CALISTHENICS VS BODYBUILDING: THE M.I.T. (MAXIMUM INTENSITY TRAINING) METHOD PART 2

As a continuation of the previous part 1, we are now going to analyze the schedule from MIT STEP 5 to MIT STEP 10

MIT STEP 5: MULTI-JOINT BASIC TRI-SET

This phase is very interesting because what coach Umberto Miletto tried to merge are, the different methods and techniques adopted by those athletes who are training all year around developing and increasing their strength, in order to reach the maximum benefits out of it.

We are talking about powerlifting, that is for sure the discipline where only the stronger wins over the others.

Coach Miletto tried to adapt these methods and techniques to the bodyweight trainings and for this reason, the following workouts will be pretty atypical, mainly focused on the basic exercises of Calisthenics, but they will be performed in tri-sets.

During the first week will be inserted a unique block of three multi-joint exercises (that is why basic multi-joint tri-set); the exercises involved will be:

  • Pistols

  • Pull-ups

  • Dips

Of course, if you are at an advanced level you can also consider to include weights to these basic exercises to make them more challenging and effective for you.

The schedule will be made up of 15 sets x 3 reps (each exercise).

The rest in between each exercise will be up to you, of course the shorter the better according to your level.

In the second week, the first block will be executed only twice because then will be added a new tri-set that includes complementary exercises.

In the third week, as for the previous one, the very first block will be executed only once and another tri-set will be added, focused again on complementary exercises.

In these complementary tris-ets, you will be performing 15 sets x 6 reps of each exercise with a load around 70-75% of your maximal.

On week 4, you will be performing the tri-set of week 3 by following a 5 sets x 5 reps workload leaving the same load percentage.

In the bodybuilding session (DAY 4), you will follow a full body program with a workload of 4 sets x 10 reps.

On week 4 that will be the de-load one, you will be performing only 2 sets of each exercises, maintaining the same load.

WEEK 1 (DAYS 1-2-3) FULL BODY

Pistol squats 3 reps (each leg)

Pull-ups 3 reps

Dips 3 reps

x15 sets

WEEK 2

DAYS 1-2 FULL BODY

Pistol squats 3 reps (each leg)

Pull-ups 3 reps

Dips 3 reps

x15 sets

DAY 3 FULL BODY

Gluteus Ham raises 6 reps

Front pull 6 reps

Triceps (on floor) 6 reps

x15 sets

WEEK 3

DAY 1 FULL BODY

Pistol squats 3 reps (each leg)

Pull-ups 3 reps

Dips 3 reps

x15 sets

DAY 2 FULL BODY

Gluteus Ham raises 6 reps

Front pulls 6 reps

Triceps (on floor) 6 reps

x15 sets

DAY 3 FULL BODY

Pistol Jump 6 reps (each leg)

Dragon flag 6 reps

Korean Dips 6 reps

x15 sets

WEEK 4 DE-LOAD FULL BODY

DAY 1 FULL BODY

Pistol Squats 5x5 (each leg)

Pull-ups 5x5

Dips 5x5

DAY 2 FULL BODY

Gluteus Ham raises 5x5

Front pull 5x5

Triceps (on floor) 5x5

DAY 3 FULL BODY

Pistol Jump 5x5 (each leg)

Dragon flag 5x5

Korean Dips 5x5

(WEEK 1-2-3-4) DAY 4 WEIGHTLIFTING

Front Squat 4 sets x 10 reps rest 1’30”

Good morning 4 sets x 10 reps rest 1’

Calf raises 4 sets x 10 reps rest 1’

Bench Press 4 sets x 10 reps rest 1’30”

Shoulder Press Dumbbells 30° 3 sets x 10 reps rest 1’

Lateral Raises 3 sets x 10 reps rest 1’

Curl Hammer (standing position) 4 sets x 10 reps rest 1’

V crunches 4 sets x 15 reps rest 1’

For the CORE work, you can vary the exercises by choosing among plank, hollow body position, inverted plank, arch body and side plank.

MIT STEP SIX: DOUBLE TRI-SET UNTIL MUSCLE FAILURE

This is considered maybe the best phase among all, since by doing it immediately after the strength one, it will help to optimize such mesocycle giving the body an incredible hypertrophic boost.

This phase will be:

  • INTENSE: generates high fatigue peaks indeed it is supposed to push the body until exhaustion

  • CLEAR: it is very clear what this program aims to

  • MOTIVATING: by incorporating different types of exercises together with fair rest intervals in between, the workout will be dynamic and not annoying

  • BRINGS THE BODY TO DOMS: DOMS also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness are one of the main goals of such workout schedule, since after completing it the body will surely show up the so called DOMS probably the day after

Analyzing more in details what this workout is about, we can say that:

DOUBLE: because in each group of three exercises (tri-set), one of them has to be repeated twice

TRI-SET: because you will be performing three exercises together alternatively without breaks in between

UNTIL MUSCLE FAILURE: because while performing the last exercise of the tri-set, this one will have to be brought to the maximum by performing the maximum number of repetitions, hence bringing the body to muscle failure.

In this workout, you will have to perform the three exercises of the tri-set in a range between 6 and 8 reps, the last exercise like we said has to be repeated twice; once the tri-set is completed, take a short break and start it all over again until completion of the total amount of sets.

Write down how many total reps you were able to perform for each exercise and the time it took to reach completion.

The goal will be to increase the total number of repetitions executed in the same amount of time or even less.

The program, like all the previous ones, includes in every week three days of bodyweight training and one day dedicated to bodybuilding.

Considering the effort generated by performing such type of program, it is highly recommended not to use it more than 4-5 weeks consecutively and the last week to diminish the workload by reducing of one set each tri-set.

The double tri-set until muscle failure will be adopted also for the bodybuilding day, where upper body and lower body will be targeted.

DAY 1 UPPER BODY

PPP Pseudo Planche Push-ups 6-8 reps

Muscle Up 6-8 reps

PPP Pseudo Planche Push-ups MAX

x4 times tri-set

Pike push-ups 6-8 reps

Korean dips 6-8 reps

Pike push-ups MAX

x4 times tri-set

Dips 6-8 reps

Triceps (on floor) 6-8 reps

Dips MAX

x4 times tri-set

Pseudo planche 4x60” rest 1’

Inverted plank 4x60” rest 1’

DAY 2 LOWER BODY/CORE

Alternated Pistol squat 6-8 reps

Full squat Jump 6-8 reps

Alternated Pistol squat MAX

x4 times tri-set

Gluteus Ham Raises 6-8 reps

Jumping lunges 6-8 reps

Gluteus Ham Raises MAX

x4 times tri-set

Abs Knees to elbows 6-8 reps

Dragon flags 6-8 reps

Abs Knees to elbows MAX

x4 times tri-set

Human flag 4x15” (each side) rest 1’

DAY 3 UPPER BODY

Pull-ups 6-8 reps

Inverted pull down 6-8 reps

Pull-ups MAX

x4 times tri-set

Ice cream makers 6-8 reps

Front pull 6-8 reps

Ice cream makers MAX

x4 times tri-set

Close grip pull-ups 6-8 reps

Back lever pull-ups 6-8 reps

Close grip pull-ups MAX

x4 times tri-set

Hollow body position 4x60” rest 1’

Side plank 3x60” (each side) rest 1’

DAY 4 BODYBUILDING

Squat Box 6-8 reps

Squat Box Jump 6-8 reps

Squat Box MAX

X3 times tri-set

Romanian Deadlifts 6-8 reps

Calf raises (elevated surface) 15 reps

Romanian Deadlifts MAX

X3 times tri-set

Bench press 6-8 reps

Dumbbell rows 6-8 reps

Bench press MAX

X3 times tri-set

Dumbbell curls (standing position) 6-8 reps

Close grip bench press (triceps) 6-8 reps

Dumbbell curls (standing position) MAX

X3 times tri-set

Sit-ups 3x15” rest 1’

MIT STEP SEVEN: PYRAMIDAL TRI-SET 5/8/20

This mesocycle will focus on a hybrid work since it targets all the muscular qualities.

In particular, the workout aims to stress the fiber muscles by using different loads in each exercise; the first exercise indeed will be performed with a load at 85% of the maximal (strength oriented), the second one with medium loads at around 65-70% of the maximal (hypertrophic oriented) and at last the third exercise will be executed with low loads (endurance oriented).

The logic of such program indeed is to provide the muscles with the maximum hypertrophic stimulus, by giving them compactness (5 reps range), volume (8 reps range) and development (20 reps range).

As for the previous tri-sets, also in this case, the goal is to complete the established total number of sets and reps in the shortest time range.

In particular the tri-set wants you to execute the first exercise by performing 5 reps, then immediately going into the second exercise by performing 8 reps and in the end the third one by performing 20 reps.

The rest after completing a tri-set it should be up to you, but at the beginning if you do not know how long to take you can consider 2 minutes and then repeat the tri-set for the total amount showed below.

As always, in the last week, perform one set less of each tri-set.

DAY 1 UPPER BODY

Planche push-ups 5

PPP Pseudo planche push-ups 8

Push-ups 20

x4 times tri-set

Handstand push-ups 5

Pike push-ups 8

V push-ups 20

x3 times tri-set

Russian dips 5

Korean dips 8

Dips 20

x3 times tri-set

Arch body 45”

Inverted plank 45”

x4 times rest 1’

DAY 2 LOWER BODY/CORE

Pistol squat jumps 5 (each leg)

Pistols 8 (each leg)

Full squat jumps 20

x4 times tri-set

Gluteus Ham raises 5

Jumping lunges 8 (each leg)

Gluteus ham raises facilitated 20

x3 times tri-set

Dragon flags (straight arms) 5

Abs knees to elbows 8

V crunches 20

Dynamic Human flag 4 sets x 5 reps (each side) rest 1’

DAY 3 UPPER BODY

Front lever pull-ups 5

Pull-ups 8

Australian pull-ups 20

x4 times tri-set

Inverted pull down 5

Chin-ups 8

Back lever 20”

x3 times tri-set

Back lever pull-ups 5

Close grip pull-ups 8

Australian chin-ups 20

x4 times tri-set

Hollow body position 45”

Sit-ups 15

x4 times tri-set

DAY 4 BODYBUILDING

Front squat 5

Dynamic lunges 8 (each leg)

Full squat jumps 20

x3 times tri-set

Romanian deadlifts 5

Bulgarian squats 8 (each leg)

Calf raises (on elevated surface) 20

x3 times tri-set

Bench press 5

Dumbbell flyes 8

Lateral raises 20

x3 times tri-set

Barbell rows 5

Pronated shoulder raises (on inclined bench) 8

Curl Hammer (standing position) 20

Oblique raises 3 sets x 6 reps (each side) rest 1’

MIT STEP 8: 50 RT (REPETITION TRAINING)

Scope of this workout program is to complete 50 repetitions of each exercise proposed below.

The load you should work with, is always about 70-75% since you wanna make sure to perform all the reps in clean form and so it is recommended to choose exercises where you can easily perform 8-10 reps in this way.

Of course, the total number of sets, reps and rest in between is subjective and not well defined; since you wanna make sure to complete the 50 rt’s in the shortest time range possible, could be useful to perform as many reps as you can while you are fresh and then take a break and repeat all over again.

One solution could be, for instance, to perform 5 sets of 10 reps with very short breaks in between or, at the opposite, 10 sets of 5 reps again with very short breaks in between.

Let’s say that, in average, the best way would be to perform as many reps as you can in clean form, take a rest between 40” and 1’ and then repeat until completion of the 50 rt’s.

Once the first exercise is finished, take a rest of 2-3’ and go on to the next one adopting the same technique.

In the de-load week, you will decrease the total amount of reps to 30 per each exercise and in the rest of the exercises you will do half of the sets.

The same applies for the bodybuilding day.

DAY 1 FULL BODY CALISTHENICS

Planche push-ups 50 RT

Pistol squats 50 RT (each side)

Pull-ups 50 RT

Handstand push-ups 50 RT

Pseudo planche 4x60” rest 1’

Abs knees to elbows 4x8 rest 1’

DAY 2 FULL BODY CALISTHENICS

Pistol squat jumps 50 RT

Pseudo planche push-ups 50 RT

Inverted pull down 50 RT

Korean dips 50 RT

Inverted plank 4x60” rest 1’

Dragon flags 4x10 rest1’

DAY 3 FULL BODY CALISTHENICS

Muscle-ups 50 RT

Gluteus Ham raises 50 RT

Russian dips 50 RT

Close grip pull-ups 50 RT

Dynamic hollow body position (swing) 4x30 rest 1’

Arch body 4x60” rest 1’

DAY 4 FULL BODY BODYBUILDING

Bench press 50 RT

Full squat 50 RT

Barbell rows 50 RT

Curl EZ (standing position) 50 RT

Sit-ups 4x20 rest 1’

List 4x20” rest 1’

MIT STEP 9: TRI-SET 10/8/6

Similarly to the MIT STEPS 6 and 7, also in this case is proposed once again another workout made up of tri-sets pyramidal.

Your goal will be to complete in the shortest time range the three exercises each tri-set is made of.

For the first exercise, you will have to perform 10 reps then going straight into the second one and performing 8 reps all the way to the third and last one by performing 6 reps.

The rest at the end of each tri-set is again subjective, as you soon as you feel ready go on with the next one otherwise you can consider the generic 2 minutes interval.

In the de-load week, tri-sets will be halved, hence where you had 3 sets for three weeks, at the fourth one you will perform only 2.

Same as before also in regards of the bodybuilding day, adopting the same strategy.

DAY 1 UPPER BODY

Planche push-ups 10

Pike push-ups 8

Russian dips 6

x4 times tri-sets

Pseudo planche push-ups 10

V push-ups 8

Triceps (on floor) 6

x3 times tri-sets

Push-ups Jumps 10

Push-ups close feet 8

Dips 6

x4 times tri-sets

Inverted plank 3x60” rest 1’

Human flag 3x15” rest 1’

DAY 2 LOWER BODY/CORE

Pistol squats 10 (each leg)

Jumping lunges 8 (each side)

Full squat jumps 6

x4 times tri-set

Gluteus ham raises 10

Gluteus ham raises facilitated 8

Femoral arch 30”

x3 times tri-set

Planche 15”

Front lever 15”

Back lever 15”

x4 times tri-set

Bar oblique raises 4x5 (each side) rest 1’

DAY 3 UPPER BODY

Pull-ups 10

Inverted pull down 8

Back lever pull-ups 6

x4 times tri-set

Ice cream makers 10

Close grip pull-ups 8

Dragon flags (straight arms) 6

x3 times tri-set

Front lever pull-ups 10

Front pulls 8

Australian pull-ups 6

x4 times tri-set

Dynamic hollow body position (swing) 3x30 rest 1’

Abs knees to elbows 3x10 rest 1’

DAY 4 BODYBUILDING

Full squat 10

Squat box 8

Full squat jumps 6

x3 times tri-set

Romanian deadlifts 10

Good mornings 8

Jumping lunges 6 (each leg)

x3 times tri-set

Calf raises (on elevated sueface) 3x30 rest 1’

Bench press 10

Dumbbells flyes 30° inclined bench 8

Dumbbells press 30° inclined bench 6

x3 times tri-set

Barbell rows 10

Hammer curls 60° inclined bench 8

Curls EZ (standing position) 6

x3 times tri-set

If enough time is left at the end of the above bodybuilding routines, you can add another core exercise here at the end.

MIT STEP 10: WORKOUT TIME/LACTACID

Scope of this last phase is to produce and store as much lactic acid as possible in your muscles and thanks to it, favoring the muscle growth.

Why is that?! Because the fact that lactic acid is produced, favors also the production of the so called GH (Growth Hormone) and so of the muscular hypertrophy.

In practice, once the workout is completed, the lactic acid produced will be restored and converted in glycogen, saturating your muscles and giving volume to them.

In this workout, your goal is to try to execute as many repetitions as possible in the given 2 minutes range.

Such range has been chosen since it is very appropriate for stimulating the production of lactic acid with a medium load that goes around 60% of your maximal or, in poor words, that load that lets you perform in clean form 13-15 reps.

Basically, considering the above method, you will have to perform an exercise for 2 minutes aiming to the maximum amount of repetitions; be aware that since you won’t be able to go all the way until the end for each exercise, the best way to handle the thing is to perform as many reps as you can, take a short rest of 15-30” and then go on, then you take another short rest (if needed) all the way until completion of the 2 minutes.

After completing successfully 2 minutes of an exercise, you can rest 2’30”-3’ and then proceed with the next one.

If such criteria are respected and the load used is in the range of 60% of your maximal, it is estimated that the total amount of repetitions should be between 25 and 45.

Each week your goal will be to try to increase the number of repetitions done in the 2 minutes range, so it is useful to keep a track of them on a sheet of paper.

In the de-load week, once again you will perform only 1 set for each exercise and the same will be applied also in the bodybuilding training day.

DAY 1 UPPER BODY

PPP Pseudo planche push-ups 2x2’

Planche push-ups 2x2’

Pike push-ups 2x2’

Korean dips 2x2’

Dips 2x2’

Plank 2x2’

DAY 2 LOWER BODY/CORE

Alternated pistol squat jump 2x2’

Gluteus Ham raises 2x2’

Alternated Pistol squats box 2x2’(each leg)

Full squat jumps 2x2’

Side plank 2x2’ (each side)

Sit-ups 2x2’

DAY 3 UPPER BODY

Pull-ups 2x2’

Front lever pulls 2x2’

Ice cream makers 2x2’

Close grip pull-ups 2x2’

Dragon flags 2x2’

Dynamic hollow body position (swing) 2x2’

DAY 4 BODYBUILDING

Squat box 2x2’

Romanian deadlifts 2x2’

Calf raises (on elevated surface) 2x2’

Bench press 2x2’

Barbell rows 2x2’

Hammer curls (standing position) 2x2’

Abs knees to elbows 2x2’

Last thing that I would like to emphasize is the fact that, if for whichever reason you won’t be able to follow the schedule strictly as it is that means with 4 times a week range or if you wanna focus strictly on Calisthenics and not considering bodybuilding, you can also manage to change the whole plan in the two following ways according to which will be your goal:

  1. REDUCING THE SESSIONS FROM 4 TO 3 TIMES A WEEK

If you wanna keep the bodybuilding day, but still reduce the sessions to 3 a week, you can consider when you work with programs where days are divided in Upper body, Lower body/core, Upper body, Bodybuilding to arrange the weeks as follows:

Week 1: DAY 1 Upper body 1, DAY 2 Lower body/core, DAY 3 Bodybuilding

Week 2: DAY 1 Upper body 2, DAY 2 Lower body/core, DAY 3 Bodybuilding

Week 3: DAY 1 Upper body 1, DAY 2 Lower body/core, DAY 3 Bodybuilding

Week 4: DAY 1 Upper body 2, DAY 2 Lower body/core, DAY 3 Bodybuilding

  1. CALISTHENICS TRAINING ONLY (NO BODYBUILDING)

If your goal is to keep only the three Calisthenics sessions and eliminate the bodybuilding one, the change will be quite easy since you will have simply to consider the three days of each week dedicated to bodyweight training (Upper body 1 and 2, lower body/core) and distribute them throughout the weeks.

In this case, if you want to train only with Calisthenics, but keeping still 4 sessions a week, you can follow this schedule:

Week 1: DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3, DAY 1

Week 2: DAY 2, DAY 3, DAY 1, DAY 2

Week 3: DAY 3, DAY 1, DAY 2, DAY 3

Week 4: DE-LOAD: DAY 1,2,3

LLLET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEE!!!