Hey everyone, Eric here. While I usually dive into financial freedom topics, today I’m switching gears to share my at-home calisthenics routine. As a work-from-home dad with a full plate, I’ve had to find a fitness approach that fits into my busy life without sacrificing too much time or quality.
Finding Balance in Fitness
Gone are the days when I could dedicate two hours daily to working out. With a wife, a daughter, and a full-time job, I’ve had to rethink my fitness strategy. Living on a main road without sidewalks makes getting to the gym tough, and honestly, I’d rather not pay for a gym subscription when I can achieve my fitness goals at home.
The Philosophy: Decent Consistency Over Perfect Inconsistency
I’m a firm believer in following a decent method consistently rather than chasing after a perfect method that I might quit. This philosophy is inspired by Tim Ferriss, whose insights have significantly influenced my approach to business and physical fitness. Your at-home calisthenics routine that you can stick to is ultimately what allows you to be a winner in the long term. It’s your foundation for the day.
The Four Burners of Life
Balancing family, fitness, faith, and finances is like juggling four burners. You can’t have them all blazing at full throttle; something’s got to give. For me, fitness took the backseat recently, but I’ve crafted a workout plan that allows me to take control of my time and still get solid results.
My At-home Calisthenics Routine
I’ve settled into an at-home calisthenics routine routine that I do five days a week, with the potential to bump it up to seven. It’s not super intensive, but it’s effective. Here’s the breakdown:
- 25 Pull-Ups
- 25 Dips
- 50 Push-Ups
- 25 Pistol Squats (each leg)
- 30 Seconds of L-Sits
- 5 Handstand Push-Ups
My thought process is that volume, over time, will make me a well rounded athletic and healthy person. I’d rather be consistently doing movements that support a lifestyle full of running around and being energetic with my kids. I used to be extremely intense in the gym for 2-3 times a week. It feels good to have this program but the chance of injury is likely higher and the growth over time seems to be less. While the total reps over the week are the same than compared to the 3 intense days, I’m sustaining the reps over a much more consistent timeline since the workload is less and it’s something I can stick with. Naturally, as I progress in strength and overall health, I’ll be able to progress exponentially as the workload will improve as the movements get more complex. (Muscle ups, planche pushups, shrimp squats etc.)
The Importance of Form
In the past, I was all about the number of reps, but I’ve shifted my focus to form. It’s better to do five excellent reps than fifteen sloppy ones. Good form means better muscle engagement and less risk of injury.
Over time, I will progress much faster by just adopting good form versus quick reps.
An at-home Calisthenics Routine That Covers All Bases
This at-home calisthenics routine hits all the fundamental movements, is quick, intense, and maintains, if not builds, muscle over time. I’ve moved away from traditional weightlifting, not because it’s ineffective, but because I want to feel more athletic, agile, and well-rounded. Too often after months of weight lifting, I feel myself out of breath over simple movements like going up the stairs, or lifting basic objects off the ground.
My joints seem to be in pain more frequently as while I enjoy compound movements, I like to move my body as the workout not another object that puts me in a position for injury. For example, even though I aim to lift weights that I can control, I still found myself in positions of pain because I did one shoulder press wrong and now I can’t do that movement for a few weeks.
I find that with my at-home calisthenics routine, the chances for injury are lower as the pressure placed on the body is also lower and in order for you to “abort” the movement, you might just need to twist your body a little to the left or right. Or with pushups/pullups you drop to the ground, rest, and try again.
With Bench press, assuming you have a spotter that can help you, the “abort mission” is easier, without a spotter, you’ll have to do an awkward bar roll off your body. The only movement I can think of that you would possibly need a spotter/helper for in calisthentics is the handstand pushup. Even then, if you get yourself in a sticky situation, you tuck your legs and go back to all fours.
That was just a really long winded way of explaining myself on why I prefer calisthentics due to the progression levels of movements. True mastery in calisthentics seems to be a longer journey that (in theory) only improves your strength and reduces your chances of injury. With weights, you need to add more weight which also increases the chances of injury assuming you tweak your body trying to get the weight up.
Calisthenics: The Path of Least Resistance
I’ve embraced calisthenics because it’s accessible. I can do 50 push-ups with good form anywhere, anytime. There’s beauty in simplicity, and the less resistance I create for myself, the better.
I’ve found over the years that I’ve gotten quite lazy and also full of excuses. We have one car so my best and easiest option is to workout from home. Even then, I still find myself being busy over getting the priorities done most days. Therefore, if I can create a routine to stick to that removes virtually every excuse, that means I can stick with it. Calisthentics does that for me because it can be done anywhere, anytime, with no equipment. Especially if I’m travelling, calisthentics is a blessing.
Progress Over Perfection
I’m not where I want to be yet. For instance, I used to do 100 push-ups in a row, albeit with poor form. Now, focusing on technique, I can do about 30 with proper form. It’s a different game when you slow down and focus on doing each rep correctly. Plus you receive outsized returns with less effort. Who doesn’t love that.
Wrapping Up the at-home calisthenics routine
This routine may not be the ultimate workout, but it’s one I can stick to. It’s quick, efficient, and intense enough to feel the burn. If you’re looking for a workout routine that you can commit to, consider giving this a try. It might just be the perfect fit for your lifestyle, too.
Thanks for tuning in, and if you’re interested in more content like this, let me know. I’m here to document my journey, not just for my future self but to hopefully inspire others along the way.
Stay strong and stay blessed!