Calisthenics is a sport that is absolutely jaw-dropping to watch in person. Not only is it almost impossible to believe these feats of strength, but it is also next-to-impossible to train for since it is fairly new and niche.
That said, its popularity has risen over the past few years, thanks to fitness companies like Cali Move. Today, we’re reviewing their at-home workout program.
About Cali Move
Cali Move (Calisthenics Movement) is a fitness company focused on designing programs that are specific to the sport of calisthenics.
Calisthenics can be described as “gymnastic exercises to achieve bodily fitness and grace of movement.”
The company was started by two friends – Alex Lorenz and Sven Kohl. They run the company and also provide individualized training online and in the town of Leipzig, Germany. These guys have a very wide history in sports together, ranging from physiotherapy to Taekwondo.
Alex and Sven eventually combined forces to start Cali Move. They soon began getting more online clients, started a YouTube channel, and slowly began conquering the calisthenics world. Their site and client results are robust and have amazing reviews elsewhere online.
Cali Move’s Home Workout Program Overview
Cali Move’s Home Workout Program is massive. Not only is it diverse in the information it provides, but it’s a whopping 25 weeks long, which is then split into 6 phases.
Week 13 will be a deload week, which is crucial to the overload training style.
- Fitness level: Beginner and intermediate
- Duration: 25 Weeks
- Workouts per week: 2 – 4 workouts per week
- Average workout duration: 20 – 35 minutes
- Equipment needed: Minimal equipment
- Goal: Gain strength and improve athleticism
One of the things you’ll learn early on in your journey with Cali Move is its focus on progression. Every workout is tracked, and you will spend an enormous amount of energy just getting better week by week.
This is the basis of building muscles or learning a new skill.
Another interesting thing about the programs created by Cali Move (including the always-popular Body Transformation Basics) is how they are presented.
Compared to other programs that might just give you a list of exercises and send you on your way, Cali Move is adamant about teaching you the perfect technique.
Every single movement will get its own video and guidance. Thus, you won’t find yourself 12 weeks in and struggling when moving to the next progression. Since a lot of calisthenic movements will build into the next, this is a crucial step.
And that raises the question – what type of movements will you even be doing?
Calisthenic movements are subdivided into groups based on how the body needs to move in order for the movement to take place. These groups are:
- Bent-arm – Movements where there is flexion around the triceps, like pull-ups or push-ups
- Straight-arm – Movements where the flexion is around the shoulders, such as a front lever or iron cross
- Statics – Assuming a position and holding that for a period of time
- Legs – Will usually consist of unilateral and plyometric movements
- Core – Movements that target the abdominal and lower back muscles
These are the main focuses of calisthenics, and they will progress like any other physical activity – you wouldn’t start with a front lever. You’ll probably start with chin-ups. That said, among everything, mobility is vital.
You will almost exclusively be working with bodyweight movements, and when the goal is to manipulate your own body in 101 ways, mobility is key. You’ll be doing quite a bit of it in the Home Workouts while also training your normal movements.
Workouts will begin with a warmup that consists of dynamic movements like squat jumps and downward dog to cobra.
After that, you will do the workout with the trainer (on video). They will do every step alongside you via the website, and they even have individual videos to teach you the movements you can watch prior to the workout.
Home Workout Program Details
I mentioned before that the program is enormous, and it is. Not only are there enough workouts for 25 weeks, but you receive nutrition advice, recovery advice, and a FAQ section as well.
Gaining Strength With No Weights?
We often connect strength with weight training as we conjure images of Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson (the Mountain from Game of Thrones). Calisthenic athletes are strong in their own right, as they have an exceptional power-to-weight ratio.
They might not be very large people, but they are dense. Their muscles are thick and tightly wound, and they pack a massive punch for their weight. This is because of the training (and diet) they follow.
Your training will be bodyweight-based but will still progress over time. For instance, you may start with push-ups on week 1. By week 11, you may be doing Gecko push-ups, and by week 24, you’re doing both diamond and pike push-ups.
This type of progression is hard to understand off the face of it, but it actually makes sense when you think about it.
See, progression can take place due to either more force or more volume. Since you only have your body weight to work with, you will be alternating between both of these overload styles to actually provide a novel stimulus.
Is this the fastest way to gain strength? No, probably not.
Calisthenics athletes are known to use some weighted movements, such as overhead barbell press and bent-over rows. That said, you can still make a massive amount of progress with just bodyweight movements.
So yes, calisthenics and weights both have their own unique benefits, and you can build strength with both.
Why Is It So Damn Long?
It’s 25 weeks long. Yeah, I was also pretty surprised to find an online training plan that will span half the year.
Truth be told, programs are supposed to be that long. Physiological changes take a long time, and most people will opt out before it’s done and never reach their goals.
Since the goals of calisthenic athletes are so precise and hard to achieve, they also take a long time to develop. Another thing to remember is that a certain move will require such a large number of strong muscles that if there is one weak link, you won’t get it.
Let’s look at the Front Lever:
- Strong Upper Back: Traps, Rhomboids, Delts, and Infraspinatus
- Strong Lats: Teres Major, Latissimus Dorsi, and Lower Back
- Strong Core: Abdominals and Lower Back
- Strong and Light Legs: Glutes and Quads
This one movement takes such a great amount of strength and coordination that you would need to make sure every weak point becomes a strong point. This is why there is a progression from week to week on all of the movements.
Each workout will have a file for you to record your reps so that you remember how you did. The workouts will also be time-based, meaning you will be given a time period to do as many reps (with good form) as you possibly can.
The intensity and volume will increase as you progress, and while you start with three sessions per week, you end up doing four sessions per week towards the end.
Regular Nutrition, Recovery, and Rotator Cuffs
We sometimes forget that proper recovery and nutrition play massive roles in our progress as athletes – especially when it comes to calisthenics. When a mere 2 pounds of extra weight could make you miss a pull-up PR, you best have recovery and nutrition that are on point.
Cali Move is kind enough to provide you with a video for both. The nutrition is focused on:
- Educating you on what nutrition is important for
- Calorie manipulation for muscle gain or fat loss
- Calorie quality
The basics, really. You won’t be learning about PERI workout nutrition in the video. That might be reserved for the nutrition upgrade package, which you need to purchase separately.
Meanwhile, the recovery video is focused on:
- Cold-hot showers
- Heat treatment
- Low-intensity cardio
- Dynamic stretching
- Proper nutrition
These may seem like small attributes, but combined with the training plan, they can lead to some serious results. They could’ve given more information here, though – I won’t lie. The nutrition video is educational, but it fails to teach you how to calculate your own nutrition.
The recovery video is a bit better, as it’s up to you which methods you can use. That said, some people would’ve preferred it as a part of the training plan rather than just an optional video for you to watch.
4 Cali Move’s Home Workout Pros
- Value progression: Progression really is the name of the game when it comes to any training, and failing to progress from week to week will result in … no results. I am happy to report that – not only do they advise you to make progress – but they also encourage it! It’s cool to do a muscle-up, but it’s even cooler to do 5. Aim to get better every week, and you’ll always be … better. Funny how that works, right?
- Complete package: Unlike myself on Tinder, this plan is really the full package. There are plenty of study materials and tips about how to progress and plan your recovery and nutrition.
- Ample volume: As humans, we always believe more is better. 9 out of 10 people train too much, and this is why this program hits the nail on the head. A lower volume approach with high intensity and quality workouts wins every time.
- It’s sustainable: Compared to other programs that advise you to do as much as you possibly can, this plan is about quality and sustainable progression over the course of 6 months.
The Only Home Workout Program Con
There are no weighted movements.
While I realize that it is an at-home workout and that we don’t all have 200 pounds worth of weights lying around, having some weighted movements would’ve made a massive difference.
Yes, building too much muscle mass could make you too heavy for calisthenics, but some wouldn’t necessarily be bad – especially upper body muscle.
Cali Move gets around this in an ingenious way – by just switching movements with harder movements as time goes on. This is the only way you can do it if we’re being honest, and they do a brilliant job at making the most of what they have at hand.
Cali Move’s Home Workout Program – Final Thoughts
I have personally coached hundreds of calisthenics athletes, and this plan is staggeringly good. It is complete, robust, effective, and yet – extremely simple. This makes it the best of all worlds.
Overall, the reasons why this Home Workout Program could be better than other plans are:
- Progression on a weekly basis that’ll be reflected in harder movements
- Deload week is added in because they’re smart and know you will plateau
- Proper nutrition and recovery guidance
These may only be three parts, but they are so hard to find in online programs that also have decent workouts that’ll actually cause muscle growth and adaptations.
Calisthenics is a very particular sport that’ll require you to do a lot of practice on form and still make strong progress. The host of the videos and workouts is also extremely calm, and to give credit where credit is due, he sounds educated and pretty engaging.
Again, a small detail that can have massive implications.
The Cali Move Home Workout Program is a calm and calculated approach to calisthenics success, and while more information is always better, that’ll do 99% of people just fine. If they simply added more nutrition and recovery information, it’d be a 5/5.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5