Building Muscle on Just Calisthenics

Q: I'll follow the body weight and dumbbell exercises you recommended but drop the use of kettlebells.  Will these be enough? And do they follow the correct sequence?

1. Dips (progress to weighted dips)
2. Pull-ups
3. Push-ups (progress to One-hand push ups)
4. Leg raises (progress to Pike)
5. One-legged squats (progress to weighted one-legged squats)
6. Lateral push away with dumbbells
7. Lean away laterals with dumbbells

I plan to do this workout thrice a week.  How many sets and reps per exercise do you recommend? Kind regards,

E. Ong

My Answer: Yep those exercises should be enough.  As far as sequencing, you should sequence them according to difficulty.  So exercises where you perform a low number of reps (due to their difficulty) should be done at the beginning of the workout.  Easier exercises where you can perform a high number of reps  (like push-ups and lateral raises) should be done at the end of the workout.

Since most of these are body weight exercises, then the number of reps is simple: do 3-4 sets of as many reps as you can.  For the dumbbell exercises do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.

Q: I wrote you back on November about the Ectomorph Training regimen. I've been using it since then, and I have been seeing some great results. As of late though, my gains have been minimal, and I think it might be time to switch to a new plan unfortunately! What kind of plan can you recommend that is different [from] Vince Gironda's?

Thanks James,

My Answer: Well if you've been doing the program since November of last year, then of course your gains will slow down. Jeez, you've been using it for 8 weeks! I answered this before: switch to the 5x5 program with 90 seconds of rest between sets. Choose one exercise per body part. Follow a 2 day split, hitting each muscle group twice a week.
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