How to combine hypertrophy and skill training in calisthenics

Many people do calisthenics because they want to get muscular and because they want to be able to do a front lever or a planche. The problem is both hypertrophy training and skills training need a specific training method. Many people ask themselves if it is possible to train these two at the same time. Training them simultaneously is hard but not impossible. In this blog post, I will show you how to combine hypertrophy and skill training in calisthenics.

but first I will give a further explanation about these two

Training for hypertrophy 

If you want to get big, you need to train for hypertrophy. With hypertrophy, you have a high volume. This means your workout exists out of a lot of reps and sets. Also, your rest periods between sets are much shorter in comparison with skill training. 

In calisthenics, hypertrophy training can be done in two ways. Through basic exercises, such as push-ups, pull-ups, and dips, etc. And through weighted calisthenics. With weighted calisthenics, you are attaching extra weight to yourself in order to make a certain exercise heavier. Applying hypertrophy with weighted calisthenics can get you absolutely massive.  

It is basically the most effective way to build muscle and get big.

Training for skills

Being able to do a planche or a front lever is one of the coolest things one can do. However, it is not possible to just do this. You can’t just do a lot of push-ups and expecting you can one day hold a planche. No, you have to train for it specifically.

Learning a skill in calisthenics takes a lot of time and effort. By focussing too much on a hypertrophy training method, you won’t make that much progress in learning that new skill. 

The only problem with skill training is that you won’t gain much muscle along your way. You gain strength, a lot of strength but not much mass. Mostly the skinnier guys are the ones to do the craziest skills, like one arm planches and one arm front levers, etc.

The best way is to combine these two, but how? 

Well, let me show you how.

Combine hypertrophy and skills training in calisthenics

I think there are two ways of approaching this.

Different days

The first and the most straightforward way is to train both methods on a different day. You train every method every other day. You basically switch between them. Therefore, training both even. For example:

  • Monday, you practice any skill you want to learn.
  • Tuesday, you train for hypertrophy.
  • Wednesday, you practice any skill you want to learn.
  • Thursday, you train for hypertrophy.
  • Friday, you practice any skill you want to learn.
  • Saturday, you train for hypertrophy.
  • Sunday is a rest day.

This is just an example. You must customize this based on your weekly schedule.  

The same day

It is also possible to train them both on the same day, that is what I do. In my workout, I first work on the skills I want to learn, and after that, I move on to the reps and sets. In these types of workouts, it is important to first work on the skill you want to learn and after you train for hypertrophy. Skill training requires you to be well-rested. You must be your strongest and give your full potential. Doing hypertrophy first won’t let you give your full potential. This way, you won’t make as much progress with that particular skill as you could be. 

In this video, you see how I train. Use this video as an example.

The only problem with this type of workout is that its intensity is high, and the workout sessions are long. When you train for the planche, your rest between the sets is long. In total, my sessions take around 2-3 hours easily. 

Of course, you can reduce the duration a lot by taking less time for practicing skills. However, this isn’t for people who think exercising for 30 minutes is good enough. If you really want to combine skill training and hypertrophy, you must put in the work. 

Things to keep in mind when combine hypertrophy and skill training in calisthenics

Muscle recovery 

If you want to combine skill training and hypertrophy, your muscle recovery must be on point. If you want the benefits of both, you can’t be losing sleep or eating too little protein. Otherwise, all that time you put in will be all for nothing. So, in order to get the most out of your workouts, make sure your muscle recovery is on point.

I have made a complete article about muscle recovery, click here if you are interested.

Focussing on too many things

The last thing I want to mention and something you must be aware of. If you focus on too many things won’t get you far. Doing too much is the same as doing nothing. Make sure you don’t focus too much on learning/training too many things at the same time.  

Just know that if you want to combine hypertrophy and skill training in calisthenics, you will never be outstanding in either two of them. If you really want to get big, just focus on hypertrophy, and hypertrophy only.

And there you have it, how to combine hypertrophy and skill training in calisthenics!