In my workout one of the biggest methods to continually keep exercises hard for each rep is to be progressive with body weight exercises.
Issue is most people still have no clue how to properly move on to the next level or even if they should yet “how will I know?”. A bit of common sense and experience will aid you here, but in recent years many books have been written on progressive calisthenics. One such book has a story built into it telling of a incarcerated man who would learn how to workout in a small prison cell.
This book is called “Convict Conditioning”, now I am not here to review this book or go into great depth of the methods. I find the story of the prison life an added entertainment factor, maybe a mental image of getting strong or else you’ll be made into someone’s bitch. Go read the reviews on it and buy it, it’s worth every penny in my opinion. With this book you will be shown the big six, these are exercises based on various parts of the body using only your body weight. When starting you’ll be shown proper strict form, reps plus sets goals, cadence or speed of each rep (very important maybe the most), and some tips.
You might start and think to yourself some of the beginning exercise are too easy or you can already do “perfect” pushups already brah. The truth is you are most likely doing trash speed reps and look like a bitch with a loose back and flaring elbows. Stop and remove all your opinions and just do it as best you can and as described, those who can do very slow with super strict form exercises are a hell of a lot stronger than some body weight rep sprinter.
Now even I was like this, big headed and thinking I had it all figured out. Well here I am 6 years later and I have wayyyyy more respect for the seemingly easier first steps of any of the big six exercises. Each of the big six have at least 10 progressions till you hit the master step which is the hardest exercise shown. This doesn’t mean that you are a grand master, all it means is that you have tried all the exercises Paul Wade wrote in his book. The show keeps going on after and you will discover more progressions on your own and how to make all exercises harder with form or cadence changes.
This book “Convict Conditioning” will help you over time how to really make the “Hard” in 20HardReps worthwhile and the true secret to it all. Still my favorite exercise book, read and reviewed it many times.