This review will help you decide if Bar Brothers The System is the right calisthenics training program for you – and determine if it is effective and realistic in its claims.
I am qualified to review this program because:
- I have purchased the program
- I train in bar calisthenics
- I have feedback from other trainees of the Bar Brothers System
Here’s what this review talks about:
- What is ‘Bar Brothers – The System’?
- Why I bought the training program?
- What’s in this training program? Is it honestly useful?
- Price of ‘Bar Brothers – The System’? Are there upgrades?
- Pros and Cons
- People who actually bought and trained using this program
- What results should you expect?
- Is this suitable for you?
Bar Brothers – The System
Watch Dusan’s Inspiring Story on the Bar Brothers movement and The System
Bar Brothers -The System is a step-by-step calisthenics training program that spans 12 weeks. It is designed to help you develop the mindset and physical strength to become a bar brother (or street workout athlete).
This is also the official training program of the Bar Brothers, created by its founders, Lazar Novovic and Dusan Djolevic.
Bar Brothers System builds the foundation for street workout beginners to progress into calisthenics freestyle movements. Think creative combos of handstands, human flags, muscle ups and more.
As a positive side-effect from training, you will also get a better physique by the end of the program.
Origins of Bar Brothers System – Lazar and Dusan
Lazar and Dusan are among the top calisthenics experts in the fitness world. They propelled the Bar Brothers movement – “to become the best version of yourself” – into a worldwide phenomenon. And in the process, the duo helped transform average people into amazing calisthenics athletes through body weight training.
Naturally, they were asked by countless people about the specifics in their training approach to replicate their results in strength feats and physique. This prompted them to create the Bar Brothers System, which details the exact training mindset, eating habits and effective training methodology.
Calisthenics and street workouts was already part of my cross-training routine, and I was compelled to buy the training program for three reasons:
1. Tried-and-tested training methodology
I wanted to learn about Lazar’s and Dusan’s tried-and-tested training methodology.
The duo are founders of one of the largest calisthenics movement. They have also helped average people become calisthenics athletes with phenomenal freestyle strength feats.
2. Figure out what went wrong in my own training
There were problems in my own cross-training routine that caused a tendon overuse injury (affecting my wrist, elbows and shoulders – both right and left) and a rotator cuff tear. I wanted a comprehensive reference to figure out what I was doing wrong in my street workout routines.
3. Discounted price
The discounted price was within my budget.
How is the training program delivered?
Bar Brothers System is delivered via an online platform loaded with video tutorials, instructions and insights on bar calisthenics. Navigating the platform is very straightforward.
When you first login, you will be redirected to a list of training programs as shown below. I’m only enrolled to the first one (The System) and opted to upgrade later.
After clicking “Access Now”, you will be directed to The System training program as shown below. It is divided into 18 sections of videos and resource downloads.
How is the training program and workout structure like?
The training is divided into three 4-week phases. Each 4-week phase is a step up in difficulty.
You will have to train six days per week, devoting no more than one hour per session. To make such rigorous training possible, the program uses a split-training forma, where different areas of the body is targeted per session. The workout intensity also varies among sessions.
The following is a breakdown of the training program’s 18 sections, with a rough idea on what you will get.
Short welcome video by Lazar and Dusan.
- What You Need
Tells you exactly what you need to complete the 12-week training successfully and achieve results – the rules, mindset and equipment (basically your body and a bar).
- The System Nutrition
Provides rich insight into the Bar Brothers founders nutrition habits and brainless homemade recipes for pre and post workout shakes. Moreover, you learn basic body-types and how to adjust nutrition and training for optimal results.
- Explanation of the program
Gives you an overview of the program in video and downloadable workout schedules.
- Workout Advice
This is self-explanatory.
- Week 1 to Week 12 sections
In week 1, you do a self-test and begin learning the correct way to warm-up and perform bodyweight exercises. There is a video for each day of training with words of motivation and concise instruction. The rest of the 11 weeks are similar.
- The System Conclusion
Here’s how the videos and information are displayed in each section.
Bar Brothers Welcome Screenshot
Because the program caters to people of all fitness and strength levels, Lazar and Dusan demonstrates the proper way to perform each exercise, common mistakes and provide complete progression steps. The progression steps allow you to perform exercises at a lower level if you haven’t built proper strength and technique to perform an exercise in its regular form yet.
I personally found their muscle up tutorial to be the most detailed among the many I have watched. And I regret not watching this before attempting muscle ups last month, which contributed to a long-term shoulder injury. I hadn’t bought the program yet and was making many mistakes they’ve pointed out.
In general, the training program is realistic when you consider workout programming and time commitment. It is, however, going to be more challenging as you progress up the phases.
‘The System’ is the basic foundation of the entire series of Bar Brothers Systems, consisting of:
- The System
- The System Accelerator
- The System – Freestyle Moves.
The System is priced at
US$97. BUT you can get it at US$47 right now as it has only been recently launched.
The latter two programs (The System Accelerator & The System – Freestyle Moves) are next level programs that can be enabled later on. You will also be given the option to be a member of an exclusive support group – Bar Brothers Family.
That said, you will be given a limited-time discount to get the next-level programs and support group right after you purchase The System. I declined the discounted programs as I wanted to take things slow (due to the injury) and didn’t want to go over my budget. The support group is valuable to your bar brothers transformation though.
Pros – The awesome stuff about the program
1. Easy-to-navigate (on desktop, tablets and smartphones)
With intuitive navigation, the online training platform is easy to use. What’s most important though, is mobile-friendliness – you can access the videos on your smartphone when training outdoors.
2. No guesswork needed. No analysis-paralysis. Just follow the plan.
The System is fully-guided with step-by-step instruction. Videos are action-oriented and to-the-point. Dusan and Lazar don’t bombard you with unnecessary information and tell you only what you need to know, eliminating analysis-paralysis. Just watch the short training video for that day, and get out to train.
3. Easy to Understand
As mentioned, the first five sections are mainly informational ranging from nutrition to mindset. The founders explain everything in layman terms, avoiding jargon. This makes it very easy for beginners to understand.
4. Pep Talk from Dusan and Lazar
As the founders have trained many people in the past and can anticipate the problems trainees will face, they have motivational pep talks for each week. You will struggle by phase two of the program – their words of motivation will make a difference as it strikes the core of how you will be feeling.
5. Fully-explained Tutorials
Every tutorial video comes with progressions for people of all levels of fitness and strength, demonstrating the correct technique, common mistakes and very useful tips to perform the exercise successfully.
6. Minimal Equipment Needed
Just your body, pull up bars and parallel bars (easily found at outdoor parks).
7. Responsiveness of Support Team
I have contacted the Bar Brothers support team for the training program and have gotten responses within 24 hours. With workout-related queries, I even got a reply from Dusan. So, if you have a problem with the training program or technical issues, the support team can and will help very quickly.
Cons – The annoying things about the program
1. Needs internet connection
Because you will be outdoors for most training (pull-up and parallel bars), be prepared to use data on your mobile device if you ever need to refer to the videos when training.
However, you can work around this (if you have limited or no data) by pre-loading the videos on your device browser before heading out. Just remember to switch off wifi and data so that it doesn’t auto-reload. Alternatively, jot down essential points on paper before heading out.
2. Time Commitment
You will need to devote close to an hour per session for six days each week. What do you expect out of an immersion program for becoming a street workout athlete?
Based on Bar Brothers Family secret Facebook group, the majority of trainees are male between the ages of 18 to 34.
BUT there are many exceptions and outliers…
- The youngest person who actively posts his progress with the program is 14 years old. There is an even younger trainee at 13 years old. Since, this is a calisthenics program, there are no issues with them being too young.
- The oldest trainee who has posted results is in his late sixties.
- There are a few Bar Sisters in the program.
- There are a number of people from different busy professions – some of whom you’d think would have very little time to train but they made it work!
This all makes sense because the Bar Brothers movement has always been inclusive to anyone who has the will to train; to compete only with themselves; to be the best version of yourself.
What The Program Claims
The System promises a vast difference in strength, ability and physique between the time you begin and complete the program – provided you adhere to the workout and nutrition guidelines. You are asked to take before-and-after shots and perform two strength evaluation tests to ascertain this.
But will it actually work?
Update: I found 2 people who recently completed The System – blurred screenshots below
Since Bar Brothers System was launched around July, it is difficult to find someone who completed the entire program. I will therefore use three sources of proxy comparisons to judge if its claims on effectiveness for both ability and physique are realistic.
- Source 1: photos and videos demonstrating physique and ability by people who were instructed/mentored by Lazar and Dusan. This is a fair proxy for effectiveness if we consider that these people were (in a way) were ‘guinea pigs’ for the program. And the program mimics the founders’ method of training.
- Source 2: my experiences in a similar bar calisthenics program. This while reasonable is less reliable because I cross-train in many other activities.
- Source 3: results posted by trainees on Bar Brothers Family (the official support group for this program)
Source 1: Photos & Videos demonstrating ability and physique
Watch the 2012 video posted by Lazar. It shows the transformation of people who trained and learnt from them.
Source 2: Personal experience with a similar street workout program that I created for my own training
Prior to being injured, I was training 4 to 5 days each week for beyond an hour per session. My cross-training involved Aikido, running and a little parkour. In as little as three weeks, my physique was noticeably different.
If you are wondering why I didn’t continue my self-created regime, I got into a serious shoulder injury from poor cross-training programming and shaky street workout fundamentals. Being impatient also didn’t help. So, while my physique had improved, my strength was improving only marginally through the accumulation of my mistakes.
Source 3: Results and posts by trainees on Bar Brothers Family
Because the content in the secret group does not belong to me and for privacy purposes, I will not show actual photos or unblurred screenshots. Scanning through the group, I found trainees who’ve had noticeable progress in as little as three to four weeks.
These are posts by 2 different member within the last 48 hours who completed The System. To see the actual posts, get trial access to Bar Brothers Family.
Overall, this program works and is realistic in its claims. You will see noticeable progress in both physique and strength abilities.
However, don’t expect to be able to perform muscle ups within 12-weeks if you are a complete beginner in fitness. You will get there faster than normal, but probably not within the time frame.
This is okay since the program does not claim to be a muscle up magic pill.
For greater assurance, the founders have put in place a 60-day money-back guarantee if it does not hold to its claims; you don’t have to explain why you want a full refund.
Which do you want more – a better physique or street workout strength?
Yes. You can attain both strength and physique with Bar Brothers System.
But if you solely want six-pack abs and an athletic physique (and don’t care how you get there), you are better off with alternatives that will achieve similar results with less effort. This is because you will likely drop out from lack of passion. Here’s a much shorter program focused on physique.
You should only get Bar Brothers System if you want the abilities (including freestyle movements) and strength of a typical street workout athlete. It will get you ready to live the Bar Brothers way of life and give you confidence from overcoming the challenges. That is the key – the desire to live the bar brother lifestyle and have a really cool way to workout.
Will you make time for it and are you determined to succeed?
Let’s get these out of the way first
- Are you willing to train six times per week (one hour each session)?
- Are you willing to find a way to make it work?
If “no” – don’t get this training program. If you aren’t willing to make time for it, you are wasting your money. This program is not a magic pill.
What if time really is an issue?
In the same vein, if you’ve done your best to adjust your schedule but can only train for a few days a week, your results will likely be much slower. I have asked Dusan if the program can be adjusted. My brief interpretation of his response is “no” and here’s my guess as to why – improper adjustments will increase the chances of injury and kill the effectiveness of the program.
But here’s my suggestion, and do this only if you truly are passionate about street workout, you can either:
- Use this program as a reference guide because of all the top-class tutorials, tips and information
- Or wait till your schedule gets better to start (but buy it soon to lock-in the discounted price)
Bar Brothers – The System is right for anyone who wants to get into the bar brothers or street workout lifestyle. Complete beginners will benefit immensely from the progression-based tutorials. If your goal is to be able to perform freestyle strength feats and gain the confidence from pushing the limits of your body, this program is for you.
If you have really no time but appreciate some proper guidance, and avoid injury like mine, this program has good tutorials to refer to.
Physique comes as a “side-effect”. Time constraints and willingness to commit are two important factors to attaining the results desired, and if you are serious about training, go for it. Anything less is a waste of time.