The Ultimate 6 Week Calisthenics Workout Plan (with PDF)

If you are looking for equipment-free, calisthenics workouts at home or outdoors for beginners and intermediate individuals alike, then this calisthenics workout plan is for you. 

Our system will help you develop strength, balance, flexibility, and muscle growth with little to no equipment required.

We’ve designed two separate weekly calisthenics workout routines as well as their printable PDF counterparts.

These include:

  • A workout plan for beginners plus PDF
  • A workout plan for intermediate athletes plus PDF

Before we dive in, please take a look at how we define health and fitness. We believe it is an important starting point when taking on any training discipline.

Jump to the workout plans.

Calisthenics Workout Plan In a Nutshell

Program styleCalisthenics
Program duration6 weeks
Workout duration40 mins – 1 hour
Scheduling4 days per week
GoalIncrease strength and power
LevelBeginner to intermediate
Equipment neededBench, pull up bar

Workout Plan Overview

The two calisthenics workout plan are designed to progressively improve your strength, balance, and mobility.

The plan for beginners will take into account a lack of fundamental skills, so the focus will be on the very basics.

The calisthenics workouts for intermediate athletes will consider the fact that you have a strong foundation in strength and fitness, as well as a familiarity with basic calisthenics exercises. 

The intermediate program will consist of relatively high-volume calisthenics workouts in comparison to the beginner version.

The different calisthenics workouts, while designed for different skill levels, have a great degree of overlap and adaptability.

Workout Plan Structure

Each program will consist of a four-day-per-week workout of 40 mins to an hour.

Each lasts for 6 weeks but can be easily extended for several months. 

The workout days are structured using training splits. Each split will focus on one of four fundamental movement systems each day.

These systems are 

  • Upper body push (triceps, front shoulders, and chest)
  • Upper body pull (Biceps, rear shoulders, and upper back)
  • Core/abs (Abs, Obliques, lower back, and hips)
  • Lower body/legs (Quads, calves, hamstrings, and glutes)

This helps you focus on one group at a time for optimised progress and recovery. It’s also great in the sense that it allows you to train consistently throughout each week.

The training days will be separated by an active rest day, meaning training and active rest will alternate day by day. You week will look as follows:

DAY 1Workout
DAY 2Active rest
DAY 3Workout
DAY 4Active rest
DAY 5Workout
DAY 6Active rest
DAY 7Workout

Active Rest Days

Each workout day will be alternated by an active rest day which will consist of low-intensity steady-state cardio (LISS) and static stretching for no more than 20 seconds per stretch.

It is important to rest so that your body can recover and rebuild, while at the same time it’s necessary to keep your body stimulated and prepared for progress.

The cardio volume will increase day by day with 5-minute increments each day for progressive conditioning.

The cardio component is essential since calisthenics training places heavy energy demands on the muscles, so having efficient oxygen and nutrient delivery system is essential.

It also helps condition your lungs and diaphragm for optimised breathing.

As for static stretching, it is imperative to maintain and improve flexibility and range of motion. This will allow you to graduate to more complex movements as well as limit the risk of injury.

Training Volume Specifications

The training volume should be progressively increased as you cycle through to the next week of training.

For rep-based exercises, we suggest increments of 2 reps with each progressive week, and for time-based exercises, we suggest a weekly increment of 5sec.

For instance, the starting rep range for the intermediate program is 8 reps over 4 sets, with each week, you must increase this by two, meaning the following week will see a rep range of 10 reps over 4 sets.

Man doing L-sit

Where time is concerned, for instance, with isometric exercises like the L-sit, weekly increments of an extra 5 second is recommended.

You should complete a set of each exercise in the workout before taking a break and starting the cycle again. The rest period between cycles is 1 minute.

You won’t need any equipment, except for a set of bars for pull exercises and stable platforms for dips as well as some basics for your cardio active rest exercises. This includes access to cycling equipment (bike or stationary bike), a rowing machine, and a jump/skipping rope.

The different calisthenics workouts are meant to challenge each region of your body separately while giving others the chance to rest and recharge for a full-effort workout.

How To Warm Up For Calisthenics Workouts

A good warm-up is your first line of defense against injury as well as a good way to get ready for action.

For calisthenics, a warm-up routine consists of dynamic stretches where your joints and muscles are stimulated through a full range of motion. It’s also a good way to jumpstart your cardiovascular system, which is essential for efficient energy delivery.

Basically put, take all your major joint systems, especially those that will perform on a specific workout day, and move them through their normal range of function at least ten times each.

We’ve split your warm-up into two body segments, upper body and lower body, to make things easier. 

Your warm-up should be specific to the body segment you’ll be training, so the upper body warm-up for upper body days and the lower body warm-up for lower body days.

When a warm-up is carried out by your limbs or extremities (arms, legs, hands, and feet), you should perform ten reps on each limb/extremity.

When a warm-up is carried out about a central axis, like your waist, a complete rep counts when you’ve moved once in each direction.

Lastly, the cardio-based warm-up exercises such as the jumping jacks and rapid mountain climbers should be carried out after all the dynamic stretches are complete for a total of ten seconds.

For core training days, we suggest you go with the lower body warm-up.

Remember, there is no rest between warm-up exercises.

Upper Body Warm-up

  • Arm circles
  • Shoulder shrugs (Front)
  • Shoulder shrugs (Back)
  • Wrist rotations
  • Elbow rotations
  • Chest flys
  • Jumping jacks (Cardio)

Lower Body And Core Warm-up

  • Hip circles
  • Waist twists
  • Toe touches
  • Knee rotations (Left)
  • Knee rotations (Right)
  • Front kicks
  • Mountain climbers (Cardio)

The Workout Plans

Beginner Calisthenics Workout Plan

Day 1

SplitLOWER BODY / LEGS (Strength endurance, balance)
Workout4 sets of:
6 x Stationary Lunges
6 x Squats
6 x Assisted Pistol Squats
6 x Hamstring Bridges
6 x Single Leg RDL
1 min rest
Systems workedHip Flexor group, Hamstring group, Glutes, Calves

Day 2

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout20 min Jog (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Systems workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 3

SplitCORE STRENGTH / ABS )Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
1 min Plank
6 x Leg Raises
1 min Limb Lift/ Bird Dog (Alternating) contralateral
1 min Supine Glute Bridge Hold
30 sec Side Plank (L) Bent Knee
30 sec Side Plank (R) Bent Knee
1 min rest
Systems workedAbs, Oblique Group, Pelvic Floor, Erector Spinae (lower back), Glutes

Day 4

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout25 min Row (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Systems workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 5

SplitUPPER  BODY PUSH (Arms, Chest, Shoulders Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
6 x Military Push-up
6 x Wide  Push-up
6x Diamond Push-up
6 x Wall Assisted Handstand Push-up
6 x Bench Dips
1 min rest
Muscles workedArms (triceps), Shoulders (deltoids), Chest (pectoral group)

Day 6

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout30 min Skipping (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Muscles workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 7

SplitUPPER  BODY PULL (Arms, Upper Back, Shoulders Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
6 x Chin-up
6 x Pull-Up
6 x Neutral Grip Pull-up
6 x Australian Pull-up
6 x Tucked Bodyweight Rows
1 min rest
Muscles workedArms (Biceps), Shoulders (Rear Deltoid), Lats (Latissimus Dorsi), Traps (Trapezius), Rhomboid group

Intermediate Calisthenics Workout Plan

Day 1

SplitLOWER BODY / LEGS (Strength endurance, balance)
Workout4 sets of:
8 x Lateral Lunges
8 x Hamstring Bridges
8 x Nordic Hamstring Curl
8 x Pistol Squats
8 x Single Leg RDL
1 min rest
Systems workedHip Flexor group, Hamstring group, Glues, Calves

Day 2

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout20 min Jog (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Systems workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 3

SplitCORE STRENGTH / ABS )Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
1 min Plank
15 sec L-sit
1 min Limb Lift/ Flying Bird Dog (Alternating) contralateral
1 min Supine Glute Bridge Hold
30 sec Side Plank (L) Bent Knee
30 sec Side Plank (R) Bent Knee
1 min rest
Systems workedAbs, Oblique Group, Pelvic Floor, Erector Spinae (lower back), Glutes

Day 4

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout25 min Row (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Systems workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 5

SplitUPPER  BODY PUSH (Arms, Chest, Shoulders Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
8 x Incline Military Push-up
8 x Hindu Push-up
8 x Diamond Push-up
8 x Wall Assisted Handstand Push-up
8 x Bench Dips
1 min rest
Muscles workedArms (triceps), Shoulders (deltoids), Chest (pectoral group)

Day 6

SplitACTIVE REST (Cardio conditioning, flexibility and recovery)
Workout30 min Skipping (LISS cardio)

1 min rest

2 sets of:
20 sec Wall Quadricep Stretch
20 sec Standing Hamstring Stretch
20 sec Calf Stretch
20 sec Adductor Stretch
Muscles workedCardiovascular conditioning (Heart and blood vessels), Pulmonary Conditioning (Lungs and breathing)

Day 7

SplitUPPER  BODY PULL (Arms, Upper Back, Shoulders Strength Endurance, Stability)
Workout4 sets of:
8 x Chin-up
4 x Muscle-Up
8 x Neutral Grip Pull-up
8 x Australian Pull-up
8 x Tucked Bodyweight Rows
1 min rest
Muscles workedArms (Biceps), Shoulders (Rear Deltoid), Lats (Latissimus Dorsi), Traps (Trapezius), Rhomboid group

Will These Calisthenics Workout Plans Help Me Build Muscle?

Yes of course! But like any other training discipline, it’s always the way in which you apply it that determines the results you get out of it.

Part of the beauty lies in the fact that you are building your body through the exercises you perform.

Calisthenics is a form of resistance training, one which simply substitutes the use of weights and machines for your own body weight.

Resistance training is the training method required to build muscle. Because you’re using your own body weight, you will be able to train your muscles as a system rather than in isolation.

Having said that, these workouts are split into arm, back, chest, core, leg, and shoulder workouts.

However, despite this seeming isolation, bear in mind that these are regions of the body and not individual muscle.

This means you’re training entire muscle and joint systems, giving the benefit of producing a balanced, proportionate physique which accentuates your true, complete muscle profile and not just bits and pieces of it.

These workout plans have been designed to take full advantage of what calisthenics has to offer. With consistent and progressive training and good nutrition, you can build your optimal physique, gain some muscle, and shed some fat at the same time.

Related: Calithenics vs Regular Gym

Why Should You Do Calisthenics Workouts?

Calisthenics is one of the oldest forms of physical training. It might have seen an upsurge in popularity over the last decade, but don’t let the recent trends fool you. This discipline is actually ancient.

The word ‘calisthenics’ originates from a Greek word meaning beautiful strength. This exemplifies the physical fitness, graceful movement, and aesthetic physique developed through the mastery of the discipline.

Doing calisthenics has loads of benefits that include whole body stability and control, and more efficient hypertrophy through its natural compound movements.

Calisthenics is also accessible to most people, male, female, young, and old with an able body. The low impact and equipment-free nature of the discipline means that it is generally a safe option.

So if the question is why should you do calisthenics, the answer is why not?

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Mike Julom

Mike is an ACE Certified PT and a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer. He is an avid lover of all sports. Basketball, tennis, athletics, volleyball, soccer, squash, golf, table tennis, even darts, you name it! He's a very active CrossFit athlete and has been WOD'ing for over 7 years. With such an intense fitness regime, Mike has learned to take care of his body physically, nutritionally, and spiritually. Mike founded ThisIsWhyImFit as a way to share his vast knowledge of exercises, diets, and general fitness advice.

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