Can you train calisthenics everyday? In this article, we are giving you the answer.
You can do daily calisthenics, or you can train hard with calisthenics. However, you will not be able to do both. If you train hard, your body needs time to recover. And if you are training everyday, you are not giving it the time it needs to repair itself.
However, you can train daily as long as not all of your sessions are hard.
Keep reading to learn:
An awful way of training calisthenics everyday
As mentioned above, you can't train hard every single day.
An awful way of training everyday with calisthenics would be to have difficult workouts day in and day out. Something like weighted calisthenics, or doing a calisthenics weight loss workout daily without resting in between workout days.
There are two limiting factors that prevent you from training hard everyday:
Muscle recovery and daily calisthenics
When you are working out, your muscle fibers suffer damage that is repaired through proper rest and nutrition. Not only do your muscles get repaired, but they are also built stronger.
Without proper rest your body will not be able to recover.
This is the reason why people avoid training the same muscle group twice in a row.
Usually, after a day where a certain muscle group was trained, the following day will target another muscle or will be a rest day. Ideally, it will be a workout targeting a different region altogether. For instance a chest calisthenics workout followed by legs, instead of a back calisthenics workout - upper followed by lower.
Therefore, the first limiting factor in training daily is your physical recovery.
Accumulated fatigue if doing calisthenics everyday
The second issue with resistance training everyday is the accumulation of fatigue.
For a better understanding of what we mean, let us discuss the fitness-fatigue model.
The fitness fatigue model is a two-factor model that looks at how your workouts affect your fitness level, as well as your fatigue level - both being factors that affect performance (1).
Every workout results in increased levels of both fitness and fatigue.
However, fatigue masks fitness.
If you are doing calisthenics everyday and you are training as hard as you can, and you are doing it without taking rest days, eventually your body is going to fatigue. This fatigue is going to mask your fitness, therefore your performance will suffer. If you keep doing it, over time you will get into an overtrained state, which can put your health at risk (2).
However, rest days don't dissipate fatigue but merely prevent it from accumulating too fast.
To dissipate fatigue, you will need to do a deload every 4 to 8 weeks.
Good way of daily training
Now that you know what an awful routine of daily calisthenics training looks like, let's see the opposite. Because, as you will see, there is a way of training calisthenics everyday without harm.
Meet the concept of active rest day.
An active rest day refers to a day where you are still being active but training with less intensity.
Examples of active rest days in the context of calisthenics:
Aside from your 3-5 workout days, you can have 2-4 more active rest days where you are developing attributes other than strength, muscle mass, or endurance.
If you want a bodyweight workout to build muscle mass, check our article on calisthenics bodybuilding.
Benefits of daily calisthenics exercising
Notice how we said daily calisthenics exercising, instead of workout.
We believe that you can and should be doing some form of exercise every single day, even if it is not a workout you are doing. We actually don't condone daily workouts, but daily exercising.
Let's see some of the benefits of doing calisthenics everyday:
Now that we have covered everything there was to know about whether you could train calisthenics everyday, let's tackle some common questions in regards to this topic.
Should you do calisthenics everyday?
Honestly, the answer is no.
Regardless of what type of resistance training it is - calisthenics, crossfit, bodybuilding - we don't think that you should do it everyday. If anything, we feel like you shouldn't be doing it daily.
Aside from the fact that you may not be allowing your body to recover properly, when you are doing something everyday you may lose your passion for it. Training should be fun and bring you enjoyment.
You won't lose progress if you don't train daily. Trust us.
Do you need rest days for calisthenics?
Just like with any type of training, calisthenics requires rest days. With that said, it all boils down to intensity. If you can do 50 push-ups in a single set, doing 3 sets of 10 every single day will not harm you in any way.
Therefore, this whole debate is relative to you.
As long as you are training for calisthenics, muscle mass, or endurance, you need rest days to recover, regardless of the type of resistance training you are doing.
Can you train full body calisthenics everyday?
Again, this is relative to the intensity of the training.
You shouldn't be training hard everyday, especially with a full body workout. A daily full body workout means that you will be working a muscle group 7/7 days. Doing so will certainly mess up with your recovery.
We recommend full body workouts at most 5 days a week, with 2 rest days - one after the first 3 workouts, and the other after the other 2.
How many times a week should you do calisthenics?
It depends on your goals and your split.
Our recommendation is to do calisthenics 3 - 5 days a week, and to be especially careful about the intensity and volume of the workouts.
Therefore, make sure that the effort is not high 5 out of 5 workouts, and make sure that you are doing 10-20 sets per muscle group per week. If you are a beginner, shoot for the lower end. If you are advanced, do around the 20 sets per week mark, maybe even slightly more - 22-23.
Doing calisthenics everyday is certainly something that many passionate athletes want to do.
This is especially true when you start working on a new skill and are excited to progress. But as we could see in the fitness-fatigue model, training more often, supposing the training is intense enough, will lead to the opposite result - a decrease in performance.
Remember that training is a marathon. And even though you need to give it your best effort every time you train, your muscle and strength can only shine when you are properly rested.
So whether you train or not today is a matter of asking yourself: could I use this rest day?
Over to you.