30 Days To Lose Your Gut With Calisthenics (Week 2)

The first week of the workout should have started to develop a feeling of strength and flexibility. This week is going to challenge your endurance.

To lose your gut in 30 days will require some stamina, and a mindset that will not let you quit. Your body will adapt quickly to the workouts, but the strength of your will to win is going to be what makes you succeed.

Week 2 – The Goal

In week one there were long rest periods, mostly because I needed them. In week two the rest periods will be shorter to get those hearts beating.
The goal of these workouts is to lose weight, but there will still be some focus on gaining strength. Getting stronger will help you stay motivated to continue doing calisthenics after the 30 days. The strength exercises will be kept simple and few with high intensity.
I will break it down to beginner and advanced workouts like last week.

Tabata is the word of the week

In another blog article on this site; (Link To Article) I wrote about using Tabata and calisthenics together to lose weight. In this workout we’re going to put this to work.
To put it simply, Tabata training is doing 8 sets of the same exercise consecutively. Each set is performed for 20 seconds, with 10 seconds of rest between each set.
That comes out to four minutes of don’t quit for each cycle.

The Workout Breakdown

Each workout will start with strength work.Using eccentric movements. This is the fastest way to gain strength in a particular movement.
By doing only basic calisthenics movements. We are going to take advantage of our extra weight to build a good strength foundation.
After the strength portion we are going to do a round of Tabata training to finish the workout. This will greatly benefit you in gaining strength, and burn calories faster than just doing more sets at a slower pace.
The workout will consist of a list of exercises that you can choose from for each muscle group.

Beginner And Advanced How It Will Work This Week

This week the difference will be your ability to do an exercise. If you can do pull ups Then you can workout with this exercise. If you can’t do pull ups then just do a low bar row.
The same with dips and even push ups, If you are struggling to get a couple of reps on these exercises, do an easier version to get enough reps.
During the strength portion of the workout, choose an exercise that will challenge your strength. During the Tabata portion of the workout, choose an exercise that you can do 8 – 12 reps. By raising the angle of your body you will make the exercise easier. Don’t let your pride get in the way, with our heavier body weight we will get a benefit even doing push ups against the wall.

Let’s Get Started

Like last week, this is going to be a six day workout.

For the strength portion.
Choose two exercises from the list below that you can do 4 sets of eccentric reps. The rep range you should be able to do is between 3 -5.
If you can’t do at least 3 reps, choose an easier exercise.
Between each set give yourself one or two minutes to rest until you feels good enough to do the next set. Don’t be in a hurry during this portion of the workout.
Do 3 – 4 sets depending on how you feel.

Day 1 – Back And Chest

Strength Portion – Back

Pull Ups – Using a stool or whatever you have available that can get you to the top of the pull up movement. Start at that position and lower yourself as slowly as you can.
When you get to where you have no more ability to slow yourself down, call it a set.
Caution – If you do this exercise without assistance bands, using your full weight. Be sure that you put enough effort in on week one. You risk soreness and damage to your ligaments by doing too much of this exercise before allowing yourself to get strong enough to perform it. Do only one or two sets only, if you’re struggling with it.
I learned this through experience while trying this workout. So don’t push yourself too hard on this week, give yourself time to adapt to the workout.

One Arm Rows – Grab a vertical bar that is about shoulder height with one hand. Anchor your feet directly below your hand placement.
Stand straight with your back fully contracted, now lower yourself from the top of the movement until your arm is completely straight and your scapula is completely protracted (stretched out).
You can use a towel wrapped around the bar to hold on to to make the exercise more challenging.

Low Bar Rows (one arm) – Similar to the one arm rows, but you change your body position to as horizontal as you can. Use both arms to pull you to the top the exercise then lower yourself with one arm. You may need to hold on with the other arm for balance, but focus your energy on one arm when lowering.

Tabata Portion – Back

Low Bar Rows – This will be the exercise we are going to use for this portion. If you are more advanced, do an overhand grip, otherwise use an underhand grip.
The position of your bar will determine how hard the exercise will be. Set the bar at a position where you can do 8-12 reps. This may seem too easy on the first set, don’t worry by the eighth set you won’t think that. If it still too easy by the eighth set then you need to lower your bar to a more challenging position.
After you have chosen your position and hand grip, Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds. You can count the time out or use a timer. Make sure these are god quality reps, by lowering yourself slowly and with control. This number will be your baseline. On the remaining seven sets try to get the same number of reps. When you get down to the last couple of sets you may not be able to do as many reps, do as many as you can.
Remember to rest only ten seconds between sets. The idea is to exhaust the muscle without using your maximum weight. This will give you maximum workload on the muscle, without the injury of going too heavy.

Strength Portion – Chest

Dips – If you have access to a dip bar, this is a great strength building exercise. Just as with the pull ups, use a stool to get you to the top of the movement. Lower yourself as slowly as you can. Don’t allow your to go lower than when your upper arm is parallel with the bar. Only go as low as is comfortable, to prevent injury. If you have assistance bands I recommend that you use them here for the same reason as with the pull ups. Your tendons need to become adapted to the exercise. So don’t over do this exercise in the beginning.

Push Ups – You are only going for 3-5 reps here so make them as hard as you can by lowering yourself very slowly, then pushing yourself to the top of the movement quickly. If standard push ups are too easy choose archer or diamond push ups.

Tabata Portion – Chest

For this portion you may want to use the arms of a sturdy chair to elevate yourself enough to get the reps. Or a bar if you have one available. If you are a Total badass and can get the 8 – 12 reps doing push ups on the floor then definitely do them there. Just like before create a baseline of reps by doing what you can in 20 seconds. Always going slow and controlled on way down. It doesn’t matter if you do more rep if they have crappy form. Quality reps are better.
Do the eight sets, with only that ten seconds of rest between them, and you are done.

Day 2 – Legs and Core

Strength Portion Core

Seated Leg Raises – While seated on the ground, legs straight out in front of you, place your hands beside you and raise your legs a few inches off the floor. If you can’t do this, move your hands backwards until you are able to lift your legs.If it is too easy to do the exercise with your hands beside you, move them forward toward your knees to make it more challenging.
Lift your legs and hold them as long as you can.

Hanging Knee Raises – You remember these from last week. If you don’t have access to a pull up bar, use a branch or rafter in the garage for this one. It’s too good of an exercise to miss out on. You may not be able to do very many reps at this time. Do what you can to begin to build that bulletproof core.

Wood Choppers – This is a bonus exercise for those of you that have access to bands or cable exercise equipment that will allow this movement.
Place the band or your cable arm above your head a few inches. Standing sideways to the bands anchor point, step away enough to put tension on the band, while holding the band with both hands straight in front of you, and elevated above your head. Now just as if you were chopping wood, twist your body around while bring your hands down to finish the move with them at hip height on the other side of you.
Keep your arms straight and perform the exercise with your focus on using your torso to twist you around. So you are chopping down and across.
Another variation you can use is to start with the band about waist high, and chop with a slight upward motion.
Use a weight or band that will allow you to do 8 – 15 reps

These are suggest core exercise. If you have others that you prefer then use them. I wouldn’t recommend sit ups, or even crunches. Those are ab exercises, and are mostly useless if you’re training in calisthenics.

No Tabata For The Core

Strength Portion Legs

Pistol Squats – Doing either box pistols, or assisted pistol squats with a bar.

Tabata Portion – Legs

Super easy, just do bodyweight squats with the same formula used before. This is harder than it seems, when you are done your legs will be pumped to the point that you may have trouble walking down stairs for a few minutes. This is a great leg workout.

That is it my friends!

Now repeat.

If you want to take a day off then do the same workouts again for the next two days. That’s four intense workouts for the week. That is plenty to get you going for this week.
If you are highly motivated, then do one or both of these workouts again to give you five or six workouts in the week. You will reach your goal that much faster.

Why is there never any arm workouts to build those big guns?
Answer; The goal during this month is for us to lose weight. So we are concentrating on exercises that work the largest muscle groups and burn the most energy (calories).
I also find that doing isolation exercises such as curls, is time that could have been used to do more pull ups, or another more beneficial exercise. Muscle size will come to your arms as well as everywhere else.

Diet Tip – Don’t think that because you’re working out, that you need to eat whole chickens and roasts to get enough protein.
Nobody will die of protein deficiency on this workout. Instead substitute some of the high calorie meats with veggies to get more nutrients. this is what your body will be starving for.


Trying to beat the hands of time is a challenge. I have found calisthenics to be an outstanding way to get into shape, and have some fun. I will tell you in my posts why I like calisthenics over pumping iron, for keeping in shape as I get older, and why you might want to give it a try.

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