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


Thirty days isn’t much time to lose what took us all winter to put on.With consistency, and a little grit, I know you can get it done.

In 30 days you can lose those extra pounds you’ve gained through the winter. If you want to give this hardcore calisthenics training a try, in 30 days you can lose that gut, and maybe even put on some muscle in the process.

The Process

Body weight exercises done with varying rest periods, to develop strength and burn calories. By using only a few different exercises, but doing enough sets to have your body burning calories all day long. This 30 day workout will be broken down into 4 weeks. Each week will get progressively harder.by the end of the 30 days you should see a significant drop in the size of your gut.
This a great way to build the strength you will need to start advancing to more advanced calisthenics exercises if that is your goal.
Also there will be some tips on keeping that calorie count in a place where you can continue to lose weight.

Only you know how many pounds you have gained over the winter. Summer is coming soon so you better get started.
This is going to be a thirty day workout plan to lose that gut.

What you will need

Doing bodyweight exercises doesn’t require any equipment is true. You can get a good workout just on the floor. Many calisthenics exercises do require equipment such as a pull up bar, and a place you can do dips. If you ‘re working out at home, even a doorway pull up bar would work. Chairs can be used for a dip station.
You can use equipment at your local park to workout. Some cities have workout areas in the park with the proper equipment. Some parks you may need to use the playground equipment and modify the movement. Even a tree in your yard if you’re hard core.
If you don’t have a way to do pull ups, you will be fine with out.
If you have a chair or box that is about knee high, this will help also for leg exercises
You also may want to invest in a set of assistance bands, you may have some trouble doing pull ups with the extra pound
That is basically it.

Warm Up For Doing Calisthenics

We’re jumping in hard and heavy as soon as the real workout begins. So take a few minutes to warmup first.You will find that you are stronger when you start doing reps, then if you just started working out.

  • Wrists – your wrist do a lot of work while doing calisthenics. Warming them up is crucial, even before doing simple pushups.
    Simply make a fist with both hands and roll your fists around. Do a few rotations in each direction, at least until the crunching noise stops.
    Then put your hands flat on the ground fingers pointed forward, while on your knees. Putting a little pressure on the hands, push yourself forward and back. Try to get your wrists to bend as far forward as you can without pain. Do a few reps of these. Then turn your hands out to try and bring your fingers backwards as much as you can, do the same rocking movement in this position.
  • Fingers and forearms – Your fingers and forearms can be warmed up with the same exercise.
    Stretch your hand open as far as you can, then close it into a fist. That’s one. Now do it repeatedly as fast as you can, as long as you can. It’s also been rumored that doing this movement may relieve carpo tunnel symptoms.
  • Shoulders – The shoulders are an area are used in a lot of calisthenics movements. Preventing injury to this area is very important. So be sure and warm it up also.
    The shoulder area can be warmed up by just stretching your arms forward all the way, and then taking them back as far as they will go.
    Then doing the same thing reaching upward as far as you can. Try and reach up and back, to get the full range of motion.
    Do this until you feel everything moving smoothly.

One last thing – I don’t think a warm up should be so long that it makes you tired. That being said, you need to get the whole body warmed up. This includes getting your heart pumping.
Start your workout with 25 squats, using just your bodyweight. This will get you warmed up and ready.

Week 1

I assume that if you gained weight over the winter, you didn’t do it by exercising too much. This first week will be spent get your muscles back into the workout mode. I know from my own experience that I couldn’t do a very long workout the first week. The mind was willing, but my body couldn’t do more. So it will help to take a week doing a less intense workout and prepare for weeks 2 – 4.

Day 1
Back And Core

Everyone starts their workout in different states of condition. Some of you have worked out in the past and have a good understanding of how to do sets and reps, others may be starting to train for the first time. So your ability to do a certain number of reps will be more of a challenge for some than for others.
For this reason I will give the workout in two forms. A beginner version for those who are stating out, or may have a couple of winters worth of belly on themselves. When I first started doing calisthenics, I weighed 300 pounds. Doing a pull up wasn’t going to happen, but you’ve got to start somewhere.

Also a more advanced version for those who are stronger, but just wants to burn away that belly.

Beginner Routine

Day one we are going to work our back and core.
This is a layout of the workout.

Give yourself 2 minutes of rest between sets

  • Low Bar Rows – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Reverse push ups – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Plank – 5 sets 1 rep held for one minute each, or as long as you can.
  • Flat on your back windshield wipers – 5 sets of 10 reps 
  • Wall or floor pull ups

Low Bar Rows – Holding a bar that is lower than your chest, with a grip that is over the top of the bar, and a little wider than shoulder width. Walk your feet forward until you are at an angle that you can do some reps. The lower the bar, and the farther out you place your feet will make this exercise harder. If your bar is too high to get a good angle, placing your feet on a chair or large box will make the exercise more challenging.

Reverse push ups – To do these you lie down on your back and put your elbows on the ground, placing them straight out to the side.
Now press down on the ground with your elbows keeping your body straight, try to push yourself up on just your elbows and your heels.
This may take a few workouts to get this, just keep doing the reps, pushing as hard as you can, even if you don’t come off the ground right away.

Plank – The plank is done by getting into the same position you would to do a push up. Holding yourself at the top of the push up with your body straight and tight.
You can hold the plank on your elbows, but this doesn’t make the move easier. The angle is lower on your elbows, making the weight you are holding heavier.

Flat On Your Back Windshield Wipers – To do this exercise, you start flat on your back. No surprise so far. Then raise your legs up until they are almost straight up. Keeping them slightly pointed out will give you better results.This can be done with your legs straight or the knees bent.
Now simply rotate your hips taking your legs as close to the ground as you can, while still maintaining control of them. Taking the legs from one side completely to the other, will be one rep.

Wall/floor pull ups – To do these, put your back and shoulders flat against the wall or floor. Place your hands straight out to your sides, like you’re going to grab a pull up bar.
Keeping your elbows, forearms, wrists, and back flat against the surface, stretch your arms up all the way, as if you’re hanging from a pull up bar.
Now pull them down in the pull up motion. always keeping contact on the surface with all the parts mentioned earlier. Pull down until you feel you arms coming off the surface.
This is a great exercise to work the rear shoulders and lats, increasing your pull up power.

Advanced Workout

So here we are, we spent all last summer getting into shape. As soon as the first snowflake falls we put away our gym clothes and start watching sports on tv. You maybe didn’t even notice that you were growing. Only that you had to loosen your belt a notch or two. This workout is for you.

Allow a two minute rest between sets for these exercises

  • Scapula Pulls – 3 sets of maximum reps
  • Pull Ups – 5 sets, doing your maximum reps plus 3 eccentric reps. Or a minimum of 5 eccentric reps.
  • Low Bar Rows – 5 sets of 5-8 reps. Hold yourself at an angle that makes these reps challenging, but you still get a full range of motion.
  • Chin Ups – 5 sets, maximum reps, plus 3 eccentric reps.
  • Hanging Knee raises – 3 sets of 3 reps, held as long as you can on the final rep.
  • Plank – 5 sets, each held for one minute or longer.

Scapula Pulls – Grab the pull up bar shoulder width apart. Keeping your arms straight, contract the muscles that pull your shoulder blades together, raising only your torso.
Hold the top position for a moment, then lower yourself slowly by separating your shoulder blades.

Pull Ups – From a dead hang, slightly tilt yourself back before beginning the rep. Pulling with your back by pressing your shoulder blades together bringing your chest to the bar.
Always be in control during the movement, don’t swing or kip, and don’t allow yourself to just drop from the top of the pull up to the bottom position. Slowly lower yourself back to a dead hang.
The final 3 eccentric reps you will need some way to get yourself to the top of the pull up, then lower yourself as slowly as you can.

Low Bar Rows – This exercise will help you keep balance in your back workout. Giving you thickness. So here we will keep the reps a little higher, the focus will not be on strength so much. Choose an angle that allows you to do 5 – 8 reps, but always lower yourself in a slow and controlled manner.

Chin Ups – Little easier than a pull up, you should have enough gas left in your tank to do a few of these. Focus on using your back muscles to bring you up. Don’t rely on your biceps to do it. As always, lower yourself with complete control.

Hanging Knee Ups – This exercise will start to build that six pack back into your abs.
Grab the pull up bar with both hands about shoulder width apart. Bring your knees up to your chest, then raise your torso up until it is parallel to the ground. If you find that three reps isn’t enough, do more to make it more of a challenge.

Plank – The plank is just as described above, except because you are more advanced, you are going to hold them for the whole minute.

Day 2
Chest and legs

After day 1 you might be a little sore in your back muscles, so we are going to let them rest while we workout the chest and legs. You should still be doing the warm up before you workout. Now your legs are ready for a real workout.

Allow two minutes rest between sets

Beginner Routine

We are going to start with the chest. The legs are such a large muscle group that by the end of the leg workout you will be too tired to do the chest workout.

  • Scapula Push Up – 5 sets of maximum reps
  • Military push ups – 5 sets of 5 reps
  • Chair Dips – 3 sets of maximum reps
  • Body weight Squats – 4 sets max reps ( minimum of 20 )
  • Box pistol squats – 1-2 sets of max reps up to 5

Scapula Push Ups – Holding your arms straight, in a push up position. Force your torso to raise as high as you can, then lower it as low as you can, without bending your arms. By moving your scapulas (shoulder blades) back and forth in their full range of motion.
This exercise will build strength in your shoulder and chest area that will make advancing to harder exercises much easier.

Military Push Ups – These are the standard push ups we have done since learning how to crawl. Keep your elbows close to your sides, and hands about shoulder width. Just like always, keep them slow and controlled. When you reach the top of the rep, remember to push yourself up to the maximum, like you were doing scapula push ups.

Chair Dips – Using the edge of a chair, or a bar, if you have one available at the appropriate hight. With your hands on the front edge of the chair, scoot yourself forward off the chair, and stretch your legs out straight. Lower yourself slowly as far as you can comfortably. Then push yourself back to the top of the movement.
If you’re an old guy (or gal), Be careful with this exercise that it doesn’t cause any shoulder pain. If it’s uncomfortable to you, find another variation of push up to do until you have gained enough strength to do this exercise without injury.

Bodyweight Squats – Simply doing squats with no weight on your back. Holding your arms straight forward helps with balance. You can also hang on to something to help keep your balance, and even help to pull you back up if needed.
You will want to start doing them without holding anything as soon as you feel comfortable enough to do so. Developing your balance is one of the great benefits of calisthenics.

Box Pistol Squats – Stand in front of a box or a chair. Point one leg in front of you, as high as you can.
Squat down using the other leg until you feel the box, then push back up.
If you need to drop to the box at some part of the rep, that still works.

Advanced routine

  • Scapula Dips – 5 sets of maximum reps
  • Scapula Push Ups – 5 sets maximum reps
  • Dips – 5 sets of 5 reps ( use eccentric movement on final reps to complete the set )
  • Diamond Push Ups – 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Archer Push Ups – 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Box Pistol Squats – 3 sets of 5 reps
  • Supported Pistol Squats 3 sets of 5 reps

Scapula Dips – On a dip station, place yourself at the top position of the dip. Keeping your arms locked in that position, slowly drop your torso by separating your scapulas. Push yourself to the top agin as far as you can and repeat.
This may seem like a waste of time to you since it’s such a short range movement, but the importance of strengthening this area will become more apparent as the 30 days roll on.

Scapula Push Ups – Holding your arms straight, in a push up position. Force your torso to raise as high as you can  by pulling your shoulder blades apart, then lower it as low as you can by pulling your shoulder blades together, without bending your arms. By moving your scapulas (shoulder blades) back and forth in their full range of motion.
This exercise will build strength in your shoulder and chest area that will make advancing to harder exercises much easier.

Dips – Starting in the top position on a pair of dip bars, lower yourself slow and controlled. Keep your body straight, and slightly tilted forward.
Lower yourself as far as you can comfortably at first. This exercise can take a little time for you to get strong and flexible enough in your shoulders to do the rep with a full range of motion. Of coarse you want to eventually get your upper arms to where they are about parallel with the bar. Try to go a little lower with each workout.

Diamond Push Ups – There are many different types of push ups, and they will have a place in your training in the future. I want to keep the workout fairly simple, focusing on variations that give you a lot of return for your effort.Diamond push ups put a lot of tension on the triceps, which will give you those calisthenics guns.
Holding your hands on the ground with your index fingers and thumbs from each hand are touching. Or at least very close. As you lower push yourself forward so when you reach the bottom of the rep, your hands will be at the lower part of your ribcage. When you push to the top of the rep, be sure to push your torso all the way up, just as you did in the scapula push ups.

Archer Push Ups – The archer push up is done by putting your hands on the ground about twice as wide as shoulder width. As you lower yourself, push your body towards one of your hands. Then push towards the other hand on the next rep.
Archer push ups take your chest through the full range of motion like no other. If you start doing just these two types of push ups, and the dips, you will get a complete chest workout.

Box Pistol Squats – These will help you develop the strength and balance to eventually do ass to the grass pistol squats.
Using a chair or a box that stands about twenty inches off the ground. Stand in front of it, while holding your arms and one leg straight out in front of you for balance. Lower yourself slowly with the other leg down to the box.
You may get to a point where you will just drop to the chair because you can’t hold it. That is fine keep using that chair until you can lower yourself all the way to it, then get something that sits lower and start the process over. Eventually you will be able to drop all the way down and hold it.

Supported Pistol Squats – This exercise will help you gain the strength for doing the pistol squats without having to worry about balance.
Holding one leg forward, grab something solid and slowly lower yourself as low as you can go. You can spot yourself by using your arm to help pull you back up if you need to.
Flexibility plays a big part in your ability to hold your leg straight out. It may help to do this exercise on a stand so you can drop lower without your foot hitting the ground.

These first two days may be easy for some, and difficult for others. Either way they should give your muscles to start getting a feeling of strength, and maybe a little bit of soreness.
Feels good doesn’t it.

Day 3 Calorie Burn

Today your muscles will get a break, sort of. The focus will be on working up a sweat.
Don’t forget to do the warm up first.

Allow 30 to 60 seconds of rest for beginners
Advanced rest for 15 seconds between sets

  • Mountain Climbers – 5 sets of 10 reps for beginners, 5 sets of 20 reps for advance.
  • Jumping Squats – 5 sets of ten reps for beginners, 5 sets of 20 reps for advanced.
  • Plank – 3 sets held as long as you can hold it.
  • Stretch – Take some time and do some stretching, You should be stretching after each workout.
    Today work on spending more time doing each stretch than you normally do. Add more stretches, to get the full body stretch. By now you should know where you’re feeling tight.

Days 4, 5, and 6 – Repeat

On days 4,5, and 6 do days 1,2, and 3 over in the same order.

This first week you have developed a foundation of strength to build on. In the following weeks, the workouts will get increasingly harder.
If you have been putting in the work, you should be starting to feel like your pants are starting to get looser.
More importantly you should feel stronger, and excited to get to next week. First you must complete day 7.

Day 7 – Rest

If you did all of the workouts to the best of your ability, then you’ve earned it. Go fishing, or golfing, have some fun.
If you missed a workout during the week, now is a good time to catch up, but it’s better to do the six workout days in order. You will want to be well rested before the next week begins.

Diet Tip 

Sign up for a free plan at Cronometer. This site will keep track of your nutrition and exercise progress. Giving you a lot of information for free.
Check it out.
Or if you have a good app you like, use that.
The idea is to keep track of what you eat, and the calories you burn.
Choose healthier options is just common sense, but it’s so much easier to grab a handful of chips, rather than wash off an apple.

 

 

 

 

Ken

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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