One of the many advantages of training calisthenics is that it can be tailored to your goals. In this article, we’ll go through a calisthenics workout aimed at those looking to lose weight.
This workout requires close to none gym equipment and its main objective is to keep your heart rate up and burn a lot of calories.
The secret here is to go for a slightly higher number of repetitions than you would if you would be looking to increase strength / power.
The great thing about this workout is that, if you stick to it, you’ll see progressions on both your body and on your training form, enabling you to advance to more advanced calisthenics routines.
So without further a do, here is the workout.
Phase 1: Warmup
Since this workout will target all major muscles groups, it is important to warm up your whole body. We won’t be covering this section in detail, but make sure to get your heart rate going and those muscles activated by jumping rope, running, swinging the arms, etc.
Phase 2: Lower Body
Burpees are the absolute best when it comes to increasing your heart rate.
These will be super hard at the beginning, but as your cardio and leg muscles strengthen, you’ll be able to start pushing your maximum repetition number.
To begin with, we advise 3 sets of 30 seconds.
Give yourself a few moments to rest, but don’t rest too much, as you want to maintain that high heart rate throughout the workout.
Depending on your level, do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
To finish off your lower body exercises, we will be doing lunges.
Stand straight, then bring on leg forward about 3/4 feet and kneel. Bring it back and repeat with other leg. You should be doing at least 4 sets of 10 repetitions per leg. If this is easy, try holding on to some weights.
Phase 3: Core
To start attacking that extra weight in the belly, go for a large number of repetitions in a short period of time. Try doing at least 4 sets of 12 repetitions.
Now, to start getting other muscle groups involved, lets move on to leg raises.
These can be done on a pull up bar or on the floor.
If you have a pull up bar, simply hang as you would for a pull up, but instead of doing a pull up, bring your legs upwards, without bending them.
Try to get them at least up to waist high without moving the rest of the body (i.e- minimising the balance on the bar). Ideally, you’ll be going as high as your head.
If you don’t have a bar or this exercise seems to hard, try lying down on the floor and bring your legs up, keeping them straight, as close as you can to 90 degrees from the floor.
Aim for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
To finish off the core exercises, we’ll be doing the plank. This is a great exercise to break a sweat.
Try doing 3 sets of 30 seconds. If this is too hard, go for 3 sets of 20 seconds.
Phase 4: Upper Body
Pull-ups / Assisted Pull-ups
When done properly, pull-ups can be a great fat burning exercise on account of its explosiveness and energy requirements.
If you can’t do normal pull-ups, get a resistance band and/or jump to the bar and come down slowly.
Do at least 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
Push-ups / Assisted Push-ups
Finally, sticking to the classics, push-ups are a great way to burn that extra fat in the arms.
If you can’t do normal push-ups, get your knees on the floor and do knee-assisted push ups.
4 reps of 12 repetitions recommended.
Doing this workout at least 3 times a week will give you a great base from which to build your weight loss campaign.
It is important to note that nutrition is key for weight loss as you want to make sure that you are burning more calories than you are consuming. However, a sure way to keep this equation balanced is to give it all during your workouts and burn a hell of a lot of calories.
Make sure you give your body plenty of rest and with time, results will come.
Good luck on your path to weight loss!
Chris is an experienced Calisthenics practitioner focused on isometric exercises and street workout. He founded thehybridathlete.com in 2017, which was subsequently acquired by theyhybridathlete.com
He is based in Portland and has been working out using solely his own body weight and bars for the past 6 years.