ic acti*ity for < to $& minutes! 0oint circling and acti*e stretching Isuch as shoulder
rotationsJ+ Try to stretch out all of the 0oints and muscles youNll ,e using in the #or-out and
try to simulate the mo*ement patterns youNll ,e doing as #ell+
"nce you ,uild up to a target num,er of repetitions for an e:ercise and mo*e up to a
harder one! you can add the e:ercise you mastered to #armups+ For instance! once you hit the
repetition goal for incline pushups! #e #ill mo*e on to -neeling pushups! and you #ill do a
short to medium set of incline pushups as part of the #armups for -neeling pushups+ 3elo#
are the < progressions from #eNll ,e dra#ing from until #e mo*e up in difficulty a fe# le*els+
"nce #e ha*e done that! youNll ha*e the foundation of ,oth strength and s-ill to mo*e into
other progressions+
1ushups I#eNll start #ith #all pushups or inclines depending on #hat you can doJ
1ullups Istarting #ith *ertical pulls . *ery easyJ
3ridging
Leg raises
S7uats
Kotes ;eNll try t#o types of each of the last three to see ho# #e should progress+ For
the time ,eing #eNre going to #or- on the ,asics . getting the form do#n+ 3uilding up to a lot
of repetitions is important for ingraining the correct form into your ner*ous system+ "f
course! this ,uilds your strength in the first stages of learning! and then your stamina as you
add lots of reps+ As you impro*e #eNll -eep t#ea-ing your form+ "nce you hit the target
num,er of reps for an e:ercise! #eNll start #or-ing on the ne:t e:ercise in the progression+
Sometimes! though! #e #ill ha*e to ma-e small changes to an e:isting e:ercise! ma-ing it 0ust
a ,it harder! instead of 0umping up in the progression+ This is ,ecause some in some cases! the
ne:t e:ercise in a progression #ill re7uire 7uite a lot more strength than the pre*ious one! and
may ,e too difficult for you to do for multiple repetitions+ "f course! INd still #ant to teach you
ho# to ad0ust different *aria,les for e*ery e:ercise you master! so that you can ma-e them
easier or harder! or hit muscles in different #ays+
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Training 1rogram for Fitness Client continued
Summary . once you master an e:ercise! #eNll find #ays to ma-e an e:ercise more
difficult! or #or- on the ne:t e:ercise in the progression! and ultimately! #eNll #or- on ,oth+
Ta-e a ,rea- of at least $ minute! and a ma:imum of 9 minutes! ,et#een sets+ "ne you
can hit progression standard on each e:ercise! your total time #or-ing on the e:ercises! #ith
rest ,rea-s ,et#een sets! #ill ,e 2& to 9& minutes+ ;ith the #armups and some static holds
added in! e*entually your #or-outs #ith me #ill ,e (< minutes to an hour+
As you add sets and reps! your #or-out time #ill increase! meaning more calories
,urned! your meta,olism #ill impro*e! cra*ings S4"8L2 lessen! youNll start loo-ing and
feeling ,etter! and youNll feel stronger as #ell+ "nce #eN*e mo*ed up a fe# times in each
progression! youNll ha*e the strength! stamina! and s-ill to ,ranch out into a fe# other
progressions+
Ko# for a fe# Dstatic holdsE . you #ill #ant to hold these for at least $& seconds each!
and ,uild up time each #or-out+ The goal is at least $ minute each+
Lunge . push off #ith one foot and step for#ard as deeply as you can #ith the other+
For instance! if you step for#ard #ith your left leg! you #ill #ant to push off on your right foot+
Fou #ill end up #ith the front -nee deeply ,ent+ As you ,end for#ard! you should feel a good
stretch on the ,ac- leg+ Keep the ,ac- -nee at least slightly ,ent+ "nce you ,uild up to ,eing
a,le to do a *ery deep lunge! you #ill #ant to ,e on the ,all of the ,ac- foot+ 4old the lunge
position for at least $& seconds and concentrate on stretching as deeply as you can! #ithout
pain+ The num,er one rule of any stretch is to do so to the point of mild to moderate
discomfort! not pain+ 1ain is your ,odyNs #ay of telling you that something is #rong or that
you are doing something too hard! or too much+ Lastly! ma-e sure that after you hold a lunge
#ith one foot for#ard! do the same #ith the other leg! and try to hold the same amount of
time+ Try to add time e*ery #ee- until youNre holding for 9& seconds! t#o to four times each
leg! then #eNll add another static hold for the legs+
Si: inches . lay flat on your ,ac- #ith your -nees straight+ Lift your feet = inches off the
floor and do K"T ,end your -nees? 4old your -nees stiff and your feet = inches off the floor
for a minimum of $& seconds+ Add time each #or-out until you can hold for 9& seconds! (
times Ior more?J
4oriContal hang grip . find something sturdy that you can clim, under and hold onto+
This might ,e a des-! chair! parallel ,ars such as at a gym or par-! or e*en a hand rail Isuch as
on a #heelchair ramp or a #al-#ayJ+ Again! hold this for at least $& seconds and add time
each #or-out if possi,le+
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An %ssay on Fle:i,ility
As a martial artist #ith many years of e:perience! I ha*e had the good fortune of
learning and testing out many -inds of stretching+ I ha*e found that it is important to ha*e a
*ariety of Dacti*e fle:i,ilityE stretches #here one uses muscular control to help affect the range
of motion of the stretching techni7ue+ Foga and 1ilates postures ha*e ,een *ery effecti*e for
me and my martial arts students in helping Dopen upE not only the hamstrings and shoulders!
,ut correct postural pro,lems in our ,ac-s and help strengthen the ,ac- muscles #hile doing
so+ This is *ery desira,le for practicing martial arts! and for many types of resistance training+
I can imagine that performing many types of "lympic lifts #ould ,e greatly assisted ,y
impro*ing oneNs posture! ,ac- strength! and spinal health+
Static stretching! from my e:perience! is not conduci*e to resistance training! #hich is
supported ,y research+ I ha*e found that performing dynamic stretching . 0oint rotations and
so forth . form an integral part of any #armup routine+ This is *ery important for #arming up
the 0oints and muscles that are specific to the #or-out! and it also lu,ricates the 0oints #ith
syno*ial fluid! allo#ing for impro*ed function of the 0oints+
This is necessary for s-ill #or- such as in martial arts! gymnastics and so forth! as #ell
as resistance training of almost any -ind+ As an e:ample! ,efore #e train any Ai-ido
techni7ues! #e carefully practice #rist rotations and #rist stretches+ These help pre*ent in0ury
to the #rists #hen practicing the *arious #rist loc- techni7ues! and the stretches also help us
to further ingrain the motions of the techni7ues+ In this #ay! such stretches ha*e D0oint
specificityE+ There are many e:amples of such 0oint specific stretches that assist in martial arts
techni7ues+
As far as resistance training goes! #e ha*e indeed found that it does contri,ute to
increased 0oint fle:i,ility+ I pre*iously mentioned Foga and 1ilates+ These disciplines do tend
to help ,uild strength throughout the full range of motion of the e:ercises! as #ell as ,alance
and posture+ Similarly! other disciplines of ,ody #eight mo*ements ha*e ,een *ery helpful in
not only ,uilding strength in DnaturalE mo*ements! ,ut ,alance! coordination! and agility+
Such mo*ements include *arious pushing! pulling! and s7uatting e:ercises! and many more+
As an e:ample! I generally start most ne#! untrained -arate students #ith a short list of
Judo style stretches and -neeling pushups! or #all pushups if necessary+ Such pushups are
fairly remedial e:ercises that allo# students to learn the ,asic form! and help stretch out the
muscles and 0oints #hile using the muscles to stay in control of the motion+ 2e*eloping
muscular control is a *ery important concept in ,oth fle:i,ility and martial arts+ There are
remedial *ariations of almost any e:ercise one can imagine! especially in calisthenics+ The
position! le*erage! and range of motion may ,e ad0usted in any calisthenics techni7ue such
that it can ,e made more difficult Iprogressing the techni7ueJ or less difficult Iregressing the
techni7ueJ+
"f course! during pushing mo*ements! the antagonistic muscles hold some tension!
and the sta,iliCer muscles also get some training *ia holding correct posture and ,alance+
"nce a set of pushing mo*ements is completed! pulling mo*ements are practiced to help
stretch out the muscles and 0oints on the other side+ An e:ample remedial e:ercise for pulling
is standing pulls! #here one places oneNs hands on either side of a pole! ,eam! or any other
2(
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An %ssay on Fle:i,ility continued
sturdy o,0ect or piece of furniture that one can safely put oneNs hands around+
As the student progresses in muscular control! his or her techni7ue impro*es and #ill
,e a,le to perform more Dhigh 7ualityE repetitions+ Also! as the student continues practicing
these techni7ues! his or her range of motion #ill generally deepen! allo#ing him or her to
ma-e the e:ercise more difficult! as #ell as impro*e his or her o#n acti*e fle:i,ility+ An
e:ample is performing #ide stance ,ody #eight s7uats half #ay do#n at first+ This functions
as not only a resistance e:ercise! ,ut also a stretch for the 7uadriceps #here most of the
muscles of the legs are in*ol*ed in the e:ercise+
Another great e:ercise is ,ody #eight calf raises+ These help stretch out the calf muscles
as #ell as the Achilles tendon+ Any menu of s7uats and calf raises is greatly supplemented ,y
an-le rotations and DrunnerNs stretchesE Isimilar to lungesJ+ As fle:i,ility and muscular
control impro*e in calf raises! one can practice them #ith one foot and 5 or off a step+ "f
course! it ta-es time and dedication #ith s7uats and calf raises to ,uild up ,alance! and
fle:i,ility in the an-les+ The -ey point is not to rush things and gradually de*elop the
fle:i,ility needed to -eep the heels planted in the ,ottom portion of s7uats+ Calf raises and
an-le rotations help immensely #ith this+
Katurally! connecti*e tissues #ill get stretched and strengthened ,y practicing such
techni7ues+ Simply holding tension I*ia muscular controlJ #ill #or- the ligaments and
tendons+ Also! going through the proper ranges of motion in these techni7ues stretches them
and helps oneNs ,ody learn correct mo*ements and postures+ As such! not only can one ,uild
muscular control! posture! ,alance! general proprioception and -inesthesia! fle:i,ility! and
s-ill! ,ut 0oint integrity and strength in ligaments and tendons+ This helps maintain 0oint
health and pre*ent in0ury+
Baintaining strength ,alances in the ,ody allo#s one! also! to maintain natural ranges
of motion+ As-ing any gymnastics coach a,out ,uilding shoulder health and fle:i,ility #ill
certainly yield much useful ad*ice on the topic+ It can ,e argued! especially from a gymnastics
perspecti*e! that e:cellent upper ,ody fle:i,ility is re7uired to learn more ad*anced ,ody
#eight techni7ues+ Also! to 7uote an article ,y a gymnast! DKeeping the shoulders
Iglenohumeral 5 scapular articulationsJ operating optimally is the -ey to ,ody#eight strength
success+E
)eferenced article ' DThe Fundamentals of 3ody#eight Strength TrainingE
http55goo+gl5#Bn"GI
Light! gentle stretching as a part of cool do#ns has helped me and my martial arts
students reduce post #or-out pain+ This usually in*ol*es partner assisted stretching and
massage to help Ddeto:E the affected 0oints and muscles of #aste products and so forth+
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An %ssay on Fle:i,ility continued
So! as you can see ,y my approach to ,ody #eight training! calisthenics can ,e *ery
holistic in nature! help #ith fle:i,ility! and pro*ide light! moderate! and e*en *ery high le*els
of intensity for strength training+ By o*erall approach to strength and fle:i,ility is ,ased
around my years of e:perience in martial arts! progressi*e calisthenics! and gymnastics! as
#ell as e:perience and research into other disciplines I,allet! par-our! Foga! 1ilates! etc+J! and
training #ith other instructors+
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StrengthGuide12F+com
"ne arm pullup training
3elo# is an article on false grip pullups! #hich help #or- to#ards Archer pullups and
muscle ups+ A muscle up is essentially doing a pullup and continuing into a dip+ A false grip
puts your #rist into a position #here you are a,le to get up into a dip+ 1racticing false grip
pullups #ill help #ith ,uilding up the techni7ue! grip strength and range of motion for muscle
ups+
Article 1age ' 4o# to 2o a False Grip 1ullup ' http55goo+gl5>PyAs2
3elo# is a *ideo on Archer pullups! #hich help you train for the Iron Cross Ia difficult
gymnastics s-illJ! Buscle 8ps! and one arm pullups+ Fou can use Archer pullups to focus more
on the pulling hand or Ifor muscle upsJ on the pushing'out#ard hand Ifor Iron CrossJ+
Gideo ' http55goo+gl5y(:o,F
;or-ing dips on rings is also useful in training for muscle ups and Archer pullups+ For
training progressions for pullups! one arm pullups! dips and more chec- out the ,oo-
"*ercoming Gra*ity+ It has charts! gymnastics ,ased progressions! diagrams and e:planations
of the s-ills! and a ton more information+ Chec- out the product page! #hich includes a 12F of
the ,oo-! and gymnastics rings+ I donNt ma-e a cent from any purchases made through this
page . I 0ust thin- a lot of their products?
http55shop+eatmo*eimpro*e+com5collections5products5
Chec- out my pre*ious posts on #or-ing the grip! and training to#ards one arm pullups+
;rist roller training for Judo http55goo+gl5U@(tI@
"ne arm pullup training http55goo+gl5,ldFyc
By most recent post on one arm pullup training! #hich I #ill -eep updated #ith my
o#n personal results+ In it! I discuss the method used ,y the mentor of 1aul ;ade! author of
the Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s! and other ad*ice+
http55goo+gl521nUhi
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Gymnastics ,ac-,end tips
8sing a #all for support #as the most helpful to me as I #as teaching my ,ody ho# to
get deeper and deeper into the ,ac-,end+ %ssentially! I practiced the L#all #al-ingL e:ercise
from Con*ict Conditioning Istep A of the ,ridge progressionJ+ "f course! you #ill ultimately
#ant to teach your ,ody to not rely on support from the #all! ,ut it is still helpful at first as
you are learning the mechanics and ,uilding fle:i,ility+ As I got ,etter at ,oth! I slo#ly
depended on the #all less and less+ Finally I #as almost nailing it #ithout the #all+ "nce I got
to #here I could -eep my ,ac- arched throughout the motion and stay ,alanced as I follo#ed
my hands! it 0ust too- a little more practice to nail it #ithout a #all+ A spotter #ill ideally put
one hand under your shoulders and another hand under the small of your ,ac- and force you
to -eep your ,ac- arched! if needed+
If necessary! spend some e:tra time in the ,ridge and deepening it+ 3asically 0ust
#or-ing on the mechanics of the ,ridge posture+ Ideally you #ill #ant to get to #here you ha*e
your feet a lot closer to your shoulders+ Also try doing ,ridge pushups ' *ery slo#ly #ith a
focus on s7ueeCing out a deep ,ridge e*ery time in the top position+ If you do this #ith your
shoulders facing a #all! you can do a ,ridge pushup and then #al- your #ay up the #all+
I%ssentially step > from the Con*ict Conditioning ,ridge progression ' #all #al-ing upJ+ This
is 0ust another #ay to get a feeling for the ,ac-,end+
3elo# is a short lin- to a FouTu,e tutorial on step A I#all #al-ing do#nJ+
http55goo+gl5&f$;FF
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Bo,ility #or- . tension'fle:i,ility training
A lot of these are Ltension fle:i,ilityL e:ercises that train strength! ,alance! and
fle:i,ility+ "f course! li-e any ,ody#eight only mo*ement! those particular e:ercises can ,e
modified to emphasiCe one 7uality more than the others #hile emphasiCing the others less+
%:ercises mar-ed #ith an asteris- aren6t strictly Ltension fle:i,ilityL e:ercises! ,ut can ,e used
or modified for that+ Lastly! this is not meant to ,e a comprehensi*e list+ The e:ercises on this
list can ,e ignored or modified as needed! or su,stituted #ith others+ I ha*e put together a
FouTu,e playlist #ith *ideos of a num,er of these e:ercises+ Gisit the site ,elo#! clic- on
Dstretching *ideosE! near the top! and then clic- the play ,utton to #atch the playlist .
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
Strength'led stretches not only help to open up and DoilE the 0oints! ,ut also train the
muscles and connecti*e tissues+ 1assi*e! especially forced! stretching . #hile useful in certain
conte:ts! such as gymnastics! dance! and martial arts . can potentially lead to in0ury+ It also
doesn6t train the muscles and connecti*e tissues to mo*e the 0oints throughout their range of
motion+ "n the other hand! strength'led 5 Dtension'fle:i,ilityE stretches train mo,ility . the
a,ility of the muscles to control the 0oints throughout their range of motion+ Fle:i,ility ,y
itself is defined as Lthe a,solute range of mo*ement in a 0oint or series of 0oints that is
attaina,le in a momentary effort #ith the help of a partner or a piece of e7uipment+L IBo,ility
Training for the Bartial Arts! ,y Tony Gummerson+J All in all! mo,ility #or- impro*es 0oint
health+
The e:ercise list starts on the ne:t page+
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Bo,ility #or- . tension'fle:i,ility training
$+ Cossac- stretches . called spider stretch! ,y many gymnasts
2+ 1rogression for pistol s7uatW I,asically one leg s7uatJ
a+ 1artner assisted one leg s7uats throughout a full or partial range of motion ' go ,ac-
to doing deep! slo# split s7uats if you6re not a,le to do partials yet
,+ Self assistance '
i+J 8se a sturdy o,0ect to sit on in the ,ottom position of partial s7uats+ Less range of
motion is easierV more )+"+B+ is harder ' and remem,er to -eep tension throughout the
mo*ement+
ii+J Stand on a sturdy o,0ect #ith the #or-ing leg and let the non'#or-ing leg hang+ 3e
prepared to Lcatch yourselfL on the non'#or-ing leg if you6re still #or-ing on the ,alance
re7uirement+ 1ush through the o,0ect you6re standing on #ith your #or-ing leg and aim to
straighten the -nee! ,ut a partial mo*ement is fine at first #ith this e:ercise as #ell+ Steadily
tighten up on form as you impro*e your strength #ith these+ "nce you feel comforta,le #ith
these! try to ,ring the non'#or-ing leg to #here it is parallel to the ground! during the
eccentric mo*ement of the s7uat+
iiiJ Self assisted pistol s7uats on the ground ' using a sturdy o,0ect under your foot or
pressing off of it #ith the hand that is on the same side as the non'#or-ing leg+ 4igher o,0ects
are easier! lo#er o,0ects are harder+ 8nsta,le o,0ects also ma-e it harder I,as-et,all! etc+J+
)emem,er to ta-e it slo# and hold *ery tight tension on the non'#or-ing leg+ As you impro*e!
the hamstrings of the non'#or-ing leg and the 7uadriceps of the #or-ing leg get a ,etter and
,etter stretch+
c+ ;ushu s7uat
d+ Transition to #ushu s7uat from Cossac- stretch
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Bo,ility #or- . tension'fle:i,ility training
9+ 3ridge hold progression+
a+ 1ulling feet in #hile in short ,ridge
,+ Ta,letop! straight ,ridge! head ,ridge! angled ,ridge
c+ ;all ,ridging! one arm and5or one leg ,ridge! stand to stand ,ridge! etc+
(+ Cat stretch
<+ T#ist #or-
=+ Bidsection holds IL'sit etc+J
A+ Full )"B hanging leg raises
>+ Standing partner stretches against a #all+W These are technically passi*e forced stretching!
so ,e careful not to go too far . I -ept these on the list since the person ,eing stretched can
hold tension in the top position of the stretch+ The -ey to not going too far! though! is to only
stretch as far as feeling mild to moderate discomfort+ "ne can also try a modified *ersion!
#here one leans against flat against the #all and lifts a leg as high as possi,le in a slo# and
controlled manner! #ith the goal of loc-ing the -nee out+
@+ Calf stretches off ele*ation
$&+ Le*er #or- on ,ars
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Bethods of progression in calisthenics
This is not intended to ,e a comprehensi*e article+ It #as originally #ritten as a D7uic-
start guideE for the gymnastics coaches I #or- #ith+
Linear progressions ' single! dou,le! triple! or multiple progression+
Bost ,eginner trainees #ill notice some impro*ements Ihigher reps! impro*ed form!
#hat ha*e youJ e*ery #or-out+ A dou,le progression consists of only t#o Dintensity *aria,lesE
first! ,uild up to a target num,er of reps in an e:ercise! then mo*e to a harder e:ercise or
*ariation of the pre*ious one! and repeat+ This is often called Dmil-ing strengthE! D,an-ing
strengthE! Dpaying your duesE! or D,uilding training momentumE+ The idea is that you #ill get
as much ,enefit from an e:ercise as you can ,y staying #ith it long enough to ,uild up to
performing the target num,er of reps+
A triple or multiple progression consists of ha*ing three or more *aria,les+ For
instance! after hitting the target num,er of reps! you could tighten up form I#hich ma-es an
e:ercise harderJ or change a hand 5 foot position such that the e:ercise ,ecomes harder+ Aim
for a target num,er of reps again! and once you can achie*e your goal you #ill mo*e to the
ne:t e:ercise+ ItNs ,est to focus on only a fe# *aria,les at once! though! to ma-e progress
easier to trac-+
Stepped and #a*ed progressionsV periodiCation+
Bost trainees #ho ha*e at least an intermediate le*el of strength are li-ely to disco*er
that the la# of diminishing returns is -ic-ing in! and o*erall progress is no longer linear+
1rogress #ill not come e*ery #or-out for all of their e:ercises ' may,e e*ery other #or-out or
may,e a little progress e*ery #ee-+ This is a Dstepped progressionE instead of a linear
progression+ Tighten up form a little here! add a rep there ' the main thing is to stay #ith an
e:ercise ,ut introduce slight changes as needed to -eep the training momentum going! e*en
#hen progress slo#s+
There #ill ,e times! of course! that athletes getting into the higher end of the
intermediate le*el of strength and the lo#er end of the ad*anced le*el of strength #ill start
ha*ing trou,le adding reps #ee- after #ee- to a moderately intense e:ercise+ This #ill ,e the
time to start loo-ing into #a*e progression or other methods of planning training cycles+ For
more a,out different types of periodiCation! point your ,ro#ser to the short url ,elo#+ The
concepts can easily ,e modified for use in progressi*e calisthenics ,y thin-ing in terms of
Dintensity techni7uesE rather than e:ternal resistance+ Short url ' http55goo+gl5:AiK3u
;hat follo#s is ,ased on my personal e:perience #ith methods of progress+ ;hen an
athlete hits a plateau on a difficult e:ercise! e:plore a fe# options to see #hat #ill help them
tighten up form! or ma-e the e:ercise slightly easier so that they can focus on form! reps! or
another *aria,le of the e:ercise more easily+ At the ad*anced stage of strength! add
specialiCation e:ercises to strengthen any areas that need attention! to assist progress in an
e:ercise or o*erall training program 5 progression+
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Bethods of progression in calisthenics
A fe# ,ullet points to -eep in mind+
'There are general guidelines for practicing each type of mo*ement and static hold+
These form guiding principles rather than a dogmatic approach to strength! as it is good to ,e
open to ne# ideas and #illing to tailor programs to each trainee+
'2ue to indi*idual differences in trainees! #e should try to get as much e:perience and
-no#ledge as #e can a,out the mo*ement chains Ipullups! pushups etc+J and static chains
Ile*ers! ,ridges etc+J! intensity *aria,les! and long term progression+ This #ill help gauge an
athleteNs progress! t#ea- lesson plans Don the flyE during a #or-out! and so forth+
'Ko matter #hat strength le*el an athlete is at! #or-ing to#ards high reps is still one of
the most important #ays to de*elop proficiency and strength in a style of mo*ement+
)epetition ,uilds muscle memory! strength! and endurance+ 3asically! e*ery e:ercise should
,e treated li-e a s-ill+
'Safety is an integral part of all physical acti*ity! and especially #hen performing
e:ercises or s-ills #here you lea*e the ground+ As such! safety is a part of the design of
progressi*e calisthenics mo*ements and program design+ 4olding full ,ody tension in all
e:ercises! -eeping an eye on form! and performing all repetitions #ith a slo# to moderate
cadence in the ,eginning stages of training not only help train strength! ,ut also help to ,uild
0oint health as #ell as pre*ent in0ury+ Athletes should ,e reminded to not o*er'train or train to
in0ury+ Kot only does *enturing into o*er training do *ery little good for strength! it can ,e an
o,stacle to ,uilding strength! since it often 0ust eats into precious reco*ery time and can lead
to in0ury! ma-ing reco*ery ta-e e*en longer+
'Binimalism is an essential aspect of progressi*e calisthenics+ This is #hy I did not
,ring up any specific e7uipment or apparatus+ All you really need in order to train for high
le*els of strength is enough room to spread out your arms! something to hang from! and
-no#ledge of the principles of progression+ "f course! using creati*ity! one can also use
e*eryday o,0ects as ma-eshift e7uipment+ Athletes should -eep in mind! though! that safety is
especially important to -eep in mind #hen selecting and using such e7uipment+
'Strength training pro*ides so many ,enefits to the human ,ody and mind . including
0oint health! impro*ed meta,olism! ,eating stress! impro*ed po#er and speed! help regulating
emotions and sleep cycles! etc+ ' that strength should ,e the primary goal of e:ercise and
considered the foundation of IalmostJ all athletic acti*ity+ Katurally! this is not the only
priority! especially for athletes I#hether competiti*e or notJ+
'3rief! intense #or-outs ,uild strength+ The longer a training session is! the more it #ill
*enture into muscular endurance training+ In gymnastics! ha*ing a high le*el of muscular
endurance is necessary! ,ut so is ,uilding a high le*el of muscular strength! for reasons
mentioned a,o*e+
'The technical guidelines for the mo*ement and static chains fall outside the scope of
this article+ 4o#e*er! I usually go o*er them in classes and clinics+ I do ha*e other articles that
detail the performance of calisthenics e:ercises! though! lin-ed here ' http55goo+gl5-0ap@A
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Strength Stations ;or-out for Gymnastics
Choose e:ercises from the primary progressions to suit indi*idual le*els of s-ill and
conditioning+ ;hen athletes are #or-ing on a partner e:ercise! they should pair up ,y siCe if
possi,le+ )otate partners each set if possi,le! #ith 9 to < rotations normally ,eing the
ma:imum if the intensity of resistance is -ept high+ ;ater ,rea-s e*ery $& to $< minutes+
D;or- setsE on non partner e:ercises #ill normally ,e 9 to < at most+ This also assumes a high
difficulty in the chosen e:ercises+
;armups . add in other mo,ility #or- and stretches as needed or desiredV $&'$< minutes ,ut
not so intense that it ta-es a#ay from the core of the #or-out+
Choose from 0umping 0ac-s! ,urpees! mountain clim,ers! 0ump rope
Shoulder circles! #rist stretches! ,ridges! t#ists! L'sits! and dips from chair! cheese! or ,loc-
Stations . choose solo Inon'partnerJ e:ercises from the primary strength training
progressions! as #ell as partner e:ercises for push! pull! core! legs! plus ,asic ,ridging and
hand ,alance #or-+
1rimary progressions . 1ushups! 1ullups! Leg raises! S7uats
4andstands and hand ,alances! 3ridges
Additional stations . Toning ,and pullo*ers
4old ,ridges! deep s7uats! or hand ,alances for time
"ther safe training methods
1artner resisted e:ercises . )o#ing! "*erhead presses! S7uats and lunges Islo# and deep on
theseJ
1artner assisted stretches . pi-e! straddle! and so forth
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Sand,ag training for functional! real #orld strength
Sand,ag training is incredi,le for ,uilding functional! real #orld strength+ It is also
relati*ely ine:pensi*e+ Sand,ags commonly cost no more than X= each at hard#are stores+ An
army duffel ,ag can usually ,e found at army surpluses for X$<'2& on a*erage+ I lo*e training
#ith these ,ecause you can do almost any type of lift #ith them! and the fact that the sand
shifts around forces you to sta,iliCe the ,ags! gi*ing you a harder #or-out+ Sand,ag training is
*ery useful for firefighters and com,at athletes! such as cage fighters and #restlers
Try tossing t#o sand,ags into one and try a fe# lifts . firemanNs carry! clean and press!
curls! s7uats! s#ings+ "r! put one sand,ag each in t#o sturdy ,ac-pac-s and hold them
any#ay you li-e #hile #al-ing+ I recommend holding one in each hand and ,uilding up to
#al-ing a 7uarter mile #ith them+ It #or-s the legs! ,ac-! and especially the arms+ %*entually
try ,ear hugging a duffel ,ag #ith t#o sand,ags in it #hile #al-ing+ 3uild up to 9! (! or e*en <
sand,ags in your duffel+
For more ideas! read D2inosaur TrainingE ,y 3roo-s Ku,i-! as #ell as articles on
a#-#ard o,0ect lifting I#hich I #ill lin- ,elo#J+ 3elo# are t#o of my fa*orite online articles
on the su,0ect+ The first one concisely details the ,enefits of such training! *arious odd
o,0ects! #here to get them! and ho# to use them+ The second article tal-s a,out de*eloping
Dreal #orld strengthE through this style of training+ By o#n article on the su,0ect is included
later in this ,oo-+
http55goo+gl5tUJii(
http55Cache*en'esh+com5real'#orld'strength5
I ha*e put together my o#n ,log dedicated to odd o,0ect training! so please chec- it out
for *ideos and articles! if you #ant to -no# more ' http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com
2inosaur Training is essentially a philosophy of L#eight training 5 physical culture
promoting a return to traditional strongman types of e:ercises and trainingYE Gisit the
;i-ipedia entry for full information '
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i52inosaurOTraining
"r! feel free to *isit the authorNs #e,site at '
http55###+,roo-s-u,i-+com5
If you are e:perienced in progressi*e calisthenics or gymnastics! try #earing a sand,ag
#hile performing chin ups! dips! and other e:ercises+ This is one of many methods that can
help you progress to#ards much harder mo*ements such as one arm chinups+ There are
plenty of other great ideas on using odd o,0ects in con0unction #ith progressi*e calisthenics
o*er at this article '
http55goo+gl57nFto(
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Sand,ag training continued
The ,log that the article is hosted on is the official ,log of the 1rogressi*e Calisthenics
Certification community+ The certification #or-shops are organiCed ,y 2ragon 2oor! an
industry leader in fitness certifications+ The certification #as de*eloped ,y 1aul DCoachE ;ade
Iauthor of Con*ict ConditioningJ! the Ka*adlo ,rothers I,oth #ell -no#n personal trainers!
amaCing ,ody #eight athletes! and authorsJ! and more+ If you #ant to -no# more a,out the
#or-shops! or e*en sign up to attend one! *isit ,elo# '
http55###+dragondoor+com5#or-shops5MFOcZ9<
If you #ould li-e to get a headstart on progressi*e calisthenics! read the full article on
the su,0ect that is included in this guide+ It also includes recommended ,oo-s! some FouTu,e
playlists! and more+ Lastly! I pro*ide sand,ag training as one of my class offerings+ If you
#ould li-e to -no# more! or contact me for a free consultation! *isit this site6s home page '
http550ohnston-arateclasses+com5
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Ca*eman Conditioning 8nci*iliCed! Binimalist Training Bethods
Ca*eman conditioning re*ol*es around rather unci*iliCed and minimalist! ,ut *ery
re#arding! strength training methods out in nature! #hether it ,e the #oods! the mountains!
#here*er+ ;hy ,other #ith a gym or e:pensi*e e7uipment #hen you can get your strength
training for little to no moneyM %*en if the closest thing to nature you ha*e a*aila,le to you is
a pu,lic par-! you can still get a free ,ut difficult #or-out ,y trying some of the ideas from
Dca*eman conditioningE? Ko matter #here you go! you 0ust need some creati*ity and
-no#ledge of proper e:ercise techni7ue+
1lease note . this article is not related in any #ay to the DCa*eman ConditioningE of
3odyforce+ This is my o#n ta-e on Dprimiti*eE training methods! and no copyright
infringement is intended in any #ay+ Chec- out 3odyforceNs a#esome Ca*eman Conditioning
page ,y *isiting the ,log ,elo# and clic-ing on DCa*eman ConditioningE '
http55stuartdorrill+#ordpress+com5
1recautions
2ress for safety and for the #eather+ Al#ays ha*e permission to use the land+ I8nless
you! a close friend! or a family mem,er o#ns it . in #hich case! -noc- yourself out+ If you get
yourself in trou,le though! DI told you so+EJ Ta-e all proper precautions ,efore you go into the
#oods! including hydration! sun,loc-! any needed e7uipment! hi-ing shoes! thic- soc-s! and
,ug repellent spray+ )ead this article on Lyme disease! #hich can ,e contracted from tic-s
Ioften pic-ed up in the #oods during #armer monthsJ ' http55goo+gl5;t"=iK
Ca$eman Conditioning Strength %raining &ethods
2rag a#ay dead trees ,y hand+ Chop do#n a tree for fire#ood+ Sho*el some dirt+ FouNd
,e surprised ho# great these are for training ,oth strength AK2 endurance! until youN*e done
one of them steadily for an hour+ %specially in hot #eather+
Fou can use a relati*ely lo# ,ut *ery sturdy tree ,ranch for pullups! leg raises! *arious
gymnastics e:ercises! and so forth+ Fou could also perform a ,urpee! 0ump up to the ,ranch
e:plosi*ely! do a pullup! drop! and repeat! for a full set+
)un through and na*igate the natural o,stacle course that the #oods pro*ide . this
includes 0umping ditches+ Clim, trees for grip #or- and o*erall agility+ 4ang a rope from a
tree and learn some rope clim,ing e:ercises to train your grip and o*erall ,ody strength e*en
more+ )opes are also useful in pullup *ariations and mud run style o,stacles+ Loo- into army
training and drills for ideas+ Loo- online for the Army Field Banual 2$'2& and read it
thoroughly+
Clear any stra# and or lea*es in a particularly shady and grassy area that could ,e used
for *arious calisthenics . 0ust remem,er to #ear long shirts and pants for this+ Also ma-e sure
that if youNre going to use the area and regularly! spray it for tic-s using 1ermethrin or another
recommended pesticide+ Any#ay! some e:cellent calisthenics in such an area include using a
tree for support #hen practicing gymnastics ,ac-,ends or *arious handstand e:ercises+ Fou
could also #rap a length of hea*y rope around a tree to use for stri-ing practice+ Just ma-e
9A
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Ca*eman Conditioning continued
sure you get instruction from a 7ualified martial arts instructor ,efore trying this and #ear
hand protection! such as #rist #raps+ I recommend using rice ,uc-et e:ercises to strengthen
your #rists! and using other such e:ercises to toughen the hands+ 4ere is a #riteup I did on
this topic ' http55goo+gl5K8cLAi
1icture of a Dtree ma-i#araE ' http55goo+gl5L>2CAm
For plenty of great calisthenics tutorials! including some on e:ercises listed in this post! head
o*er to my ,ody #eight training playlist page+ Simply point your #e, ,ro#ser to the ,log
,elo# and clic- on D3ody ;eight TrainingE near the top+
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
Sprint through an a,andoned field . ,ut ma-e a,solutely sure you clear a straight path
of anything that you could trip o*er or that could pierce shoes or s-in! as #ell as #ear
s#eatpants and running shoes #ith e:cellent heel support+ If the #oods are in a particularly
hilly area! you can go for hill sprints! #hich are great for e:plosi*eness?
)epurpose materials from a,andoned properties out in the #oods+ This includes using
cinder ,loc-s for ,iceps curls and other lifts+ Fou could also use any old ,eams! chairs! hea*y
duty rope! and ,ric-s that are a*aila,le+ "ld ,eams or plan-s of #ood could ,e laid across a
ditch! or used as a calf raise step Iput it ne:t to a tree or #all that you can use to assist in
,alanceJ+ 3ric-s can ,e used in some hand ,alancing e:ercises! and as support in one leg
s7uats+ "ld chairs can ,e used for an incredi,le *ariety of calisthenics+ These include decline
pushups! chair dips! gymnastics L'sits! une*en or Dle*erE pushups Ias they are called in the
first Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-! ,ut using a chair instead of a ,as-et,allJ! and so forth+ Fou
could push your car do#n a path through the #oods! along a mountain path that is not highly
traffic-ed! and so forth+ It is amaCing for ,oth cardio and gi*ing you a #hole ,ody #or-out?
Chec- out the ,elo# *ideo for some ideas+
http55goo+gl5<rF,JF
2id you li-e these DCa*eman ConditioningE strength training ideasM 2o you ha*e any of your
o#n that you #ant to share or ,rag a,outM 2rop me a line in the comments on this articleNs
,log post ' http55goo+gl5l7Ke%(
Gie# the ne:t article! All A,out 1rogressi*e Calisthenics! for much more a,out ,ody #eight
training! including articles and *ideos+
Great ,log post on the official 1rogressi*e Calisthenics certification ,log! a,out a similar
approach to Dhy,ridE training methods ' http55goo+gl57nFto(
For more ideas on impro*ised training e7uipment! and plenty of tutorial *ideos! head to my
related ,log ' http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com5
9>
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All a,out 1rogressi*e Calisthenics
3ody #eight training e:ercises may ,e trained progressi*ely ,y ad0usting le*erage!
range of motion! and positioning+ ;ith these in mind! ,ody mechanics! and mo*ement! one
may use progressi*e calisthenics to achie*e *ery high le*els of functional! full ,ody strength
and coordination+ This is primarily ,ecause calisthenics use natural mo*ements that act on
multiple 0oints! and force many sta,iliCer muscles to ,e used+ Lastly! calisthenics help to
impro*e posture! as #ell as ,uild supple strength and tension in the tendons! ligaments! and
0oints+
&' articles aout progressi$e calisthenics included in this guide
"ne arm pullup training
Bo,ility #or- . tension fle:i,ility e:ercises
Bethods of progress in calisthenics
1rogressi*e Calisthenics Lifestyle
1rogressi*e Calisthenics for Strength
8ltimate Leg Training
Calf Training
DCheat sheetsE section
%:ercises are also techni7ues that should ,e practiced many times and mastered? Short 8)L
to a great article ' http55goo+gl5n:1fCy
Progressi$e calisthenics classes( )orkshops( and tutorials
2o you #ant to get started and learn cool ne# s-ills! as #ell as ho# to ,uild strength using
natural ,ody #eight techni7uesM If so! head to my classes page and clic- on DCalisthenics
ClassesE at the top+
http550ohnston-arateclasses+com
If you #ant to chec- out my training *ideos for some tutorials on progressi*e calisthenics!
*isit my playlist site and clic- on D"#en6s Training GideosE near the top+ I also ha*e another
post #ith plenty of tutorial *ideos uploaded ,y other fitness professionals+ To chec- these out!
simply clic- on the lin- near the top of the page that says D3ody ;eight TrainingE+
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
9@
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All a,out 1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
Progressi$e Calisthenics Workshops
2ragon 2oor! the company #ho pu,lished the Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s! also puts on
regularly held progressi*e calisthenics instructor certification #or-shops+ Fou can find out
more a,out the #or-shops at the official 1rogressi*e Calisthenics ,log that 2ragon 2oor
hosts+ The ,log also has plenty of free articles #ritten ,y certified 1rogressi*e Calisthenics
instructors+ There is an e:tensi*e products section that is lin-ed to at the top of the ,log+
There are 7uite a fe# incredi,le training ,oo-s! e',oo-s! 2G2Ns! and more a*aila,le? The
Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s! 2G2Ns! and 8ltimate 3ody#eight Training Log are among the
*aried selection+
"fficial ,log ' http55pcc,log+dragondoor+com5
By ,log post a,out the #or-shops ' http55goo+gl5U0K(g"
Also chec- out my training resources page ,y *isiting the site ,elo# and clic-ing on DTraining
)esourcesE near the top . http55understanding-arate+com
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics Lifestyle
3elo# are my thoughts a,out the *aria,les and factors that need to ,e ta-en into
account for progressi*e calisthenics+
$+ Le*erage . increase or decrease
2+ )ange of motion . increase or decrease
9+ 1ositioning . hand or foot Isuch as ,as-et,all pushups or putting hands closer together in
pushups or pullupsJ
(+ 8nilateral or ,ilateral Ione hand or ,oth! one foot or ,othJ
<+ Correct form??? It is an art+ 3e creati*e! ,ut also ha*e the discipline to go #ith it+ Keep the
correct ,ody alignment for the e:ercise at all times+
=+ "ther tougheners . see- and find? Inter'set rest! *olume! fre7uency! partner resistance!
loc-ed -nees #hile doing calf raises! to#el #or- for pullups! infinite possi,ilities in hand
,alancing arts! as #ell as the use of e7uipment in pu,lic par-s+
A+ Set S+B+A+)+T+ goals . 1LAK A4%A2? This also means you should log your #or-outs+
>+ Lifestyle factors . nutrition! sleep! emotional health! reco*ery days! li*e clean! ,ut also
allo# the occasional cheat day+
@+ SpecialiCations . only after competency in progressions for the ,asics+ SpecialiCations
include nec-! forearms! #rists! -nuc-les! feet and cal*es! gymnastics holds! odd o,0ects for
more full ,ody strength! etc+
$&+ DJourney! not a destination+E L"G% T)AIKIKG? Consistency! moti*ation! and creati*ity in
training #ill fall into place #hen you relish e*ery rep+ Bil- each e:ercise for all of the lessons
it can teach you+ Sa*or the gains and let nature ta-e its course+
Summary! and the name of the game . 1)"G)%SSI"K
3urn that sole #ord into your mind and -eep it there+
;e all ha*e hard days . ,ut ta-e time to Dimpro*e the momentE? Ko matter #hat! -eep
mo*ing for#ard as ,est you can! no matter #hat life thro#s at you+ ;hen you go to train!
lea*e your pro,lems at the door and get the #or- done+ 2onNt #orry! your pro,lems #ill still
,e there to -eep you company #hen you get ,ac-+ 3ut you can get stronger )IG4T K";+
Bentally and emotionally! as #ell as physically+ DJust do it??E
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StrengthGuide12F+com
1rogressi*e Calisthenics for Strength
Calisthenics are a system of e:ercise mo*ements #hich generally do not use e7uipment+
The goal of these e:ercises is to ,uild strength! fle:i,ility! and physical grace #ith mo*ements
that use only your o#n ,ody #eight for resistance+ Calisthenics can ,oost ,oth muscular and
cardio*ascular fitness #hen practiced #ith enough effort and *ariety in the e:ercises+ 3alance!
agility! and coordination also gain a lot of ,enefit+ 1opular e:amples of calisthenics e:ercises
include pushups and pullups+
The approach to ,ody #eight training that I teach is -no#n as progressi*e calisthenics
for strength+ 3ody #eight training e:ercises may ,e trained progressi*ely ,y ad0usting
le*erage! range of motion! and positioning+ ;ith these in mind! ,ody mechanics! and
mo*ement! one may use progressi*e calisthenics to achie*e *ery high le*els of functional! full
,ody strength and coordination+ This is primarily ,ecause calisthenics use natural mo*ements
that act on multiple 0oints! and force many sta,iliCer muscles to ,e used+ Lastly! calisthenics
help to impro*e posture! as #ell as ,uild supple strength and tension in the tendons!
ligaments! and 0oints+
The progressi*e calisthenics for strength approach centers around se*eral styles of
mo*ement! #hich include . ,ut are not limited to . pushups! s7uats! pullups! leg raises!
,ridges! handstands! calf raises! lateral chain training Iclutch holds! human flagJ! hanging grip
#or-! nec- training! and Lacti*e fle:i,ilityL Isuch as L 4oldsJ+ "f course! any type of ,ody
#eight e:ercise may ,e made progressi*ely harder ,y ad0usting le*erage! range of motion! foot
and5or hand positioning! and other such *aria,les+ Katurally! it is also possi,le to ma-e
e:ercises easier . #hich is especially important if you are #or-ing around an old in0ury and
#ant to ,uild up your strength again in particular 0oints+
The -ey thing to remem,er is that progressi*e calisthenics for strength . li-e #ith
#eight training ' ,oils do#n to a dou,le progression+ The first progression is ,uilding up your
sets and reps in an e:ercise that you can #or- #ith comforta,ly+ The second progression is
mo*ing up to a harder *ariation of that e:ercise! ,ut only once you ha*e ,uilt up enough
strength in your muscles and 0oints+ ;hen you start on a harder *ariation! you #ill generally
not ,e a,le to perform as many to repetitions! and as such you #ill return to the first type of
progression+
1rogressi*e calisthenics for strength is more a,out an approach than a set routine+
%*eryone is different . you ha*e your o#n uni7ue ,ody type! goals! needs! meta,olism! and so
forth+ As such! feel free to use the progressi*e approach to calisthenics to help you de*elop
your o#n personaliCed routines+ )emem,er the -ey concepts to the approach . using the
dou,le progression method to ,uild strength and s-ill in *arious types of mo*ement! #hile
also collecting -no#ledge of ,ody mechanics! -inesiology! and Lintensity *aria,lesL or
LtoughenersL to ad0ust le*erage! range of motion! and positioning to ma-e the mo*ements
progressi*ely harder or easier+ There is a seemingly infinite num,er of #ays to ad0ust your
techni7ues! and continue gaining strength from them for years and years to come+
;ith all of this in mind! -eep e:perimenting #ith e*ery possi,le *aria,le of the
e:ercises you are #or-ing on+ This #ay! you #ill ,e a,le to s7ueeCe as much ,enefit out of each
type of e:ercise+ Just remem,er to -eep ,an-ing strength and s-ill in your mo*ements ,y
putting in your sets and reps+
As you practice your e:ercises! -eep in mind that ,ody #eight training techni7ues can
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
,e treated li-e martial arts techni7ues+ At first! #hen you learn a ne# mo*ement! it is
important to ta-e it slo#ly #hile getting an understanding of the ,ody mechanics ,ehind the
e:ercise+ Then! practice it repetiti*ely to gain s-ill! strength! coordination! impro*ed posture!
and ,alance in the re7uired positions+ From there! you can learn ne# *ariations of the ,ody
#eight e:ercise . 0ust as in martial arts! #hen learning *ariations of different stri-es or ,loc-s+
Also! impro*ed ,alance! coordination! and strength in postures help martial arts training+ All
in all! progressi*e calisthenics for strength are *ery useful for e*eryone into not 0ust martial
arts! ,ut athletic sports in general+
3elo#! I recommend some calisthenics e:ercises+ I list the muscles #or-ed ,y the
e:ercises! ho# to ,asically perform them! and ho# to ad0ust different *aria,les to #or- them
progressi*ely+ I #ant to emphasiCe firstly! ho#e*er! that to achie*e total fitness! calisthenics
alone are not enough+ Keep in mind that you #ill #ant to ma-e needed lifestyle changes in
diet! nutrition! rest! reco*ery! and so forth to help impro*ing o*erall health in ,ody! mind! and
spirit+ Scientific research has helped to de*elop many useful therapeutic modalities+ 4o#e*er!
#e should not entirely discount or deny age old #isdom and practices+ This includes yoga!
meditation! prayer! solitary hi-ing . anything that helps you to cope #ith day to day stress
and strengthen your spirit+
1ushups
These #or- primarily the pectorals! triceps! and deltoids+ To perform a full pushup! get
into the correct start position+ Get into a -neeling position! then ,ring your open hands up to
a,out shoulder height as you carefully lean for#ard and get into a hands and -nees position+
From there! straighten your -nees out slo#ly ' one ,y one if needed+ Fou #ill #ant to end up
holding your ,ody #eight up on your palms and toes+ Lo#er your ,ody carefully to the floor!
#ith the palms still against the floor! and under the shoulders+ The toes should ,e curled
up#ards+ That is the starting position+
To perform a repetition! simply push up #ith your arms #hile -eeping your ,ody
straight! from head to heels+ Four el,o#s should go from ,eing almost fully fle:ed in the
,ottom position! to almost completely loc-ed out in the top position+ Ta-e a one second pause
at the top! then slo#ly ,end at the el,o#s to allo# your ,ody ,ac- do#n to the ,ottom
position+ 2o not rest on the floor #hen you come ,ac- do#n to the ,ottom ' you #ill maintain
light tension #ith the chest and triceps+ 4o#e*er! still ta-e a one second pause at the ,ottom
position ,efore ,eginning the ne:t repetition+ As your form and your strength in this e:ercise
impro*es! do feel free to change the speed of the repetition+ I recommend performing reps
#ith a slo# cadence ' such as a $! 2 count! a $ second pause ,et#een reps+ This #ay! you force
your muscles to hold tension and fight against gra*ity! instead of using momentum to ma-e
the reps easier+
If you6re 0ust starting out! #or-ing around an old in0ury! or 0ust #ant some other ideas
on ho# to ,uild up strength in your 0oints and ligaments! here are some easier pushup
e:ercises+ I recommend starting #ith #all pushups+ 1lace your palms on the #all! -eeping
your hands at chest le*el+ Keep your arms straight! and shoulder #idth apart+ Keep your feet
together and your ,ody aligned+ 3end your shoulders and el,o# slo#ly until you can softly
touch your forehead to the #all+ 1ush a#ay from the #all! ,ac- to the start position+ 2o this at
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
least @ more times #ith good form+
To ma-e this e:ercise progressi*ely harder! use a chair! ,ench! ,ed! solid fencing! #or-
surface! or any other safe o,0ect or furniture that #ill allo# you a deeper range of motion+
1refera,ly! it #ill ,e an o,0ect a,out half your height and solid enough to hold you up! as you
lo#er and push ,ac- up+ As #ith #all pushups! start #ith your feet together and your ,ody
-ept in a straight line as you practice this e:ercise+ To get into the start position! lean o*er and
get a hold of the o,0ect! #ith your arms -ept straight! shoulder #idth apart+ 3end at your
el,o#s and shoulders until your torso ma-es contact #ith the top of the o,0ect+ 1ush a#ay
from the o,0ect! ,ac- to the start position+ This is one repetition+ This type of pushup is -no#n
as incline pushups+
"nce you feel comforta,le #or-ing #ith incline pushups! ,ut do not feel 7uite ready to
master full pushups! try -neeling pushups and half pushups+ If you can6t complete a full range
of motion in -neeling pushups! simply shorten the mo*ement+ As you get stronger in this
position! you #ill gradually ,uild up your range of motion+ In this #ay! -neeling pushups help
to ,egin mastering the full range of motion re7uired in a full pushup+
"nce you feel comforta,le #ith -neeling pushups! mo*e on to half pushups+ Start in the
-neeling pushup start position! then straighten your legs out ,ehind you+ Ba-e sure that you
start #ith your arms straight! then lo#er your ,ody until your el,o#s form a right angle+ From
there! push yourself ,ac- up to the start position+ This is one repetition+ If you li-e! you can
place a ,as-et,all! soccer ,all! or medicine ,all under your hips to help determine ho# far
do#n to go+ The -ey is to -eep your supporting muscles tight so that your ,ac-! hips! and legs
#ill stay aligned+ 4alf pushups help you start ,uilding strength in the correct posture for full
pushups+ Keep trying to increase your range of motion ,y at least $ inch each #ee-+ %*entually
you #ill ,e a,le to perform full pushups for at least $& repetitions+ )emem,er to al#ays
practice perfect form in these?
To ma-e full pushups progressi*ely harder! e:periment #ith *arious hand and foot
positions+ For foot positioning! try posting up your feet on a chair to #or- on decline pushups+
Instead of using a chair or other solid o,0ect! you could as- a training partner to hold your feet
so that you can practice progressi*ely steeper angles+ 8ltimately! you could ,uild up to
handstand pushups #ith your partner! or using a #all to help support you+ The Con*ict
Conditioning approach! discussed ,riefly near the end of this article! includes a training
progression dedicated strictly to handstand pushups+
For hand positioning! try getting into standard full pushup position! then place your
hands closer together for close pushups+ 3ecause of the increase in el,o# fle:ion in close
pushups! practicing them helps to ,uild more strength in your triceps! as #ell as in the
ligaments and tendons of your el,o#s and #rists+ This #ill prepare you for training to#ards
one armed pushups . #idely considered one of the greatest feats of upper ,ody strength+
"nce you feel comforta,le #ith close pushups! it6s time to start ,uilding up to unilateral
Ione sideJ #or-+ Get into the top position of full pushups ' resting on your palms and toes!
#ith el,o#s straight! and ,ody aligned+ Support yourself on one arm as you put your other
hand on a ,as-et,all+ Sta,iliCing the ,all ma-es you use your rotator cuff muscles! and
strengthen them for later e:ercises+ This -ind of pushup . -no#n as le*er pushup ' #ill help
you to get used to putting more of the ,urden on one arm at a time+
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
Ko#! ,efore you perform a repetition! ma-e sure you ha*e ,oth arms directly ,elo#
your shoulders so that you are sta,le+ Keep your #eight e*enly distri,uted ,et#een ,oth
hands! and ,end the el,o#s and shoulders until your chest touches the top of the hand
holding on to the ,as-et,all+ 1ause for a second! then push ,ac- up+ This is one repetition+ 3e
sure to also practice this e:ercise #ith the ,all under the other hand! to ma-e sure ,oth arms
get #or-ed+
If you ha*e trou,le using a ,as-et,all! try using something solid li-e a ,ric- for this
e:ercise+ As you ,uild strength in this e:ercise! you can add another ,ric- and start o*er+ "nce
you feel strong enough in une*en pushups! go ,ac- to using the ,as-et,all+ Try to ,uild up to
2 sets of 2& ,efore mo*ing on to harder e:ercises! such as half #ay do#n one'arm pushups
and le*er pushups+
1ull'ups
1ullups are a compound e:ercise that primarily #or- the ,iceps! and latissimus dorsi
Ior LlatsL for shortJ+ The lats are the largest muscles on the torso! and run from your armpits
to do#n ,eyond the ri,s+ Bost of the other muscles in the ,ac- also get #or-ed ,y doing
pullups+ Kot only that! your fingers! palms! and forearms are gi*en a great #or-out ,y holding
up and pulling your ,ody #eight as you grip the ,ar+ This translates to ,uilding grip strength+
Lastly! pullups gi*e your a,s and hips a great isometric #or-out+ 3ecause of these ,enefits!
pullups help train the ,ody for hanging leg raises+
To do a pullup! start ,y getting a good grip on a horiContal ,ar or anything sturdy you
can hang from+ Keep your shoulder girdle tight and your el,o#s slightly -in-ed in the starting
position! to help pre*ent in0ury+ Generally! #ith full pullups! you #ill try to pull your ,ody
#eight up until the chin clears the ,ar! and you then lo#er the ,ody until your arms and
shoulders are almost fully e:tended+ If you don6t ha*e the strength yet to complete the full
range of motion! start #ith easier *ariations of the pullup+ Also! to #or- strictly on grip
strength! try #or-ing on hanging grip #or- Iagain using a horiContal ,ar or anything you can
hang fromJ+ A simple! natural #ay to perform hanging grip #or- is to use one or t#o to#els
draped o*er your horiContal ,ar+
There are many #ays to train pullups progressi*ely! ,ased on a fe# simple ad0ustments+
To hea*ily #or- the lats! try #ide pullups+ Get a strong o*erhand grip on the horiContal ,ar!
#ith your hands separated ,y a,out t#ice the #idth of your shoulders+ Keep in mind that! li-e
any *ariation of pullups! you #ill #ant to hang #ith your arms mostly straight! and to -eep
your shoulder ,lades retracted+ Fou can also ,ring your hands in close on the horiContal ,ar
for a close grip pullup+ 8sing an o*erhand grip in a close grip pullup #ill help train the lo#er
lats! and using an underhand grip #ill #or- the ,iceps harder than a normal shoulder'#idth
grip+
L8ne*en pullupsL are a *ariation in #hich one hand grasps the ,ar! #ith the other hand
grasping tightly around the #rist of the pulling hand+ The el,o# of the arm holding the ,ar
should ,e slightly ,ent . a,out $& to $< degrees . #ith the other arm ,ent at a larger angle+
The thum, of the hand grasping on to the #rist of your hanging hand #ill ,e 0ust ,elo# the
opposite palm! #ith the fingers ,elo# the ,ac- of the hanging hand+ 3oth el,o#s #ill ,e out in
front of your torso+ From this starting position! ,end your el,o#s and shoulders! as you pull
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
yourself up smoothly! until you clear your chin o*er the ,ar+ Ta-e a short pause at this top
position! then lo#er yourself slo#ly ,ac- do#n to the starting position! #here you #ill pause
again ,efore ,eginning the ne:t repetition+ 3ecause you are supporting your ,ody #eight from
one hand during une*en pullups! practicing them help you to ,egin ,an-ing the -ind of
strength you need for one arm pullups+ If you find it hard to -eep hold of the horiContal ,ar!
go ,ac- to close pullups! to ,uild up your sets and reps+ I also recommend practicing some
hanging grip #or-+
S7uats
S7uats train primarily your 7uadriceps! hamstrings! cal*es! and gluteals+ The legs are
designed to #or- naturally as holistic! coordinated units+ 3ody #eight s7uats are among the
,est e:ercises to train the legs! ,ecause they are a natural! functional motion that trains most
of the muscles in the legs in synergy+ %*en the hamstrings! shin muscles! hip fle:ors! and
cal*es get trained ,y s7uats+ If you loo- at the ,ody mechanics of running! 0umping! sitting
do#n! standing up! pushing a hea*y o,0ect! pulling such as in tug of #ar! you #ill see they all
use ,ending at the legs and hips . 0ust li-e s7uats? 8nli-e e:ercises that isolate certain
muscles! s7uats #ill ma-e your legs #or- the #ay they #ere made to . and not cheat you of
the functional strength your legs #ere designed for?
To train s7uats progressi*ely! e:periment #ith the positioning of the upper ,ody or the
feet! or ho# close together your feet are #hen you s7uat+ Let us start #ith the standard full
s7uat+ Simply stand #ith your feet at shoulder #idth apart! and s7uat do#n as far as possi,le!
then return to standing position+
If you are ne# to s7uats or are #or-ing around an old in0ury! start #ith this simple
*ariation+ It #ill help you condition the tendons and ligaments of the -nees! as #ell as help
you to start #or-ing on your s7uatting form+ Stand in front of a chair! ta,le! or something
similar that comes up to a,out your -nee le*el+ Keep your legs straight and at least shoulder
#idth apart+ 3end o*er at the hips so you can lightly rest your palms onto your o,0ect of
choice+ This #ill put some of the load onto your upper ,ody! thus ma-ing the s7uats a ,it
easier on your legs+ It also helps maintain ,alance+ As you perform s7uats from this starting
position! try to -eep your torso parallel to the floor or ground+ 3end your -nees and hips until
you cannot go any further do#n+ Four hamstrings and cal*es should reach each other+ Four
arms #ill necessarily ,end as #ell on the #ay do#n+ From this finish position! use com,ined
leg and arm strength to push ,ac- up to the start position+
2o not raise your heels at any point! so that you don6t ,ounce during the s7uats Ito
pre*ent in0uryJ! and to ma-e sure that the s7uat stretches out the Achilles6 tendon+ 4a*ing
fle:i,ility in that area #ill help you to master the lo#est position of a full s7uat+ If you6re
ha*ing trou,le ma-ing it out of the ,ottom position! don6t #orry? Just try to increase your
range of motion a little each #or-out+ Another #ay is to use a little more arm strength to ta-e
some of the load off your legs as you come out of the ,ottom position+ As you ,uild leg
strength! you #ill rely less on your arms+
"nce you feel comforta,le #or-ing #ith this type of s7uat . called 0ac--nife s7uats '
start using a sturdy o,0ect that is higher than your thighs . such as a des-! ,ac- of a chair! or
similar+ Again! your legs should ,e straight and a,out shoulder #idth apart! #ith your arms
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
out straight! holding on to your o,0ect of choice+ Keep your ,ac- straight as you s7uat do#n
for the deepest range of motion that you are comforta,le #ith+ Gradually increase the depth of
your s7uats as you ,uild strength+ )emem,er to -eep your heels flat on the floor+
"nce you ha*e ,uilt up your leg strength! you #ill ,e ready for full s7uats+ If you find
that you cannot 7uite s7uat all the #ay do#n #ithout an o,0ect to support you! s7uat half #ay
do#n instead . your thighs should ,e parallel to the floor in the ,ottom position+ Gradually
,uild depth in your s7uatting+ Al#ays -eep your ,ac- straight #hen s7uatting! -eep your
-nees pointing the same #ay as your feet! and ne*er ,ounce+"nce you ha*e #or-ed up to 2
sets of 9& or more #ith full s7uats! you are ready to notch up the difficulty+ The s7uat
progression in Con*ict Conditioning recommends #or-ing on close s7uats and une*en s7uats
after full s7uats+ I ha*e used those e:ercises personally and taught them to my students . they
are *ery useful in ,uilding up to one leg s7uats+ I highly recommend pic-ing up a copy of the
,oo- for the progressions alone?
I also recommend ha*ing a training partner 6spot6 you as you start #or-ing on half#ay
do#n one leg s7uats+ Keep the ,ody aligned! #ith your arms straight out+ Four partner #ill
stand ,eside you and place his or her palms under the arm on that side+ 1ut one foot out in
front of you! at a,out the height of your other thigh+ The raised leg should remain loc-ed! and
held off the ground! throughout the e:ercise+ Slo#ly ,end at the hip and -nee of your standing
leg! until the -nee is at a,out a @& degree angle+ 1ause ,riefly and push ,ac- up+ Four partner
should help you maintain your ,alance! as #ell as gi*e some assistance in coming ,ac- up! ,y
pulling up slightly #ith her or her hands+
If you do not ha*e a partner! you can stand ,eside a chair or #all if necessary to help
you correct your ,alance+ Fou can also use hand rails! or the type of rails you see on
playground e7uipment! for support+ 4o#e*er! do not rely too much on an e:ternal o,0ect for
this e:ercise! so that you can still practice the re7uired ,alance and s-ill needed to try full one'
leg s7uats+ 4olding a leg out during #or- sets helps to further de*elop your hip fle:ors+ If you
ha*e trou,le performing half one'leg s7uats! do not s7uat do#n 7uite as far at first! and
gradually add depth each #or-out+ )emem,er to follo# half one'leg s7uats #ith full! close! or
une*en s7uats+ This #ill help you -eep up your leg strength in a full range of motion+
"nce you are ready to start #or-ing do#n to full one leg s7uats! stand ,eside
something sturdy+ The hand on the same side as the #or-ing leg #ill ,e placed palm do#n! on
the o,0ect of choice+ I recommend a chair or ,ench+ As you s7uat do#n! use the o,0ect to help
correct your ,alance+ As you come ,ac- up! use the hand to help push+ As you increase depth
in one leg s7uats! use progressi*ely shorter o,0ects+ ;or- up to using a ,as-et,all for support+
1ushing off the ,all #ill help you come out of the ,ottom position+ 2oing supported one leg
s7uats this #ay #ill still gi*e your legs a lot of #or-! #hile helping you to ,uild the strength in
your ligaments in tendons+
Fou #ill #ant to ,uild up to at least 2 sets of smooth! supported one leg s7uats off the
,as-et,all+ )emem,er to -eep them strength'led . no momentum or ,ouncing? "nce you get
to this point! you #ill ,e ready for unsupported one leg s7uats+
2on6t forget other leg training ideas! such as lunges! ,unny hops! duc- #al-ing! and hill
sprints+ For some ideas! refer to my 8ltimate Leg Training article in this guide+
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
Leg raises
This type of e:ercise #or-s all the muscles in the a,s! as #ell as your rectus femoris+ It
also gi*es a good stretch to your hamstrings+ Fou #ill ultimately #ant to ,uild up to hanging
leg raises! #hich are superior to situps for 9 reasons . they re7uire less e7uipment! are more
functional! and #or- more muscles than situps+ If you #ant to ,uild si:pac- a,s! you don6t
need lots of high repetition sets or fancy e7uipment . you only need a good program of leg
raises+ Simply #or- them progressi*ely to ,uild thic-! strong a,dominal muscles+ Also!
carefully control your diet as needed to trim off any e:cess #eight to start re*ealing muscle
definition+
Ko#! let us thin- a,out leg raises progressi*ely+ The easiest #ay to ,uild up to straight
leg raises is to start #ith -nee tuc-s and flat -nee raises+ Knee tuc-s are performed #hile
sitting in a chair and holding on to the sides #ith your hands+ Straighten out your legs!
-eeping your feet together and raised a fe# inches off the floor+ 3ring your -nees up smoothly
until they are se*eral inches from your chest+ Ba-e sure to ,reath out as you ,ring up your
-nees+ 3y the end of the dra#ing in motion! you should ha*e completely e:haled! and your a,s
should ,e *ery contracted+ This is the ending position of the e:ercise+ 1ause ,riefly and then
re*erse the motion! ending ,ac- in the starting position Ifeet out in frontJ+ 2on6t let your feet
touch the floor until you6*e completed your set! and al#ays -eep your stomach tuc-ed in+ This
e:ercise ,uilds good spinal posture! as #ell as ,uild strength in your a,s and hip fle:ors+ It
also helps to drill the -ind of motion that you #ill need for later *ariations+
For flat -nee raises! simply lie ,ac- flat on the floor! put your legs together! and your
arms do#n ,y your side+ 3end your -nees at a,out @& degrees! and -eep the feet a fe# inches
of the ground+ 1ress hard on the floor using your hands if needed! to -eep your ,ody sta,le+
From there! ,ring your -nees up smoothly until they are o*er your hips! and e:hale as you do
this+ Four thighs #ill end up perpendicular to the floor! and your cal*es #ill ,e parallel to the
floor+ 1ause ,riefly! slo#ly lo#er your feet to the start position! and ma-e sure to inhale as you
do this+ Keep your stomach muscles tight! and -eep your -nees at a @& degree angle
throughout the e:ercise+ Fou can gradually ,uild the difficulty ,y straightening your legs out a
little each #or-out+ %*entually you #ill ,e a,le to perform full straight leg raises+
At this point! you should ,e ready to #or- on *ertical -nee raises+ The goal is to slo#ly
,uild up to doing hanging straight leg raises+ ;hen practicing the latter! your latissimus dorsi
muscles get #or-ed along #ith your a,dominals+ Fou also get some ,enefits to your forearms
and shoulders! since they are used to hold your #eight from the ,ar+
;hen you first gra, onto the ,ar! do nothing else until your momentum has
disappeared+ Four ,ody should ,e still and your legs straight ,efore you start the first
repetition of the e:ercise+ Slo#ly raise your legs as far as you can+ As your a,s get stronger you
can increase your range of motion in this e:ercise+ If this e:ercise is too hard at first! try
hanging -nee raises or flat ,ent -nee raises+
Calf raises
These primarily #or- the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the calf+ The anterior
ti,ialis also gets some ancillary ,enefit! e*en more so if calf raises are practiced off a step or
cur, to add depth+ The ,asic calf raise is to stand normally on ,oth feet! in a rela:ed position!
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
#ith -nees ,ent+ Simply raise your heels such that you #ill ,e standing on your toes! and then
lo#er your heels do#n to the floor again+ That is one repetition+ Three Lintensity *aria,lesL or
LtoughenersL include $J Standing on one foot! 2J loc-ing out the -nees! and 9J using a step 5
cur, to allo# greater range of motion+
;hile progressi*e calisthenics are still the most effecti*e #ay to train your cal*es! a lot
of people li-e to supplement them #ith #eights+ I personally prefer to use dum, ,ells #hen I
#ant to add some resistance to calf raises+ Seated calf raises are also commonly recommended
to gi*e e:cellent #or- to the soleus muscles+ "ther ideas for calf training include s-ipping
rope! as #ell as ,o: 0umps+ The cal*es are *ery important in many athletic sports! and as such!
I find that there is no shortage of calf training ideas?
2ips
These primarily #or- the pectorals IchestJ! triceps! and deltoids+ 2ip are generally
practiced ,et#een parallel ,ars! or t#o sturdy o,0ects+ The feet are crossed! and the ,ody is
lo#ered until your el,o#s are lined up #ith your shoulders+ From there! push yourself up until
your el,o#s are almost completely loc-ed out+ If you do not ha*e the strength to perform full
dips yet! let6s thin- progressi*ely? I recommend starting #ith chair dips or ,ench dips+ Any
sturdy o,0ect at a,out your 6sitting6 height should #or-+ Keep practicing until you can ,uild up
to doing full dips+ Gisit the ,elo# ,log and clic- on the lin- that says 63ody ;eight Training6
for *ideo tutorials on chair dips! as #ell as other e:ercises! and ideas on progressing '
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com5
&' re*erences *or this article
;i-ipedia article on calisthenics '
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i5Calisthenics
Con*ict Conditioning! and Con*ict Conditioning II!
#ritten ,y 1aul LCoachL ;ade
3e sure to chec- out these ,oo-s for *arious training progressions that I ha*en6t
co*ered here+ These ,oo-s inspired my approach to progressi*e calisthenics for strength+ The
first ,oo- pro*ides training progressions for pushups! s7uats! pullups! leg raises! ,ridges! and
handstand pushups+ It pro*ides a solid foundation for the second ,oo-! #hich details
progressi*e calisthenics for the e:tremities Inec-! forearms! cal*esJ! as #ell as lateral chain
training! and acti*e fle:i,ility+ It also has useful chapters on diet and nutrition! reco*ery! and
good mental ha,its+
Gie# my re*ie# page of the Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s! #hich also contains a Con*ict
Conditioning *ideo playlist as #ell as AmaCon ordering lin-s '
http55###+0ohnston-arate+com52&$25&(5con*ict'conditioning'highly'recommended+html
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1rogressi*e Calisthenics continued
The ,oo- "*ercoming Gra*ity! ,y Ste*en Lo#! details many *ery useful ,ody #eight
training progressions ,ased on gymnastics+ The progressions ha*e gi*en me a lot of useful
ideas on mastering the harder strength e:ercises in Con*ict Conditioning? The ,oo- also has a
lot of useful information on anatomy! ho# to structure your o#n #or-outs! and much more+
The 12F edition of the ,oo- is a*aila,le here '
http55shop+eatmo*eimpro*e+com5collections5products
In the article DIntegrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther 3ody ;eight Training
BethodsE! I detail some ideas on integrating ,asic gymnastics s-ills and training #ith other
types of old school calisthenics! as #ell as martial arts training methods+
Another must'read is 3roo-s 2+ Ku,i-6s 62inosaur 3ody ;eight Training6+ I #ould ha*e
summariCed some of his ideas in this article! ,ut the ,oo- contains S" much useful
information! I simply can6t do it 0ustice in such a short article+ Li-e 1aul 6Coach6 ;ade! Br+
Ku,i- pays a lot of respect to the old time strongmen and physical culturists+ 4is 2inosaur
Training philosophy promotes a return to the types of training that they engaged in! including
progressi*e ,ody #eight training+ Gie# my related #riteup ,elo# '
http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com52&$95&A5dinosaur'training+html
Gisit the author6s #e,site for more information a,out his ,oo-s! and ordering lin-s '
http55###+,roo-s-u,i-+com5
3e sure to also read my In 1ursuit of 1erfection series of articles! #hich detail an
outline of my formulation of martial arts and fitness+ The articles are included in my -arate
student guide ,oo- . http55understanding-arate+com5
1aul 6Coach6 ;ade has teamed #ith 2ragon 2oor I#ho pu,lished his ,oo-sJ! and the
Ka*adlo ,rothers to create the 1rogressi*e Calisthenics Certification ;or-shop and the
official 1rogressi*e Calisthenics ,log+ 2ragon 2oor is considered to ,e an industry leader in
fitness certifications+ The ne# ,log has many free resources! as #ell as details on the
#or-shop+ Gisit my related ,log post for lin-s to the rele*ant pages on the 1rogressi*e
Calisthenics ,log '
http55o#en0ohnston-arate+c om52&$95&<59$5progressi*e'calisthenics5
I teach progressi*e calisthenics classes+ Gisit this page for more information '
http550ohnston-arateclasses+com52&$95&=5$=5progressi*e'calisthenics'for'strength5
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8ltimate Leg Training
Ba-e sure you ha*e a safe! clear practice area that is at least se*eral feet in length!
although at least (& feet is prefera,le+ ;arm up and stretch for at least $& minutes ,efore any
leg training session+ Also! do not attempt unless you are already in good physical condition
and #ant to impro*e your leg strength! stamina! and tone+
The e:ercises listed are functional e:ercises that do not re7uire e7uipment+ These
e:ercises ,uild e:plosi*e po#er and stamina in the legs! as #ell as help drill 7ualities needed
for good foot#or- in martial arts+ "f course! most or all of these e:ercises should also ,enefit
most athletes+ The 9 e:ercises listed ,elo# may ,e done each day that you #or- out ' unli-e
hea*y #eight lifting! #hich re7uires at least one day ,et#een #or-outs to reco*er+ )emem,er
to not sacrifice proper form to complete the e:ercises more 7uic-ly or easily+
S7uats
Start #ith performing normal s7uats continuously for one 2 minute round+ The goal is
to ,e a,le to perform s7uats continuously for three 9 minute rounds! #ith one minute rest
after each round+ An alternati*e to using rounds is to ,uild up to doing 9 sets of $&& s7uats for
each day you #or- out+ 2o not sacrifice proper form to complete s7uats more 7uic-ly 5 easily '
you #ant to feel the ,urn? For added difficulty! do at least one set of $& one legged s7uats! per
leg+
4orse stance training
The first goal is to hold the stance #ith proper form for $& minutes+ "nce this is
achie*ed! practice sitting in a *ery #ide and deep horse stance Iyou should ,e a,le to ,alance
cups of #ater on your -nees in this stanceJ+ 1erform at least one set of $& calf raises in this
stance+ For added difficulty! add a pair of hand #eights to the stance+
2uc- #al-s
Completely ,end at the -nees #hile -eeping the ,ac- straight! and the hands up+ Step
one foot in front of the other #ithout coming up at all+ Bo*e s#iftly #ithout dragging the feet!
or losing ,alance+ The first goal I recommend for this e:ercise is to ,e a,le to duc- #al- for 9
or ( minutes at once+ A side#al- may ,e used for this e:ercise! ,ut high 7uality! comforta,le
running shoes are highly recommended+
4igh 2ifficulty
"nce you are proficient at duc- #al-s! try the follo#ing ' #hich should not ,e done
more than 9 times a #ee-+ 1erform duc- #al-s until failure ' again! prefera,ly at least 9 to (
minutes+ )est for at least $ or 2 minutes+ 1erform duc- #al-s until failure again+ The first goal
is a 2& minute session I#ith rests includedJ+ A *ery high goal is to duc- #al- half a mile+ For
additional difficulty! add a #eight *est+
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Calf Training
Follo#ing my usual line of Dlittle e7uipment! high re#ardsE style of training! INll ,e
using t#o plan-s of #ood I#hich are sanded do#n and glued togetherJ for calf raises+ The
cal*es come into play in most acti*ities that in*ol*e the legs! and especially so in martial arts+
If you are hea*ily into martial arts or strength training! your cal*es may already ,e in great
shape! ,ut at least a ,it of calf specialiCation can pro*ide an e:tra edge+ 2oing so also does
help strengthen the associated connecti*e tissues IAchilles tendon etcJ as #ell as pro*ide a
great #ay to reha, the an-les+
The gastrocnemius and soleus ma-e up the ,ul- of the muscles of the lo#er leg+ The
former acts on t#o 0oints I-nee and an-leJ+ If you really #ant to #or- a t#o 0oint muscle a lot
harder! loc- out one 0oint #hile #or-ing the muscle from the other 0oint+ For instance! doing
calf raises #ith loc-ed -nees ma-es them tougher+ Increasing the range of motion also
toughens an e:ercise+ Thus the use of a step to do calf raises off of+ There are many more
potential tougheners! such as rep 5 set schemes! cadence! changing the positioning of the feet!
using one foot at a time! adding #eight! and so forth+
I al#ays loo- for #ays to ma-e an e:ercise harder #ithout adding #eight+ 8sing your
o#n ,ody #eight as the resistance! and ad0usting the le*erage of an e:ercise! as #ell as other
tougheners! can yield many years #orth of strength and athletic gains+ 1rogressi*e
calisthenics use this sort of approach to ,uild functional! athletic strength? In the #ords of Al
Ka*adlo! progressi*e calisthenics is Dan open'ended! indi*idualiCed fitness modality centered
around the concept that oneNs o#n ,ody #eight Iand the proper manipulation of le*erageJ can
pro*ide ample resistance for strength training! regardless of oneNs current fitness le*el+E
For more! read his full article here ' http55goo+gl5iUnhlJ
For plenty of free *ideos . martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
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1oetry in motion
I suppose I could say that INm almost religious a,out ,ody #eight training in general!
especially progressi*e calisthenics and gymnastics+ ItNs *ery [en #hen you focus on the ,ar!
,ecome one #ith it! and your ,ody is 0ust smoothly transforming into the techni7ue youNre
practicing . #hether a gymnastics pullo*er or #hate*er? 2efinitely an art! and poetry in
motion! li-e s-ating or surfing?
I can understand #hy s-aters and surfers are often almost religious a,out #hat they do+
INm al#ays loo-ing for that Dtranscendent repE near the end of the set! that I pour my heart
and soul into! all of my focus! li-e finding my #ay do#n the ra,,it hole and through the other
side! only to find myself transformed+ S#eating and s7ueeCing out all of my emotions! pouring
them onto the ,ar! floor! mat! #all! or pa*ement? That is li*ing and definitely a spiritual
e:perience J
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Kettle,ell Training Tutorial
If you are ne# to fitness! find a local fitness instructor to ad*ise you a,out the ,est
#or-out routines and training e7uipment for your situation+ Kettle,ell training can ,e
dangerous if you are ne# to fitness and do not learn ho# to use proper form+ For females a $=
pound -ettle,ell is recommended to start #ith+ For males! 9& or 9< pounds is recommended+
The -ettle,ell is an incredi,ly useful piece of e7uipment! especially for martial artists+
3ecause of the full ,ody nature of a good -ettle,ell #or-out! it accelerates fat loss! pac-s on
lean muscle! and ,uilds e:plosi*eness+ The functional training as #ell as the ,allistic and
grinding e:ercises it pro*ides help drill 7ualities needed for martial arts+ This includes helping
#ith po#er! speed! muscle endurance! stance training! mental toughness! efficiency in
mo*ement! and strengthening your core+ Also! the ,allistic nature of e:ercises li-e s#ings!
cleans! and snatches emulate the e:plosi*e #hole ,ody integration used in performing stri-es!
-ic-s! and thro#s+ "*erall! the -ettle,ell is great for training cardio! strength! and fle:i,ility+
Strength and stamina in the lo#er ,ac-! legs! shoulders! and grip get 7uite a lot of ,enefit
from -ettle,ell training+
Kettle,ell #or-outs include 9 types of e:ercises+ 3allistic e:ercises are fast! and teach
you to generate po#er in a dynamic fashion+ 3allistics normally ha*e a #ide range of motion
and use a large num,er of muscles+ 3allistics train the muscles as #ell as the heart and lungs+
Grinds are slo# and -eep tension on the muscle #hile performing the e:ercise+ Grinds include
controlled pressing! pulling! and s7uatting+ These e:ercises #ill help you locate anything
lac-ing in your structure and alignment+ 4y,rids are! of course! hy,rids of ,allistics and
grinds! and as such com,ine the ,est of ,oth+ 4y,rids train you to mo*e ,et#een speed and
strength! or contraction and e:pansion+
"n the ne:t page! I recommend some of the staple e:ercises! from #hich you can
design a good -ettle,ell #or-out+ I included some unilateral e:ercises! as #ell as compound
and dynamic core rotation e:ercises+ 8nilateral e:ercises are those done on one side only+
These e:ercises impro*e strength im,alances in the ,ody! as #ell as train aspects that are
often neglected! such as ,alance+ ;hen doing unilateral e:ercises! you #ould perform a set
#ith one side! then perform a set #ith the other side+
Compound e:ercises drill mo*ements that depend upon on coordinating multiple
muscle groups in order to mo*e t#o or more 0oints through the range of motion of the
e:ercise+ 3y using compound e:ercises! you can get a #hole ,ody #or-out that 7uic-ly ,uilds
muscle! general fitness! and o*erall ,ody strength+
Some recommended e:ercises
$J Figure > ' grindV grip training+ At first try performing this for up#ards of a minute+
2J "ne leg deadlift ' grindV compound e:erciseV unilateral+
9J Sumo s7uat upright ro# ' grindV compound e:erciseV uses pulling mo*ement+
(J 3ridge pullo*er ' great for #restlers and grapplersV #or-s the core+
<J G crunch #ith -ettle,ell rotation ' dynamic core rotation+ Try to perform this for a minute
at first+
=J Clean 5 S7uat 5 1ress com,o+ 8nilateral+ The clean is a ,allistic e:ercise that de*elops
e:plosi*e po#er! tendon strength! and the posterior chain+ The s7uat is a grind and compound
e:ercise that uses multiple muscle groups+ The press is a grind that #or-s multiple muscle
<(
StrengthGuide12F+com
Kettle,ell Training Tutorial continued
groups+
AJ Go,let S7uat ' grind+
>J "*erhead Lunge ' hy,rid+ 1erform a set of lunges #ith the -ettle,ell in one hand! and then
s#itch hands+
@J ;ood Chops ' dynamic core rotation+ 1erform on ,oth sides+
$&J S#ing ' ,allistic pull
$$J Snatch ' ,allistic 5 hy,rid pull
Please Note
Feel free to research other e:ercises as needed to help train for your o#n personal
performance goals+ 1lease tal- to your martial arts or fitness instructor for ideas on ho# to
t#ea- your routine+ Also! don6t forget to *isit the -ettle,ell store if you are interested in
purchasing your o#n+ The store also recommends some e:cellent -ettle,ell tutorial *ideos and
,oo-s+
http55astore+amaCon+com5-ettle,ell&&e'2&
For some e:cellent *ideo tutorials on -ettle,ells! *isit the site ,elo# and clic- on
6Kettle,ell Tutorial Gideos6 '
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com5
<<
StrengthGuide12F+com
Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther 3ody ;eight Training Bethods
In this article! I detail some ideas on integrating ,asic gymnastics s-ills and training
#ith other types of old school calisthenics! as #ell as martial arts training methods+ 8nli-e
modern calisthenics! #hich commonly treats such e:ercises as endurance ,uilding acti*ities
or #armups! the old school ,ody #eight training methods offer progressi*e training for high
le*els of full ,ody functional strength and athletic s-ill+ Such training commonly re7uires little
to no special e7uipment e:cept your o#n ,ody #eight+
I #ill descri,e my o#n personal method of instruction *ery shortly so that you #ill get
an idea of ho# I approach ,ody #eight training+ By methodology primarily consists of a
streamlined! integrated system of -arate and ,o:ing training and s-ills! aero,ic endurance
training! ,ody #eight training for strength! and athletic s-ill #or-+ Integrating ,asic
gymnastics s-ills and training methods helps to impro*e and ,uild upon the latter t#o areas!
as #ell as impro*e physical a,ility for martial arts+ All in all! gymnastics training assists my
goal of creating a complete methodology for freedom of mo*ement and personal self
e:pression+
By integrated system is called BiCuumi ryu Karate+ The style is dedicated to the
de*elopment of ,ody! mind! and spirit! in a holistic manner+ )ead more a,out the style and its
approach to training ,elo#+
http55miCuumiryu-arate+com
The approach I ta-e to old school calisthenics is primarily ,ased upon my e:perience in
martial arts training! as #ell as the Con*ict Conditioning approach+ The ,oo-s a*aila,le on the
su,0ect! #ritten ,y 1aul LCoachL ;ade! argue that the human ,ody is its o#n gym+ The ,oo-s
lay out training progressions! detailed e:planations and diagrams of the e:ercises! and
information on Lold schoolL calisthenics 5 ,ody #eight conditioning for insane strength+ The
,oo-s also contain history a,out e:ercise and old school strongmen! as #ell as details on
#arming up! supplementary e:ercises! #or-out routines from ,eginner to *ery ad*anced!
healing from in0uries! and more+ After #or-ing through the approach and integrating it into
my system! I de*eloped my o#n approach to old school calisthenics+ To read my full tutorial
on the su,0ect! *ie# the article D1rogressi*e Calisthenics for StrengthE that is also included in
this guide+
I also highly recommend purchasing the Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s to get access all of
the information and training progressions that the author lays out+ The ,oo-s are a*aila,le in
print and for Kindle! and there are some 2G2 tutorials also a*aila,le+ Gisit the page ,elo# for
pre*ie#s of the ,oo-s and 2G2s or to purchase them+
http55astore+amaCon+com5con*ictconditioning'2&
<=
StrengthGuide12F+com
Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
The approach I ta-e to ,asic gymnastics e:ercises is ,ased primarily upon ideas from
the ,oo- "*ercoming Gra*ity! and e:perience in ser*ing as a strength and conditioning coach
at a gymnastics studio+ "*ercoming Gra*ity includes tutorials for higher le*el gymnastics
e:ercises that can ,e chosen from+ ;eighing in a <&&\ pages! this ,oo- has plenty of solid
information in it+ It includes chapters on the ,asics and mechanics of ,ody #eight training!
constructing your o#n routines! planning ahead for training cycles IperiodiCationJ! dealing
#ith in0uries! and more+ The ,oo- also contains descriptions and illustrations of the e:ercises!
details on ho# to progress in your strength #or- and s-ill #or-+ Bost importantly!
progression charts and summaries are included in the ,oo-! #hich are useful for ma-ing
photocopies of for 7uic- reference+ In the 9
rd
chapter! the author gi*es good ad*ice on getting
started on setting goals+
All in all! the ,oo- is *ery useful for people #ho are ne# to gymnastics style training!
,ut aren6t sure #here to start or feel intimidated ,y it? I highly recommend purchasing the
,oo- to get access to all of the useful information in it+ There are many years6 #orth of
strength gains to ,e had from #or-ing through the e:ercises and training progressions in the
,oo-+
http55astore+amaCon+com5o*ercoming'gra*ity'2&
Warmups
;arm up ,efore doing any s-ill #or-! ,y s-ipping rope and going through a fe#
minutes of *arious stretches! or any other suita,le #armup #or-+ ;arming up raises your
,ody6s core temperature! #hich helps impro*e muscle contraction and acti*ation of your
central ner*ous system+ Also! proper #armups raise your heart rate and ,lood flo#! to
impro*e the transport of o:ygen and nutrients into your muscles! and transport #astes out+
Just remem,er that your #armup should ,e only that . a #armup to get ready for the s-ill
#or-+
Skill Work
Since this phase of your #or-out comes directly after #armups! it is the ,est time to
#or- on ne# things and correct e:isting techni7ues+ Also! s-ill #or- helps to #arm up the
muscles more and reinforce proper techni7ue for the strength phase+ If you6re feeling fatigued!
ta-e a rest! since you need to ha*e the stamina to practice correctly+ )efer to the "*ercoming
Gra*ity and Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s! and the resources ,elo# for help #ith the e:ercises!
and progressing to higher le*els+
S-ill Standards 12F ' http55goo+gl5<TFTTn
I ha*e *arious ,ody #eight training *ideo playlists at the ,log ,elo# '
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
Ko#! onto the s-ill #or-+ 8se *ariations of the e:ercises ,elo#! and different set 5 rep 5
time schemes as needed! depending on your daily 5 #ee-ly goals+
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Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
4andstands #ith chest facing #all and toes against the #all+ See page 2A= in
"*ercoming Gra*ity for an introduction for handstand #or- and ho# to train them properly+
Keep #or-ing on your posture and ,alance! and strength in holding the position+ "pen up the
0oints a ,it if needed ,y doing a fe# pi-e headstand pushups+ I recommend not holding the
full headstand position against the #all for too long during s-ill #or-! so as to sa*e strength
for the actual strength #or-+ Come ,ac- to handstands for isometric training later in the
#or-out if so desired! ho#e*er+
"nce proficient in #all handstands Iposture! ,alance! shoulder strength'enduranceJ!
start #or-ing on mo*ing the toes a#ay from the #all for at least $ second at a time+ The top
priorities at first are de*eloping the strength and coordination needed to smoothly get into the
position! and cleaning up your posture #hile in the position+ The proprioception! isometric!
and 0oint training ,enefits of handstand #or- carry o*er to martial arts training+
Frog stand+ This is the first step in the planche progression+ It #ill also help de*elop
,alance and shoulder strength! #hich has some ,enefit for handstand #or-+
Tuc- planche+ I recommend feeling it out on parallel ,ars! such as a dip station or
pushup station on a po#er to#er! or parallettes+ At first! press the ,ody off the ground as in
the up#ards phase of a dip! #ith the -nees tuc-ed in+ Start setting the ,ody #eight for#ard
and try to ,ring the hips up to shoulder le*el+ Ideally! the el,o#s #ill ,e mostly or completely
loc-ed out+
L'sits+ 3uild up to the progression standard listed in "*ercoming Gra*ity+ 8se the
pushup or dip station on a po#er to#er! pushup handles! or parallettes at first+ Then! progress
to practicing L'sits #ithout e7uipment . such as on an e:ercise mat or grass+ 1ractice L'sit
tuc-s Ior! 6K 4olds6 as descri,ed in Con*ict ConditioningJ and practice stretching out one leg
at a time . 6une*en K'hold6+ 1racticing the holds this #ay helps train your legs! core! and
coordination for -ic-ing s-ills in martial arts+
Strength Work.
As the harder e:ercises are mastered and enough strength is put 6in the ,an-6! those
e:ercises could e*entually ,e considered 6s-ill #or-6+ The top priorities! of course! are ,uilding
up 0oint integrity and learning correct form for each ne# e:ercise or *ariation+ Keep trying to
add repetitions each #ee- and ta-e acti*e rest as needed+
I recommend 6daily undulating periodiCation6 Ilight and hea*y daysJ! once you ,uild up
to an intermediate le*el of conditioning+ "f course! I also recommend using a push 5 pull split
instead . say! push on Bonday! pull on Tuesday! etc+ . if that #or-s ,etter for your goals+ 1lay
around #ith rep 5 set schemes for at least t#o pull and t#o push e:ercises+ Keedless to say!
getting stronger at push and pull e:ercises helps #ith many athletic acti*ities+
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StrengthGuide12F+com
Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
Pulling exercises.
4oriContal pulls . 6ro#ing6+ In the Con*ict Conditioning approach! horiContal pulls are
considered a remedial e:ercise that help train the 0oints! ,iceps! grip strength! and ,ac-+
"*ercoming Gra*ity details more e:ercises for horiContal pullup #or-+
Gertical pullups . using ,oth hands+ The pullup progression in Con*ict Conditioning is
a good starting point+ "nce you ha*e #or-ed up to the intermediate standard on 8ne*en
1ullups Istep A in the progressionJ! I recommend #or-ing on the ne:t e:ercise as #ell+
"ne arm pullup eccentrics+ See "*ercoming Gra*ity page 9>2 for an e:cellent tutorial+
It details a fe# methods for assisting one arm pullup eccentrics! including the use of a to#el
looped o*er your ,ar of choice+ I personally recommend using this training method! in
con0unction #ith Step @ of the Con*ict Conditioning pullup series . Assisted "ne Arm
1ullups+ There are potentially many years6 #orth of strength gains to ,e gotten out of all of the
ideas on one arm pullups alone! in the t#o ,oo-s+ Keep e:perimenting #ith the many different
ideas as you progress+
Pushing exercises.
1ushups on ,oth hands+ The Con*ict Conditioning pushup series is an e:cellent place
to start for remedial e:ercises for horiContal pushing+ "f course! as you #or- through the
steps! there are some e:ercises that re7uire a great le*el of strength to perform . starting #ith
one arm pushups! #hich . of course ' I highly recommend ,uilding up to+
"ne arm pushups+ See page (<2 in "*ercoming Gra*ity for ele*ated one arm pushups!
#hich is a *ariation that helps you train for full horiContal one arm pushups+ The tutorial in
"*ercoming Gra*ity details correct form! and factors that can ma-e it more difficult+ I
recommend #or-ing on this e:ercise after you can perform at the progression standard for
8ne*en 1ushups! #hich is step A of the pushup series in Con*ict Conditioning+ I recommend
using ,ric-s! a step! folded o*er to#els! a medicine ,all! or a ,as-et,all under the non'#or-ing
hand for une*en pushups+ Baintain strict form in these types of e:ercises to help prepare for
completely one handed pushups on the floor+
2ips+ 8se parallettes! parallel ,ars such as at a pu,lic par-! a dip station on a po#er
to#er! or any t#o sturdy o,0ects that stand at least a,out hip height+ Chair dips are an
alternati*e+ I recommend using the 6grease the groo*e6 method for impro*ing on dips if you
are ne# to them+ See page >2 of "*ercoming Gra*ity+ ;or-ing on dips using gymnastics rings
#ill help you progress and master higher le*el progressions of the planche and other pushing
e:ercises+ See the dip progression in "*ercoming Gra*ity+
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Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
4andstand pushups . )efer to the progression starting on page 2@2 of "*ercoming
Gra*ity! as #ell as the handstand pushups progression in Con*ict Conditioning+ 4andstand
pushup *ariations all #or- *ery #ell as the ,ody #eight e7ui*alent of military presses+ This
-ind of training helps some to ,uild up the upper trapeCius muscles and helps to ,uild a lot of
e:plosi*e strength in and around the shoulders! as #ell as in the triceps+ This pro*ides a lot of
,enefits for #restlers! especially! and to a great degree! any type of grappling or martial art
#ith punching techni7ues+
+ther t'pes o* exercises *or strength and toughening.
3elo#! I recommend e:ercises for core compression #or-! the lo#er ,ody! and the
e:tremities+ Feel free to choose from the e:ercises ,ased upon your goals and the specific
acti*ities you are training for+ Some athletes use an upper ,ody 5 lo#er ,ody split instead of a
push 5 pull split+ Also! the e:tremities e:ercises I list could ,e done at light intensity to #arm
up the muscles to ,e #or-ed during your #or- sets+ The e:tremities e:ercises! at a higher
intensity! are . of course . still e:cellent for ,uilding 0oint integrity and strength in your
cal*es 5 feet! lo#er arms Iforearms! #rists! hands 5 fingersJ! and nec-+ Lastly! I also ma-e
recommendations on #hich e:ercises could Ior shouldJ ,e coupled+
Core compression exercises.
The core needs to ,e strong for high le*els of a,ility in any athletic endea*or+
"*ercoming Gra*ity does not include much in the #ay of progressions for core #or-+ The
author ,elie*es that core e:ercises should ,e done as part of your fle:i,ility and s-ill #or-
training to help impro*e acti*e fle:i,ility+ Also! the author as-s! 6;hy do e:tra #or- on the
side and #aste *alua,le training timeM6 This is ,ecause! in most of the upper ,ody e:ercises!
the core is hea*ily in*ol*ed in holding and maintaining correct techni7ue+ This is certainly
true . most ,ody #eight training consists of compound e:ercises+ By personal
recommendation! ho#e*er! is to practice dedicated core #or- on days you do not practice
hea*y strength #or- for pushing and5or pulling e:ercises+ This is ,ecause it is *ery ,eneficial
to martial artists! no matter the style you practice+ Also! practicing dedicated core #or- can
still help you progress in many other types of upper ,ody e:ercises+ "f course! these are 0ust
my personal recommendations+ Feel free to choose from the ,elo# core e:ercises as you plan
your #ee-ly training cycles! or to s-ip ahead to the ne:t page for lo#er ,ody e:ercises+
A, #heel e:ercises+ See the a, #heel progression starting on page (@9 of "*ercoming
Gra*ity+
Leg raises and *ariations+ See the leg raise progression in Con*ict Conditioning+ These
e:ercises! especially *ertical -nee raises! useful for martial artists+ 8se the grease the groo*e
method for the early steps! if ne# to leg raises+ This #ill pro*ide a lot of ,enefits for any
martial art! especially #here -ic-ing is in*ol*ed+
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Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
Lo)er od' , Legs.
It is important to ,uild up the 0oints! tendons! and muscles in the legs! as they are used
in many mo*ements in athletic acti*ities and in e*ery day life+
S7uats+ See the s7uat progression in Con*ict Conditioning+ These are useful for training
almost literally e*ery muscle in the legs! in a synergistic #ay+ As such! s7uats are a great
compound e:ercise+ Also! #hen practiced #ith correct form . #ith your ,ac- straight!
s7uatting do#n until your glutes almost touch your cal*es! #hile -eeping your heels touching
the ground . s7uats de*elop a lot of tension'strength in your sta,iliCer muscles+
I highly recommend ,uilding up to the one leg s7uat *ariations+ Al#ays ,e mindful of
your 0oints! though? Fou #ill #ant to ,e *ery! *ery careful of o*er'training #ith s7uats! so that
you do not in0ure your -nees+ "n the other hand! using regular full s7uats or half s7uats .
practiced slo#ly . can help you ,uild up the 0oint integrity and tendon strength and ,alance
needed for one leg s7uats+ This is all important for in0ury pre*ention . 6preha,6! or
preha,ilitation+ See Con*ict Conditioning 2 and "*ercoming Gra*ity for lots of information on
dealing #ith as #ell as pre*enting in0uries+
Lunges+ I recommend practicing these slo#ly at first to get used to them! as #ell as to
stretch out the legs+ As you progress #ith these! your legs #ill ha*e the strength and fle:i,ility
to deepen the range of motion+ I also recommend practicing lunches as an isometric posture!
to help #ith stance training for martial arts+
1lyometrics+ "nce you ha*e ,uilt sufficient strength and fle:i,ility in your legs! you #ill
,e ready for e:plosi*e #or-+ 1lyometrics are e:ercises intended to ,uild e:plosi*eness and
speed! and are commonly used for training for athletic acti*ities+ Gie# the follo#ing article for
a lot of great details+
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i51lyometrics
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Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
Extremities hands( )rists( *orearms( neck( cal$es.
Fingertip pushups+ These #or- the e:tensors of the hands+ See Con*ict Conditioning 2
for the progression+ This should ,e coupled #ith hang grip #or-+ ;arm up your hands as
recommended in the ,oo-+ The hands are in*ol*ed in some #ay in practically e*ery method of
upper ,ody training! and in many acti*ities of e*ery day life! so it is important to train them
and the lo#er arms in general+
Strengthening the hands! #rists! and forearms is necessary for higher le*els of training
in martial arts such as Judo+ Such strengthening is e*en *ery ,eneficial for punching
techni7ues! and especially *arious Karate or Kungfu style stri-es+
%:ercises for the #rist+ ;rist pushups! -nuc-le pushups! #rist rotations! rope clim,ing
I#here a*aila,leJ! doing pullups #hile holding on to to#els dou,led o*er your pullup ,ar or a
tree ,ranch+ If you are into Judo or Jiu0itsu! ,e sure to also loo- into Judo e:ercises for grip
training using your training uniform 5 6gi6+ Also! some ,ase,all players use 6rice ,uc-et6
e:ercises for #rist training+
If you are into stri-ing oriented martial arts! it6s definitely important to de*elop strong
#rists to ma-e sure that your stri-es are solid+ This is especially important #hen you are not
using glo*es to stri-e! so you can pre*ent in0uries such as ,o:er6s fractures+ "f course! you
ha*e a greater ris- of in0ury #hen not using glo*es to stri-e! ,ut if you use correct techni7ue
and ha*e de*eloped your #rists and stri-ing tools #ell enough! you greatly reduce the ris-+
4ang grip #or-+ Strengthens the forearms+ Also in Con*ict Conditioning 2+ This may ,e
used as a supplement to pullup training+ ",*iously! a strong grip is needed for any -ind of
grappling! and strong forearms are also *ery ,eneficial to ,loc-ing techni7ues+
Kec- ,ridging+ Again! see Con*ict Conditioning 2 for the progression+ This should ,e
coupled #ith the ,ridging progression in the first Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-+ This type of
#or- has ,enefits for #restlers! including ,eing a,le to hold and transition ,et#een positions
during a match! as #ell as ha*ing a strong enough nec- and ,ac- to resist during clinching+
3ridge #or- also greatly ,enefits anyone in*ol*ed in stri-ing! as a strong nec- helps to a,sor,
the shoc- of ,lo#s thro#n to the head+
Calf raises+ "nce again! refer to Con*ict Conditioning 2 for the progression+ This should
,e coupled #ith the s7uat progression in the first Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-+ 4a*ing #ell
trained cal*es is important in many athletic acti*ities+ The cal*es are in*ol*ed in the push'off
in running! 0umping! s7uatting! stepping for#ard to stri-e! many transitions in grappling! and
so on+
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Integrating 3asic Gymnastics #ith "ther Bethods continued
-esources
Than- you for reading? I recommend using the charts! e:ercise descriptions! ad*ice on
routines and programming in the Con*ict Conditioning and "*ercoming Gra*ity ,oo-s+ The
latter also includes a tutorial on sports periodiCation! #hich in*ol*es planning out *arious
training cycles+ 3e sure to also loo- into *ariations of push! pull! and other types of e:ercises
to help you meet your goals+ Gie# the resources ,elo# for ideas and other types of ad*ice+ I
recommend -eeping printouts of these in your o#n training 0ournal ,inder+ This #ay you #ill
,e a,le to refer to needed information 7uic-ly as you log your #or-outs! ma-e study notes!
plan a training cycle! or arrange a routine! etc+
S-ill Standards 12F ' http55goo+gl5<TFTTn
By notes on the "*ercoming Gra*ity charts ' http55goo+gl50-<sy8
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"dd ",0ect Training
"dd o,0ect training . generally ' in*ol*es e:ercise using hea*y 6found o,0ects6 or
implements that you can modify for strength training+ Bany odd o,0ects such as Atlas stones
ha*e ,een traditionally used as part of strongman training+ This type of e:ercise is nothing
ne#! ,ut it has ,een coming ,ac- into fa*or recently+ An odd o,0ect is a non'rigid implement
#ith a center of mass that is not fi:ed+ In con*entional strength training! the pattern of
mo*ement is fi:ed! #hereas the load gi*en ,y odd o,0ects #ill cause ad0ustments during the
mo*ement+ Some la,el this style of training 6real #orld training6! and odd o,0ects certainly
ha*e ,enefits! including *ersatility! porta,ility! and simplicity+ The only limit is your o#n
creati*ity! as #ell?
"dd o,0ect training used to ,e done ,ecause there #ere no other options . people
either had no access to special e7uipment! or it simply had not ,een in*ented yet+ Bany old
school strongmen also ,ecame *ery #ell -no#n for using rather hea*y odd or a#-#ard
o,0ects+ Such o,0ects include -egs! an*ils! Atlas stones! medicine ,alls! and sand,ags+ In this
modern era! #ith all of the scientifically designed e7uipment and training routines that #e can
get access to! #e can still ,enefit from odd o,0ect training+ An increasingly popular philosophy
of training . 2inosaur Training . promotes returning to the e:ercises and training of
strongmen+
I ha*e personally found that #or-ing #ith odd o,0ects and the e:ercises I ha*e
disco*ered for them ha*e helped #ith coordination! #rist and forearm strength! and more+ I
ended up getting into this -ind of training as a result of reading a,out the old school
strongmen in the Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s #ritten ,y 1aul 6Coach6 ;ade! as #ell as reading
a,out the ancient training methods of "-ina#an -arate in the ,oo- 6The Art of 4o0o 8ndo
1o#er Training for Traditional Karate6 ,y Bichael Clar-e+ The ,oo- "*ercoming Gra*ity .
#ritten ,y Ste*en Lo# ' focuses on ,asic gymnastics progressions for ,uilding strength+ Bany
old school strongmen #ere capa,le of great feats of not only strength! ,ut s-ill and ,alance+
Let6s remem,er that it ta-es strength to hold many of the positions in gymnastics+ As such! I
recommend these ,oo-s *ery highly+ Li-e #ith odd o,0ect training! the types of training these
,oo-s descri,e help a lot #ith neuromuscular strength and efficiency! musculos-eletal
strength! coordination! and more+
"n the ne:t page! I recommend some odd o,0ects and other implements that I prefer to
use! as #ell as alternati*e methodologies+ I realiCe that this is far from a comprehensi*e
treatment on the su,0ect+ As such! I do list my primary references at the end of the document
and highly recommend that you *isit them for plenty more e:ercises and ideas on
constructing your o#n routines+ Also! chec- out my ,log regarding odd o,0ect training for
lin-s to FouTu,e playlists a,out this -ind of training and ho0o undo '
http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com5
An AmaCon store is also a*aila,le! #hich recommends *arious implements and ,oo-s '
http55astore+amaCon+com5oddo,0ecttraining'2&
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"dd ",0ect Training continued
%7uipment List
2on6t forget to chec- out the *ideo playlists lin-ed at the top of this ,log! for tutorials '
http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com5
"ld car tires
4a*e a partner hold the tire so that you can practice ,ody ,lo#s on it+ Ba-e sure to
#ear BBA or ,o:ing glo*es Ior similar hand protectionJ+ Fou can also practice front -ic-s and
roundhouse -ic-s+ Fou can also modify a martial arts stri-ing dummy or ma-i#ara ,oard ,y
adding a car tire to it+ 6The Art of 4o0o 8ndo6 illustrates a fe# ideas+ Alternati*e idea . if you
can ac7uire a used truc- 5 tractor tire and a sledgehammer! there are many drills you can use+
Cinder ,loc-s
Curls! presses! plan- *ariations! #ide s7uats! calf raises! lunges! shrugs! single arm
ro#s! s#ings! farmer6s #al-! step'ups! and more? For s7uats! you can also practice assisted
one leg s7uats . step @ in the s7uat progression of Con*ict Conditioning+ Instead of using a
,as-et,all or similar o,0ect! you #ill use the cinder ,loc- for support as you s7uat do#n and
6find6 the ,loc- #ith your hand+ For calf raises! you can practice them standing on the cinder
,loc-+ Fou #ill stand #ith on the ,alls of the feet on the edge of the ,loc- and lo#er your heels
slo#ly! #ith control+ Ba-e sure you ha*e a sturdy chair or other piece of furniture! a training
partner! or a #all near,y to maintain a safe le*el of ,alance+ Chec- out the second Con*ict
Conditioning ,oo- for the calf raise progression+
;here to find used tires and cinder ,loc-sM
Bany times! auto repair shops #ill ha*e plenty of old tires lying around they are happy
to get rid of+ If you6re loo-ing for cinder ,loc-s! try the Freecycle Ket#or- '
http55###+freecycle+org5 ' or as- friends or local ,usinesses+ A,andoned ,uildings #ill often
ha*e old materials lying around! ,ut in*estigating such ,uildings can in*ol*e legal and safety
issues! so e:ercise discretion+
)ice 3uc-et
There are #rist strengthening e:ercises that you can #or- using a ,uc-et full of rice+
Such e:ercises are common in ,ase,all and physical therapy+
4ea*y 3ag
Any ,o:ing! BBA! or similar hea*y ,ag! or a hea*y ,ag of your o#n construction+ Fou
can use different materials to ,oth ma-e the ,ag and fill it to your desired #eight+ Keep in
mind that if you #ant your o#n constructed ,ag to ,e useful for martial arts practice! that the
contents of the ,ag are not so hard that they do not allo# any 6gi*e6 or cushion #hen you stri-e
it+ A hea*y ,ag can ,e suspended ,y rope or chains+ I #ould recommend *isiting a sporting
goods store or as-ing a local ,o:ing! -arate or similar instructor for ad*ice on ho# to hang up
,ags+ The ,oo- 6The Art of 4o0o 8ndo6 has a section titled 6"ther Tools and Bethods6! #hich
lists small hea*y ,ag+
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"dd ",0ect Training continued
The use that the ,oo- lists is as follo#s '
6S#inging a ,ag or ,all filled #ith cement and allo#ing it to land on *arious parts of the
,ody! conditions the mind and ,ody to the effects of impact+6
There are many e:ercises you can practice #ith hea*y ,ags+ These include! ,ut are not
limited to! slams! s7uats! and fireman6s carry+
)ope Clim,ing and To#els for 4ang Grip ;or-
These ma-e great additions to any grip or pullup training+ )ope clim,ing is common in
military style #or-outs+ Li-e many odd o,0ect training methods! rope clim,ing and to#el
hangs ,uild strength in the hands! #rists! forearms! tendons! and ligaments+ "*ercoming
Gra*ity! a ,oo- I recommended earlier! recommends the use of a to#el in its one arm pullup
training progression+ Also! the second Con*ict Conditioning ,oo- has a progression for hang
grip #or- that includes the use of to#els+ The t#o progressions supplement one another *ery
#ell+
Sand,ag training
Sand,ags can normally ,e purchased at a hard#are store for a fe# dollars each! and
commonly #eight (& to (< pounds . ma-ing them *ery cheap lifting implements? Fou can do
almost any type of lift #ith them! and the fact that the sand shifts around forces you to
sta,iliCe the ,ags! gi*ing you a harder #or-out+ Sand,ag training is *ery useful for firefighters
and com,at athletes! such as cage fighters and #restlers+ I ha*e personally put sand,ags into a
duffel ,ag! #hich you can normally pic- up for X$< or so at an army surplus+ I ha*e #ritten a
full article on sand,ag training! #hich is also included in this guide+
By approach to sand,ag training is ,ased on the information on the su,0ect in
2inosaur Training+ I highly recommend the ,oo- for ,rutally tough! and *ery effecti*e!
strength training?
http55###+,roo-s-u,i-+com5dinosaurOtraining+html
For free ideas on ho# to construct your o#n sand,ags for training! as #ell as the
reasoning ,ehind Dodd o,0ect trainingE! chec- out the ,elo# article '
http55###+dieselcre#+com5ho#'to'odd'o,0ect'training
Some other ideas for strength training #ithout special e7uipment
Car pushing! chopping #ood! using mon-ey ,ars or rafters for pullups and *arious
gymnastics e:ercises! using chairs or picnic ta,les for 6chair dips6 and decline pushups+
The DStrongman Istrength athleteJE entry on ;i-ipedia lists *arious Dodd o,0ectsE and
more in the D%*entsE section ' http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i5StrongmanOIstrengthOathleteJ
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"dd ",0ect Training continued
4o0o 8ndo 5 martial arts tools
This is hardly a comprehensi*e list of implements that martial artists use+ I simply #ant
to recommend a fe# that I personally use #hen I teach+ If you #ant more ideas on the old
school 4o0o 8ndo methods! ha*e a loo- at the ,elo# ;i-ipedia article on the su,0ect '
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i54o0oOundo
Ko#! I #ill list and shortly descri,e the 4o0o 8ndo implements that I personally teach
and #or- #ith+ If you #ould li-e to *ie# a FouTu,e playlist that demonstrates this style of
training! *isit the follo#ing ,log and clic- on 64o0o 8ndo Gideos6 '
http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com5
Lifting Tools of 4o0o 8ndo that I personally use+
Chi ishi . #eighted le*ers or 6strength stones6+ A 6chi ishi6 is ,asically a #ooden pole
#ith a concrete #eights attached+
Ba-iage -igu . #rist roller+ Traditionally! a #ooden handle is used! #ith a #eight
hanging from it *ia a length of rope+ I personally purchased a modern #rist roller! ,ut the use
is the same+
Tan . it is li-e a modern ,ar,ell! and made from a #ood post that has concrete #eights
on each end+ I use a steel ,ar,ell for the e:ercises recommended in 6The Art of 4o0o 8ndo+6 It
is also a good idea to train ,o0utsu Istaff techni7ueJ mo*ements #ith a ,ar,ell that is light
enough for you to use+
Impact Tools of 4o0o 8ndo that I personally use+
Jari 3a-o ' A ,o#l or ,uc-et filled #ith sand! smooth stones! mar,les! or e*en rice or
,eans+ It is used ,y stri-ing your fingers into it! in order to condition your fingers and
fingertips+
Ba-i#ara ' a padded stri-ing post traditionally used in some -arate styles+ I ha*e
#ritten up an article a,out training #ith the ma-i#ara+
http55goo+gl5P1"g<>
6Tapping stic-s6 . almost any piece of #ood can ,e held and used to tap *arious parts of
your ,ody to ,uild a familiarity #ith getting hit+ The point is not to hit yourself as hard as
possi,le! ,ut to slo#ly ,uild up a tolerance to light stri-ing+ I personally use a shinai . a
,am,oo practice s#ord used for -endo practice+ This -ind of tool can ,e safely used to stri-e
yourself or your training partner moderately hard to the muscles of the legs! arms! and core!
,ut proper cautions must ,e used+
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"dd ",0ect Training continued
Alternati*es ' there are stri-ing ,ags a*aila,le for sale that can ,e filled #ith dried
,eans or shot! #hich can help condition your stri-ing tools+ ;all punch pads can also ,e made
or purchased+ Fou can also use thic- phone ,oo-s #rapped up #ith duct tape as an alternati*e
to ma-i#ara ,oards+ Also! there are plenty of 6ude tanren6! or methods of forearm
conditioning+ This generally consists of partner ,loc-ing drills that can ,e used to toughen up
the arms as #ell as help #ith refle:es+
By 1rimary )eferences for this Article
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i52inosaurOTraining
http55###+dieselcre#+com5ho#'to'odd'o,0ect'training
http55goo+gl5l2SAt:
Also ,e sure to chec- out these t#o pages to loo- at training e7uipment that you can order '
http55atomicathletic+com5store5
http55astore+amaCon+com5oddo,0ecttraining'2&
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"ld Time Strongmen . Training and )esources
This article #as originally posted on the author6s "dd ",0ect Training ,log '
http55oddo,0ecttraining+,logspot+com
The old time strongmen from the $>&&s and early $@&&s #ere -no#n for many
legendary feats of strength+ Bany of these feats ha*e not ,een replicated since? They used
many -inds of training that are not commonly -no#n! much less used! in LmodernL gyms+
"dd o,0ect training Isuch as an*ils! sledgehammers! sand,agsJ! progressi*e calisthenics! and
*arious types of strongman training are coming ,ac- into fashion! ho#e*er+ The old time
strongmen tended to not let any part of the ,ody slip ,ehind in strength! either ' they trained
the nec-! forearms! cal*es! e*ery muscle of the ,ody+ The ,enefits of this -ind of training
include coordination and agility! Lall o*er strengthL ' po#er from head to toe! achie*ing a #ell
,alanced physi7ue and a healthy ,ody! ,uilding up insane grip strength and ,ulletproof 0oints!
and #ell ' learning ho# to do some a#esome strength feats?
Some of the types of training that strongmen too- up included -ettle,ell #or-!
sprinting and o*erall endurance training! the art of hand ,alancing and other gymnastics style
training! lifting ,arrels! -egs! and sand,agsV there #ere e*en mental training methods used+
Compound lifts such as deadlifts! presses! snatches and other such L,ig mo*ementsL! many of
#hich are still used today! #ere also trained+ The old time strongmen #ere indeed into many
different types of training that #ould ,enefit them in some #ay+ "f course! they also
understood the importance of reco*ery and proper nutrition+ They also understood that you
don6t necessarily ha*e to go through super long! protracted #or-outs e*ery single day to
,ecome insanely strong! or machines! or a gym+ The most important things are to understand
proper e:ercise techni7ues to #or- each part of the ,ody! ho# to #or- at enough intensity to
force the ,ody to adapt! #ith enough fre7uency to produce lasting gains+
"f course! dedication to the training and a long term outloo- are also among the most
important factors+ Ke*er rush your training ' mil- each e:ercise for all the strength gains you
can possi,ly get out of it ,efore mo*ing up in intensity or load+ As you progress in your
training! #hate*er type of training you are into! remem,er to plan ahead+ The more ad*anced
you ,ecome! the more important it is to ad0ust fre7uency Iho# often you train! or ho# often
you perform particular #or-outsJ! *olume! e:ercise selection! intensity! and other factors+
4ere is a list of the many types of strength feats strongmen #ere -no#n for! and
fortunately the -no#ledge of training methods for these is still around+ The ,elo# #e,page
lin-s out to articles that descri,e these feats+ FouTu,e *ideos! as #ell as ,oo-s and 2G2s are
a*aila,le through this page+
Feats of strength ' http55legendarystrength+com5feats'of'strength5
See the ne:t page for a 7uic- list of useful resources on the old time strongmen and
their style of training+ I3oo-s! *ideos! and more+J
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"ld Time Strongmen . Training and )esources continued
)esource List
8seful 12F ,oo-s on the art of hand ,alancing '
http55goo+gl54CndtC
http55goo+gl5t;9PJB
http55goo+gl5G>yGG%
I o#n an official print edition of 4and'3alancing for Buscular 2e*elopment ,y 3ill 4in,ern!
and I highly recommend it '
http55goo+gl5;t(i,G
Some other *ery useful lin-s '
http550asonferruggia+com5arthur'sa:on'on'conditioning5
http55###+sando#plus+co+u-5
http55###+oldtimestrongman+com5products
http55###+oldtimestrongman+com5strength'articles
http55legendarystrength+com5MsZstrongman
http55###+functionalhandstrength+com5gripOarticles+html
http55astore+amaCon+com5oldtimestrongman'2&
3e sure to also chec- out the FouTu,e playlists I put together for odd o,0ect training and hand
,alancing+ Simply point your #e, ,ro#ser to my *ideo ,log6s 8)L ,elo#! then clic- on DFull
List of FouTu,e 1laylistsE near the top! #here you #ill find lin-s to these playlists and more '
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com
2inosaur Training ' Lost Secrets of Strength and 2e*elopment
http55###+,roo-s-u,i-+com5
LBAST%) T4% T)AIKIKG S%C)%TS "F T4% ST)"KG%ST B%K ;4" %G%) LIG%2 ' AK2
38IL2 B")% ST)%KGT4! 1";%) AK2 B8SCL% T4AK %G%) 3%F")%?L
A&
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs ' minimalist training! any#here?
By references for this article
"n Street ;or-out ,y 2anny Ka*adlo
http55pcc,log+dragondoor+com5on'street'#or-out5
Street #or-out . ;i-ipedia article
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i5StreetO#or-out
By street #or-out photo gallery on Google\
http55goo+gl5U&-T=)
A Dstreet #or-outE in*ol*es practicing minimalist calisthenics and athletics in outdoor
par-s and pu,lic facilities+ Street #or-outs can ,e *ery difficult and effecti*e! #ithout
re7uiring a single cent . your ,ody is the only machine you need? Kot only can it ,e healthy
and ,eneficial! it can also ,e done almost any#here #ith some creati*ity and -no#ledge of the
principles of progression+
The modern fitness industry preaches isolated mo*ements! useless gadgets! and
e:pensi*e machines! and ineffecti*e training methodologies+ 2onNt fall into this trap? "ne does
not ha*e to spend a cent on gadgets! machines! o*erpriced supplements! or gym
mem,erships+ Also! instead of isolating muscles! such as leg e:tensions! learn to use them
together #ith compound mo*ements that use the ,ody as a cohesi*e unit! #hich is ho# it #as
designed to #or-+ 3y recruiting more muscles! you ,uild greater o*erall strength and impro*e
neuromuscular efficiency! #hich is essential to athletics+ Strength is a s-ill . 0ust loo- at
gymnasts?
The artistry and freedom of personal e:pression in street #or-outs is another great!
and *ery satisfying! ,enefit+ ItNs gratifying and impressi*e to ,e a,le to pull off a human flag!
gymnastics style pullo*er! or other high s-ill 5 high strength mo*es almost any#here? Street
#or-outs! #hile often *ery difficult and re#arding! are also a lot of fun? ;hatNs ,etter than
going outside and ha*ing a sense of play a,out your #or-outM Lastly! there is also a great
sense of community and -inship amongst street #or-out enthusiasts+ ItNs amaCing and
re#arding to ,e a,le to share the ad*enture and creati*ity #ith your D,ar ,rothers and
sistersE?
A$
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
There is an endless *ariety of e:ercises one can practice in a street #or-out+ It is only
limited ,y your imagination! -no#ledge of progression! and #here you find yourself+ There is
a lot in common #ith progressi*e calisthenics . many different dynamic mo*ements Ipullups!
dips! s7uats! etc+J and static holds Ile*ers! ,ridges! etc+J are practiced+
Exercises
I ha*e put together a *ideo playlist on FouTu,e that has great tutorials for many of the
e:ercises listed in this article?
http55goo+gl5y%P8&o
Calisthenics
Pulling exercises and other uses for bars
4and rails! mon-ey ,ars! 0ungle gyms! parallel ,ars! and e*en o*erhead ,ars in ,atting
cages can ,e used for many! many e:ercises+ These include grip training! *arious types of
pullups! pullo*ers! rollo*ers! dips on parallel ,ars or a horiContal ,ar! front le*er and ,ac-
le*er *ariations! *ariations of hanging leg raises! and other types of a, #or-+
4and rails are great for horiContal pullups! a-a Australian pullups! in*erted ro#s! and
,ody#eight ro#s+ 4ang grip holds can ,e practiced from any ,ar that you do pullups on+
Bon-ey ,ars are amaCing for ,uilding a po#erful! e:plosi*e grip as #ell as athletic s-ills!
especially for e*ents li-e the Spartan )ace+ Chec- out the ,elo# *ideo for some great
progressions+ If you donNt ha*e a ,all li-e the one in the *ideo! you can practice hanging leg
raise *ariations instead to strengthen the lateral chain+
Bon-ey ,ar #or-
Leg raise *ariations! including rollo*ers and s-in the cat Ia *ariation of ,ac- le*erJ
Buscle ups
A2
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
Pullup variations
I ha*e also #ritten up a 7uic- start guide to minimalist calisthenics style grip training! #hich
is located here '
http55goo+gl5cgSpni
Chec- out the group 3arstarCC for inspiration on ,ar e:ercises+
https55###+youtu,e+com5user5"fficial3arstarCC
"ne arm pullup progression playlist ,y Francesco Gaccaro '
http55goo+gl5*U9(iS
Various flags clutch flag, human flag, dragon flag
Clutch flags and human flags can ,e practiced any#here you can find a sturdy
horiContal ,ase that you can #rap your arms or hands around! such as light poles! smaller
trees! playground e7uipment! and so forth+ 2ragon flags can ,e practiced any#here you can
find a ,ench+ Flags are amaCing for ,uilding o*erall ,ody strength! especially in the lateral
chain! shoulders! arms! and a,s+
Al Ka*adlo has some e:cellent tutorials on flags on his FouTu,e channel '
http55goo+gl5SCAK[a
Pushing exercises
2ips! pushups! handstand pushups
2ips can ,e practiced on parallel ,ars! ,et#een t#o sturdy o,0ects . such as par- ta,les
or chairs! or using a single chair or ta,le+ There is a seemingly infinite num,er of pushup
*ariations+ Some of my fa*orites are deep pushups! decline pushups! #eighted pushups! one
arm pushups! and partner resisted pushups+ A *ariation of decline pushups is called Barion
pushups! #here you get into a pushup position #ith your feet against a #all+ To ma-e the
e:ercise harder! mo*e your feet a little further up the #all+
A9
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
"nce you ha*e ,uilt up strength in pushups! start e:ploring #ays to mo*e to unilateral
#or- Ione arm pushupsJ and5or planches+
;or- up to 4S18s Ihandstand pushupsJ ,y putting time into pushups and ,asic hand
,alancing s-ills+ 4ere is an e:ample progression+
Close 5 diamond pushups . ,uild up to 2 sets of $<'2& or 9 sets of >'$2
Frog stand . ,uild up to 9& seconds
Tripod . ,uild up to 9& seconds
4eadstand against #all . ,uild up to a minute
1i-e handstand . ,uild up to a minute
1i-e handstand #ith feet ele*ated . ,uild up to t#o minutes
4andstand against #all . ,uild up to t#o minutes
"ne'half pi-e handstand pushups . ,uild up to 2 sets of $<'2& or 9 sets of >'$2
1i-e handstand pushups . same
1i-e handstand pushups #ith feet ele*ated . ,uild up to 2 sets of $2'$< or 9 sets of >'$2
"ne'half handstand pushups against #all . same as a,o*e
1erform 4S18s against the #all at first or #ith a spotter+ 2o them #ith hands at
shoulder #idth until you ,uild up to at least 2 sets of $2 '$< or 9 sets of >'$2+
Hand balancing
I ha*e a FouTu,e playlist specifically for hand ,alancing '
http55goo+gl5IFK2*G
Short list of ideas for hand ,alancing! #hich are co*ered in the playlist a,o*e
Frog stand! headstand! handstand! handstand to ,ridge! #all #al-ing to handstand! L'sit
A(
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
%l,o# le*ers '
Fou hold yourself parallel to the ground in el,o# le*ers+ 8nli-e the planche! though!
you use your el,o#s as support points for your ,ody! ma-ing it much easier then the planche+
Any sturdy horiContal ,ase or e*en hand rails or other ,ars can ,e used for practicing
e:ercises in an el,o# le*er progression+ There isnNt a direct carryo*er of strength ,et#een the
el,o# le*er and planche! ,ut practicing el,o# le*ers does help a lot #ith impro*ing ,alance
for planches+ %l,o# le*ers could also ,e used to help learn ho# to hold tension for flags+
1lanches '
These re7uire a great deal of upper ,ody strength and ,alance+ The idea is that you try
to hold your ,ody parallel to the ground+ Fou can use parallettes! parallel ,ars! any sturdy
horiContal ,ase! hand rails! or e*en the ground?
1lanche progression page ,y Ka-a Athletics '
http55goo+gl52ydce3
Straight arm handstand presses and pseudo planche pushups are t#o e:ercises that are useful
in ,uilding strength for the planche+
There are many fun and impressi*e gymnastics s-ills ,eyond these! ,ut they fall outside the
scope of this article+ Chec- out the great FouTu,e channel ,elo# for #ays to train! and
inspiration '
https55###+youtu,e+com5user5Se*enGymnasticsGirls
The Ka-a Athletics FouTu,e channel also has a lot of amaCing *ideos+ They are dedicated to
Dall action sports athletes across all s-ill le*els]from professional athletes to ,eginners trying
to learn a ne# sport+E Gisit their channel for a lot of great tutorials on s-ills! strength training!
ho# to coach! and more?
https55###+youtu,e+com5user5na-aathletics
A<
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
By o#n hand ,alancing Dcheat sheetE '
Included in the ne:t section of this guide
The ,oo- "*ercoming Gra*ity includes many more s-ills and progressions for gymnastics
style hand ,alancing? Chec- out the digital edition ,elo# '
http55goo+gl5oSKl<C
Ab work
L'sits! le*ers! leg raises Iflat or hanging leg raises! -nee tuc-s! partner resisted etcJ
Leg work
S7uats! lunges! plyometrics! sprints! hill sprints! car or truc- pushing! partner resisted
e:ercises! par- ,ench e:ercises! tire training! etc+
Bridging
3ridge curls! partner assistance! #eighted ,ridges
3ac-,ends! #all ,ridges! ,ac- #al-o*er . ha*e at least one spotter
This isnNt a comprehensi*e list of minimalist calisthenics! ,ut hopefully it gi*es you a lot of
great ideas? Keep it progressi*e! safe! and fun?
Progressions
The Con*ict Conditioning ,oo-s . authored ,y 1aul ;ade . ha*e great ,ody #eight only
progressions! detailed e:planations! plenty of pictures! and #or-out routines+ The old school
Con*ict Conditioning approach and Al Ka*adloNs ne# school approach are #hat the 1CC
curriculum is ,ased on+ Chec- out the detail page for the first ,oo- ,elo# '
http55goo+gl5c37(2A
A=
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
Francesco GaccaroNs FouTu,e channel has a lot of great tutorials on many of the e:ercises in
Con*ict Conditioning '
https55###+youtu,e+com5user5dragonflo#yoga
DThe Tao of 1CCE ,y 1aul ;ade lists the progressions in 1CC! #hich include *arious statics
Ile*ers! ,ridges! etcJ and dynamic mo*es Ihandstand pushups! dips! etcJ+
http55pcc,log+dragondoor+com5the'tao'of'pcc',y'paul'#ade5
.thletics( li*ting( and more
Sprints! hill sprints! sports 5 agility drills! partner #or- I#restling style pummeling! partner
assisted or resisted e:ercises! etc+J
Found o,0ect 5 odd o,0ect lifting . par- ,ench e:ercises! car or truc- pushing! tire training!
hammer training! stone training! etc+
[ach %*en %sh! founder of 8nderground Strength! teaches *arious odd o,0ect lifts! strongman
lifts! and e:ercises that can ,e done outdoors+ 4is ,oo-! lin-ed ,elo#! has some tough
,eginner! intermediate! and ad*anced #or-out routines! as #ell as pictures and e:planations+
http55goo+gl5;gi2@A
I ha*e a ,log a,out odd o,0ect training! complete #ith 12F #riteups and FouTu,e playlists+
Chec- out the Dall a,outE post on the ,log here ' http55goo+gl5gJd(T1
I ha*e also included some #ritings on odd o,0ect training! earlier in this guide+
"ne can also practice 1ar-our at a local par-? 1ar-our is a holistic discipline that
inspired freerunning+ 1ar-our can ,e practiced any#here! ,ut usually in ur,an areas! and
essentially treats the training area as an o,stacle course+ The goal is to go from point a to point
, in as efficient manner as possi,le+ It re7uires all around strength! agility! techni7ue! and
e:plosi*eness+ Fortunately! there are plenty of great training drills as #ell as facilities that one
can *isit to recei*e competent instruction in this art+
AA
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
)eference ;i-ipedia page
http55en+#i-ipedia+org5#i-i51ar-our
Chec- out 8r,an %*olutionNs FouTu,e channel for some amaCing *ideos a,out 1ar-our+ I
trained at their Ale:andria! GA location ,ac- in July! 2&$(! #hen the 1CC #or-shop
Iprogressi*e calisthenics certificationJ #as held there+ The facility is simply amaCing! #ith
more *ariety in their e7uipment than IN*e e*er seen? "f course! most of it closely resem,led
ur,an en*ironments+ The instructors are also compassionate! friendly! and *ery
-no#ledgea,le+
https55###+youtu,e+com5user5ur,ane*o5*ideos
/Where do 0 start12
The first thing to do is set training goals+ 2o some research on the listed progressions and
select at least one goal each for pushing! pulling! legs! a,s! and statics+ Ba-e sure that you are
consistent #ith your #or-outs! and that you ha*e ,alance . at least one pushing e:ercise and
at least one pulling e:ercise! for instance+ 3eginners should -eep #or-outs simple! and train $
or 2 times per #ee- until endurance has impro*ed+ Full ,ody #or-outs are recommended+
Find a competent instructor! personal trainer! or coach #ith e:perience in calisthenics and5or
gymnastics+
Great article on setting goals '
http55goo+gl5S*r[Ct
By #or-out design and templates articles '
Included earlier in this guide
4ere is a list of training goals that one can train for '
http55goo+gl5::"hK[
Great article ,y the lead 1CC instructor '
http55goo+gl5gc[I;g
A>
StrengthGuide12F+com
Street ;or-outs continued
By o#n progressi*e calisthenics Dcheat sheetE . only one page? It lists most of the Dintensity
*aria,lesE youNll e*er need! and other factors that need to ,e considered in training+ It is
included in the ne:t section of this guide+
Ca*eman Conditioning 8nci*iliCed! Binimalist Training Bethods '
Also earlier in this guide
Information on the female street #or-out #orld championships and much more '
https55###+face,oo-+com5;S;CF
The technical guidelines that I teach for the dynamic mo*ement and static progressions fall
outside the scope of this article+ 4o#e*er! I usually go o*er them in classes and clinics+ I do
ha*e other articles that detail the performance of calisthenics e:ercises! though? )efer to the
article in this guide titled DAll a,out progressi*e calisthenicsE+
If you ha*e any 7uestions or comments! feel free to send me an e'mail '
o#en/0ohnston-arate+com
Also chec- out my full list of training resources '
http55goo+gl59rJ*3g
A@
StrengthGuide12F+com
Cheat Sheet section
1rogressi*e calisthenics . page >&
4and ,alancing for s-ill and strength . page >$
Calisthenics style grip #or- . A<
>&
StrengthGuide12F+com
1rogressi*e calisthenics cheat sheet
Bechanics of progression
To understand the ,asic principles of progression! thin- of them in terms of intensity
*aria,les+
Le*erage! positioning Ihands! feetJ! range of motion! speed! #eight to lim, ratio! *ector!
tension! tightening up techni7ue! tension! alignment! emphasis 5 isolation! symmetry Ione
hand or t#o! one foot or t#o! or e*en using a transitional positionJ! self assistance! partner
assistance! angle 5 *ector! points of contact! #ide or narro# ,ase! inter'set rest! *olume!
fre7uency
Types of progression include! ,ut are not limited to
Linear ' dou,le! triple! etc
Kon'linear ' stepped! #a*ed! etc
Training protocols include! ,ut are not limited to
Ladders
1yramids
Circuit training
Inter*al training
1eriodiCation Iplanning training cyclesJ includes! ,ut is not limited to! these types
3loc- periodiCation
Stepped
;a*ed
2aily undulating periodiCation
"ther areas and factors that need to ,e -ept in mind for success in training
Kinesiology
3ody mechanics
1hysics
1roper nutrition
)eco*ery
Lifestyle factors
1lanning training goals
3rief! intense #or-outs
Boti*ation
Consistency
>$
StrengthGuide12F+com
4and ,alancing for s-ill and strength ' Dcheat sheetsE
The importance of hand ,alancing and shoulder health
4and ,alancing is *ery high priority in gymnastics! as #ell as strength on ,ars+
Carrying the entire ,ody6s #eight through the arms and hands dictates a need for a high le*el
of upper ,ody strength+ This ma-es proper training in progressions a,solutely essential+
2e*eloping and maintaining shoulder health and integrity are also a top priority in
gymnastics+ Girtually all ,ody #eight training for the upper ,ody goes through the shoulders+
Gymnastics is also a *ery rigorous sport #here many s-ills re7uire a degree of 0oint health and
muscular strength to perform correctly #ithout in0ury+ 1reha, and mo,ility #or- for the
shoulders should ,e practiced regularly+
Bechanics and Garia,les
Gie# the progressi*e calisthenics cheat sheet for other *aria,les to -eep in mind+
Alignment 5 posture
1oints of contact
;ide or narro# ,ase
3ac- arched or flat
;ith or #ithout #all
8se of e7uipment or found o,0ects
1artner assistance
4and #al-ing Ion floor or up stairsJ
Impro*e a#areness of ho# your ,ody is mo*ing in space and relati*e to your
en*ironment
Shifting your center of gra*ity as needed for *ariations of e:ercises
;ays to get into and out of a handstand
S-ill progressions! partner cues! and spotting are necessary in the learning stages+
Kic- up
Straddle up
1i-e up
Tripod up
"n rings! parallettes! parallel ,ars
1irouette out
Kic- out
3ac- or for#ard roll out
>2
StrengthGuide12F+com
4and ,alancing for s-ill and strength ' Dcheat sheetsE continued
Strength and S-ill 1rogressions
"ther progressions may ,e de*eloped and5or used as needed+
Frog stand
1lanche
%l,o# le*er
Barion pushups
1i-e handstand pushups
4andstand pushups
1artner cues
8se your o#n creati*ity! e:perience! and e:pertise to ma-e up your o#n partner cues+
Imagine a straight line Iplacement of line #ill depend on *ariationJ
Loo- at a certain point I#all! floor! toes! etc+J
Keep pushing through your hands
Keep your feet lined up #ith your hands Ispot trainee and manually ad0ust techni7ueJ
>9
StrengthGuide12F+com
Calisthenics style grip #or- . Lcheat sheetsE
Any athlete dependent on upper ,ody strength needs to concern themsel*es #ith
strength! health! and 0oint integrity in the shoulders! el,o#s! and hands+ Also! a chain is only
as strong as its #ea-est lin-! and in many modern athletes! this lin- is commonly grip
strength+ I #ill list e:ercises that for the #rists and forearms that athletes! especially
gymnasts! can focus on to help impro*e their performance and pre*ent in0ury+ The approach
used is minimalist and calisthenics oriented+ Special e7uipment! e:pensi*e ,ut useless
gadgets! and comple: training programs arenNt re7uired+
3elo# is all that you need
$+ Four o#n ,ody#eight ' ;ith some creati*ity and 0ust your o#n ,ody#eight! you can design
your o#n #or-out ,asically no matter #here you are
2+ Something to hang from ' pullup ,ar! handrails at a pu,lic par-! mon-ey ,ars! tree! etc+
9+ To#els ' may ,e used to increase the thic-ness of the ,ar! or looped o*er it and gripped! etc+
(+ Thic- ,ars ' these really #or- the grip? As noted a,o*e! a to#el may ,e used! or one may
find a thic- ,ar in say! a pu,lic par- or some gyms+
<+ Simple! progressi*e techni7ues ' no fancy! hard to learn e:ercises+
List of e:ercises on the ne:t page
>(
StrengthGuide12F+com
Calisthenics style grip #or- . Lcheat sheetsE continued
%:ercise List
Warmups 3
Joint circling
Ai-ido and gymnastics stretches for the #rists
%agle cla# ' stretch out your fingers! ,all them up into a fist! and repeat at least se*eral more
times to help #arm up the hands
Grip )ork exercises 3
Ba-e sure that trainees ne# to training the e:tremities Ihands 5 forearms! nec-! cal*esJ only
practice these e:ercises once a #ee- at first+ Caution is strongly ad*ised+ The hands and #rists
contain many small 0oints that can easily ,e o*er'trained to in0ury+ 1rogression should ,e slo#
and steady compared to training the larger muscle groups+
4ang grip #or- progression ' tougheners Iintensity *aria,lesJ specific to this progression
include adding hang time! using one or more to#els in *arious #ays! using less fingers! and
e:plosi*e grip #or-+ Ba-ing use of tougheners helps you find Dhidden stepsE ,et#een
e:ercises in a designated progression+ 4ere are a fe# uses of to#els that ma-e for some
intense tougheners
$+ ;rap a to#el around the ,ar to ma-e it an Limpro*ised thic- ,arL
2+ Loop a to#el o*er the ,ar and
a+ Grip around the to#el #ith one hand #hile the other hand holds onto the ,ar
,+ Grip a side of the to#el #ith one hand and the opposite side #ith the other hand
c+ Grip around the to#el #ith ,oth hands Ione hand a,o*e the otherJ ' hold for time! s#itch
hand positions and repeat
9+ Fold the to#el once then loop it o*er the ,ar to dou,le the to#elNs thic-ness
(+ Loop t#o to#els o*er the ,ar and grip one in each hand
<+ 3uild up to using one hand to hang from a single to#el looped o*er the ,ar
1ullups using to#els and5or thic- ,ars ' design your o#n progressions+ %:plore the pre*ious
tougheners as #ell as tougheners for other pullup progressions+
1rogressions for finger tip holds 5 pushups and #rist holds 5 pushups ' for ,alanced strength
in the muscles and 0oints of the lo#er arms+
><
StrengthGuide12F+com
Calisthenics style grip #or- . Lcheat sheetsE continued
Just for the sa-e of completeness
Teens and adults may engage in these types of training if they #ant or need to ta-e the
training of their e:tremities a step further+ This list isnNt strictly calisthenics+ The general idea
is old fashioned hard #or-?
)ope clim,ing
)ice ,uc-et e:ercises
;rist roller #or-
Sand,ag training
Sled dragging
FarmerNs #al- Iusing -ettle,ells! sand,ags! ,ar,ells! etc+J
Strongman and5or -arate style training #ith found o,0ects Ihammers! an*ils! ceramic 0arsJ
Impro*ised gear Ima-e a ,ar,ell out of a pipe or ,ar #ith a cement filled can or ,uc-et on
each endV ma-e your o#n #rist roller out of a #ooden do#el rod! s#i*el hoo-! chain! and
#eight plates or sand,agV etc+J
Banual la,or Ifarm #or-! carpentry! steel mill #or-! ,lac-smithing! etc+J
>=
StrengthGuide12F+com
-esources
For a free one'page list of supplementary resources I highly recommend! *isit the
8nderstanding Karate home page and clic- on the lin- near the top that says 6Supplementary
)esources6+
http55understanding-arate+com5
For free ,oo-s and *ideos! plus the latest ne#s! please *ie# the Johnston Karate home
page '
http55###+0ohnston-arate+com
To learn more a,out my 7ualifications! or contact me for a free consultation! *isit my
personal page '
http55o#en0ohnston-arate+com
For 7uic- lin-s to class information! *isit my class #e,site and clic- on D7uic- lin-sE at
the top '
http550ohnston-arateclasses+com
Fitness lin-s for martial artists ' http55goo+gl5Kss;Gu
Full list of articles ' http55goo+gl5JaloKU
http 55 oddo,0ecttraining +,logspot +com 5
http 55 free-aratedo#nloads +,logspot +com 5
http55martialartsplaylist+,logspot+com5
>A
StrengthGuide12F+com
.out the .uthor
I am a nati*e of La-e City! SC and teach -arate as a #ay of life+ I ser*e Jesus Christ as
my Lord and Sa*ior+ I ha*e ,een acti*ely training since June $&th! 2&&2! #hen I enrolled at
the Kippon Ko-usai Karate Center IKKKCJ do0o in La-e City! SC+ I too- o*er management of
the do0o in January 2&&(! and o,tained the ran- of $
st
degree ,lac- ,elt in "cto,er of that
year+ KKKC is affiliated #ith Japan International Karate Center IJIKCJ+ Gie# JIKC 4istory '
http55###+0i-c'h7+org5history+html
In late April 2&&<! I officially split from KKKC and founded Johnston Karate+ Since
then! I ha*e had the opportunity to train in *arious other styles+ 3esides ha*ing continued
teaching -arate o*er the years! I ha*e trained at *arious other JIKC do0o+ I trained at a ,o:ing
gym in Sumter! SC! for a,out 9 years+ I also trained once a #ee- for a year and a half in
3raCilian Jiu0itsu! in Con#ay! SC+
If you #ould li-e to *ie# full info on my 7ualifications! schedule a free trial class or
consultation! or contact me for any other reason! please *isit the follo#ing #e,page .
http55o#en0ohnston-arate+com5
BiCuumi ryu Karate is the style that I created! and teach+ The nucleus of the style is
formed ,y 4ei#ado Karate Ithe style of Japan International Karate CenterJ and 3o:ing! #ith
influences from grappling arts+ The style is dedicated to the de*elopment of ,ody! mind! and
spirit+ The BiCuumi ryu main page on our #e,site #ill include all of the latest details
regarding locations #here the style is taught! and other ne#s+
http55miCuumiryu-arate+com
For a free one'page list of supplementary resources I highly recommend! *isit the
8nderstanding Karate home page and clic- on the lin- near the top that says 6Supplementary
)esources6+
http55understanding-arate+com5
6For to me to li*e is Christ! and to die is gain+6
' 1hilippians $2$
6It is not the critic #ho countsV not the man #ho points out ho# the strong man
stum,les! or #here the doer of deeds could ha*e done them ,etter+ The credit ,elongs to the
man #ho is actually in the arena! #hose face is marred ,y dust and s#eat and ,loodV #ho
stri*es *aliantlyV #ho errs! #ho comes short again and again! ,ecause there is no effort
#ithout error and shortcomingV ,ut #ho does actually stri*e to do the deedsV #ho -no#s great
enthusiasms! the great de*otionsV #ho spends himself in a #orthy causeV #ho at the ,est
-no#s in the end the triumph of high achie*ement! and #ho at the #orst! if he fails! at least
fails #hile daring greatly! so that his place shall ne*er ,e #ith those cold and timid souls #ho
neither -no# *ictory nor defeat+6
' Theodore )oose*elt
The Johnston Karate Guide to
Functional Strength
"#en Johnston
http4,,)))."ohnstonkarate.com
Than- you for reading the official Johnston Karate in'house fitness guide? 1lease consider
purchasing it as a professionally ,ound and printed trade paper,ac- ,oo-! or as a Kindle %'
3oo-+
3oth editions are a*aila,le at the store ,elo# '
http55astore+amaCon+com50ohnston,oo-s'2&
Get a 2&H 2iscount on the trade paper,ac-?
Gisit my personal profile page and clic- D2&H discount on my ,oo-sE for the discount code
and ordering lin-s '
http55o#en0ohnston-arate+com