My Current 5 AM Bodyweight Home Workout

This is the bodyweight home workout that I do with my girlfriend every morning at 5 AM before she goes to work.

It is intended to build lean muscle and relative strength and is based on gymnastics and bodyweight exercises.

As you will see in the video below, I do most of these exercises in our living room with only pushup handles, a doorway pullup bar and gymnastics rings.  We don’t want to wake up the downstairs neighbors, so we do the burpee intervals in the gym in our community, where we have to go to get on the treadmill anyway.

L-Sit Hold

My goal for the L-sit is a one-minute hold.  To achieve this, I am doing sets of L-sit holds that total one minute with 30 second rest periods between holds.

For instance, this month I am doing six, 10 second holds with 30 seconds rest between each hold.

This is the start of the third week of this workout, so I’m planing to increase it starting week five to four sets of 15 seconds with 30 second rest between sets.  After that, I’ll do 3 x 20 seconds, 2 x 30 seconds, etc. until I can do one minute straight.

Although you can do these without the pushup handles, like I did when I was starting out, I recommend that you use them if you have them.

I have been doing this workout for the L-sit hold, along with the following handstand workout five times a week, Monday thru Friday and it has worked well for me so far.

Free-Standing Handstand

This is my skill training for the handstand.  Like with the L-sit, my goal for the handstand is a rock solid, one-minute hold.

My current workout for the free-standing handstand is two, one-minute sets of handstand attempts with a one-minute rest between sets.  I don’t count attempts, I just get into a handstand and, if I lose my balance, I immediately go up into a handstand again, until the minute is up.

Once again, as with the L-sit holds, I do my two minutes of handstands every day, Monday thru Friday.


I do two sets of overhand pullups to increase back width, build my V-taper and, well, to be able to do more pullups.

Because I am currently doing #20PullupsEveryDay in as few sets as possible until I can do one set of 20, the repetitions I do for these two sets will count towards the total repetitions I do every day.

In today’s case, I did a set of 9 and another set of 5 repetitions, which means I only had to do another set of 6 after my workout to get my total of 20 reps in for the day.

Bodyweight Rows

Like with the pullups, I do two sets of these, but, because I’m concentrating so much on getting my pullup numbers up, I take it a little easy with the bodyweight rows.

Rows are good to build thickness in your back, getting that groove down the middle nice and deep.

I do them using the rings at about waist height and I rest my feet on the ground.  Later, after I am capable of performing more repetitions and holding for a two-second hold at the top of the movement, I will elevate my feet to make the exercise harder.

Notice that my hands are pronated (palms facing down) when I’m at the bottom of the movement and I turn the rings so that my hands are parallel, palms facing each other as I pull myself up,

Ring Dips

I do two sets of these and believe me, ring dips are MUCH harder to do than normal dips on bars!

That’s because you have to stabilize the rings, instead of just pushing with all you’ve got.

As a matter of fact, most people will get one hell of a workout by just balancing themselves on the rings for timed holds!

That’s why my intention was to get nice and strong on bar dips (like four sets of 25 reps) before I moved on to doing them on rings.

BUT, this was just about the time that I moved in with my current girlfriend, which led to a severe lack of space in our apartment for dip bars, so I had to start early with ring dips.


Dips work the shoulders, chest and triceps, but I wanted to do an exercise that concentrates more on the front of the chest, so I do two sets of pushups as well.

I do them on pushup bars, which allows me to get a full range of motion and a nice chest stretch at the bottom of every rep.

Bodyweight Squats

Any squats are killer and bodyweight squats are certainly no exception!

I was doing four sets of bodyweight squats, alternating with my girlfriend, who was also doing four sets, but, since I started doing #100SquatsEveryDay I have been stopping as soon as I reach my 100 reps.  Today’s squat numbers were 35, 35 and 30 reps.

Hanging Leg Raises

Although L-sit holds are my primary abdominal exercise, I finish the calisthenics portion of my workout with four sets of five reps of hanging straight-leg raises.

I prefer to use a parallel grip (palms facing each other) when I do these because I believe it gives me better control.

If you’re swinging at all while doing these, you’re not controlling your legs during the movement, which probably means that you’re not strong enough yet.  Try doing hanging knee raises or a similar exercise until you’re strong enough to raise your legs under control until your instep touches the bar and lower them under control until your toes barely touch the ground.

Burpee Intervals

My first of two cardio / endurance exercises is burpees.

Burpees are very well suited as an anaerobic exercise, so I do them in intervals with minimal rest between sets.

This first month we are doing four sets of ten reps, alternating between my girlfriend and me so the only rest we get is while the other is doing their set.  If you work out alone, just set a timer for 30 seconds and use that for your rest intervals.

Starting next month, after four weeks of doing four sets of ten burpees, we’ll start increasing our sets until we’re doing twelve sets of ten — OUCH!!

Treadmill Run

Nothing special here, just 20 minutes of running at a steady pace.

No intervals, no HITT protocols, no incline.

As I get fitter, I will simply increase the speed every week by 0.1 MPH or so, which will burn more calories and provide a harder workout by increasing the intensity, the work done in the same time, instead of making the workout longer.

That’s it for today, until next time, go out there and be awesome!

PS:  Don’t forget to watch the video of my workout this morning and make sure you subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss any future blog posts.

1 Comment

  • PJ Pires

    Reply Reply July 20, 2017

    Liked it cause now I need to wake up 5 am too ! I will copy this.

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