Just thought id put a post up to let you know that this site is formerly known as calisthenicswork.com. I had written blog post about my calisthenics training there for years, I decided to just swap the domain for this one. Still same concept just now with that 20 hard reps minimum.
When I created this site it was for my own experiment and for anyone else who may stumble upon it. I had for years started a path of regular calisthenics and kettlebell workouts, this was intense for about 3 years. In 2016 I had a slow down and eventually did not maintain any sort of regular progressive training.
So from past experiments I learned that if I just made a small goal I would usually conquer it and some. This is the motivation of the 20hardreps.com site, to keep things simple when it comes to training, but when you are training do it as hard as possible.
This is no get ripped abs in 14 days bullshit, it’s just like I have written about. Everyday do at least 20 hard reps, this is assuming you understand progressions. With progressions you would be doing exercises that are so hard you could just barely do 20 reps, you might have to finish doing an easier exercise to hit your 20. For example maybe you could only do 12 close pushups so then after just do 8 more regular push-ups etc. to finish.
Of course you could be doing 25 reps or more, for me besides legs I find that if I am doing the reps progressively I don’t need high reps to keep making strength gains. So In the past 14 days I’ve been doing my 20 minimum hard reps of various reps each day, most days I would do some other exercises too of a different body part etc. Your body starts adapting to your workouts so that’s why progression is super important or you aren’t really gaining strength.
I have seen great increases pretty fast in strength, my day to day work activities I just have that extra power. My days look like these below, not exact but very close.
- Pushups 20
- Squats 20-30
- Horizontal Pulls 20
- Leg Raises 20
- Kettle bell 1 arm presses 10 per arm for 20reps nice and slow.
I would continue these type of exercises then probably switch or add other exercise. Some days I do kettlebell cleans, swings, snatches after for 20-50 reps. I’d do headstand, wall handstands, planks. Maybe on squat days I’d do some goblet squats with a kettlebell cause those are awesome. See once you get those 20 hard reps you want to stay active, but don’t over do it cause it’s real easy.
Remember each rep is slow 2-1-2 in seconds up-pause-down if possible, I say this because some exercises this isn’t exactly easy to do. If these reps are too easy choose a different and harder exercise or add weight. I’m 44 years old btw.
It is of my opinion that most things in this world are over complicated and done for purposes that do not truly help anyone else than the influencers promoting them. These influencers are usually building up a product or service to sell you. 20hardreps.com is a workout mentality of keeping it short but extremely intense and strict. You could use this method in various exercise systems, but push/pull is probably best. I personally use it for body weight calisthenics.
This way of thinking is for a true skill practitioner, done with near maximum intensity, slow cadence, and full range of motion keeping muscles engaged for the entire rep. I believe in not fully locking out to preserve joints and keep muscle tension high.
Can you do more reps? That is up to you, I’m not here to tell anyone “do this it’s the best way” we all live differently. My personal goal is at least 20 hard reps of a progressive exercise daily. I would do more reps with leg exercises more than any others if I feel the need. One thing about 20 hard reps is it’s supposed to be something decently simple and easy to maintain. If you have worked out and stopped due to various reasons 20 hard reps a day might be all you need to get back into your groove or your new workout even.
You can do sets of 4×5 reps, 2×10, 20 at once. Whatever you feel works, but try to knock them out in one workout. It shouldn’t take much time at all. What’s a good cadence? Well it depends on the exercise, some can’t be done super slow. I try to maintain 2-1-2 like recommended in Convict Conditioning. That means on a squat 2 seconds negative going down-hold 1 second at bottom-positive upwards for 2 seconds.
Here is a progression in itself maybe you did 4 sets of 5 reps pushups very good form elbows tight, feet together at 2-1-2 cadence. Now next time try adding a second more to the positive-hold-negative portion of the exercise. Hell I’ve done pushups for 5-5-5 and probably longer, do 20 like that in tight form and you will be challenged. 15 seconds a rep is no joke, then imagine doing close pushups, elevated pushups etc. to progress same way woah!
This assumes you know some form of exercise progression methods. Myself I have learned from using Convict Conditioning and various other books. I also do use kettlebells for various exercises, more a mix of cardio and strength. Just remember if the exercise has a push pull rep maneuver it works well with 20 hard reps.
I include holds or timed stances as additional activities. See that’s the whole magic really of just doing 20 hard reps, it makes you want to do more, and that’s fine if it helps you stay active. Things like walking, running, kettlebell swings, yoga, strength holds like handstands/l-sit etc.
Daily? For me doing a little often is perfectly fine, I feel better all day knowing I have done something. Some might be use to the “gym” protocols of spending hours doing exercise. I’ve done that, it never benefitted me and in fact I felt it held me back. Doing a little, but at very intense levels is my style. You don’t need to do it daily it’s up to you, but after a few days of 20 hard reps and understanding how to progress to harder exercises or weight you may want to do it daily.
A little bit of activity can go a long way!