Updated: Feb 27
"How many pullups can you do?"
"I can't do one rep I'm too heavy."
"I can do 10 pullups, I do sets of 30 pushups, Dips are easy and boring."
"Okay partner can you do it with weight?"
"I can't imagine doing weighted pullups. Bodyweight pullups are hard enough."
That last sentence Kali Muscle told me in one of his pullup videos as a reply to my comment because of how easily he did muscle ups (pullup to a dip) for 20 reps at over 250lbs bodyweight.
So with that being said what are some realistic strength standards for elite weighted calisthenics? Doing a dip or pullup would be moving nearly all of your bodyweight. The position of your body is what determines what muscles get worked when you move the body a certain direction and how you move the body with certain prime moving muscles.
Say you weigh 100kg/220kg. When you do one rep of a pullup/chinup or dip, you are essentially moving 220lbs/100kg with those muscles. What do you have to do to be elite: Weighted Pullups/Chinups and Weighted Dips with 100kg/220lbs extra bodyweight? So basically elite weighted dips/chinups/pullups is doing an extra 100% of your bodyweight.
This is how elite works in the weighted calisthenics world. Let's be frank, if you do a rep of any upper body calisthenics exercise with 100% extra bodyweight, you are strong. The more weight you lift or the same weight for more reps, you are even stronger, have more endurance, or was born to be a ball player.
Let me break it down to you. Homie. Ay DJ spin that ish:
Bench Press 2 times your bodyweight vs Weighted Dips with 200% Total Bodyweight. Obviously bench pressing 2 times your own bodyweight takes more strength than doing a weighted dip than 200% of total bodyweight.
But doing a weighted dip with 200% of extra bodyweight is more or less the same as a 2 times bodyweight bench press strength standards wise. Also based on technique of each lift of course. Arch, leverages, and bar path of bench press. Dips if you keep the weight still and move the upper body without moving the body aka Mathew Zlat on his world records.
Weighted Pullups/Chinups are comparable to barbell rows strength wise. Though pullups/chinups are vertical pulls there are no vertical pulling exercises that require the barbell.
Barbell Rows mostly done strict and bent over as close to 90 degrees as possible are the best way to gauge strength.
Also Barbell Seal Rows with a full range of motion likely an elevated platform and cambered bar. Do these with 2 times your bodyweight to match a full range of motion head over the bar pullup/chinup with 100% of extra bodyweight. Likely would have to do more reps.
Weighted Handstand Pushups with some percent, freestanding or wall bodyweight handstand pushups, or full range of motion handstand pushups through chairs, boxes, or paralleletes bodyweight or weighted you have to do a moderate amount of reps to do one times bodyweight. This is similar to one times strict overhead press and then some.
Also like powerlifting, calisthenics strength standards go down when weigh more. Leverages change and you fill out more relative to your limbs and height proportions.
The heavier you are the more impressive bodyweight to strength ratios are. That is just how anatomy works.
I will end this by saying that these tips will help you understand strength standards for weighted calisthenics along with how it relates to the barbell lifts. These bench marks will give you goals to shoot for also to build muscle. You can read this article like Dilbert comic book or hire ya man Tobi from tobistrength.net to get you started and on the road to success and strength and muscle and physical fitness. Peace out.