Best way to gain strength with Weighted Calisthenics program

Weighted calisthenics program involve weighted vests that increase exercise difficulty by adding weight to bodyweight exercises. 

The compound bodyweight exercises in weighted calisthenics include pull-ups, push-ups, dips, etc. Bodyweight exercises can be made sufficiently challenging for athletes who prefer to perform them. Calisthenics is mainly focused on compound upper body exercises, although elite athletes sometimes use static holds like plank and front lever. 

Despite its popularity, weighted calisthenics are making a comeback in the gym. It doesn’t require any fancy equipment, and you’ll benefit a lot from it!

In short, weighted calisthenics are the most efficient way to build muscle and strength.

The calisthenics program, designed to optimize progress, involves weight training and calisthenics.

Is a weighted calisthenics program suitable for everyone?

Beginners should not attempt this. Those who have mastered the fundamentals are eligible for this program. Compared to bodyweight training alone, weighted calisthenics is more effective for people who want to build stronger muscles.

Man siting

Stick with bodyweight basics if you still benefit from them. Before moving on to weighted calisthenics, maximize your gains from the basics.

Weighted Calisthenics program: How to get started?

Man who is body building

Calisthenics athletes who already know how to do pull-ups, pushups and dips should consider doing weighted calisthenics programs. Ideally, you should be able to do 15 pull-ups, 50 pushups, and 15 dips with perfect form.

Is weighted calisthenics program effective in building muscle?

Compared to regular calisthenics, weighted calisthenics increases muscle mass and strength. By increasing the difficulty of exercises, weighted calisthenics can help you stay in this range. With this method, you can bulk up while still focusing on calisthenics!

Man with muscles

Is calisthenics good for getting a six pack?

The answer is yes. The pull-up bar is an advanced calisthenic ab exercise. While hanging, your core lifts your legs up. If you use these exercises in your workout, you will get great abs.

Is calisthenics effective for building leg muscle?

Leg muscle mass can be built using only your bodyweight, but calisthenics leg workouts can be longer as you push the intensity. A higher training volume will not produce as much strength gain.

Can calisthenics strengthen you?

Calisthenics is safer than weight lifting since you only use your bodyweight. Joint stress is reduced. Besides strengthening your joints, calisthenics will also make you stronger. It’s less risky than getting crushed by 100kg.

Do weighted calisthenics programs boost your strength in any particular way?

Performing calisthenics is a great way to build muscle and strength, but there will come a time when you will hit a wall. Strength and muscle mass are no longer increasing no matter what you do.

Man training in gym

Your performance has probably plateaued due to either of the following reasons:

  1. An absence of variety – consistently doing the same exercises, reps, sets, and routines.
  2. The basics are mastered – movement patterns with your bodyweight are too easy!
  3. The program is not the right level for you – you are not doing a program designed for your skill level.

Equipment for weighted calisthenics program

Ankle Weights

The advantages are:

Building core strength is easy with ankle weights. Most bodyweight exercises are made more difficult by them, as they are attached around the ankles. 

Exercises like leg lifts require significant resistance, so they are best suited for core exercises like these. Sit-ups can also be performed with them. Hip flexors can also be trained with them.

The disadvantages are:

Most compound exercises (with the exception of core exercises) can’t be significantly harder with them due to their shape. Leg exercises are also hindered for the most part because of their placement.

Weight Belt

The advantages are:

There are several advantages to wearing a weight belt, but the main one is it’s compact and lightweight. Gyms usually have weight plates that can be used with weight belts. Afterwards, the chain is rethreaded to the belt, and the plates are threaded through it.

Weighted belts are more convenient in this way than weighted vests. It is necessary to transport weighted vests everywhere since gyms do not usually have weight pouches. Weight belts do not affect the limited capacity of weighted vests.

The disadvantages are:

Weighted belts are capable of carrying more weight than vests, but because of the way they sit and how difficult it is to get into position, this is a major challenge. Taking a break requires unloading the plates every time, which is time-consuming.

A weight belt also has poor weight distribution and is strictly limited to upper body exercises like dips and pull-ups, unlike a weight vest that can aid most exercises.

Weight Vest

The advantages are:

Most weighted calisthenics use weighted vests, which distribute weight evenly vertically down in a very comfortable position. In addition to being able to carry a lot of weight, many weight vests can hold up to 30 kilograms. 

Usually they are sandbags, metal blocks or little pouches with removable weights. The amount and distribution of weight can be changed. 

The disadvantages are:

When significant movement occurs, some weight vests fail to tighten as intended. For some exercises, the weight vest smacks your back, and for others, it slides, less than optimally distributing your weight. 

Weighted calisthenics program Benefits

Weighted CalisthenicsWeight LiftingCalisthenics
A good fit for athleticsAthletically suboptimalA good fit for athletics
Safe closed-chain movementNot Safe closed-chain Safe closed-chain movement
It is possible to train legsIt is possible to train legsIt is hard to train legs
No gym neededGym requiredNo gym needed
There is no weight limitBodyweight isn’t a factorBody weight-restricted
Super relative strengthStrong relative strengthSubpar relative strength

Progressive Overload

The term progressive overload is probably familiar to you. In order to reap the benefits of this principle, you have to make your muscles work harder. Progressive overload can be achieved in the following ways:

Tension increase

In each repetition, change the timing to increase tension. If you want to do a push-up, you might move down for two counts, pause at the bottom, and then push upwards for two more counts.

Frequency increase

A new session will be added within the week as a result. Before increasing your intensity, you should also follow this principle.

Volume increase

Reps or sets are increased in order to achieve this. Prior to increasing your intensity, you should maximize your gains from this principle. Your progress will be safer this way.


You are ready to move to a weighted calisthenic or other progression if you have mastered push-ups, dips, pull-ups, and can rack up many repetitions in a set.

It’s safer compared to weight lifting

In addition, weighted Calisthenics involves fewer injuries and is easier to perform than traditional weightlifting.

Physique that is leaner and stronger

Exercises such as weighted pull-ups, where you must lift your own body weight, will decrease as you add too much excess mass.

The benchpress, for example, is not an effective weight lifting exercise. Bench pressing is generally easier when you have more body fat.

Calisthenics with weights saves time

Save time by performing fewer repetitions for the same stimulus.

To reduce your sets, you can do weighted bilateral exercises instead of unilateral calisthenics exercises that require both sides to be performed.

A better athletic performance

Additionally, weighted calisthenics are virtually identical to calisthenics in terms of their ability to improve athletic performance.

Requires less equipment

In addition, weighted calisthenics require much less equipment than traditional weightlifting. When it comes to weighted pull-ups, only a bar and weight plates are needed, while for pulldowns, a whole piece of equipment is required.

As for a weighted dip, if you weigh 180lbs, you will only need roughly 225-180 = 45lbs since you will also be lifting your own body. A bench press will require 225lbs of weights, while a weighted dip will require 225-180 = 45lbs.

Can I do weighted calisthenics every day?

Quite simply, yes. Training doesn’t need to be done every day. You need to move every day – there’s a difference between training and moving. Practicing handstands for 20 minutes, doing burpees for 20 minutes, or practicing yoga for 10 minutes can all be considered movement.

Body builder

A session typically lasts 30-60 minutes and should be scheduled 3-4 days a week. Besides these scheduled workouts, you should also move regularly.

You need a reasonable amount of time to gain optimal results, and most people are able to accommodate this much training.

The Movement Athlete program provides you with 6-day workout schedules and makes sure they are optimized for your needs.

What is the quickest way to see results from calisthenics?

If you want to see great results, you may have to wait a long time. An individual who is 20 years old will see results faster than someone who is 45 years old.

You will also have to be very consistent. It is also important to have some experience, but it is not the most important factor. The outcome will be even more influenced by your attitude.

Time and effort are the most important factors. Getting the job done will require you to get past some obstacles. Even though one hour of exercise a day sounds insignificant, you will be surprised at how many people think it’s the reason they don’t exercise.

I used to weigh over 87 kilograms, but I lost enough weight to reach 72-73 kilograms (I am 184 cm tall). As a skinny person, I added substantial muscle to my body through calisthenics, reaching 85-86 kilograms. Around 95, I started getting bulk. Getting big, strong, and having belly fat isn’t always the most difficult part. Maintaining what you build can be just as challenging. My weight has dropped to 88 kg now. The reason why progress isn’t constant is now clear to you.

You should also keep in mind that strength does not always equal power. We’re not machines, so sometimes we can’t perform the established reps. I’m not the only one! Keep your cool in the face of frustration.

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