Create Your Custom Programming

In the last lesson, we determined what your levels are for each movement. You should have something like this:

  • Pull-Ups – Level 2
  • Ring Dips – Level 3
  • Muscle-Ups – Level 1
  • Handstand Push-Ups – Level 2

No matter what the combination is, the program is designed to accommodate you.

Determine your Progression Level

In this step, we will build your starting template. Your starting template will be your programming and starting point. You will only need to do this once.

I always find it easier to use an example athlete when explaining how to get started. Let’s use an imaginary Cross-Trainingter named Amy.  Amy has been at her Cross-Training box for 6 months and is using RX Gymnastics because she wants to be able to do pull-ups and eventually HSPU’s and MU’s. Amy completed the last lesson and determined she is level 1 for each of the movements.

  • Pull-Ups – Level 1
  • Ring Dips – Level 1
  • Muscle-Ups – Level 1
  • Handstand Push-Ups – Level 1

Below is the Progression Level sheet. This lets you quickly determine what level of capacity you are at. The way it works is you take the average of your four movement levels. For example, Amy is level 1 for every movement so the average of her four levels is 1.

She would then look at the chart below and see that she is currently in the Beginner progression level.

You will notice that some levels have a “Or” in them. What this means is you can pick which level you want to be at.

Take a moment to determine which progression level you are at.

Progression Levels

Progression LevelLevel
Beginner1
Elementary1 or 2
Pre-Intermediate2
Intermediate2 or 3
Upper-Intermediate3
Advanced3 or 4
Proficient5

When To Move to a New Progression Level

Keeping with our sample athlete Amy, let’s determine when she would move from beginner to elementary. Below, in the beginner progression level, we can see the “Advance to Elementary” area. This tells Amy when to move on. In this case, Amy would move to Elementary when she can do 5 strict push-ups.

Constructing Your Programming

By now, you should know the following:

  • Your level for each movement (pull up, muscle up, dip, handstand push up)
  • Your progression level (Beginner, Elementary, etc)

Our next step is to combine them to build your custom programming. In each section, there is a suggested schedule. The day will have a movement you will work on. For example, on day 1 for Amy, she has push-ups. Amy will look at the Push-Up lesson and follow those instructions.

Her next day is going to be pull-ups. She will go to level 1 pull-ups and follow the instructions there.

Once she finishes Day 5 she’ll then start over on Day 1. She’ll continue to cycle through until she can complete the goal for that level. Which is to do 5-10 push-ups. Once she can do that, she moves to the Elementary level.

Ready For First Workout

At this point, you are all set to do your first workout! You know what progression level you are at and what the day 1 focus is. Just hop on over to that level for that movement and follow the scheduled programming!

Progression Levels

Beginner

For many people, this will be their first time on a linear strength program specific towards bodyweight exercises. You probably have done variations of pull-ups, push-ups, and dips but not as a part of a systematic program that leads you through to more difficult movements.

The goal of this level is to get 5-10 strict push-ups while also working towards a strict pull-up and dips – which will be important for the next 2 levels.

Advance to Elementary: When you can do 5-10 strict push-ups.

Suggested Volume: 2-5 days per week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Beginner Schedule

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Push-UpPull-UpPush-upPull-upDips

Elementary

The primary objective of the Elementary level is to get 1 strict pull-up while also developing push-up and dip strength.

Pre-requisite: 5 standard push-ups.

Advance to Pre-intermediate: When you can do 1 strict pull-up.

Suggested Volume: 3-5 days per week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Elementary Schedule

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Pull-upPush-upPull-upDipsPull-ups

Pre-intermediate

Pre-requisite: 1 strict pull-up and 8-10 standard push-ups

Advance to intermediate: When you have 1 strict ring-dip, 3 strict pull-ups, and 10 push-ups.

Suggested Volume: 3-5 days per week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Pre-Intermediate Schedule

     

Intermediate

The primary focus of the intermediate stage is building pull-up and dip strength while doing skill work on handstand holds.

Pre-requisite: 1 strict ring-dip, 3-5 strict pull-ups, and 10 push-ups.

Advance to upper-intermediate: When you have 3-5 ring dips, 5 strict pull-ups, and 7-12 kipping pull-ups.

Suggested Volume: 3-6 days per week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Intermediate Schedule

[
Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Pull-upsDipsHSPUPull-upsPush-ups

Upper-intermediate

The primary focus of the upper-intermediate stage is skill work for HSPU and Muscle-ups while also still developing 3-5RM pull-up and dip strength.

Pre-requisite:  3-5 ring dips, 5 strict pull-ups, and 7-12 kipping pull-ups.

Advance to Advanced: When you can do a strict HSPU and kipping Muscle-Up.

Suggested Volume: 3-5 days per week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Upper-Intermediate Schedule

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Pull-UpsHSPUMuscle-UpsDips

Advanced

Pre-requisite: Able to do the following movements comfortably:

  • Kipping and Butterfly pull-ups
  • Weighted strict pull-ups
  • Strict and kipping HSPU’s
  • Kipping ring dips

Advance to Proficient: When you can string together kipping ring muscle-ups and can do a bar muscle-up.

Suggested Volume: 2-5 days a week. Feel free to combine days to progress faster.

Advanced Schedule

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
Muscle-UpsHSPUPull-upsMuscle-UpsHSPUDips

Proficient

The goal of this level is to reach and maintain Level 5 for each movement.

Expect to be working on the Proficient level for 3-18 months. There are multiple schedules you can follow below depending on what exactly you need to focus on. I suggest not being on 1 schedule for more than 6 weeks.

When you have reached 80% of the goals below your gymnastics focus should be focused on maintaining these numbers while practicing gymnastic movements that aren’t as prevalent in most Cross-Training programming. These include but are not limited to: handstand walking, rope climbs, L sits, toes to bar, etc.

Pre-requisite: Comfortable doing each FGMC.

Suggested Volume: 2-3 days per week.

No Specific Focus

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Pull-UpHSPUMuscle-UpPull-UpsRing Dips

Pull-Up Focus

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
Pull-UpsHSPUMuscle-UpsPull-UpsDipsPull-Ups

Muscle-Up Focus

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5
Muscle-UpHSPUDipsMuscle-UpsPull-Ups

HSPU Focus

Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6
HSPUMuscle-UpHSPUPull-UpsHSPUDips