Ultimate Calisthenics Progression Guide (Best Way To Go From Beginner To Advanced)

Written By: Todd Kuslikis

This Article Has Been Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Antonis Stavropoulos-Kalinoglou

November 10, 2021

The biggest myth with bodyweight exercises is that it’s difficult to make the calisthenics workout more challenging which is why we created this calisthenics progression guide.

When you use weights you can simply add weight.

When you use your own body weight most people just do more reps or exercise harder.

Yet in order to reach your muscle-building goals, you need to do low reps.

So how do we stay in low rep ranges without “adding weight”?

Answer: Do More Advanced Exercises

Advanced Exercises Build Strength When Using Your Own Body Weight

When you choose a calisthenics exercise that is challenging, you’ll automatically stay in a low rep range.

As you get stronger the number of reps increase.

Building size and strength will require a progressive overload of the muscle with more and more resistance training.

If you lift weights it’s easy, right?

Just grab heavier weights as your muscle gets stronger.

Yet when you use bodyweight exercises this presents a problem.

You can’t make push-ups harder in the same way you can make a bench press harder, ie- adding weight.

However, you can make your calisthenics workout harder in other ways by incorporating more challenging exercises like a handstand push-up.

The Calisthenics Progression Guide is designed to help you build mass and strength by progressing from one exercise to the next.

How Long Does It Take To Progress In Calisthenics?

How long it takes you to progress with calisthenics training depends on your weight, your diet, and the training frequency in which you do your workout routine.

It also depends on your goals and exactly what progress might look like for you.

To go from overweight to jacked will probably take years of daily bodyweight training to lose fat build muscle.

Similarly, if you are super skinny with no muscle, you’ll need the same type of dedication with your calisthenics training to start building muscle.

If you are already in shape and just looking to take it to the next level, it could take 6-12 months to see results from your calisthenics program.

But if your calisthenics progress is more focused on strength, range of motion, and improving your overall calisthenics skills you may be able to reach your goals much faster.

There is more to being healthy than having huge muscles, though that is one of the main reasons people do bodyweight training.

How To Use This Calisthenics Progression Guide in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1: Find out your exercise level (see levels below).

Try the body weight exercises from each category and award yourself the corresponding points if you can do that exercise for 12 reps (30 seconds if it’s a static hold).

Don’t award yourself points for exercises below that difficulty just the exercise where you can complete 12 reps in good form.

The goal here is to simply find your level of ability for each of your body’s muscle groups.

For example, in the Chest Category, I can do 12 reps of Uneven Push-Ups.

That means I would award myself 7 points and move on to the next category, NOT points for each exercise below the Uneven Push-Up.

Step 2: Once you have a point value for each category add them up together.

Locate your category below:

Knee Health Score 2
  • Bodyweight Grasshopper: 0-13
  • Bodyweight Ambassador: 14-27
  • Bodyweight Warrior: 28-38
  • Bodyweight Jedi: 38-51 (This is where I am at with a score of 44.)
  • Bodyweight Sensei: 51-67

Step 3: Make a list of the calisthenics exercises from each category that is just above the level of difficulty that you are currently at and start working on it.

Call it your Calisthenics Progression List.

This will keep you motivated for your upcoming training session plus get you used to new calisthenics movements and build muscle.

There are a lot of tutorials that are designed to help you so follow them and continue to build up strength and size by staying a low rep range.

Calisthenics Progression Guide For Every Major Body Part

This calisthenics progression is laid out in order of easiest to hardest.

Remember that the goal is to work out in the rep range of 8-12.

Once you can get to 12 reps of a certain exercise it’s time to try the next exercise.

Chest Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Incline Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Incline Push-Ups (1 Point)

Video Instruction

This is a beginner chest body weight exercise that works mostly the lower part of the chest muscle.

If you are just starting out on your fitness journey this is the perfect option.

You can use a wall or bench or whatever elevated surface you can find.

What’s up Tommy Clifford (He’s the guy in the video… one of my childhood friends who now does Iron Man Tri’s).

Push-Ups on Knees calisthenics progression

Push-Ups on Knees (2 Points)

Video Instruction

Ah, the traditional “girly push up”.

Although with some of the girls that follow SOA I’d be careful who you say this to.

When you put your knees on the ground it takes a lot of the strain off of your chest muscles.

So if you are a beginner then start here.

Standard Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Regular Push-Ups (standard) (3 Points)

I think everyone knows the classic push-up.

Make sure your back is straight and you go through a full range of motion.

Wide Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Wide Push-Ups (4 Points)

Video Instruction

Knee Health Score 1

This exercise is similar to the standard push up but you’ll be positioning your arms out wider at about 1 1/2 times the width of your shoulders.

Decline Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Decline Push-Ups (5 Points)

Video Instruction

Now we are really starting to step up our game.

Find something to put your feet on like a chair or couch.

Then crank out your push-ups.

The decline allows you to focus on the upper portion of your chest and build your upper body strength.

It also puts more of your own body weight on your upper body with the help of gravity.

If you are looking for that extra lift in your pecs then this is the perfect exercise.

Dips w/Elbows Out calisthenics progression

Dips w/Elbows Out (6 Points)

Video Instruction

Dips are one of my favorite chest exercises.

Find some parallel bars at the local park or get some chairs and do them off of the backrests or the seat (if it’s high enough).

Make sure your elbows are pointed out. This will shift the focus from your triceps to your chest.

Uneven Push Up calisthenics progression

Uneven Push Up (7 Points)

Video Instruction

Get in the same position as the normal push-up but shift your weight over to one side.

You can either put your hand on an object like how you see in the video or you can simply shift your weight to one side.

One Arm Push Ups calisthenics progression

One Arm Push Ups (8 Points)

Video Instruction

If you have successfully made it through the 70/30 – 90/10 splits then it’s time to work on the one-arm push-up.

If you still can’t quite do a single rep of the one-arm push-ups try holding it in certain positions as a static exercise.

For example, hold the top position as long as you can.

This isometric will engage the same muscles as the normal one-arm push-up and get you prepared for the full exercise.

Tuck Planche calisthenics progression

Tuck Planche (9 Points)

Video Instruction

I love this exercise.

It’s more of a strength exercise and less of a muscle mass exercise but I had to throw it in because it is still challenging.

You can either do these on the p bars or on the ground.

Make sure that you lean far enough forward for your weight to be balanced.

Also, make sure to keep your arms straight.

Tuck Planche Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Tuck Planche Push-Ups (10 Points)

Video Instruction

This exercise is just like the Tuck Planche but you’ll be doing Push-Ups.

Try to not let your body swing forward too much otherwise you’ll just be doing the standard dip exercise.

Planche calisthenics progression

Planche (11 Points)

Video Instruction

This is a super hard exercise that relies on whole-body strength as well as the chest muscles.

There are moves that seem to defy the laws of gravity and this is certainly one of them.

Planche Push-Up calisthenics progression

Planche Push-Ups (12 Points)

Video Instruction

If you get to the point where the planche starts to get easy go for planche push-ups.

It will take it up several notches.

Planche on Rings (Maltese) calisthenics progression

Planche on Rings (Maltese) (13 Points)

Video Instruction

And the kingpin of all chest bodyweight exercises…?

The Maltese.

Few people on the planet have the patience and determination to master this move.

It is very much a “gymnastic” move but if you have a set of rings you’ll be to practice this move too.

Your Score For Chest: ___ 

Shoulders Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Plank with Knees On Ground calisthenics progression

Plank with Knees On Ground (1 Point)

Video Instruction

When you are first starting to strengthen your shoulders this is a great exercise to start you off.

Hold it for as long as you can.

Once you can hold it for 30 seconds try the standard plank.

Plank calisthenics progression

Plank (2 Points)

Video Instruction

The plank is a great exercise for strengthening not just your shoulders but your entire body.

Make sure you keep your back straight so you don’t put undue strain on your low back.

Frog Push Up calisthenics progression

Frog Push-Up (3 Points)

Video Instruction

We’re going to quickly ramp up here. 😉

Frog Push-Ups are no easy bodyweight move.

You’ll feel it quickly on your shoulders.

Supported Handstands Holds calisthenics progression

Supported Handstands Holds (4 Points)

Video Instruction

Doing handstands against a wall is a great method of learning the unsupported handstand.

Prop yourself up against a wall and hold the position as long as you can.

Supported Handstand Push-Ups calisthenics progression

Supported Handstand Push-Ups (5 Points)

Video Instruction

If you have shoulder problems then I would stop with the Supported Handstand Holds.

This exercise will really challenge the strength of your shoulders.

Try to go as low as you can.

Handstand Holds (6 Points)

Video Instruction

The exercise is as much about balance as it is about strength.

It may take several months before you can hold yourself without the wall.

But don’t worry.

The time will pass quickly if you focus on your goal.

Handstand Push-Ups (7 Points)

Video Instruction

This exercise will take your game even higher.

As you lower yourself down to the ground you’ll notice that it becomes even harder to stay upright.

Handstand Push-Ups on Parallettes calisthenics progression

Handstand Push-Ups on Parallettes (8 Points)

Video Instruction

Most people see this type of handstand push-up as harder than doing them on the ground.

Yet I actually find them easier.

However, I put them here because most people find them more difficult.

One Arm Handstand calisthenics progression

One Arm Handstand (9 Points)

Video Instruction

This is the ultimate shoulder exercise.

Just like the handstand it also requires extreme balance.

Iron Cross calisthenics progression

Iron Cross (10 Points)

Video Instruction

The Iron Cross is not only a brutally hard exercise but also an aesthetically pleasing move.

I can’t do it yet but someday I will!

Your Score For Shoulders: ___ 

Biceps Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Supported Chin-Ups calisthenic progression

Supported Chin-Ups (1 Point)

Video Instruction

If you can’t do an unsupported chin-up then this is a great option for you.

Place your feet on a stool or chair as you do your chin-up.

Some of your weight will transfer to the chair which will make the exercise easier.

Chin-Ups calisthenics progression

Chin-Ups (2 Points)

Video Instruction

Once you can do 12 supported chin-ups it’s time to work on the normal chin-up.

Make sure you go through a full range of motion with this one.

Wide Grip Chin-Ups (3 Points)

Video Instruction

This chin-up will be a little harder than the normal chin-up.

Try to keep your hands out at least 1 1/2 times shoulder width. (Note: Ideally the hands in the video should be a full underhand grip.)

Uneven Chin-Ups calisthenic progression

Uneven Chin-Ups (4 Points)

Video Instruction

This is my favorite way of making sure that you fatigue your muscle group within a low rep range.

Adjust the amount of weight in your arms so that they are uneven and more difficult for the arm that has more weight in it.

Front Lever Chin-Ups calisthenic progression

Front Lever Chin-Ups (5 Points)

Video Instruction

This exercise is going to be engaging your core and lats way more than any other chin-up.

(Note: In the video, he shows a modified version of what I am talking about. My definition of front lever chin-up is where you actually hold the front lever continuously and still do a chin-up.)

One Arm Chin-Ups calisthenic progression

One Arm Chin-Ups (6 Points)

Video Instruction

This chin-up is very difficult.

I have yet to master them.

Your Score For Biceps: ___ 

Triceps Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Tricep Dips (1 Point) -This is the classic tricep exercise. Make sure you keep your elbows tight to your body.

Side Tricep Raises (2 Points)– I first learned this exercise from Tony Horton of P90X. It’s a great bodyweight isolation exercise for the triceps that isn’t too hard. Lay on your left side. Place your right hand on the ground by your left chest muscle. Keep your elbow tight to your body and push your upper body upwards. Repeat on the other side.

Close Grip Push Ups (3 Points)– This is basically a normal push up but your hands will be closed in. Make sure your elbows are brushing your sides as you go up and down. That’s the key to making it a tricep exercise and not as much a chest exercise.

Dips w/ Elbows Tucked In (4 Points)– Most people know the dip but few remember to keep their elbows tucked in. This is so important to make sure that this exercise is kept as a tricep exercise instead of shifting the focus to your chest.

Uneven Dips (5 Points) – You know that I am a huge fan of bodyweight distribution, right? Well, I am. Almost any exercise can be adapted to make it harder by shifting your weight. And Uneven Dips are a perfect example. Start off in the normal dip position (shown in the picture) but shift your weight over to one side. This will put more strain on that tricep muscle. (Note: the video does not show what I am talking about but shows a normal dip.)

Tiger Bend (6 Points) – The King Pumba of all tricep exercises. I can’t do this one but my buddy Hit Richards can. Check out the video to learn how to do it.

Your Score For Triceps: ___ 

Back Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Incline Pull Up (1 Point) – Get in the normal pull up position but instead of dangling your legs, place them on a chair or stool. Some of your weight will be distributed to the chair and make the exercise easier.

Kipping Pull Up (2 Points) – “You’re using momentum! Your cheating!” Not with Kipping Pull-Ups. You’re supposed to use momentum with this exercise. 😉 This is a fun pull-up exercise that requires your to swing up the bar.

Pull Up (3 Points) – Yep, the classic. Need I say more? Yes, I must. The only thing I want to say here is that you should be focusing on your lats as you pull up. Visualize bringing your elbows down into your back. This will help you take the focus off of your biceps and put it into your back.

Eccentric Pull Up (4 Points) – Eccentrics are the Ace-Up-The-Sleeve exercise for building hypertrophy. Use this exercise to develop a nice wide v shape in your back.

Around the World Pull Up (5 Points) – These are a super fun way of spicing up your pull-ups. Make sure that you get as high and as low as you can. This increased ROM will help tear more muscle tissue.

Archer Pull Up (6 Points) – The Archer Pull Up is a challenging pull-up because you are essentially staying in the up position. Try your best to do as many reps as you can.

Uneven Pull Up (7 Points) – If you have read up to this point you should not be surprised at all that this exercise is in the mix.

Assisted One Arm Pull Up (8 Points) – With this pull up you are using mostly one arm to get up. You grab the bar with one hand than grab your wrist/forearm with the other. You then pull yourself all the way up.

One Arm Pull Up (9 Points) – This is just like the one-arm chin-up except you will have an overhand grip and not an underhand grip.

Your Score For Back: ___ 

Core Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Crunches (1 Point) – I think most people know the crunch. Make sure your shoulders don’t touch the ground and try to curl just your abs. Don’t engage your hip flexors by coming all the way up like a sit-up.

Sit Ups (2 Points) – Sit-Ups are only slightly harder than a crunch because you are coming all the way up. Make sure to not let your shoulders touch the ground.

Leg Lifts (3 Points) – Our old grade school football coach made us do these until we were blue in the face. Try to get at least 5 and move on.

Flutter Kicks (4 Points) – This exercise will work both your abdominal region and hip flexors.

V Ups (5 Points) – Start off by laying on the ground with your arms extended above you. Lift your arms and legs simultaneously. Then come back down.

Hanging Sit Ups (6 Points) – It will probably be hard to find a “non-gym” place to do these. Yet my friend and I used to do them off the back of bleachers.

Windshield Wipers (7 Points) – This exercise is just like hanging leg raise however you will be bringing them down on each side like the windshield wipers of your car.

Hanging Leg Raises (8 Points) – Hang from a bar and lift your legs up as high as you can. My buddy Pavil will show you how in the video.

L Sit (9 Points) – I do these on the p bars all the time. You can do them on the ground though too. Make sure your arms are locked and your legs are as straight as you can get them.

Dragon Flag (10 Points) – Remember Rocky cranking out dragon flags? This move is a KILLER for the abs! Gotta try these.

Front Lever (11 Points) – I’m still working on holding my front lever but can do about 10 reps of moving in and out of them. This exercise works the core a ton but also works the lats.

Ab Flutters for Men (12 Points) – Our good old Hannibal for King brings us this exercise. It sure isn’t easy.

Human Flag (13 Points) – The Human Flag works the core and shoulders a ton. I can’t do them yet but it is certainly on my list! Honestly, I could have just as easily added this exercise to the shoulder section but decided to put them here.

Your Score For Core: ___ 

Legs Calisthenics Progression Exercises

Hindu Squats (1 Point)– I learned this exercise originally from Matt Furey. He had his “Core 3” which are Hindu Squats, Hindu Push-Ups, and the Bridge.

Bear Squats (2 Points)  I made this exercise up a while ago. It will really start to burn your legs quickly if you do them right.

Wall Sit (3 Points) – Do you remember your gym teacher telling you to do these? I remember being tortured by ours’ because he would make us do wall sits for what seemed like forever.

Karate Lunges (4 Points) – This exercise is part of my 3 Month Program and is a killer. Make sure that you totally fatigue on one leg before you move to the next.

Falling Tower (5 Points) – Some people say you can’t isolate certain leg muscles using just bodyweight exercises. Well, this exercise isolates the quads and is brutal. Make sure that you do NOT hinge at your hips, only your knees. Also, try to get back as far as you can.

Single Leg Wall Sit (6 Points)– If your gym teacher was really a jerk he would make you lift one leg up in the air. Oh, the pain!!

Harop Curl (7 Points) – Most people don’t know this one. If you can do it even for 5 reps going all the way down… I am very impressed. 🙂

Duck Walks (8 Points) My buddy and I used to do these around the track. I would start off doing duck walks for 100 yards and then he would take over and do duck walks for 100 yards. We would keep alternating until we fell to the ground. It really is a blaster.

Shrimp Squat (9 Points)– Al Kavadlo made this one famous. It’s similar to the pistol squat but your leg is behind you.

Pistol Squat (10 Points)– My absolute FAVORITE leg exercise of all time. It takes balance, flexibility, and strength. The ultimate combination.

Your Score For Legs: ___ 

Now add up your total score from each category (Chest Score + Shoulder Score + Bicep Score + Tricep Score + Back Score + Core Score + Leg Score = Total Score) and check your level!

Here are the levels again…

  • Bodyweight Grasshopper: 0-13
  • Bodyweight Ambassador: 14-27
  • Bodyweight Warrior: 28-38
  • Bodyweight Jedi: 38-51
  • Bodyweight Sensei: 51-67

So how did you do?

Once you find out your level share it in the comments below…

Remember that the cool thing about bodyweight exercises is that you only have to change your body position to exercise harder.

By putting your body in different positions you also start to strengthen multiple muscle groups and become strong enough to do more advanced calisthenics exercises.


Show/Hide Comments (64 comments)
  1. Sachin

    Hi Todd, for the workout, do you only do the workout that you find difficulty in and not do the ones that you did before for that body part or do you include the ones you did and also the new one?

  2. A Rajiv

    Im happy to see me scoring 36 in total but I see myself wrapped with some layer of fat still.

  3. Tristan

    I got 47
    I am working towards full front lever (I can do one bending my knees), pilot squat and one arm pull up.
    I found it tons of fun trying new exercises I had never heard of. I feel good about my progress as I am only 15 but have a long way to go…

  4. Kuro

    My score is 41, but I dont clasified myself as “JEDI” yet… I will be at early warrior at best.

    CHEST: Uneven Push Up (7/13 Points)
    SHOULDERS: Handstand Holds (6/10 Points)
    BICEPS: Uneven Chin Ups (4/6 Points)
    TRICEPS: Dips w/ Elbows Tucked In (4/6 Points)
    BACK: Assisted One Arm Pull Up Uneven Pull Up (7/9 Points)
    CORE: L Sit (9/13 Points)
    LEGS: Karate Lunges (4/10 Points)

    You have some problem in organizing the difficulty. Like, uneven pullup is much easier by alot compare to the true/strict archer pull up. Archer pull up is basically just a step away from assited one arm pull up. Another thing is, I can do about 2-3 assisted pull up, but cannot do strict form archer pull up, funny.

    Also, I can do dragon flag, but avoiding to include it in my routine since I cannot maintain the strict form for more than 3x reps, just like I avoided assisted pull up. You will better do high pull up rather than assisted pull up since high pull up will be a better preparation for muscle up (one of the top moves you will want to learn)

    And, what kind of calisthenic guy promoted skipping pull up? Are you sure you are doing it right?

  5. Noe

    I scored a 45 and I’m only 17. Ive been going at it for a while and there is still a lot to improve I also learned a lot of new moves, thank you. What a great website.

  6. Mulugeta

    hi todd!! i am new to this website and i would like to ask when can we move on to the next exercise level??? and also i was wondering if uneven push ups and uneven pull up affects our body posture??? thanks for your time.

  7. B

    Dear Todd,

    why is (Back Section) the Pullup before the eccentric Pullup. Shouldn´t it be the other way around?

    How many Sets? I am planning with 5 and a Split.

    Progressions are great, I am at warrior and will fight my way up.


  8. Yowel

    Is there a place where I can find Isometrics Strength as a book in paper form

  9. Mr Benjamin Weetman

    I got 41
    not too bad for a 290lb bear though :
    I use calisthenics as my assistance work and so on for strongman and highland games alongside the big barbell lifts I find they all compliment each other really well. im hoping to eventually become one of those scary dudes like Ironl00.

  10. Oliver Chapman

    I like the progression chart idea, although not sure I completely agree with the order. I’d definitely say the iron cross is more chest and lats than shoulders. Therefore I’d put hollow back press or planche to handstands as the ultimate shoulder exercise. I’d consider adding Glute Ham raise for legs as it’s probably one of the ultimate posterior chain exercises you can do alongside the pistol squat?

    Finally possibly adding standing ad wheel into the core mix as it’s a seriously brutal exercise and personally I think one of the toughest.

  11. varun

    Sorted a meagre 19. I wanna have a gymnast bod. Better get to work.

  12. Terry

    Score of 40 for me. Not bad for mostly traditional weight lifting. Going to develop a body weight/calisthenics progression for myself now.

    Thinking of doing 3 days a week with a day of rest in between, two days of rest or auxiliary work on the weekend.

    I am going to have 10 minute warm up at the beginning of each workout, and for the workout I’ll be picking out two of the body parts you have outlined on this page for each workout.

    I am gonna start out with the exercise I maxed on initially, do as many reps or hold for as long as I can for three sets with one minute rest in between, then rest for 3 minutes, and then drop setting each of the easier exercises to failure.

    I’m pairing off the exercises like this:

    Monday – Chest/Triceps
    Wednesday – Legs/Shoulders/Abs
    Friday – Back/Biceps

    What do you think, Todd?

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Terry,

      I can’t see anything wrong with that routine. You just have to stick to it and take good care of your rest and nutrition. Let me know how it goes.

      – Todd

  13. Ajacc

    Wow 39 for me, I thought I’d score less points.

    How is it objectively, tho?
    Comparing to the average score?

  14. Nathan

    28 out of the 67, only started a week ago. happy days. 🙂

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Not bad at all. Keep it up!

      – Todd

  15. Floflo

    I will add the L-sit pull up (close, standard and wide grip). 😉

    Good article ! 🙂

  16. Robert

    Front lever is a good bit harder than human flag. Also front lever pull ups are harder than one arm pull ups.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Robert,

      I think when you get to that level of advanced calisthenics, difficulty can be very subjective. I can definitely see your order being correct for a lot of people.

      – Todd

    • Kuro

      Robert has a point. There is survey going on about the moves difficulty, planche hold the hardest record for being account only for about 2% of practioners (regardless of the participant expertise), Front Lever is second hardest with only about 3% can do it. Human Flag is in the range of 5%.

      Some strict practioners even can only do planche (strcit form, more than 3 sec) after 6 years! Compare to Front Lever that you can do it after about 4 years

  17. Ed

    Great article. I found out my chest and legs are equal, but my arms need work. My total us 21. I’m going to try the beast mode 30 day and reevaluate.

  18. Andre Vivian

    Great article, just what I need to help me progress. Is there a reason you left out regular squats?

  19. Daniel davis

    48 points… so close to being a sensei!!

    But i assume jedi means i get to use the force??

    This is a great body weight guide and i will definitely keep working at it

  20. Russell

    Hey Todd,

    Great progression guide! I have one question, when you mention to move on when we hit 12 reps or 30 second holds, is that just for 1 set?

    I have been selecting 1 exercise from each category and doing that as my exercise for the day. I have been striving to hit 3 sets of 12 reps or 30 second holds before moving on, as your guide doesn’t seem to mention how many sets we should be doing.


    • Mary

      I would like to know the answer to this as well… thanks!

  21. aaron

    13 (so hard but so good)
    total 56

    keep working hard everyone

  22. Denis da Silva

    Great article, Todd!
    That is fun idea in how we can measure our current level.
    I don’t wanna piss you off, but my score was actually only one point bigger than yours: it was 45.
    Thanks for your commitment and keep up with your good work!

  23. Joonas Pusila

    Hey Todd,

    Awesome list! I have one question, do you do 12reps on each side on exercises like archer pull up or 6 reps per side for total of 12 reps?

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Try to do 8-12 reps on one side for hypertrophy.

  24. Zohair

    Hey Todd this is a really helpful tool for me as i love doing calisthenics, i just wanted to ask that if im on an exercise that is not my level yet (e.g: Uneven pushups) than in how many sets should i split it in?? And what should be my starting number of reps?? An answer would be appreciated!

  25. Glade

    There are some of these that I can’t do, due to not having equipment. Can I do some of the exercises twice?

    • Glade

      Oh wait, my apologies, I misread the instructions. Seriously can’t wait to do this though!

  26. Alexis1718Jony

    Hello Todd.Can you tell me a program to do at home with bodyweight and 5 kg dumbbells or only bodyweight that focus all muscle groups for toned body.I also have a pull up bar and I am at beginner level.Thank you

  27. Dave

    Chest 7
    Shoulders 6
    Biceps 4
    Triceps 5
    Back 5
    Core 10
    Legs 9

    TOTAL 46
    Im upset I cant get a Full Pistol.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Keep working on it Dave!! Nice numbers man!!!

  28. Sanam

    Hi Todd,
    I wan’t to build some lean athletic muscle and add some size.
    I’m currently at around 13% body fat.
    Could I just make a routine form the list above and make gradual progressions?

  29. Dylan

    Quality article. This has always been something that I struggle with in body weight training, that there are very few standards to measure progress other than simply more reps with whatever exercise you are working on. I like to have progressions and such like this, it really helps me focus rather than having kinda random, from-the-seat-of-my-pants workouts. I’ll keep checking back here off and on, I’m sure.

  30. Reef

    Perfect! This is what I’ve been looking for. Awseome combination of excersises! There are so many workouts I can do just from this list! I wish there was a bit more info on how to do each excersise though. Great work, thanks! Definitely worth $, a great value your giving to bodyweight enthusiasts.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Reef! I’m glad you are finding it valuable! Thanks for the feedback!

  31. Barton

    Two or three months ago, I changed from lifting Iron weights to body weight. I’ve been doing a set of 20 push-ups, followed by a set of pull-/chin-ups, followed by a set of dips. I been doing 5 sets of these combos, and then doing one or two sets of iron weight (mostly dumb bell) exercises for back/bi’s; chest/tri’s; or legs/shoulders. The last 3 weeks were with no iron at all. Then I got you email with the URL to this site, and checked myself.

    I score 34 points, although I can do a few of the higher ranking exercises, not being able to do the of the one(s) below first, smacks of cheating to me, so I have’t claimed anything I can’t actually do at least 3 sets of 8 reps.

    FWIW, I’m an old paratrooper (74 last May) and a few bullet holes have cost me the control of my right leg below the knee, and one in my spine cost me the internal rotation function in my right hip, meaning I cannot balance on my right side at all.

    I’m also a stage IVC cancer patient since August, ’09. It’s incurable, but has been manageable and looks like it will continue to be for a while. I mention this because Cancer is something that is going to hit one out of three of you reading this, and here is a tip that will help you deal with chemo. DO NOT STOP WORKING OUT while you are taking chemo. Vigorous, strenuous exercise will prevent nausea, and while that’s not the only bad side-effect, it’s the one that will make you wish you were dead, it’s bad news; but if you work out, it won’t bother you. Think about that.

    • Anonymous

      Hey barton, instead of doing 20 pushups, try doing a harder variation within the rep range of 4-8 for strength, or 8-12 for hypertrophy. Once you have reached the highest amount of reps within the rep range that you prefer, move to an even harder variation. Anything above 15 reps will only work muscular endurance. Also try to get a horizontal pulling exercise (such as inverted rows, which you can do from under a table) in there as you want to keep the balance between pushing and pulling exercises. If you have the time, don’t neglect abs (with leg raise progressions) and lower back (supermans to start off, then move on to hyperextensions on a dip station).

  32. Vik


    Just had a question. Are all the exercises for biceps and triceps necessary, as they would get worked when you do chest and back exercises as well?

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Yes, they certainly do. However, if you are looking to build serious mass than you need to target them directly. Great question Vik!

      • Vik

        Sounds good, Thanks!

  33. Curtis

    Hey Todd
    I can do more than 12 dragom flags but not a single L-Sit. In your opinion, should I count my points foee dragon fags even though I haven’t technically progressed through L-sits?
    Any feedback would be appreciates.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hey Curtis,

      Count your dragon flags and then ramp up your L Sit. Way to go on doing 12 dragon flags! Not easy!

  34. McFly

    Hello Todd,

    It’s like every time I come onto your website, I learn something new. I’m finishing up your three month program and is was either looking to do this bodyweight test next or the warrior workout. You have gave me consistent plans that will last me for a long time, which is very motivating. I appreciate everything that you inserted onto your website and I’m always looking forward to more information. Keep it up and have a nice day!

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Awww.. Thanks McFly! I’m glad that you are continuing to learn and grow.

      Keep up the great work!

  35. Sanam Rajneesh

    I just managed to pull off a 44, and man.. there is hell lot of progress to be made. This is among the best things i have seen in recent times!! Keep up the good work 🙂

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Thanks so much Sanam! I really appreciate you giving me that feedback. I will continue to strive to develop super quality content.

      • sanam

        I am just about to finish the 700 workout (last day remaining). I am thinking about taking a week off and then starting off with the MMA workout.. what do you suggest?

        • Todd Kuslikis

          Yes, definitely. Having an active recovery week is important to let the muscles fully recover.

          • Sanam

            thanks man, that helped! 🙂 what do you suggest I should do after the MMA workout?

          • Todd Kuslikis

            Hi Sanam,

            Depends on your goals. What you looking to do? 🙂

          • Sanam

            I wan’t to build some lean athletic muscle and add some size.
            I’m currently at around 13% body fat.
            Could I just make a routine form the list above and make gradual progressions?

  36. Don

    This is great! I scored 29 – “Warrior!”, with a lot of room for improvement. I must print this off before you try and sell it!

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Way to go Don! You ARE a Warrior!! Don’t, worry. I’m not going to pull it off and try to sell it. 😉

  37. Njama Jones

    I got a score off 40 which I’m proud of but admittedly have much room to improve. But I’m glad to see these progressions, let’s me know how to continue moving up for me and my clients.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hi Njama,

      Great job on getting a 40! Keep striving for higher and higher levels and you’ll continue to move up.

  38. D. Pisaroff

    Great article. Respect!
    I suggest one more exercise in “Legs” section.
    Pistol squat on Kettlebell. I think it deserve around 11 points. I hope you will enjoy it.

    • Todd Kuslikis

      Hey D,

      Great addition. I love the pistol squat on kettlebell because it requires a ton of balance along with strength.

      Also, great video man! You have some amazing strength! I give you props. 🙂


      • D. Pisaroff

        Chest: 9
        Shoulders: 5
        Biceps: 6
        Triceps: 5
        Back: 9
        Core: 10
        Legs: 10
        TOTAL: 54
        I have a long way to improve my stats!

        Best regards,
        D.Pisaroff @ Pro-am Athlete

        • Todd Kuslikis

          You kicked butt D! Way to go!!

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