I’m sat here drinking a pretty crazy spirulina drink that tastes a little like farts, whilst thinking about how to start this post.
Calisthenics is all about training with your body weight, so why would you even think about getting equipment?
Well, even though you can progress and build amazing strength, power and balance using only your body weight, if you add just a few little bits of training equipment you can transform your workouts into pure beast mode.
So… No it’s definitely not necessary to buy all this equipment, but it will seriously up your game in the…
…And in the balance department.
The Best Pull Up Station (With Dip Bars)
This is the single most important bit of equipment you’ll need. In fact it’s really the only bit of gear you need for a full calisthenic workout.
It’s so good in fact I actually spent ages writing this review about it.
So why did I pick this pull up tower?
- It’s the highest rated pull up tower online
- I’ve got my reader’s $110.55 (55%) off the price (which makes it one of the cheapest full pull up/dip stations). Discounted link: Pull up station.
- It comes packed with dip, push up and sit up bars, along with a close and far grip pull up bar. Therefore this includes the other three most important bits of equipment with it.
- It works on both carpet and hard flooring.
- It’s a stable unit, which is of the most importance when using a pull up bar.
- It’s the same price as a door pull up bar (close enough) and doesn’t involve the danger.
Why You Need A Pull Up Bar
I think most of you will know why you need a pull up bar tower, but just in case you aren’t sure here’s two big reasons along with an amazing video.
- 50% of most calisthenic workout routines are pull ups,retention pull ups, muscle ups and dips.
Once you become advanced you’ll probably spend most of your time on the bar, training your balance, core and upper body muscles. Just take a look at the amount of exercises you can do on a pull up bar:
- Most of your upper body and core strength comes from exercises that use the bar, so without it, it can sometimes be hard to get the most out of each workout.
The Best Gym Rings
It’s all about your own preference when it comes to bars vs rings.
And personally I find it’s much harder to use gym rings (You Save: $66.02 (66%) with this link) as a beginner, especially for pull ups and dips as it puts my wrist in a more unnatural position.
But they’re far superior for balance training and for when you want to involving more advanced calisthenics movements in your routine. Not to mention they’re far cheaper than most pull up bar stations.
So unless you’re more advance at calisthenics, you’ll probably be better off getting a station and then in the future adding a pair of rings to it, for dips and pull ups to help increase balance and core muscles.
So why did I add rings to this list?
- Gym rings are widely used in the calisthenics workout movement due to their cost effectiveness and their ability to improve core strength and overall balance, plus they make you look like a pro.
- Gym rings can dramatically increase the effectiveness of your workout. Here’s a video that really explains this perfectly:
- The rings I chose are a bargain with over 1400 reviews (Still 5 star rating) and a $66.02 saving using this discount link.
- Some people have the perfect place in their home/garden to place these rings making them far more cost effective which seems to be the running theme with these rings.
- Gym rings allow you to unlock even more calisthenic workout exercises, just watch:
Resistance Bands Kick Calisthenic Butt
Two huge parts of building strength and muscle are resistance and tension and there’s no other way you can make a body weight workout more intense than if you add resistance bands into the mix.
They’re the cheapest, most effective way to transform an old boring body weight routine that doesn’t build true muscle any more, into a mind blowing, constantly burning, fitness routine of insanity.
And I used the word insanity because anyone who’s ever trained with resistance bands know how quickly a simple rubber band can make you feel like your muscles are about to set alight from the burn.
Now the resistance bands above are used by loads of the top body weight trainers and are probably the highest reviewed resistance bands around.
Plus they’re suitable for calisthenics and come with a discount like most of the products on this list: Discount – (save $13) resistance bands.
How can these bands be used to intensify your workout and help improve your form? Watch and learn:
Push Up Bars Can Game Change
Push up bars allow you to go deeper into each push up while maintaining better form.
But these push up bars above are…dare I say a little ‘different’.
They’re really strong and much higher than most push up bars which allows you to do the L-seat – and various handstand holds/parallettes, which is amazing as the price is so cheap considering a parallette bars costs upwards of 100 bucks..
Weighted Vest For Increasing That Intensity
Most of us don’t need a weighted vest (You Save: $22.03 (44%) with that link) when doing a calisthenics workout, as the body weight training increases in intensity as your skills improve.
But if you’ve wanted to add more difficulty to your fitness plan this is the second easiest way (second from resistance bands).
Now I don’t recommend you use these for quick movement exercise with your legs I.E: Running, skipping, jump squats, etc. The weight will do damage to your joints, especially your knees and spine.
But for pull ups, dips and standard squats, a vest will be the perfect way to up the anti.
Training Gloves Are The Most Important Thing
Gloves aren’t classed as equipment but you MUST get yourself a pair before you start regularly training with calisthenics.
Main Reason: To stop injury.
One nasty blister, corn or open wound can stop you training for weeks and even get infected and cause many future problems.
Don’t trust equipment, don’t trust the strength of the skin on your hands, invest in a good pair of fitness gloves (You Save: $10.04 – 23% with that link) and take the biggest calisthenic injury away from your training sessions.
You’ll also gain wrist support with a good pair of gloves which is great for preventing future wrist issues and also a plus for those like myself who have weak wrists.
Hand Grip Trainers Make Pull Ups Easier
I remember when I first started doing pull ups and my grip would always give out before my muscles did.
That’s why using grip strengtheners (You Save: $19.02 – 63% with that link) is such a good idea. Now it’s not necessary as your grip will build within time, but as a way to directly train your grip and increase your performance at a quicker level I’d definitely recommend grabbing a pair of these fantastic grip strengtheners.
You could also do towel pull ups if you want an alternative.
Skipping Ropes Are Amazing
Skipping has and always will be one of the best forms of cardio around.
It’s the way I choose to warm up most training sessions and is the perfect way to get ready for a body weight training sesh.
It uses your core, your balance and gets your heart rate through the roof when done intermittently.
And the best part about skipping (You Save: $23.00 (77%) with that link) is you can do shadow skipping and don’t even have to buy a rope!
Best Calisthenics Training Program
One of the best investments I made in my calisthenic training years, second only to getting a pull up bar.
Was the choice to become a member of the Bar brothers workout course.
Now I’ve already done a review that goes over my whole journey with this course and shows some before and afters.
But the true reason this course worked so well for me and why I think you may benefit from it is:
- You have 6 days of pre-planned training routines that hit all the parts of your body making training exciting, challenging and a constant progression.
- The way the course is built it allows you to increase your skills and strength throughout the whole 12 weeks.
- It increased my brain and body strength.
- It helped me keep track of all my reps, sets, weight and progression with it’s training sheets.
- It taught me the correct form and helped me get my body back in proportion after years of weight training.
Supplements You Need to Take:
This type of training can put a toll on your muscles and bones so if you want to maximize your endurance, gains and body health be sure you’re taking the supplements listed below.
- Creatine (for endurance and quicker recovery)
- Protein (highest rated protein) – (for building and repairing muscle)
- Omega 3 (for joints and brain health)
- Multivitamin (I take this multivit and highly recommend) (great for bones, muscles and general health)
This is the ultimate calisthenics tool box of pure kick-ass fitness, but if you have any questions or have any products you recommend or would like me to test be sure to leave a comment below. Have a lovely day, Oli.