COVID has been hard on us all.  The kitchen is right there ya’ll.  It calls to us constantly. The good news is that calisthenics has your back.  Wait!  Does calisthenics promote fat loss?  Yes, my friends, it does. 

While cardio training is an excellent option for losing weight because of the intense calorie burn, combining it with calisthenics is a fantastic way to lose weight and increase lean muscle mass. 

The more lean muscle mass we have, the better our metabolism works when we are at rest. 

Who wants to continue to burn calories long after the workout is over?  We see your show of hands, and we raise you an article on calisthenics to contribute to weight loss.  Read on.

Why is Calisthenics Good for Weight Loss?

Exercise can be intimidating when we feel overweight.  The idea of achieving weight loss is overwhelming, no matter how much fat you need to lose.  Taking that first step is the hardest, but we promise it gets easier. 

Calisthenics is great for weight loss, so don’t stress that you will have to spend hours doing cardio, especially if that is not your jam. 

Losing fat is great, but losing muscle mass while you are at a caloric deficit is not great.  Calisthenics aids in helping restore lean muscle mass, which is essential to increasing your resting metabolic rate. 

Remember how you raised your hand for wanting to burn calories while you are at rest?  Here’s your chance. 

Lose Weight with Calisthenics Compound Exercises

Hopefully, when you think of calisthenics, you associate it with a full-body workout because that is precisely what it is. 

Burn calories and tone muscles with compound exercises (training that uses multiple muscle groups). 

The more muscles involved in your training, the harder your body works, aka increased body fat loss.  Think about push-ups.  It’s everyone’s favorite exercise right behind pull-ups, right? 

Both of those calisthenics training exercises use multiple muscle groups. 

For push-ups, you engage the delts (shoulders), upper back (rhomboids and lats), triceps (back of the arm), core, and glutes (butt muscles). 

Push-ups are a full-body workout—the core and lower body contract helping the upper body press down and back up.  For pull-ups (we heard that groan), many people think it’s all about the arms.  That’s not the case. 

Doing a proper pull-up means activating your back muscles to help you lift your body weight. 

While the arms are activated as well, specifically the biceps if it’s an underarm grip, the rhomboids, lats, and traps all have to work together to power the move.  Not only that, your lower body and core must be contracted and tight to keep you steady to avoid your body swinging. 

Who knew these training exercises had such an impact on so many muscle groups?  Now you do.

I am Overweight.  Where do I start?

You are reading this article, so we say your first step is complete.  You want to succeed in lowering body fat and achieving excellent overall health.  Let’s be honest, ya’ll. 

Obesity is a disease.  It’s no longer just the idea of having a lot of body fat.  It contributes to health complications like diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension. 

By taking the reigns on your health, you contribute to a better quality of life.  As we get older, it’s more and more challenging to lose fat.  Taking the first step to decide to do it early on will have you reaping future benefits.

Don’t stress if you are worried about your range of motion or how much you can endure.  There are plenty of exercises that you can do to start losing weight and building your endurance. 

You want cardio and strength training exercises that result in a high-calorie burn.  The more calories you burn, the more the fat disappears.  Some easy and great ways to get started with cardio training are walking, slow jogging, water aerobics, or riding a stationary bike. 

All of these result in calorie burn without a lot of pressure on your joints.  Put on your workout clothes and go for a mile walk.  It’s that simple. 

Jump on a stationary bike at home or the gym and pedal for 20 minutes.  Don’t go too hard.  Just get yourself started. 

Once you start doing something small every day, it starts to add up to losing fat and feeling better in your skin.  As you get more comfortable, increase the mileage or the intensity. 

If you are dealing with a small space to work out at home, check out our cardio equipment options that might work for you.

Enter Your Calisthenics Exercises

You started your cardio, and we are giving you elbow high-fives.  See ya fat!  It’s not been so real.  

Now it’s time to increase your lean muscle mass with a calisthenics program.  Let’s build muscle to improve your overall fitness level. 

Before your grab those weights, it’s critical to note the difference between calisthenics and weight lifting.  While weight lifting increases muscle mass, calisthenics has proven to burn more calories due to its movements. 

Plus, you gain muscle mass at the same time.  The combination equals increased success in your weight loss journey.  

The idea of calisthenics is using your body weight to perform training exercises. 

If you are overweight, that might be difficult at first, but as you increase your cardio combined with a caloric deficit, you will lose fat.  The bodyweight training goals you have will become easier to achieve. 

When it comes to lifting weights, anyone can achieve their goals while still maintaining a lot of body fat.  You could bicep curl for an hour but still have a lot of visceral fat (deep gut fat that hugs the organs) hanging around. 

Bodyweight training encourages fat loss so you can lift your body weight.  Think about how much easier a pull-up can be with lower body weight. 

You need to lose that fat in order to achieve your goals and calisthenics encourages you to keep the weight off, while gaining muscle mass at the same time. 


If push-ups are a brand new concept for you, don’t let that get in the way of your goals.  The best thing about this bodyweight training exercise is that there are variations that will work for everyone. 

An easier yet effective push-up is doing them on your knees.  While the muscle activation is less for knee push-ups, it is still an effective and safer way to do this bodyweight training, especially if you are a beginner. 

Simply place your knees on the floor and extend your hands underneath your shoulders like you would for a standard push-up. 

Keep your glutes down and your back in line with your head.  Press down and back up for as many reps as you can.  

Once you build up your upper body strength, try out a standard push-up on your toes.  Again, take your time and do what you can.  Once you are rocking those, try diamond push-ups by putting your hands in a diamond shape right in front of your face and press down. 

This push-up engages more of your triceps than your chest and is more complicated.  Continue to challenge yourself as you continue your calisthenics progression.  Before you know it, you will be rocking a handstand push-up.


Don’t cringe.  Pull-ups are complicated, but they are a powerful calisthenics exercise with the proper muscle activation and practice. 

Pull-ups or chin-ups utilize upper and mid-back muscles as well as your arms to pull your body weight up to the bar. 

While this is an intense training exercise, it will be easier the more fat loss you have.  As you start losing weight, grab that pull-up bar and give it a try. 

Building up your upper back muscles using lat pull-downs (holding a cable with both hands, pull down toward your hips, bending your elbows, and squeezing your upper back) is a surefire way to get that pull-up goal. 

Also, once you get one pull-up, you are on your way to getting a few more quickly.  Think of it like riding a bike.  Just don’t fall off the pull-up bar.

How many times a week should I do Calisthenics?

How often you train in calisthenics will depend on how much body weight you want to lose.  If you are new to calisthenics, we recommend starting with two to three sessions per week. 

The calisthenics will be paired with your cardio workouts too.  By pairing calisthenics and cardio, you will give your muscles time to recover.  

As you get further along in your program, your endurance and stamina will increase.  As that starts to happen, try to get to four times per week. 

Once you have, use the other days to work on cardio to keep in the habit of exercising.  Remember, you want to get stronger and lose weight, which will only happen when you make exercise a priority in your everyday life. 

This will make it harder to gain back the fat you have worked so hard to work off.

How long should a Calisthenics session be?

In general, this will depend on your fitness level and your goals.  While twenty minutes of exercise is better than not training at all, your goals might mean you need to increase that number. 

Of course, if you are just starting, twenty minutes is a great place to start. 

Remember that you might not meet your weight loss goals too quickly if you continue at just twenty minutes.  Try to increase your time as soon as you can. 

Twenty minutes will not be enough for someone who is more experienced with calisthenics.  Our muscles need to be constantly challenged to continue to build. 

For a beginner, make your workout something that is feasible, but if you are more advanced, try for 30 to 45 minutes.  

Changing your Diet

If you pair calisthenics with a healthy diet, you will be well on your way to decreasing your body fat percentage. 

Unfortunately, this might be the hardest thing to overcome.  Habits are hard to break, and honestly, food that is bad for you tastes delicious.  According to the World Health Organization, over 650 million people worldwide are obese. 

Between 1975 and 2020, the increase in obesity levels worldwide was over 300%.  Those numbers are hard to hear.  It’s more and more evident why obesity is now considered a disease.  One of the main reasons is our eating habits. 

Instead of eating the right foods like protein and healthy carbs, we are getting too many saturated fats and unhealthy carbs in our diets.  No amount of squats, push-ups, or cardio can defeat terrible eating habits. 

Consuming less calories than you are intaking is essential to burn fat, but it matters what kind of calories you are eating. 

Watch out for empty calories like sodas, lots of sugary foods, or alcohol.  Even if your caloric intake is less than your energy expenditure, the fat loss won’t happen.  We need to fuel our muscles with protein, healthy fats, and good carbs.  

It’s that simple, right?  We know it’s not easy.  It does help to write down everything that you are eating.  There are tons of great apps that allow you to track your food. 

Chances are, if you have to write it down, you will make better food choices.  This will help you track your progress, and there will be progress if you stick to it. 

Focus on changing your diet one step at a time while incorporating calisthenics into your life.  The combination will be lethal to body fat.

Your New Fat Destroyer is Calisthenics

It’s time to start putting your health first.  It’s never too late to start working out and getting fit. 

Don’t get discouraged because you think it’s too massive of an undertaking. 

We all need to start somewhere, and adding calisthenics to your fitness routine will help you reach your weight loss goals quicker. 

Lose fat, but gain much-needed lean muscle for long-term health benefits.  Now that you’re pumped, get started!

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