Building muscle with calisthenics isn’t all that different from building yourself up with weights. You’re still focusing on progressive muscle tension and applying more resistance to your muscles over time. However, how you do that is a little different and there are some simple tactics you can use to maximize your chances to build your muscle and strength. RDP Website: RDP Books on Amazon: Grindstyle Calisthenics: Smart Bodyweight Training: Fitness Independence: Bodyweight Training for Cycling: Bodyweight Training for Martial Arts: NOSSK RT-17 Suspension System: #reddeltaproject #calisthenics #muscle DISCLAIMER: This video and description contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.

By Chris Wright

Chris has spent many years working and teaching in the IT field. He enjoys spending time outdoors and learning about new topics. He likes playing golf, spending time at the beach and working on classic cars and woodworking projects.

27 thoughts on “4 Essential Tips For Building Muscle and Strength w/ Calisthenics”
  1. What do you think of German Volume Training? I do 10 sets of 10 reps for most of my exercises. I feel my body responds better to more volume. Only doing 4-6 reps doesn’t force my body to evolve much…

    1. Who knows, some like it, some don’t like it. tbh I don’t think the actual volume you do is that important, but rather what you do in that volume that’s key. How much concentration are you brining to each set? How good is your technique and tension control? Are you really pushing yourself in each set or just going through the motions? Are your recovery methods on point?

      You may now be finding the volume is working, not because it’s volume but because it’s progressive from what you were doing too.

    2. @RedDeltaProject I’ve been experimenting with pause reps. You pause at the bottom and the top of each rep for a second. This makes the exercise much harder since you kill any momentum that is otherwise assisting you. With this, my muscles start burning a lot faster. Personally, I would rank pause reps over-weighted calisthenics since it’s better to form and no momentum. It’s all muscle doing the work.

  2. You are Fitness YouTube’s best kept secret. Seriously you deserve you be up there with AthleanX and everyone else in terms of popularity. You’re putting out amazing and original content.

  3. I try not to get caught up in all the science it takes the fun out of training for me . My rule to keep building muscle while enjoying my workouts is to do a push pull split but with no particular exercise selection or order i just decide my workout on the day . Now to make sure i keep getting stronger and keep building muscle i just make sure that i take my muscles to failure by the end of my workout .

    1. I’m doing the same as you…I find it difficult to do the same exercises all the time, even though I presume it’s what you need to do if you really want to progressively overload, if you log your reps, sets and progressions in order to make sure you’re getting stronger.

    2. I think its not bad to give yourself a bit flexibility, but it should be possible to messure progress.
      I am doing 3 main movements (dips, lunges, pullups) at the beginning of every workout. After that I choose 6 assistance excercises for that day.

    3. PROUD BRIT same here, I don’t have any kind of set routine or program that I follow. I just go with what i want there and then, loosely based around some muscle groups that I target.

  4. Like the analogy of the principles and methods. Too many people get hook on the “perfect” program and when they don’t reach their goals they program hope instead of looking at how they apply principles do them and actually do the work they blame the program for not getting results

  5. Good points as always. Building too much muscle over technique is what Paul Wade is warning you against in CC, and learning to move is quite funny. Also Gray Cook says that you have to learn to move, then move often and then add strength.

  6. Yup, boiling it down to the essence! Thanks for the video.

    How much strength or flexibility/coordination do we really need for the types of things the average person will do in their life time – not that much. So most of this is very specialized already. It’s all subjective/relative though – Recently I heard a family member of mine say she is impressed that this one lady she knows can bend forward from the hips with a straight back (like a dead-lift) while cleaning the house. No good or bad, high or low – it’s just for everyone to decide how you want to use/develop your body or not. Some people might just want to take casual jogs their whole life and that’s cool – they don’t need yoga grade flexibility or power lifter grade strength.

    More to the point of calisthenics for muscle building – Just like you said you think there’s a point where with machines you can develop strength without developing flexibility/stability, in the same way I think there is a point where too much flexibility enters and there is too little focus on strength. Imagine a stick : on one end there is pure strength power lifter style and on the other end you have advanced yoga – there is a balance there somewhere when it comes to muscle building.

    So whether you use machines at the gym or you are going for advanced yoga like flexibility/maneuverability or even if your are somewhere in between: everything can be done safely, it’s your body, you decide.

  7. Hey Matt please make a video on how to workout with different type of rocks and stones. Make this video on people who can’t afford gym equipments and want to add some weight training with calisthenics

  8. Matt, one needs to use the same routine/exercises in order to log reps, sets and progressions, right? In order to make sure you’re moving forward and getting stronger. The challenge is that there are so many exercises you can do. For me it’s like opening a menu at a restaurant, I eat what I feel like eating according to my mood! Results, in long term I feel I’m spinning my wheels! You’re thoughts? Thank you. Take care.

  9. I have been trying to get more muscle and also trying to lose weight for 7-8 years now. I’m going to give up soon because my body is making no progress at all and all it does it hurt afterwards.I think there’s something wrong/not normal that is causing me to not be able to change my body. It’s unfortunate

  10. That mobility/stability part is a big point. I did my first ring dips today without shoulderpain. Really took me a while to work on my weaknesses. But its worth it.

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