BEST Calisthenics Workout Split For Muscle Growth

The best calisthenics workout split for you can depend on a few different factors. It is important to NOT follow just any random workout split that you find online.

So, in this article we will break down exactly which factors these are and how you can find the best calisthenics split for muscle growth that fits your specific needs and goals.

Calisthenics Workout Split

There are tons of workout splits that many brands and influencers say are the “single best split”. But like so many things in fitness, there is a little bit of a grey area in certain things, and others may vary depending on each individual needs and goals.

This Post Is All About The Best Calisthenics Workout Split For Muscle Growth

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Table of Contents

Importance Of A Proper Calisthenics Workout Split

A proper workout split for both calisthenics or weights is an essential component of any exercise routine, as it helps ensure that you target all the muscle groups in your body and avoid overtraining.

Having a well-planned calisthenics workout split helps you to train more effectively, efficiently, as it allows you to give your muscles sufficient time to recover and grow between workouts.

With a proper workout split, you can also more easily track your progress and make adjustments to your routine as needed. And, for some, a split routine can even help you stay motivated by providing variety in your workouts.

Should I Train Full Body Or Split Calisthenics?​

Pros and cons of full body training

Full body training involves performing exercises that target all major muscle groups in the body in a single workout session.

calisthenics full body workout or split

This can be beneficial for many beginners as they should train with less intensity and volume. This is because the body will have higher levels of soreness and training with lower intensity and volume will help limit that. This will usually involve only one exercise per main muscle group or movement pattern with about 2-3 working sets for beginners, not training too close to failure.

You can also do a full body split if you can only get in those days of strength training each week, or if you want to focus on cardio for the rest of your workout session in the week.

A full body workout split can be done by training 2-3 days per week, with 24-48 hours in between workouts. Here are a couple example as shown in our free no-equipment beginner calisthenics workout download article.

Full Body Split (Starting Sunday):

Full Body Split (Starting Monday):

What Is The Best Calisthenics Workout Split?​

There are several different workout splits that you can follow when doing calisthenics, just like in weight lifting.

These include:

  • Upper/Lower
  • Push/Pull/Legs
  • Full Body
  • Upper/Lower + Push/Pull/Legs
calisthenics best workout split

Each calisthenics workout split is designed to hit each muscle group two times per week, or at least they should be (the full body split will typically be done 3 times).

You can typically choose each based off of the total days you’d like to workout or the days you can workout. Or you could simply prefer to have shorter workouts with more days or longer workouts with less days OR if you want to have more volume for each muscle, it’s better to have more days because you’ll have more energy to perform through the entire workout.

However, each should also be designed to allow sufficient recovery before working on the same muscle again (this typically only includes strength training).

Here’s how each work:

Upper/Lower Split

best calisthenics workout split

The Upper/Lower Split is composed of four training days per week. Here are a couple examples of how you could program it.

Upper/Lower Split (Starting Sunday):

Upper/Lower Split (Starting Monday):

You’ll notice that the upper body will have 2-3 days in between before the next upper body workout, and the same going for the lower body.

For the upper body workout, you will target your chest, back, arms, and shoulders. For the lower body workout, you will target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Core training can be done on either day, but we recommend you add it to one of the workouts and stick with it.

However, keep in mind that many calisthenics exercises and skills already target the abs and core heavily.


The Upper/Lower Split is composed of 6 training days per week. Here are a couple examples of how you could program it.

Push/Pull/Legs Split (Rest At The End Of The Week):

Push/Pull/Legs Split (Rest Mid Week):

The Push/Pull/Legs Split is composed of 6 training days per week (sometimes per 8 days, which you’ll see below).

You’ll notice that the each muscle group will have 2-3 days in between before its next workout. After a push workout, there are 2-3 days before the next push workout, as it is for the other two workouts.

You can also follow a Push/Pull/Legs Split during an 8-day period if you feel like it helps you recover better. You will simply add an extra rest day, rather than going straight to the push workout after legs. However, that means that each week, the workout in each specific day will be different (and that is totally fine).

Here’s an example of how you can program it:

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

For the push workout, you will target your chest, triceps, and shoulders. For the pull workout, you will target the back, biceps, and forearms. And for your leg workout, you will target the quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves. Again, core training can be done on either day, but we recommend you add it to one of the workouts and stick with it.

Upper/Lower + Push/Pull/Legs (5-Day Split)

calisthenics workout split reddit

And now, the final calisthenics workout split on our list.

I would prefer this calisthenics workout split if I want to have a workout session in which I focus more on skills over hypertrophy training and then another workout where I focus more hypertrophy training.

It would be structure the following way:

Upper/Lower + Push/Pull/Legs

The Upper Body Workout will be focused on skills and harder calisthenics moves, in which you train in a lower rep range. However, you will probably not be doing a lot of “hypertrophy-based” training, but instead, 2-3 sets of 2-3 exercises per skill, for 2-3 skills.

Example for training for handstand, front lever, and planche:

  • 3 sets of wall handstand push ups
  • 3 sets of straddle from lever holds
  • 3 sets of tuck planche holds
  • 2 sets of tuck front lever rows
  • 2 sets of pseudo planche push ups

This workout will help work work on these skills, but will leave you less sore than focusing on muscle building exercises (reps and sets targeting muscle growth not skills).

For you push/pull/legs workouts, you will simply structure them as you normally would in a push/pull/legs split.

Selecting The Best Split​

As mentioned before, the best split for you will depend on a few different factors.

These factors include, are you a beginner? Intermediate? Advanced athlete? How many days CAN you train? Do you prefer longer workouts with less days? Shorter workouts with more days? Do you want to train calisthenics skills on their own?

Your Level


If you’re a beginner, we’d recommend a Full Body Workout Split or an Upper/Lower Split with only 1-2 exercises per main muscle group and slowly increase your intensity.

Intermediate Athletes

As you get to more of an intermediate level, you can start adding more isolation exercises to either of these workouts, but a full body workout will begin to get really long and recovery will be harder because you should now train at a much higher intensity.

That is why we recommend going any split above 3 days as long as you can fully recover before repeating a workout (unless 3 days is your only option).

Advanced Athletes

As an advanced athlete, you can typically add a little more volume (again) to your workouts. A Push/Pull/Legs Split or Upper/Lower + Push/Pull/Legs can work very good because you can much easily get enough volume for the week in both workouts for each muscle group. However, an Upper/Lower Split can still work very well as is still a great option if you only have 4 days to work out.


calisthenics workout routine for beginners

If your goal is to build muscle as fast as possible, simply choose the best one for your level, without focusing too much on skills, but rather on sets and reps targeting each muscle group.

If your goal is to work on skills and build muscle, try the Upper/Lower Split, 5-Day Split, or Push/Pull/Legs Split and divide each workout focusing on one or the other. Or if you want to focus more on muscle growth and some skill, do a bit of skill training at the start of the workout and then follow your muscle building program.

If your goal is to lose weight as fast as possible, we’d typically recommend the Full Body Split with 2-3 days of strength training, with cardio after or in between those workouts.

If your goal is simply to be healthier, 1-2 days of strength training per week can help a lot. And adding in some cardio a few days per week or a 10-15 minutes per day can also be extremely beneficial for having a healthy heart and immune system.


This is probably one of the most important factor no matter which goal you have. If you can’t stick to your routine, then it will never be done, and if it is not done, you will see ZERO results.

So, simply choose a routine based off of the days that you can actually find the time to workout. And yes, you can find the time if it’s actually important to you. Too tired? Build up some discipline and maybe consider pre-workout supplements.

Can only workout 2-3 days? Do Full Body. Can do 4 days? Upper/Lower. Etc.

If this has helped you choose the perfect calisthenics workout split for you, feel free to view any other articles below.

This Post Was All About The Best Calisthenics Workout Split For Muscle Growth

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