Lets talk about calisthenics for fat guys today… and give you a complete calisthenics weight loss plan to get started at home using only your bodyweight.
Getting started with calisthenics for fat guys is going to look a lot different than you see on social media. If you are really heavy, you may have to start very simply (simple not easy) with progressively longer walking, progressively increasing numbers on get-ups and increasing sets and time on bear crawls.
I did this with a guy that was over 400 pounds and he was losing on average 10 pounds a week when combined with pre-made healthy whole food meals.
He worked hard, stuck to the eating plan and blew my mind. He also found a girl and got engaged less than a year later.
One of my best training stories. So if you are a fat guy, don’t get discouraged… just get started and stay in it for the long haul.
Can Anyone Do Calisthenics?
Yes, anyone can do calisthenics when medically cleared for exercise. I talk more about it in this video…
The key is to accept the level you are at and have the patience to work through the steps – however long it takes. More importantly, to go at the rate your body recovers and adapts.
It seems the only examples we see on social media of calisthenics are guys doing amazing things. When a fat guy see this he thinks, “Damn! I can barely get down to the floor and back up.”
And since he can barely get down and up off a chair, he thinks calisthenics are not for fat guys. But he would be wrong. I have trained plenty of fat guys. They actually respond with the biggest weight drops and improvement in lifestyle.
FYI the difference between fat and overweight could be defined as being the proper weight or overweight but having a high bodyfat composition vs simply being large (like a football player) and being above the recommended weight for height.
Will Calisthenics Burn Fat?
Calisthenics have been associated with losing weight and getting in shape ever since the army started putting people through basic training for all branches of the military. Calisthenics is a form of training that generally uses bodyweight exercises, little to no equipment and is done in a quick paced, circuit type fashion. The question is, will calisthenics burn fat if you do it for an hour every day? Possibly and here is why or why not…
If your daily calorie intake stays the same and you add in an hour every day of Calisthenics then you will be reducing the amount of available calories to be stored as potential fat. If you are eating right at the right amount of daily required calories for your body weight when you start the Calisthenics training then you will lose weight.
You will not lose any weight what so ever though if you are eating more than you need and more than the Calisthenic exercises can burn off to take you to the daily requirement for you.
So I guess the question is how many calories are you eating right now and more importantly, from what source? While the overall calorie total is very important, so is the type of food you are eating. Some say a calorie is a calorie, but that has not been my experience with training people using calisthenics to burn fat.
Eating Nutritious And Dense Foods Helps
It is much easier to lose weight when doing Calisthenics if you are eating nutrition dense foods. The kinds that are unprocessed and easily passed out of the system.
That and by keeping your water intake high. As a ballpark figure though, you can start with the Harris Benedict equation. This gets you a rough guide for daily calories intake. Even more generally, go with 10-14 calories per pound of bodyweight. Then gradually reduce the total based on your bodyweight change.
If you subtract calories or increase your activity above what you are currently doing while measuring your daily intake with the Harris Benedict equation, you will lose weight. Another options is to use a ballpark of creating a deficit of 3500 calories a week through exercise, decreased caloric intake and better food choices. This is an old school method and simply eating healthy will do the trick.
None of these methods are perfect or should be thought of as “to the decimal” accurate but if you generally follow the route I described above then, yes, you will burn fat doing Calisthenics style training every day.
First A Hard Advanced Calisthenics Program And Then An Easier Version To Do At Home
First I’ll give you the advanced calisthenics weight loss plan. This is for people that have good muscle strength and lungs but just extra fat. Then I will regress the difficulty for you. This easier version will show you how to make it these “impossible” (for now) moves a part of your routine if you are a “Fat Guy.” FYI I cringe when I write “fat guy” but I was a fat guy once too. I’m not just being an arrogant prick trainer.
A lot of times losing weight is made out to be way too complicated compared to the reality of what it actually takes. Here is a good cardio workout to lose weight that has only three exercises requiring only bodyweight exercises so you don’t need any equipment. If you string them together in the ways I’m going to tell you, they are scientifically proven to significantly increase the amount of calories you burn over traditional long cardio done for the same period of time.
The following workout is intended to be quick and done anywhere at any time, without any preparation. If you prefer a group environment or atmosphere and are tired of normal cardio workouts at the gym then I’d suggest Muay Thai classes or kickboxing. You’ll sweat your shorts off.
First here are the calisthenics exercises:
- One Up Two Back Jump Squats
- Up Down Jumping Jacks
- Knee High Running
Now let’s describe the exercises in more detail and how to adapt them to your current physical fitness.
One Up Two Back Jump Squats
One Up Two Back Jump Squats – This one will have your legs burning right off. This one will put the explosive work into the mix and put in enough “suck” to make the next two exercises quite brutal.
Mark of a distance by doing a single broad jump as far as you can and then take off about a foot of distance. Mark a line where you took off from and one about a foot back from where you landed.
Stand with your feet on line one, squat down and put both hands on the floor between your feet, which are in a wide stance. From here, explode to line two in one leap. Then without touching the ground with your hands, take two smaller jumps back to arrive where you started at line one. Do this repeatedly like I will explain in a moment.
Up Down Jumping Jacks
Up Down Jumping Jacks – Jumping jacks don’t require too much explanation so I I’ll skip that. The way I want you to tweak it is to start going lower and lower towards the ground by bending your legs as you do the jumping jacks. When you can’t go any lower, start coming back up. Then once you reach full standing height again, start heading back down. It will feel weird in the bottom position. Turning your toes and knees out so you look like a Ukrainian dancer feels much more natural than knees and toes forward.
Knee High Running
Knee High Running – You’ve probably seen this one a ton in Army recruiting videos. You basically run on the spot but exaggerate the knee height by bringing your knees up to waist level. You can either lock your elbows at your sides with your hands out in front to slap your knees or you can just swing your arms like when you sprint. Both are challenging in different ways.
If you want to really crush it on the last round, exchange the knee high running with jumping double knee touches. These are also talked jumping knee tucks.
There are two ways to do this that are super effective at really ramping up your metabolism. I’ll give you one right here now.
Do each exercise for 30 seconds each and then after the 90 seconds work is done you will rest for 60 seconds. Do it 4 more times. So basically 5 rounds of 3 exercises with 90 seconds rest between rounds.
This is high intensity interval training and it works amazing. Now of the course the real secret to losing 2 pounds a week with bodyweight exercises is not really the workout itself although it plays a big part. The real secret is making sure you eat high quality foods, cut out the processed chemical foods and eat only what you need to perform and not excess calories.
Here’s The Easier Calisthenics Weight Loss Plan Fat Fat Guys
At the beginning of the article I mentioned walking, get-ups and bear crawls. I feel that this is a very effective, efficient workout that produces results fast for overweight guys. But I also want to show you how to see challenging workouts and regress the difficulty level so you can work up to what you see some advanced guys doing.
For the previous workout, here is how I would make it easier and no less effective if you are overweight.
Regressions For The Higher Impact Calisthenics Exercises
Regression for the One Up Two Back Jump Squats, I would put two chairs facing each other. Put them a couple walking steps away in distance. Then just squat to one chair, get up, take the few steps and squat in the other. Do this for as many as you can without hitting failure. Over time, maybe you get up to 15-20 repetitions. Then you’ll be ready to try something more like a vertical hop, then step and squat version.
Jumping Jacks get replace with NON jumping jacks. You just side step to touch your feet together as you move your arms in the same way as a regular jumping jack. None of this is easy when you are overweight, its just a less advanced version of the exercise. Do as many as you can until you get winded. Doesnt matter if it’s only three or if you can do a whole minute of it.
Knee High Running, gets replaced with elbow to knee touches. Standing up, place your hands behind your head. Then lift your knee and TRY to touch one of your elbows to your knee. It doesnt matter which elbow to which knee. Whatever feels right works. You’ll be marching in place and lifting your knee high. You probably won’t touch knee to elbow… that’s perfectly fine. It’s just the attempt. Your body will learn, adapt, get stronger and leaner over time.
Once you start to become more fit, you can start to think about adding in pushups and bodyweight rows. But don’t rush to get these in. As long as you are moving, eating right and doing what I explained, you’ll be progressing.
How Many Days Per Week To Do The Calisthenics For Fat Guys Plan
Some things depend on how your body responds. Things like how many days per week to do the workout plan and how many sets and reps. You may feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. This is normal and it just means you need to do a little less next time.
For weight loss workouts, I like to work out a little less hard but more frequently. So I would work out by doing less as much as I could during the week, but not less than 3 consecutive days. Like a Monday, Wednesday and Friday plan with extra walking on the off days.
For sets, reps and time – start as low as you can. Leave some in the tank. Start with one set until you feel it gets hard and then see how you feel the next day. Stay with one set, 3 times a week for weeks. That may be what your body tells you is required to recover.
Then again, maybe you are a beast that just has some extra padding. You may do one set the first day and feel nothing. So you do two sets on the next workout day, two days later. So on and so forth until you are doing up to 5 sets of 10 repetitions. That or 60 seconds on timed exercises.
I hope I answered the question if anyone can do calisthenics. I gave you a doable and actionable calisthenics workout if you consider yourself a fat guy. If you have any questions about more specifics, just comment below. I’ll add the answer to the post for you.
Here to help,
Online Fitness Coach
P.S. When I started writing a post about calisthenics for fat guys I hesitated to use the term “fat guys.” I’ve been overweight and it feels terrible. Being self conscious all the time and people titling you a fat guy doesn’t make you feel any better.
Just remember YOU are not a fat guy. YOU are just a guy that has extra fat and so that’s how some people title it. AND congrats on searching out some solutions on how to look and feel better. It’s a bold and brave move. You got this.