Thenics is an app specially made for Calisthenics practitioners. Though the app makes it clear that its features are best utilized by intermediate to advanced athletes, it also provides some modifications for a beginner. There are strict levels, and the user has to meet a certain criteria to unlock more advanced workouts.
In our Thenics review, we’ll do a deep dive into the app and its features, what it does differently, and where it underperforms. We’ll also look at a few alternatives to see if it’s worth trying out. You’ll walk away with all the knowledge you need to make an informed choice.
So, let’s get into it!
Key takeaways & highlights
Install Thenics if:
- You’re an avid calisthenics performer and would like to improve specific skills
- You have some calisthenics experience and would like to learn more advanced skills
- You’re a beginner but would like to start off on the right foot by adding workouts that prepare your muscles for calisthenics over time.
Don’t install Thenics if:
- You’re looking for general fitness or weight loss specific workouts
- You have absolutely no experience in calisthenics
- You have no goals of learning the sport either.
Thenics was created by Innothenics UG (haftungsbeschränkt) to provide safe and effective calisthenics specific workouts to the masses. The founders are experts in the sport and the app was born out of their desire to spread their knowledge out in the world. In person calisthenics training classes may not be available easily at every location, and even if they are, the price may not be suitable for everyone. The founders’ aim was to provide an affordable solution to this.
Thenics is highly rated by users with an average rating of 4.8 on both App Store and Play Store with more than 1,000,000 installs on each platform. Their reviews are also very good, which suggest that users are generally happy with its performance.
The app is free to install and use, with an optional Pro version you can upgrade to. Calisthenics can be practiced with very few equipment (if any) and the app can be used for home training with ease. A few basic equipment like pull up bars are recommended but you’ll find value in the app even if you don’t have them at hand.
In this section of our Thenics review, we’ll take you through the entire process of signing up and to the point where you can use the app with ease. We’ll tell you how the UX is, as well as give an overview of what the app claims to do. Please note: this review is based on version 4.1.2 of the android app.
The developers are very clear on what the app does and what the user can expect from it. They make it clear that the workouts are not meant for absolute beginners, and some basic calisthenics training is required to safely do them. There is no beating around the bush and expectations are made clear from the get-go. We like that!
The app’s goal is to teach the user the techniques often used in trend sports like Street Workout or for general calisthenics practice. It does that by dividing each skill into progressions so the user can master the basics before integrating them into longer workouts.
In this section of our Thenics review, let’s look at what the sign-up process is like. After the user has finished installing the app, they are asked to sign up using either their email or google account. The first thing that stands out is the simple UI. The colors are pleasing to the eyes, and it doesn’t look cluttered at all.
Once you’ve finished signing up, you’ll have to verify your email id to confirm your subscription. The process is very easy and hardly takes a couple of minutes. There is no lengthy questionnaire for you to follow for using the free version.
Core Features of the Thenics App
Thenics divides their services into the following components:
- Individual skills which are good for perfecting a specific movement
- Workouts which are routines with a warmup, progressions, specific skills and cool down
- Exercises which focus on foundational strengthening moves that will help you get better at calisthenics in the long run
In this section of our Thenics review, we’ll look at each of these in detail.
Each skill consists of:
- Detailed explanation of the moves required, cues on maintaining form, and video demonstrations
- Past history which is a handy list of your previous attempts at practicing the skill
- Step by step instructions on integrating the skills in a broader workout perspective
- Other inclusions are muscles worked, technique summary, and level of expertise required.
The free version comes with 7 fundamental sections of calisthenics skills. They are:
- Muscle up – the free version teaches the basic pull up. The pro version includes additional progressions with high pull up for dynamic strength, jumping muscle up for creating explosiveness, kipping muscle up for a more thorough practice followed by a muscle up workout comprising all of these.
- Planche – this is a signature calisthenics move that requires tremendous strength and mobility in your wrists, arms, elbow, and core. The progression available on the free version is for pseudo push-ups. The pro version includes more advanced progressions such as frog stand, tuck planche, advanced tuck planche, straddle planche, and an integration of all of them.
- Front lever – this is an advanced skill that is best suited for well-trained athletes, and it requires a lot of strength in your wrist, arms, and shoulders. The free version provides the basic tuck front lever progression, and the pro version has the following additional progressions: advanced tuck front lever, one leg and half front lever, straddle front lever and a workout combining all of the above.
- Back lever – this is an advanced skill that starts from a dead hang position and progresses to the point where only your arms are used backwards to keep the body parallel to the ground. Skin the Cat is the only free option available, while the pro version has four additional skills: a basic and advanced version of tuck back lever, straddle back lever, and an integration of all four.
- Pistol squat – another advanced skill, performing a pistol squat requires a lot of lower body mobility and strength and helps improve your vertical jumps and everyday balance. Deep squat is available for free and there are an additional 6 variations in the pro version: archer squat, bench pistol squat, assisted and rolling pistol squat, and elevated pistol squat. There is a progression consisting of all variations in the end.
- Handstand push-up – this is one of the most important skills in advanced calisthenics and requires push strength with perfect balance and coordination. This is a variation of the regular pike push up which is available in the free version. The pro version combines advanced and wall handstand push up, along with negative handstand push up to create a progression.
- V-sit – The free version guides you through various moves to perform a straddle leg raise hold. The additional skills taught in the pro version are regular leg raise hold, tuck and straddle L-Sit, regular and straddle V-Sit and a complete progression incorporating each.
The Pro version has an additional list of skills that are not available in the free version. They are:
- One arm pull-up
- Human flag
- One arm pull-up
- One arm handstand
- Shrimp squat
There are 4 free workouts available – muscle workout, leg workout, Planche/front lever, and upper body workout.
Each workout comes with a video demonstration at the top, followed by muscles worked, skill level, technique summary, a YouTube demo, history, and a description.
It’s a beginner-pro level workout that works both upper and lower body. The technique summary has helpful tips on maintaining good form and breathing throughout the exercises. This is a workout to increase muscular strength and endurance with a focus on increasing sets and reps as the user gets better at the moves.
The routine is divided into beginner and intermediate levels. It’s important to note that unless you’ve reached your goals at the beginner level, you can’t unlock the intermediate workout.
A very good feature is the section on goals. The app shows you how many sets and reps of each exercise you need to perform before you can go up a level.
This follows a similar pattern as the muscle workout but with special focus on the lower body. This is again modifiable from beginner-pro level with detailed descriptions of beginner and intermediate moves.
This workout has three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, and focuses on building two skills – Planche and Front Lever which are complementary in nature. The routine has alternate progressions of each skill to make it a holistic one. Each muscle group is worked thoroughly, while the other rests.
Upper body workout
This routine contains fundamental upper body strength moves designed to build general strength. This section can be seen as a foundation before moving on to more advanced progressions. It has suggestions for beginner and intermediate levels.
There are 3 pro workouts: pull workout, push workout, and upper body circle.
This is an exhaustive list of general as well as skill specific exercise moves. As with the previous sections, each move is divided into the following: muscles worked, skill level, demo video, and a detailed description of the exercise with progressions and regressions. This is especially useful over time as you go through the different levels. The description also includes the rationale behind the exercise. The collection is so detailed that the filter option (according to the focus area) is helpful. The exercises are also divided into free and pro.
The description of a specific exercise is divided into 3 sections: a short intro, tips for proper execution, and possible variations.
In this section of our Thenics review, we’ll cover the main features of the Pro version. You need to upgrade to the pro plan to unlock all features of the app. Some of them include additional skills, workouts, and exercises all laid out with clear instructions. The free version sticks to only Level 1 skills, whereas the pro version is perfect for advanced or intermediate athletes.
The best Pro feature is the access to a coach and a 6-week plan to take your practice to the next level. The charges for a pro plan vary between $3.49 – $23.99.
Thenics vs. Other Apps: are there alternatives?
The main difference between Caliverse and Thenics is that the former is well suited for beginners. The app also provides more free options to choose from and community support. Although Caliverse’s Pro version is a bit more expensive than Thenics, it’s more suited to someone who’s starting out in calisthenics.
Calisteniapp’s best feature is the variety in workout routines, which Thenics could do better on. They also provide regular reminders for you to stay on track. However, their UI isn’t that great. The paid plans are similar in price point for both.
Final Review of Thenics and Summary
From the outset, the app lays out who its services are suitable for and why. The rest of the features build on this promise. Thenics does a great job with their goal of providing affordable calisthenics training at home to intermediate and advanced athletes.
- Focus on form
- Very clean UI and UX
- Every description is very clear, demos are to the point and comes with a lot of resources
- The app is very straightforward. There is no fluff, just simple workouts to practice along and build strength
- It has an exhaustive list of exercises which come with its own classifications and as per skill level
- The free services are more than enough for the user to get started
- There were no technical issues while using the app
- Affordable premium plans
- The warmup section could be more detailed
- The app doesn’t say anything about other aspects of health and fitness like sleep, nutrition, or stress reduction
- There are no daily reminders on the free version
- Calisthenics is not for everyone, and this app caters to a very niche market.
To sum up, Thenics is a great app for those who are looking to upgrade their calisthenics skills. If you’re looking for general fitness or weight loss, this app is not for you.
To download the app, use the links below: