Watch What Happened When a Calisthenics Athlete Spent 30 Days Growing Strength and Muscle

Michael Woerdman from the Calisthenics Family YouTube channel, who is currently on a 90-day strength transformation challenge, just shared an update on the progress he has made after the first 30 days of his journey.

At the start of the challenge, he weighed 168 pounds, and set himself the goal of building strength and muscle mass, with a target weight of 176 pounds. Prior to beginning, Michael tested his strength via a one-rep max at the beginning of the challenge, and was able to do a weighted handstand pushup at 20 kgs, weighted pullups at 30 kgs, weighted pushups at 50 kgs, and weighted dips at 60 kgs.

When he started the challenge, he was eating around 2,600 calories per day. He increased his daily calorie intake in increments of 150 each week, so that in Week 1 he was eating 2,750, then 2,900 in Week 2, and 3,050 in Week 3, so that by Week 4, he was up to 3,200 calories per day; the number he calculated he would need to be eating in order to reach his goal weight of 176 pounds.

Michael got these extra calories by increasing the amounts of carbs in his breakfast each day, usually in the form of oatmeal with apples, raisins and honey, in addition to protein powder (he used a kitchen scale while preparing each meal to ensure he could accurately track his macros).

As the month progressed, Michael began focusing on more advanced bodyweight exercises, staying in the 6 to 12 rep range. “I looked for a progression with each exercise that allowed me to get 6 to 12 reps in,” he says. “And while I was getting heavier, I was still adding repetitions in the exercises.”

At the end of the challenge, Michael had reached his target weight. Moreover, he was able to do 8 reps on the weighted pushup at 10 kgs (compared to just a single rep at 20), 6 weighted dips at 50 kgs, and 3 weighted pushups at 50 kgs (three times his one-rep max at the begnning).

“It was quite a struggle, I ate a lot of extra carbs, especially in the last few weeks,” he says. “I see a little improvement in my chest, shoulders, abs, and legs… I also made some good strength gains, which was my main goal.”

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