Ultimate Guide to Building Muscles with Calisthenics

Is it possible to build muscles with calisthenics? If you think that you have to do weight training to build your muscles, you are making a mistake.

You don’t need to lift something heavy to bring out your muscles and you don’t need to go to the gym. We will show you how you can do this through calisthenics.

What is Calisthenics?

This is probably the most basic question that you will ask.

When you hear the term “Calisthenics”, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? You will probably think about the people who are wearing retro tracksuits doing push-ups on television.

Calisthenics is a form of resistance training that makes use of your body weight to improve your strength, agility, balance, endurance, flexibility, agility and of course to build muscles.

If you are doing squats, push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks and other simple exercises, yes you are already doing calisthenics.

Building Muscle with Calisthenics

Can You Really Build Muscles with Calisthenics?

Definitely! It’s just that most people are too focused on lifting weights. You are probably one of those people who think that training individual muscles is the only way to build muscles. We will change the way you think.

Calisthenics can offer you something that you can do inside your house and it is very effective. It means that you won’t have to drive to the gym to lift weights. You can do your muscle-building regimen at home.

Building muscles is not only about weight lifting because the key to muscle gain is progressively overloading your muscles.

Your muscles will get bigger whether you do weight lifting or simple calisthenics.

There are 2 main reasons why calisthenics is a better fit for muscle gain:

  1. Simple exercises are compound movements. It means that you work out several muscle groups at once.
  2. Time Under Tension (TUT). It refers to how long a particular muscle is under tension in a set.

Let’s take a closer look on how you can build muscles through Calisthenics.

How Do You Build Your Muscles with Calisthenics?

Now, for the million-dollar question, what are the exercises that you need to do to build muscles? We will go into detail on some of the best Calisthenics workout plan for mass that you can do to start building those muscles.


Pretty simple, right? But doing push-ups just for the sake of doing so won’t get you anywhere. This is an exercise that will build your upper body and if you want to get the best results, you should increase the reps per set and add weights.

If let’s say you are doing about 10 to 12 reps per set, you will have to increase the reps and push your body to the limit. You don’t need to add any weight for now since you need to focus on increasing the reps first.

If you can get to at least 30 to 40 consecutive push ups, there are 2 options that you can take:

  1. Add weight to the push-ups. You can ask someone to put a little bit of weight on your back and push you down while you are doing push ups.
  2. Try a harder variation. You can try doing some close push-ups then if you think that you can do it easily, you can move on to one hand push-ups.

Chin-Ups or Pull-Ups

This type of calisthenics exercise is meant for the back. With the right exercise, you can easily build the muscles on your back.

If you can do chin-ups or pull-ups in high reps, you can ask someone to stand on a chair and put some weight on your shoulder while you do it.

You can also change your grip. If the underhand grip is too easy for you, use resistance if needed.


This is another simple exercise that many of you are doing, especially before you start lifting weights. However, squats are more than just a warm-up exercise because if you can do max reps for squats, it is a great exercise to build muscles on your thighs.

When it comes to squats, you don’t really need weight. You just need to go all the way down and up. If you want to make it harder, just ask someone to put some weight on your shoulder.

If you are eager to try calisthenics to build muscles, the Bar Brother Program would be the right fit for you.

How Often Should I Do Calisthenics to Build Muscle?

It won’t be advisable to do this on a daily basis, unless you are just doing calisthenics to work out a sweat.

If you are doing this to build muscles, the frequency of your routine would depend on how hard you work out. If you are pushing yourself to limit, to the point where you push your muscles to failure, you will need 2 days rest between workouts.

If you are only doing simple exercises, you can do calisthenics every other day.

The Best Calisthenics Diet

A good diet when doing calisthenics is a low to medium calorie diet and you need to increase your intake of foods rich in protein like red meat, fish, chicken, eggs and vegetables.

Protein is the most important nutrient that your body needs when you are building muscles. Protein is responsible for healing your muscles.

If you are worried about your energy, a high protein diet can provide the energy you need for a high-intensity workout.

Weight Lifting vs. Calisthenics – Which is Better for Muscle Building?

Both of them are very effective for muscle building so you will have to make the decision yourself.

Are you busy with work or other chores? If you are too busy to go to the gym, you can just do simple calisthenics in your house. If you have time, you can just go to the gym and lift weights or you can do both.

In a sense, weight lifting and calisthenics are the same given the fact that weight lifting makes use of external items to build muscles, while calisthenics use your body weight.


What do you think about calisthenics? Do you think that doing exercises in your house is better than going to gym to build muscles? Let us know your thoughts and share your experience with us in the comment section below.

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