Calisthenics and Weight Training Routine
Confidently walk into the gym with this hybrid calisthenics and weight training routine to achieve more in your busy day.
My favourite way to combine calisthenics and weight training…
Is to follow a calisthenics program supplemented with one weighted leg day per week to balance out my overall strength.
Welcome, my name is Summerfunfitness. I am a self-taught calisthenics athlete helping you incorporate calisthenics training into your current lifestyle.
For the past 3 years, I’ve solely trained calisthenics except for leg day once per week.
Wait. Why would you train legs if you want to be good at calisthenics? Well, I love to hike, surf, longboard, and be an all-around athlete, and training legs does that for me. Plus, it balances out my upper to lower body muscle size to create an athletic body capable of extraordinary feats.
That’s not to say that I don’t do calisthenics legs…I most certainly do. Are you looking to challenge your lower body strength, mobility and athleticism without the gym? Try my free calisthenics leg workout for strength – no calisthenics equipment is needed.
Weighted Legs + Calisthenics Pull Workout
Save the time you’d spend researching new weight training and calisthenic exercises, and just get straight to achieving your fitness goals with this FREE hybrid workout.
Do A1, then A2, then rest, 3 rounds.
A2 changes each round.
A1. Light Barbell Squat
25, 20, 15 reps
Increase the weight each round.
Reps decrease each round.
Do B1, then B2, then rest, 4 sets.
B1. Barbell Hip Thrusts
15, 12, 10, 8 reps
Increase the weight each round.
Reps decrease each round.
8, 10, 12, 15 reps.
Drop the weight between each set. No rest inbetween. Reps increase as weight increases.
Do D1, then D2, then rest, 3 sets.
D1. Straight Leg Deadlifts
For the deadlift, choose a weight that you can rerack between sets to perform your rows using the same barbell.
Calisthenics Before or After Weights?
The answer to this question depends on your body weight and fitness goals. To determine whether you should train calisthenics before or after your weight session, click here.
Calisthenics Body vs Weight Lifting Body
The benefits you will receive switching from weightlifting to calisthenics are plentiful. Here’s my experience so far:
1. Training is no longer a punishment
Focusing on what my body can do rather than what it looks like made me enjoy and appreciate movement instead of seeing it as a punishment for what I ate or what I didn’t do.
2. More Athletic
I am more muscular, athletic, balanced and mobile since switching from weight lifting to calisthenics (see photo below). One of my favourite things about training calisthenics is how much faster learning new sports is. This allows me to live a more adventurous, playful life!
Transformation from weight lifting to calisthenics (summerfunfitness)
3. Consistent Motivation
I am more dedicated and consistent with my calisthenics training because I have goals that fuel my day-to-day movement. With weightlifting, people often focus on the “improvements” they want to make to their appearance – which usually involves scrutinizing their bodies.
Calisthenics workouts are fuelled by what your body is capable of, not what it does or doesn’t look like.
Once you learn how to get started in calisthenics, you earn the freedom to train in any location—making it easy to stay healthy and fit for life without paying for a gym membership.
Can you do both calisthenics and weight training?
Yes, you certainly can. You can mix any training style as long as you enjoy it and it pertains to your goals.
For me, training weighted legs is a MUST because….
Compound leg exercises (exercises that work multiple large muscle groups such as a squat) performed at a high intensity can temporarily increase testosterone production, thus improving your anabolic metabolism and enhancing your overall strength.
What does this mean? The increase in testosterone on your calisthenics and weight training leg day will support your muscle growth and recovery, making it essential to include in your training routine.
What if you train weights but want to move towards calisthenics?
It takes time to condition your body (specifically your wrists and tendons) for calisthenics. Try starting with calisthenics 3 days a week paired with weight training 2 days a week until you build up the strength and knowledge needed to transition to calisthenics training completely.
Ready to add in more calisthenics training? Do these Top 10 Calisthenics Pull Exercises to feel insanely strong.
How are other calisthenics athletes mixing weights and calisthenics?
I asked other calisthenics girls to share how they combine calisthenics and weight training so you can find the right fit for your own routine.
Jess St John – Freestyle Calisthenics Athlete
Freestyle Calisthenics Competitor and Personal Trainer
“I train freestyle calisthenics which involves training dynamic and static skills and creating bar flows (high bar and parallel bars).
I incorporate weight training once a week specifically for the lower body/legs (like me! -Summer). My main reason for training legs is to avoid having weak areas since calisthenics mainly targets the upper body and core.
Our lower bodies also have some of our largest muscles, so building those areas is essential to maintaining a fast metabolism and overall lower body fat percentage, which aids in overall performance.
My lower body training days include exercises that improve power, balance, and stability, which generally helps me flow better and have more control on the bars.
From time to time, I also train my upper body with weights (such as weighted pull-ups or dumbbell bench press), to help me breakthrough strength or power plateaus in calisthenics.”
While working out in a gym, Janie performs 50% free weights and 50% bodyweight training to support her calisthenics goals. She prefers free-weights as they allow her to work through a greater range of motion than something like a barbell bench press which limits the range of motion potential.
She wears a weighted vest for easier calisthenics exercises such as chin-ups to increase the difficulty and utilizes resistance bands to decrease the intensity for harder calisthenics exercises such as front levers or back levers. She divides her training into 50% statics and 50% dynamics when training freestyle calisthenics.
She does not focus on training lower body as adding mass to her legs does not support her calisthenics goals.
Develop a training program you ENJOY that also works towards your goals. If you like training legs and calisthenics, then go for it. If you don’t like training legs and you want to get really good at calisthenics, don’t worry about training legs too often.