Being in the calisthenics field, I get a lot of questions about what would be a good routine for someone just starting out.
I understand where this question is coming from, but I can’t help but feel a bit of angst against this mentality.
Part of it is the search for “a good routine.” There’s nothing wrong with looking for a fun and effective exercise recipe, but it’s important to understand that no one ever got results from a special routine. It’s not like there’s some sort of special combination of sets, reps and exercises which will unlock the strength you seek.
You’re success depends entirely upon taking the basics and mastering the hell out of them. You can do any routine in the world and go nowhere if it’s not progressive. But you’ll always see results as long as you aim to progress the basics regardless of what your routine looks like.
Second, there’s no such thing as a beginner in my book. In the world of fitness, we are dealing with the art and science of using your body. Unless you’re new to moving around and working your muscles then you’re no beginner. Chances are you’ve been climbing stairs, standing up out of chairs and pulling yourself up out of a car for years.
When you do a workout, you’re doing what you can with what you have. That’s the way it is for your first workout, it’s the way it is after 30 years of training. The approach and mentality to your training should always be the same regardless of your level of fitness or years of experience.
A good example of this is my training in Taekwon-Do. In every class, we have students ranging from high level black belts to people who’ve just learned how to tie on their belt. Regardless of their rank or experience, everyone does the same thing. We all do the same kicks, punches, blocks and steps. Sure there are a few moves that the “advanced” students do, but those moves make up 10% of the class if even that.
After 25 years of training I’m still doing the same techniques I did from day one. The difference isn’t in the routine. The difference between the beginner and the expert is the level of technical proficiency they use. The white belt does 10 side kicks, the black belt does 10 side kicks, however the black belt’s side kick is much more advanced because of the technique.
So if you’re a beginner your mission is to learn the basics, the push ups, pull ups, squats, lunges and leg raises. Once you know what the moves are, you’re on the never ending path to improving your technical skills. Sure your volume will probably increase over time. I started out doing 10 push ups a day and I know I do a lot more than that………but not a whole lot more. A single workout might have 100 push ups in it at the most. What’s different is the level of technical ability of my push ups.
If you’re a seasoned pro, know that you can still advance your technique no matter how long you’ve been training. You never run out of potential to advance your technique and you’re never beyond the basics.
Lastly no matter where you are don’t get hung up on routine. Just throw some stuff on a sheet of paper and go. You’re in a much better position to know what’s best for you than I do that’s for darn sure. I know nothing about your current abilities and strengths but you sure do. Trust me, it might feel like you’re just pulling stuff out of thin air, but it’s much more accurate than what I would come up with.
Of course, there’s plenty in the Triad Muscle Revolution. I built that program with about 90% of all of the workout advice I would give anyone regardless of their experience.
Okay enough chit-chat it’s time for you to get busy!