You may already know that military calisthenics workouts can help you get strong, muscular, and lean - all at the same time.
But how can you get into these routines?
For a successful military workout you need to know what exercises to do, the number of reps, etc…
And we are going to help you overcome these challenges by giving you 3 pre-constructed military calisthenics workouts.
Let’s get started.
Our favorite military calisthenics benefits
We believe that the military is very wise in some aspect: it has stuck with bodyweight training.
Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to get lost in all the noise of the fitness industry: machines, weights, lots of exercises, and – for some people – a disregard for joint integrity.
However, the purpose of the military is to have healthy, fast, strong, and enduring personnel.
Therefore, their best choice was to stick to some sort of training that can improve on all of these areas at once.
This leads us to our 3 favorite military calisthenics benefits:
1. Low risk of injury
Using only the weight of your body means that your joints will not have to endure very heavy weights.
However, you can force the muscle to work harder by doing the exercises slower, or by doing harder progressions of an exercise.
Example: Doing archer pull-ups instead of regular pull-ups
The benefit is the reduced risk of injury, which will keep you pain-free and performing for an extended period of time.
Another aspect we like about military bodyweight workouts is the freedom they offer.
Since you are not tied to a certain gym or much equipment, you can workout almost everywhere.
So not only will you stop searching for a hotel with gym access when you go on vacation, but you can actually workout in your home or garage.
The most you need is a pull-up bar and some dip stands.
That can be covered with a single power tower.
If you are fairly strong and would like extra versatility, gymnastics rings will be a small investment with a very high return, since they can be taken and used anywhere.
But even if you don’t have access to any of these, you can still get a good workout.
2. All-around development
When you do a military calisthenics workout, you train all the muscles in your body at once.
Instead of choosing from a large array of exercises, you only have a few fundamentals.
And the best part?
You don’t need to isolate any muscle group, unless you really want to.
Military workouts focus on lots of repetitions.
Therefore, you will get stronger, more muscular, and develop your endurance. Not to say that you will get leaner and look great without a shirt on.
The fundamental military workout exercises
In the list below we will present the most important bodyweight exercises from a military workout standpoint.
If you want to create your own workout, all you have to do is choose some of the exercises, put them together in a circuit, and get started.
In the next section we will present the 3 military calisthenics workouts created for you.
- 1. Pull-ups
- 2. Chin-ups
- 3. Rope climbing
- 4. Inverted rows
- 5. Push-ups
- 6. Diamond push-ups
- 7. Dips
- 8. Crunches
- 9. Sit-ups
- 10. Plank
- 11. Side plank
- 12. Squats
- 13. Lunges
- 14. Swimming
- 15. Running
- 16. Sprinting
- 17. Jump rope
- 18. Shadow boxing
The following military workouts are all done in different fashion.
The first workout is a circuit.
This means that after doing the set amount of reps, you move on to the next exercise without any rest.
Once you finish all exercises you will take 2-3 minutes of rest, then repeat the cycle for a total of 3-4 cycles.
The second workout is done in a sets/reps manner.
Therefore, you will be doing the first exercise for the set amount of reps, take 30-60s rest, then repeat it for a total of 3-4 sets.
Once you finish all the sets and reps of an exercise, you move on to the next.
The third workout is a pyramid.
You will start with 2 repetitions of each exercise and rest using a core exercise, as needed.
Lastly, we will mix these strength exercises with military-style running, sprinting, jump rope, or shadow boxing.
The 3 military calisthenics workouts
For each workout you will have a training protocol.
We strongly encourage you to try to push your body to do more every single session.
You can easily do that by increasing the number of repetitions, sets, or cycles, or by decreasing the amount of rest between each set or cycle.
Don’t forget to warm-up before every single workout.
Workout 1: Circuit
Workout 2: Sets & Reps
Workout 3: Pyramid
Pull-up/Dip pyramid 1-20, rest in plank 1 minute if needed:
2 pull-ups, 2 dips, 4 pull-ups, 4 dips, 6 pull-ups, 6 dips (rest 1 minute with plank if needed) 8 pull-ups, 8 dips, 10 pull-ups, 10 dips, etc.
If you start doing these military calisthenics workouts you will get fit, strong, and muscular.
You can go the extra mile by optimizing your diet.
You don’t have to do anything crazy; just start drinking more water than soda, limit the consumption of alcohol, and certainly try to eat out as rarely as possible.
Mashed potatoes with a plain salad and some oven-baked chicken breast will always be better than ordering a pizza or eating fast-food in general.
Now it’s time to workout.
Over to you.