I first introduced you to Ranjit Bhachu in my 49 Greatest Calisthenic Masters article I released awhile ago. He has continued to be an inspiration to me and I have frequently checked out his work on Facebook. He is someone that professes the importance of building a foundation of basic strength moves. After you have the basics down then you can move to more advanced moves.
I had the great honor of asking him some questions about his training. Here are his insights. After you have finished reading it make sure to check out more of my Expert Interviews so you can learn from the true greats of the industry.
Share some of your background. Who are you, what do you do and how did you got into calisthenics?
My name is Ranjit Bhachu and I am 22 years old. I am from London UK. I started calisthenics when I was about 14 years old. I played football since I was young and with that I always knew that body weight training works well with any sport. I left football about 4 years back and then found my love for bodyweight/calsithenics/bar training.
What has been your progression like? How long has it taken you to learn such extreme moves?
My progression has risen very quick due to doing basics for about 2-3years. By basics I mean: dips, pull ups and push ups. I think without these moves progression is very slow. Basics are the key. I have only done the extreme moves for about a year or so. It takes a lot of training and even more importantly patience. Yet since I had the solid foundation of the basics, I progressed quickly.
Take us through a typical training week for you? What do you work on? For how long? Long rest periods or short rest periods? Etc.
With a typical training week I don’t take any routine towards a week or plan anything. The reason being is I believe if i do a certain routine, I’ll be stuck in a box confining myself and not training or thinking outside the box. I try to do squats at least once or twice and intervals consisting of box squats (both front and back) and pistols. Without a solid base there is no point in my opinion. I try to hit at least 4 sessions a week on upper body. On a day of training I start with pull ups, dips and other basics. Then I go freestyle and holds and just mix it up with different things.
You have quite a bit of mass. Do you also lift weights? If not, whats your #1 tip to help skinny guys build mass with calisthenics?
I do not lift weights. I took a time about 2 years back when I started going to the gym but found this very boring and instead started weighted pull ups, weighted dips, etc. I think physique is a bonus which comes with hard work. I don not train for physique only power and strength. There are different goals people want, some people just want a good body. Some people want moves and strength. Ideally both is best. A physique is a badge of honor. You build it from the ground up but no one starts off with a great physique. In order to build mass I recommend doing the basics with weighted sets and solid form. Doing parkour and kipping movements will not help. Be strict. Try and make every rep perfect and most importantly be patient. Keep researching the internet, make friends with others that have similar goals and use Youtube.
What is your nutritional philosophy? Do you have a specific nutrition plan?
I don’t follow any specific diet plan. The way I see it most of the stuff we eat isn’t really that great for us anyway. You definitely want to go farm fresh. Yet not everyone has the money for it. Try to make the best with your budget and buy tuna, meats and vegetables. I cut fizzy drinks out about 7 years ago. I don’t believe in protein shakes. I believe in hard work. I’ve only taken one tub of protein in my life. I try to achieve a good body but I don’t train specifically for this. I don’t use weights and I don’t use drugs of any sort. I have nothing against people who take this sort of stuff I just personally like to do things as they say the hard way not the easy way.
If a beginner came to you and said they want to look like you what would you tell them? How could they do it too?
If a beginner came to me and said he wants to look like me I would say: Is this what you really want? You can look this way by going to the gym. The love for this type of training is in the bars not the body. The body is a bonus that comes with the hard work and dedication that you graft on the bars. I would say start with mega sets of press ups, pull ups, dips (all different forms and grips all different styles) with and without weights. You will find a love for the bars when you see a difference and start experimenting with moves and being creative.
What’s been you most difficult move to master? Why?
My most difficult move to master has been a few moves, including full planche and maltese. I started training for the full planche a year back but I had made a mistake. I rushed into it with no patience and then injured myself. I then started from the start: tuck hold, straddle then full planche. I also had difficulty with the front lever pull ups.
Where do you see the sport of street calisthenics heading in the future?
The sport of calisthenics has made huge steps in the past 3 years and I see it continuing to rise. Maybe once some standards are put in place it will even become an Olympic sport!
What’s next for Ranjit? Competitions? Hard Moves?
The next steps for me is just to keep training. Hopefully, I’ll do more competitions and maybe even win one. Also, I’m concentrating on doing personal training and learning new calisthenics moves. It never stops. There is never a comfortable positions. I always have new goals and want to achieve more.
hey dude thanks for the comment. On my upper body i do calisthenics bar workout, sometimes weight is preferred and needed on some sessions like a dipping belt for heavy dips heavy pull ups and also muscle ups, just too increase power and strength , so this is weighted calisthenics the pull and pushes. On lower half pistols and different variations of body weight leg workout/squats are great but in my opinion i think nothing beats a barbell. just this past year i have been on the squat rack in my garage doing front back etc. I feel without additional weight legs will not be very strong and i have grown a love for doing squats with a barbell, I also don’t go as they say heavy i like to stick to my body weight 100-110% on bb with lots of reps. Body weight squats are great to start building a little strength and so on and then getting ona squat rack is more beneficial. Thanks
Thanks for the reply,
I agree and follow a similar philosophy of using BB dead-lifts, squats, and stuff like clean and press for lower/full-body. Then the rest is mostly cals (pushups,pullups,dips). However I am 6’2″ and about 160lbs 4-5% BF and can only get about 6 pullups and 10 dips with bodyweight and 12 bodyweight pistols ( i get about 6-7reps with a 25#KB). Can you recomend how to structure my workouts to increase my strength in these moves. I know you freestyle, so is that true with the Barbell work too?
I also do a ton of Burpees and conditioning (was over 600burpees a day, sometimes a thousand in sets of 100 or 50’s and then high jump tuck burpees in sets of 15-20) adding up as i incorporate them into my rest periods and core work…Also at least once a week I do a sprint workout of 10x 100yrds with 30sec rest in between sets (sometimes I do bur-pees as rest)
AN example today’s training day:
Burpees 100 -200
Circuit: 1. Pistols w/KB 25# 5×6 each leg
1b. Dips 5×8-10
1c. Pullups 5×6
1d. Leg raises 5×12
Burpee jumps 5×20
Weighted situps 5×20
Later: burpees 100
1a Barbell clean and press 5×5
1b. Burpee jumps 5×15-20
Pushups 50, 40, 30 then walkouts 30 total
iso hold finger tip chins 5×2-3 holds
Planks 3x1min each side then 2min front then 3x1min weighted flutter kicks
then sprints 10×100
burpees 4×20 and 100
air squat holds with a 25# KB swing( 10 each arm-side)- 3 sets
Would like more information
I love BW cals, but often feel guilty not doing the BB squats/deadlifts. In the article you state you do Squats front/back 1-2x a week. But you say that you do not lift any weights? So are these squats just bodyweight? Just confused how you do front, or box squats with no weight. I got the Pistols… so what about the squats?
Let me check with Ranjit and see what his thoughts are. Good question.
What would you like to know? 🙂