Bodybuilding Calisthenics: The Potpourri Routine

The Potpourri Routine is a forgotten bodybuilding workout that predates the invention of sets. It is the 1930's version of German Volume Training and was a favorite of John Grimek. In potpourri training, you perform 6-10 exercises for a muscle group, but only one set per exercise.

The Potpourri Routine is purely a hypertrophy program, designed to build up the size of the targeted muscle group.  For this reason I like to apply the Potpourri Routine to my calisthenics workouts.  If you want to body build on calisthenics only, then the Potpourri Routine is the way to do it

The main exercises in any body weight hypertrophy program are pull-ups, dips and squats.  So in the Potpourri Routine you must apply a high number of sets and a variety of movements to these 3 calisthenic movements.  The following are sample Potpourri Routines for each of these core exercises:


  1. Muscle-up
  2. Lever Raise Pull-ups
  3. Archer pull-ups
  4. Typewriter pull-ups
  5. Chin rows
  6. L-Sit Pull-ups
  7. Headbanger pull-ups
  8. CTI pull-ups
  9. In and Out Pull-ups
  10. Commando pull-ups

  1. Pistols
  2. Skater squats
  3. Lunges
  4. Bulgarian squats
  5. Step-ups
  6. Body weight squats
  7. Ski squats

  1. Tucked dips
  2. Bulgarian dips
  3. Archer dips
  4. Typewriter dips
  5. Assisted one arm dips
  6. Negative L-sit dips
  7. Incline dips

If you cannot do dips or if dip variations are just too hard, then you can do a "Pushpourri" workout instead:
  1. One arm push-up
  2. Typewriter push-up
  3. Archer push-up
  4. Tiger push-up
  5. Staggered push-up
  6. Clap push-up
  7. Diamond push-up
  8. Decline push-up
  9. Corkscrew push-up
  10. Scorpion push-up


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