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 How to Gain 10 lbs of Muscle in One Week with Calisthenics

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Join date : 2011-07-14

PostSubject: How to Gain 10 lbs of Muscle in One Week with Calisthenics   Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:11 pm

How to Gain 10 lbs of Muscle in One Week with Calisthenics Impossible is nothing.

Classic quote that will never get old. Remember people that were screaming that you can't build muscle with bodyweight training? Stop listening to them. My recent experiment dispels this myth. Even more. It shows that you CAN build muscle with calisthenics FAST if you follow basic principles of strength training and fuel it with food.

How was I able to make it? Read on.
"How Could This Happen?" (c) I afloat
You may be wondering why I wasn't writing and publishing new articles last month. The answer is not really surprising. I was moving to another city. So my current location is no longer Cherkassy, Ukraine. Now it's Kiev, Ukraine. Why am I talking about this stuff when I need to explain you how to gain 10 lbs of muscle with calisthenics in one week? The answer is highly relevant to the theme. I wasn't able to take sandbags or kettlebells with me. So I decided to shift gears to only bodyweight training for a period of time. Why not? Resistance is resistance, remember?

During this period of time I experimented with different approaches and different exercises. Pull-Ups, Dips, Push-Ups, Levers, fast reps, slow reps, explosive reps, static holds, high reps, low reps, different frequency and volume etc. Of course you can't just try it all and get aware of long-term results but you can choose what you like to do (and what you are able to do) for this defined period of time.

One more thing. You know why moving to another city sucks? I can give you hundred reasons but the one that affects training is that you can't eat properly most of the time. It can be due to different reasons. You can be short on money or you don't have time or place to cook. Whatever. When you move to another city you can't eat properly for the first few weeks or so. So I lost some muscle before the experiment.

Dude, It's Very Interesting But Let's Get to the Point.
Ok. So what was the experiment I'm talking so much? I'll give you all the details.

Time frame of experiment: 25.08.2011 - 02.09.2011.

Beginning weight: 76.5 kg (168 lbs)

The excerpt from my training journal for this time frame:

25.08.2011.

1) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 3; 2; 2. (12)

2) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 8s; 5s; 3s. (16s)

3) Pistols BW x 1L; 1R; 2L; 2R; 3L; 3R; 4L; 4R; 5L; 5R; 6L; 6R; 7L; 7R; 8L; 8R; 9L; 9R; 1L; 1R; 2L; 2R; 3L; 3R. (51 each leg)

26.08.2011.

1) Pull-Ups BW x 8; 10; 7; 8; 8; 7; 2. (50)


2) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 8s; 6s; 5s. (19s)

3) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 3; 3; 2. (13)

27.08.2011.

1) Pull-Ups BW x 8; 8; 7; 8; 7; 6; 3; 3. (50)


2) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 9s; 5s; 2s; 5s. (21s)

3) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 4; 3; 2; 1. (15)

4) PB Advanced L-Seat BW x 8s.

28.08.2011.

1) Pull-Ups BW x 8; 7; 6; 5; 4; 3; 2; 1; 7; 7. (50)


2) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 9s; 6s; 4s; 3s; 3s. (25s)

3) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 5; 4; 2; 1. (17)

4) Floor Advanced L-Seat BW x 5s; 7s; 7s. (19s)

29.08.2011.

1) Pull-Ups BW x 8; 8; 8; 8; 8; 6; 4. (50)


2) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 4s; 4s; 8s; 7s; 5s. (28s)

3) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 5; 5; 3; 3. (21)

30.08.2011.

1) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 11s; 7s; 6s; 6s. (30s) w/60s rest between sets.


2) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 5; 4; 3; 2; 2. (21) w/60s rest between sets.

01.09.2011.

1) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 13s; 7s; 6s; 6s; 3s. (35s) w/60s rest between sets.


2) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 5; 5; 3+1; 2; 2. (23) w/60s rest between sets.

02.09.2011.

1) Fingertip Tuck Planche Hold BW x 15s; 4s; 7s; 7s; 3s. (36s) w/60s rest between sets.


2) Handstand Push-Ups BW x 5; 5; 5; 4; 3; 3. (25)
Notes:

◦BW - bodyweight.
◦There are total numbers of reps/seconds in brackets.
◦Rest periods weren't measured if other not mentioned.
◦Pull-Ups were performed throughout the day in several training sessions.
◦Push-Ups and Planche Holds were performed in one session.
◦Handstand Push-Ups were done with slightly wider than shoulders hand positions.
◦There were some minor exercise that I didn't include because they obviously had little-to-no impact in the big picture.
Ending weight: 81 kg (178 lbs)

My Comments
As you can see I've focused all my efforts on exercises I enjoy most and want to improve most. It's much better to get great in couple of things than be mediocre in plenty. This principle is as old as training is but very few trainees apply it in practice. I've concentrated actually on two exercises and got results. I improved in Fingertip Tuck Planche holds from 16 to 36 seconds total and from 8 to 15 seconds in first set which were my goals. I also improved from 12 to 25 Handstand Push-Ups total. By the way, I almost never gone to failure. I always left some reps in the tank. As for volume you can see that I performed 147 Handstand Push-Ups, held Fingertip Tuck Planche position for 210 seconds (what is 3 and half minutes), had a hard leg session, performed 200 Pull-Ups and had minor exercise here and there in this time frame.

Talking 'bout Nutrition
To succeed you need to eat hard. I haven't tracked my calories precisely but I was consistent at several points. I drank lots of milk, ate lots of eggs, legumes and vegetables. Couple of times I had cheese and cottage cheese with sour cream. And ate a bit of lard. By the way, I'm following intermittent fasting protocol but it's theme for whole another post. The main point is if your goal is to gain muscle you need to eat a lot. My rule was to go to sleep full. If I wasn't full I ate some more. Stay away from white carbs and sugars if you're not planning to remind a pile of fat (:

Closing Thoughts
Firstly, I should give credit to Chad Waterbury. He's the one who attracted my attention to high-frequency training. And the greatest thing about HFT is that it works and works really fast. Great system that never failed for me.

Secondly, so rapid muscle gain could appear due to muscle memory.

That's it. Thanks for reading.

Play rough!

Alex Zinchenko





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