Calisthenics vs Weights: What’s Better for Fat Loss?

by | May 11, 2017 | 0 comments

10 min read


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Did you recently sign up for some complicated diet plan so your ex would regret ever leaving you? Or perhaps, you’ve become so bold as to take on the waist trainer craze by Kim K, just to get that perfect hourglass figure and make your girls go green with envy?

Nothing beats a good exercise routine as an effective way to lose weight and get fit. In this article, we’ll take you through well-known weight loss methods you can try to get rid of those unwanted inches of body fat.

The best ways, meaning, two regimens in particular: Calisthenics and Weight Training.

People want to lose weight for a lot of reasons. Some simply want to look and feel good while others are more concerned about the risks of high blood pressure and other health-related problems. However, a good majority of people are more worried about being the perfect shape and figure to impress their spouses or friends. While the reasons for weight loss may vary from person to person, the end goal is the same, weight loss.

What then is the right way for you to lose weight?

By way of regular exercises, weight loss is a cycle which starts with a raging motivation to lose weight through rigorous exercises and clean eating, followed by a period of boredom and loss of focus caused by exercise repetition or difficulty. Eventually, you start to drift from your routine, feeding yourself with silly excuses, ultimately quitting before you even reach your goal.

The conscious effort to lose weight is more of a mental effort than physical as it requires intense motivation if the end goal is to be achieved. For every individual weight loss program that is successful, you will have gone through these 5 basic stages of motivation

Losing Weight Should Be Easy… but Is It Really?

1. Precontemplation 

This is the initial stage in which you rationalize your intention to start and do something about your weight. At this point, you may not have enough motivation to get started, but you have already come to a realization that something needs to be done before things get out of hand.

2. Contemplation

The second stage is more goal-oriented. You set goals and are determined to start because you realize that in spite of your level of motivation and self-realization of the dangers of being overweight, none of it matters if you don’t take action. A lot of research about the best workout/weight-loss programs and available support is made at this stage.

3. Preparation

At this point, you are ready to take on the challenge of losing the excess weight. You start to condition yourself mentally and physically for the task ahead in order to be in the right frame of mind to take any challenges or difficulties you may encounter during your chosen program or routine.

4. Action

The most active stage of all will enable you to put research, planning, and preparation to work. You are working actively to change unhealthy habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle. This is the point where you start to dispose the sources of cholesterol and fat in your diet and start making those trips to the Gym, checking your weight almost every day.

5. Maintenance

After successfully shedding the excess weight, you are more focused on maintaining the healthy habits you’ve developed. You continue to avoid habits that may cause you to gain a few extra pounds.

Staying motivated to maintain your ideal and make healthy habits a part of you goes on for the majority of your life. It’s a long game, but definitely worth it.

Look at the Big Picture: There’s More to Losing Weight Than Just Exercise

Exercise is undoubtedly a wonderful way to lose weight. But while your mind is fixated on the rigorous routines and reps, you may be missing out on additional details that are critical to your weight loss journey. Let’s start with the obvious!

You may have the wrong perception that anything physically tiring can help you lose the fat, for example running on the treadmill, using the stairs a little more often, doing squats and bench presses at the gym etc. These activities are commonly known to help you break a sweat and burn some calories but are they really effective? Have you taken out time to go through research work about the efficiency?

There really is more to losing weight than just exercise and we will take you through effective weight loss methods that have been proven to be effective by research.


To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat. How do you do that? With cardio! Once you’ve rid your body of the excess fat, you can adjust your training program into more progressive training.

Some basic cardio workouts you should consider if you’re serious about cutting excess weight include:

  •       Jumping jacks
  •        Squats
  •        Mountain climbers
  •        Plank Jacks
  •        High Knees

You can start with 3 sets of 20 reps each and gradually scale this up according to your body’s responses.


The PALEO FOOD DIET is the commonly referred to as the diet for the primitive men. Basically, you will change your diet including whole foods like those listed below in your diet:

  • Foods rich in fat, moderate in animal protein, and low to moderate in carbohydrates
  • Saturated fats (coconut oil, duck fat, beef tallow, and avocado)
  • Foods rich in protein (red meat, poultry, eggs, and liver)
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables
  • Low to moderate amounts of fruits and nuts

In adopting the Paleo diet, you should also avoid eating the following:

  • Cereal grains and legumes (wheat, oat, corn, beans, peanuts, and rye)
  • Saturated fats (coconut oil, duck fat, beef tallow, and avocado)
  • Vegetable, hydrogenated, and partly hydrogenated oils (margarine oil, corn oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and sunflower oil)
  • All sweets/added sugar, including fruit juices
  • All dairy products


Research shows that you can achieve a lot more progress in your weight loss journey doing a mere 15 minutes of interval training (3x a week) than the someone jogging or doing cardio exercises on a treadmill for an hour. The amazing fact about HIIT workouts is that you’ll burn more fat in a 24-hour window than you would in a steady pace run of the same duration.

No other routine can give you progress or results that fast!


Get those muscles poppin.

Strength/weight training requires a lot of body muscles to practice helping you burn a significant amount of calories during your workout sessions. It also helps to keep your metabolism at a heightened rate as long as 36 hours after your training. The key benefit of weight training is that you can build your muscles while burning calories, and you can burn calories while being a couch potato.


In our individual journeys to weight loss, with pumped up levels of motivation, we usually ignore seemingly simple exercises, thinking the sweat breakers and joint strainers are the most effective.

That is where we get it wrong. Sometimes, these seemingly “simple” exercises can build more resistance than the energy-sapping reps we think are the holy grail of weight loss.

Calisthenics, for instance, builds total body strength better than sweaty and injury-prone workout routines. Why is Calisthenics amazing?

  • Practice Flexibility: You can do it anywhere, and anytime. Since all you need is your body to do the bodyweight exercises, feel free to exercise at your convenience and your preferred location!
  • Standard routines: It’s incorporated into the military training routines, PE school programs, and law enforcement standard fitness training program.
  • Lowest Injury Risks: You can build muscle mass and strength without the use of weights, minus the risk of muscle tear and physical trauma that comes with weight training.
  • Burns Calories and Fat: It does this in two ways: increases muscle mass to increase the resting metabolic rate and causes your heart rate to rise (aerobic exercise).
  • Flexible body: You become more flexible as you get stronger.
  • Higher endurance levels: By practicing consistently and progressing, your body attains increased endurance levels, a key benefit of Calisthenics.

There are so many strategies, tips, diets, and exercise routines that all boast of helping you lose the extra flabbiness in your body. In the middle of all the research and promises, what’s most important is choosing and following the option that works wonders for you (because not everyone can have the same training). You should consider factors such as time, flexibility, cost, effort, motivation, and dedication when choosing your weight loss program.

Calisthenics is a more flexible, and a more rounded way to lose weight and achieve a healthy mind and body state. On the other hand, weight lifting or weight training is designed to really build endurance, develop strength, and achieve a fit physique.

You should remember that regardless of the claims, expert advice and promises, the CHOICE is YOURS to make and work with.

To help you make the right choice, we further examine the benefits, pros, and cons of Calisthenics and Weight training methods below.


and how can it help me lose weight

By definition, Calisthenics is a fitness training that focuses on strength and flexibility via pushing, pulling, lunging, and lifting movements without (or with little) use of any equipment. It’s pretty much bodyweight training.

As a matter of fact, we’ve already had a feel of Calisthenics in P.E programs as early as middle school.

Doesn’t ring a bell?

Remember doing jumping jacks, squats, and pushups? Grade school stuff that might have seemed boring and dull? That’s basic Calisthenics. Adults who practice Calisthenics often perceive these movements as the essential, old-school bodyweight movements.

Some health gurus even suggest that Calisthenics sounds unfamiliar to most only because it has been rebranded into different training techniques and renamed in recent years.

A good example of this is CrossFit. You’ll think it’s cooler and more effective, but much of what constitutes it is good old Calisthenics.

Some amazing benefits of calisthenics

With Calisthenics, you don’t have to pay for any gym membership fee! That’s right, you save money!

1. No Fees. No Unnecessary Expenses.

You’ll only need time, and of course, a place to do your exercise. It can be anywhere- at home, school, office, or even your balcony!

2. Custom Made Calisthenics Training

Feel free to research online and customize your preferred Calisthenics routine. Also,  if you feel like learning more and getting professional guidance before diving into your own training schedule, you can join the The Movement Athlete Academy! The Academy has multiple programs that can help troubleshoot your progress, get you to try and master new skills, help you adjust your training based on your performance, or vary it so you never get bored.

3. Increase Heart Rate and Burn Calories

Either way, performing a circuit of calisthenics exercises are guaranteed to increase your heart rate and help you burn additional calories and lose the extra weight fast. It is a good strategy for weight loss because the body weight resistance eliminates “cheating.” You heard right, cheating. That’s what happens when you use machines for strength training because you have other muscles to help.

The bottom line is that Calisthenics increases flexibility, builds endurance, properly tones and strengthens muscles, and helps lose weight!


According to the dictionary, weight training is a system of conditioning that involves lifting weights for strength and endurance.  It is commonly said that weight training is the single most effective physical activity for individuals who want to have a well-sculpted physique. This statement has been subjectto debate by fitness researchers, professional trainers, and Calisthenics experts. In weight training, the focus is on increasing lean muscle tissue and density.

Getting started with weight training is really easy! We’re sure you are familiar with dumbbells. A good set of dumbbells can help you complete a nice weight training workout routine! It is important to note that there are different types of weight training and we will review some of them below.


To do this training, you must lift in the 8 to 12-rep range and focus on training only one muscle group per day, per week. Bodybuilding focuses on aesthetics and not so much on athleticism. That’s because bodybuilding is best for making the muscles larger, not necessarily stronger.


The ultimate strength training for the best of the best! This routine lets you attain as much raw strength as is humanly possible. It’s really demanding and hardcore! But of course, a lot of guided training is needed if you are to avoid getting injured or tearing a muscle in the process.


Be swift as lightning or at least, hope to be.

Circuit training is all about doing a number of exercises in quick succession. This means 20 bench presses, and 20 squats with little or no rest in between. If you ever dreamed of being a ninja (or a boxer or a wrestler), then this one’s for you! It’s all about increasing endurance and strength.


Isometric training is when you hold a weight up in one position for a specific amount of time. This helps increase your stamina and make you stronger! Ideal for athletes, especially rock climbers and gymnasts.


This is similar to bodybuilding, except you work for your muscle groups once a week. If your workout goal is to have larger muscles mass or increase your endurance, then this weight training type is perfect for you.  An example is to lift the same amount of weights 10 times for 10 sets. As the weeks go by, you slightly increase the amount of weight. It’s all about progression.

Calisthenics vs Weights: Which is Better?

If you’re still not decided which fitness training is better, then let’s just go over the pros and the cons!




  • Gives you the flexibility and ease of training anywhere and anytime
  • Builds muscles mass and strength
  • Increases one’s flexibility (full body control) and endurance
  • Helps with weight loss, even more than cardio workouts
  • Lower risk of injury compared to weight training
  • Engages multiple muscle groups all at once (proprioceptive awareness), which can’t be done for weightlifting


  • Takes a long time to develop larger muscles (muscle mass), compared to weight training
  • Harder to isolate muscle groups
  • Workouts may become boring due to limited options
  • Hard to track physical progress

Weight Training


  • Improves bone density and muscle mass
  • Helps with the metabolism
  • Builds fat-free body mass
  • Burns calories and helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Develops your overall body coordination


  • Leads to poor breathing (with long-term effects on the heart such as heart enlargement or other complications)
  • Higher risk of injury compared to Calisthenics
  • No flexibility of training (must be at the gym, especially if you are targeting larger muscles)

Ready to Become Invincible?

Join The Movement Athlete Academy today - Lose Fat , Build Muscle and get mobile and pain free for life with progressive calisthenics. 


Calisthenics: The Ideal Way to Lose Weight

There are always advantages and disadvantages to anything. The same goes for Calisthenics and Weight Training. What works for your body may not be ideal for another, and vice versa.


After knowing all the pros and cons of calisthenics and weight training, Calisthenics obviously has more benefits in terms of 
muscle and strength building, reduced risk of injury and enabling you to workout anywhere, anytime. Plus, if you want to eliminate all the cons of doing Calisthenics, you can join The Movement Athlete Academy’s program. This program will provide you systematic progressions for your training and you can also keep track of your progress.

It’s never too late to start with something simple for weight loss. Simplicity is known to be the best approach to anything. Start your calisthenics training now and share your success story with us!




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