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.
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.
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.
Here are some sweet videos of Ranjit tricking it up!