Bodyweight Workout Plan for Beginners and Intermediates

Hi! I am the author and founder of Old School Calisthenic

April 1, 2020

Here is a 2-weeks bodyweight workout plan for beginners and intermediates, divided into ten calisthenics workouts that you can do at home, in your garage, the yard, or anywhere else you improvised a space dedicated to training.

Generally, you need nothing more than an empty floor space, but specific exercises require some minimum gear. Thus, you need a pull-up bar, a dip station, or anything else that is successfully replaced but doesn’t affect your ability to pull and dip. In the absence of any tool, be creative and improvise.

I’m lucky enough to have a decently large backyard where I was able to install a minimum required gear: a dip station, a pull-up bar, and a pair of gymnastics rings. If you train inside the home, then improvise something like two parallel chairs or anchor a pair of gymnastic rings from somewhere stable and solid.

First Week Training Plan: Hypertrophy and Cardio

These five bodyweight workouts are all based on the compound and essential exercises only. They might strike you as relaxed or too simple, but in reality, they will challenge you to a high degree in all aspects.

You have in the first-week total body workouts that train and enhance the cardiovascular system and even improve the lactic threshold. I also added classic sets and reps workouts that train the muscular system and stimulate it to respond and grow bigger and stronger.

More so, you have workouts based on volume to improve muscular endurance and fatigue them entirely, so they respond to hypertrophy a little better. This weekly bodyweight training plan, as a whole, has benefits over your growth hormone too.

Workout 1: Pull-Ups

A close example, you can take even the following pull-up workout video:

The first workout is classic sets and reps, bodybuilding style. It trains the upper muscles. Because of its simplicity, it’s easy to adapt it to almost any level of strength and endurance.

Therefore, I added three levels, from beginners to more advanced, with differences in the amount of volume accrued.

Execute in the full range of motion and hold a proper form of each repetition. I exceptionally recommend you to control the eccentric portion. Go slower on the negative part and pull as fast as you want or can on the concentric part.

You can utilize a rubber band if you want to either boost more reps every set or if you struggle with 2-4 pull-ups per set. Another method you can do is breaking the set in individual reps. Do a repetition, rest 5 seconds and complete the second repetition, and so on until the set is done.

The pause should be between 45 and 90 seconds from set to set.

Body Rows55-10
Volume65 reps100 reps150 reps

Basic Pull-Up Workout

Workout 2: Dips and Pushups

On the second day, you have dips and pushups. Yet, I kept it all simple once again. Respect the same fundamental principles and rest between 1-2 minutes from set to set.

Diamond Pushups58-20
Clapping Pushups53-15
Triceps Extensions55-10
Volume190 reps250-300 reps475 reps

Bodyweight Dips and Pushups Workout

Or you can check a slightly different workout video below for the chest and triceps:

Workout 3: Bodyweight Legs Training

Do not underestimate the following calisthenics leg workout. Not only will it sore you for the coming 3 days and you will face real problems in walking, but you’ll also find it very useful to train the leg muscles.

I want to emphasize the importance of bodyweight leg training, and it was the cornerstone of my leg development. The reality is that you can build muscular and powerful legs with bodyweight exercises, but it requires a lot of effort and creativity.

So the next workout consists of three exercises. It’s a circuit, and you move from one leg variation to another with no pause in-between. You only rest at the end of each cycle for 1 minute.

50 Walking Lunges -> 50 Jump Squats -> 50 Squats
40 Walking Lunges -> 40 Jump Squats -> 40 Squats
30 Walking Lunges -> 30 Jump Squats -> 30 Squats
20 Walking Lunges -> 20 Jump Squats -> 20 Squats
10 Walking Lunges -> 10 Jump Squats -> 10 Squats
100 Calves Raises -> 80 Calves Raises -> 60 Calves Raises -> 40 Calves Raises-> 20 Calves Raises
Volume: 450 Reps

Adapt the reps differently and to your capability, if it’s too hard to start with 50 reps per exercise.

Bodyweight Walking Lunges Workout

Workout 4: Pull-ups and Pushups Ladder Workout

The fourth workout is a pushup and pull-up combination in a ladder training system. The rest should be as little as possible and rest 2-3 minutes after completing a set of pull-ups along with pushups.

Advanced2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 10 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Pull-Ups
50 Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 10 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Wide Pull-Ups
50 Diamond Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 10 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Chinups
50 Incline Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 10 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Close Pull-Ups
50 Incline Narrow Pushups
Intermediate2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Pull-Ups
25 Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Wide Pull-Ups
25 Diamond Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Chinups
25 Incline Pushups
2 -> 4 -> 6 -> 8 -> 6 -> 4 -> 2 Close Pull-Ups
25 Incline Narrow Pushups
Volume200 Pull-Ups and Pushups. Or, 128 Pull-Ups with 100 Pushups

Workout 5: Cardio and Sprints

The last workout of the week is a cardio one to target fat only. So go out and run at a steady for 30-60 minutes, depending on your stamina and cardio capacity.

I suggest you keep a heart rate below 140 bpm, preferably between 120-140 bpm for the cardiovascular system and to use body fat as fuel mainly.

In the end, and more so if you only jogged 30 minutes, then finish with ten sprints of 50 and 100 meters at full capacity. Rest 1-2 minutes from a sprint to another.

Running and Sprints Workout

Second Week Training Plan: Total Body and Hypertrophy

The second week is composed of two leg workouts and high-intensity interval training. I also included one hypertrophy calisthenics routine among them. You can observe that I don’t neglect leg training and favor the upper-body. This is a general calisthenics training plan meant to cover every body part equally and in a balanced way. So, if you have different goals, then change it to fit your desires and purpose.

Workout 1: Leg Power, Sprint Interval

  1. 1 mile/2k jog as a warm-up
  2. 4 x 100 meters Sprints with 100 meters Backward Sprints
  3. 5 x 50 meters Sprints
  4. 100 Crouch Walks
  5. 100 Walking Lunges
  6. 100 Squats.

Sprint at full capacity and don’t rest more than 1 minute from a sprint to another. Between the backward sprints and regular sprints, there is no break time.

Workout 2: High-Intensity Total Body Circuit

The purpose of this calisthenics circuit is to be very intense and pretty short and time-efficient. Adapt the number of cycles in a way that you finish in 30 minutes tops.
An extremely intense exercise that pumps your heart to beat over 150 bpm shouldn’t be longer than 20-40 minutes, depending on the fitness level and endurance ability.

[2-3 min Jump Rope/Jumping Jacks -> 30 sec – 1 min Burpees -> 30 sec – 1 min Pushups -> 30 sec – 1 min Squats -> 30 sec – 1 min Floor Leg Raises -> 30 sec Pull-Ups/Body Rows] x 5-10 sets.

Workout 3: Upper-Body and ABS Circuit

This workout will literally destroy your upper muscles and arms. It trains your muscular endurance, but you use this workout to stimulate hypertrophy too. Rest as minimum as possible and 3 minutes from a cycle to another.

[7-10 Chinups -> 7-10 Pull-Ups -> 12-15 Dips -> 10 Leg Raises -> 10 Diamond Pushups -> 10 Pushups -> 10 Wide Pushups] x 7-10 cycles

Adjust like:

  • 3-5 reps for any pulling exercise
  • 8-10 Dips
  • 6-8 Pushups
  • Also, lower the cycles to 5 if this is really challenging.

Workout 4: Leg Training and Cardio on Stairs

The following workout requires some stairs or a hill if you have one close, plus a jumping rope. The purpose is to train the leg muscles and for cardio too.

  1. Run and do jumping variations on stairs for 30-40 minutes
  2. 1-3 minutes Jump Rope Variations x 10 sets.

By jump rope variation, I mean that you should increase the pace and speed depending on how long you plan to jump in a set continuously. For instance, I like doing “double-unders” for half a minute and then do more steady jumping for the remaining interval.

If you have no stairs available, then a simple flat run for 40 minutes can work if followed by frog jumps, 10 sets of 20 jumps.

Workout 5: High-Volume Bodyweight Squats Training

  • 10 sets x 50 Bodyweight Squats
  • Calf raises: 20-50 reps x 10 sets

This workout may sound stupid and too simple. You will have real problems walking the days after and doing unbroken sets of 50 squats. Beginners can try and do sets of 35 or 40.
The total work volume is 500 squats, and that’s the whole purpose, too accrue volume and burn the leg muscle. Don’t rest more than 1-minute from set to set.

So this is the bodyweight workout plan I propose to you for two weeks. Save it in a pdf if you want and wish you success. If you need more workout routines, then you can check my calisthenics program.

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