Aesthetic Calisthenics Workout to Build Dense Muscle

The classic “gym bro” lifestyle just isn’t for everyone. Between the slamming weights, long wait times, equipment hogs, and achy recoveries, you wind up face-to-face with one brutal choice: Bite the bullet in the name of gains? Or sacrifice an aesthetic physique entirely? The long-forgotten third option — calisthenics — is the middle ground we
The post Aesthetic Calisthenics Workout to Build Dense Muscle appeared first on NOOB GAINS.

Aesthetic calisthenics workout image

The classic “gym bro” lifestyle just isn’t for everyone. Between the slamming weights, long wait times, equipment hogs, and achy recoveries, you wind up face-to-face with one brutal choice:

Bite the bullet in the name of gains?

Or sacrifice an aesthetic physique entirely?

The long-forgotten third option — calisthenics — is the middle ground we shun as “not good enough.” Push-ups and lunges could never compare to the real bench and squat … right?

Brad Borland’s Body Like a God workout puts this logic and more to the test.

Check out his aesthetic calisthenics workout to build dense God-like muscles.

About the Creator – Brad Borland

With the promise of becoming the modern-day Zeus or Poseidon, the “Body Like a God” mastermind isn’t your run-of-the-mill Gold’s visitor.

Meet Brad Borland — military vet, cancer survivor, and drug-free bodybuilder.

This Baton Rouge native’s lifetime accomplishments include:

  • A Bachelor’s (& Master’s) in kinesiology
  • Becoming an NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • A handful of drug-free bodybuilding trophies
  • Experience training everyone from the elderly to the gym lunks
  • Deploying to Afghanistan while in the Air National Guard
  • Surviving a 9-month battle with Hodkin’s Lymphoma

Borland’s heroic survival only strengthened his love for health and fitness. Today, he regularly publishes tactical, boot camp, superhero-themed, and calisthenic training programs online!

What is the Body Like a God Workout?

Greek Gods are the epitome of the “perfect physique.” Without fat burners or power racks, the Ancient Greeks managed to sculpt deep-cut six-packs, ripped arms, and hardly an ounce of fat.

Brad Borland’s Body Like a God workout revives these old-school calisthenic tactics.

This 4-week muscle-building, fat-shredding machine for beginners requires:

  • 30-60 minutes per workout
  • 4 days per week maximum (perform each 1-2 times a week)
  • 2-5 sets per exercise (dependent on your fitness level)
  • A box, pull-up bar, bench, and rack

You can run this program while traveling (no gear on-hand), transitioning to a new routine, or even if you’re looking to return to the gym for the first time in years.

Body Like a God Details

The Body Like a God program looks a little confusing. So if you’re staring at the word “complex” and not understanding how this workout flows, here’s a quick guide:

  1. Perform one set of each exercise in complex 1 with no rest.
  2. Rest for one minute after finishing the cycle.
  3. Repeat complex 1 up to four more times.
  4. Jump to complex 2 and follow that same process.

Borland suggests starting with a dynamic warm-up first and closing out with a little cardio to get the fat-burning wheels in motion. However, it’s your program now — do what works for you!

Here’s Brad Borland’s Body Like a God workout:

Workout 1

Complex 1

  • Push Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Medium-Grip Pull Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Handstand (or Jackknife) Push Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Diamond Push Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Inverted Rack Curl Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, then start over

Complex 2

  • Single-Leg Calf Raise – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Jump Squat – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Walking Lunge – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raise – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Short, All-Out Sprint – 2-5 sets
  • Rest 1 minute, then start over

Workout 2

Complex 1

  • Feet Elevated Push Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Wide Grip Inverted Row – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Rack Triceps Press (or Parallel Bar Dip) – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Shoulder Width Reverse Grip Pull Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Floor Crunch (or Plank) – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, then start over

Complex 2

  • Box Jump (or Jump Squat) – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Bulgarian Split Squat – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Reverse Lunge – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Bench Step Up – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Short, All-Out Sprint – 2-5 sets x 10-20 reps
  • Rest 1 minute, then start over

Calisthenics Physique vs. Bodybuilding

One quick head-to-toe scan and the internal alarm bells go off: This guy lifts. But how does a calisthenics-only physique compare to that of a traditional bodybuilding routine?

Hint: It might not be so obvious for the first few months!

A classic bodybuilding physique is Arnold or Cutler personified. With progressively heavier lifts and an 8-12 reps per set focus, a purely aesthetic build is undoubtedly possible:

  • Dense, hard, vascular muscles from traps to calves
  • A wide V-taper in the upper-body
  • 3-10% body fat

A calisthenic physique is notoriously leaner, with less body fat but also less bulky muscles. The physical gains may be on-par with a standard weightlifting program until you:

  • Exceed the 6-12 rep range with ease (taking on more of an endurance spin)
  • Run out of progressions (push-ups to decline push-ups to handstand push-ups)
  • Hit the inevitable plateau

Both bodybuilding and calisthenics can build lean, ripped, or toned physiques. But no calisthenics routine will spur mass growth quite like weightlifting in the long-term.

Body Like a God Pros

1. It’s realistic for all skill levels.

With the Body Like a God beginner program, the only hurdles you’ll face are the ones you willingly place in front of yourself.

Can’t do five cycles of both complexes? Start with two, and add one each week.

Struggle to do pull-ups, regular push-ups, or planks? Nearly every included exercise has an alternative or modification available.

Ready to crank it up a notch? Perform each workout twice a week, and add resistance whenever possible (ex: decline push-ups or dip belt pull-ups).

2. You only need basic home or gym equipment.

There’s no sense in driving 15 minutes to the gym and fighting the crowds when your equipment needs are slim to none! With Borland’s calisthenic routine, all you need is:

  • A pull-up bar (a staple in every home gym)
  • A rack (or rings or resistance bands)
  • A box or bench (or a stable bench or steppers)

If you don’t have any equipment at home, you might want to check out the fitness trail at your local park. Most have bars and benches that you can use to bring your workout outdoors.

3. It’s not just about size (though that’s important!).

This aesthetic calisthenics workout can sculpt head-to-toe gains, but — love it or hate it — Body Like a God also doubles as an endurance and cardio-style workout.

A bodyweight-only training program can shred 300-400 calories an hour. And by ending with HIIT or steady-state cardio, as Borland recommends, you can ignite an extra 100-200 calories.

The only thing better than beefing up is uncovering those pesky fatty layers.

Body Like a God Cons

1. Legs seem to get the back burner (at least for the most part).

The problem with calisthenic routines is that the leg gains always lag.

Your leg muscles support your bodyweight every day and almost 24/7. Lunges, calf raises, and step-ups can only trigger so much growth (strength, muscle, and otherwise).

If legs are a priority for you, don’t leave your squat, seated calf raise, and RDL days behind you. Continue doing a genuine leg day at least once a week.

2. Progression can be challenging.

Body Like a God is an excellent beginner program. But if you repeat this 4-week program time and time again, you might wind up hitting a wall and maxing out at a certain point.

For example, what happens when five sets of 20 medium-grip pull-ups become too easy? Or when you can crush through 30 inverted rows on day one without breaking a sweat?

You’ll probably need extra weights and gear on hand to add resistance as needed.

3. Up to 50 sets per workout is insane.

Unless you’re already well-trained and a gym rat (in every sense of the word), you’ll probably begin this program with 2-3 cycles of each complex.

But as your strength and endurance make strides, you might be looking at 50 sets total. Not only will this be grueling for your muscles, but it could also be a 90+ minute workout.

If you’re hitting the upper limits without trouble, it’s time to move on!

Body Like a God Conclusion

Brad Borland’s Body Like a God program might not be your typical routine. But if you’re craving a home workout, easing back into fitness, or on the go, it can make an aesthetic body a reality.

First … the good.

This routine is completely customizable to match your fitness level, doesn’t require pricey gym gear (and you could DIY what you do need), and infuses cardio and functional fitness too!

Then … the less desirable.

Leg gains might lag (a common calisthenics downside), progression could become a roadblock, and doing up to 50 sets per workout might always be “too much.”

So if you’re not completely against gym routines, consider switching to a full-body aesthetic workout plan with free weights and machines once this workout plateaus.

The post Aesthetic Calisthenics Workout to Build Dense Muscle appeared first on NOOB GAINS.

Read More

DutchEnglishFrenchGermanItalianJapanesePortugueseRussianSpanishSwedish