Calisthenic HIIT Workout: Get Fitter, Stronger, Leaner

Calisthenics are a great way to get you fitter and stronger. And not just that, they're fun. If you want a Calisthenic HIIT Workout, we've got three.

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What comes to mind when you hear calisthenics?

Is it leotards and leg warmers? Maybe a few leg raises in your living room, done to the upbeat tunes of an 80’s pop song.

But, that would be wrong.

Calisthenic workouts are essentially bodyweight workouts.

Where you use the resistance from your own body weight to get you fitter, stronger and leaner.

My clients are often dubious about the effectiveness of bodyweight exercises. They don’t think they can really be that effective.

If you’re in that camp, I’m here to show you just how effective, and fun, let’s not forget fun, a bodyweight workout, or a calisthenic workout can be.

Are you up for it?

Let’s do this…

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: Get you fitter, stronger and leaner

Jump Straight to the Workouts

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: What Can Calisthenics Actually Do for You?

As I mentioned above, it’s a common misconception that bodyweight exercises aren’t actually that effective when it comes to body transformation.

Whether you want that transformation to get you stronger, fitter or smoking hot. Honestly, they can. They can do all of that, and more.

But, it’s not just about the exercises themselves. It’s how you do them. And how you programme them into a workout plan. A workout routine that you do consistently.

Calisthenics training is essentially the tool. And just like any tool, if it’s not used properly, it won’t do much.

So, let’s talk about how to build a workout that will get you hitting your goals. Whatever they may be.

So, my first question, what do you want to achieve?

What is your goal?

If you haven’t worked that out yet, do it now. Head over to Goal Setting Coaching and come back when you’re ready.

Now you’re back, I’m going to guess that your goal, your ultimate goal, fits into either getting fitter, leaner or stronger.

I know they’re not the only fitness goals, but they are the three most common goals. So, I’m going to focus on those for this article.

If you’re goals don’t fall into those categories, then do get in touch and we can work through a plan together.

The benefits of calisthenic workouts

1. A Calisthenic HIIT Workout will get you Fitter

Improving your fitness level is all about increasing the capacity of your cardiovascular system. And by that I mean making your heart and lungs more effective.

So, walking up a hill, running for a bus or chasing your kids...they all become that bit easier.

That is what getting fitter means.

If that’s your goal, you’ll want to focus on cardio workouts. Something that gets your heart rate and your breathing rate up.

The king of all cardio workouts is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT to keep it short. It is a great way to get fitter, especially for people who don’t have a great deal of time.

2. A Calisthenic HIIT workout will get you Stronger

There’s two aspects of getting stronger, outright strength and then strength endurance.

Outright strength is the maximum amount of weight you can lift in one go. Where as strength endurance is about how long you can carry that weight.

Let’s think about shopping bags.

You’re packing your shopping bags and you have to lift them into the trolley. You’re obviously doing that with great form. Core engaged, knees bent. Lifting with your legs and not your back.

You’re awesome.

But with that one movement, you could probably lift quite a bit. You know if shopping bags were made of Teflon and not going to break.

You could probably pack quite a bit into those bags.

But, if instead of lifting your bags into a trolley you’re thinking about carrying them to your car. That’s a different matter isn’t it?

You’re more careful about how much you put in one bag. You’re got to spread the weight out, over at least two bags.

My nan always used to make me carry at least two bags. Even if there were only two, I needed one in each hand. Nan’s, they’re always thinking about good posture ;-).

You know, that walk to the car is going to be tough. Your muscles will be under constant tension for a least a minute, possibly more.

That’s the difference between outright strength, the one off lifting your shopping bags into a trolley, and muscular endurance, carrying them back to your car.

When you get stronger, you want to get stronger in both of those areas.

There is no point increasing your outright strength without increasing your endurance, believe me I know.

3. a Calisthenic HIIT Workout Will Get you Leaner

I know this is probably going to be the goal of most of you because it’s probably the most desired goal of men and women alike.

I want to say that you’re amazing and you look amazing just as you are.

But I’ve been where you are, wanting to change my entire body, so I know what it’s like when you don’t like what you see in the mirror.

I know that what other people say, and think, doesn’t really help. It’s how you feel about yourself.

So, I’m going to leave it at that.

But, getting leaner, changing your body composition, losing body fat, whatever you want to call it, is not just about how you workout. It’s also about what you eat.

What you eat is just as important, if not more important when it comes to weight loss.

So any of the workouts on this page, along with any other on this website, will help you in this department.

The missing factor, nutrition will be found on here soon.

If you want a meal plan that will not only support your high intensity interval training workouts but your body composition goals as well, they sign up for my newsletter and be the first to know when it’s ready.

Ok, shall we get back to the workouts?

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: What Do You Need?

As usual, you’ll find three workouts at the bottom of the page.

One will be focused on getting you fitter. One will be focused on getting you stronger and one will be focused on increasing muscular endurance.

These are all bodyweight workouts so you won’t need any fancy equipment. You can do them in the comfort of your own living room, or at the gym if you have a gym membership.

If you are confident in the movements and your fitness levels, feel free to add in extra weight where you can.

But you don’t have to. We are concentrating on using our own body weight, rather than big weights to get us stronger and fitter.

If you want to get some equipment, I would suggest a pull-up bar. It’s certainly not an essential item and, unless you can already do pull ups, you won’t be needing it any time soon.

But working on pull ups is a great goal. I love seeing jaws drop when I knock out a few.

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: What Are You Going to Be Doing?

Please make sure you are confident doing all of these movements with proper form. If you are unsure, speak to a personal trainer who can go over good form with you. If you can’t, or don’t want to see anyone locally, then do get in touch. I’d be happy to help.

Mountain Climbers

How to do mountain climbers

Starting in a high plank position, with your hands under your shoulders, engage your core.

Bring your left knee to the centre under your torso, keeping your toes off the ground. Return your left foot to the floor, and repeat on the other side.

This is a quick movement. Think running almost, but on the ground.

Push Ups

How to do a push up

Starting in a high plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your core engaged.

Keeping your elbows close to your body, bend them through a 90-degree angle until your chest comes close to the floor.

Push yourself back up, straightening your elbows and returning to the starting position.

The most important thing here is to get your chest as close to the floor as possible. If you need to put your knees down to do this, then you should do that.

Squat Jumps

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, engage your core and sink your bum backwards, bending your knees and your hips.

Keeping your chest up, sink back until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Instead of returning to the starting position slowly, explosively jump up and return to the lower squat position.



How to do a burpee

Standing with your feet shoulder width apart, engage your core and lower into a squat position.

Placing your hands on the floor, jump your legs back so that you’re in a high plank position, lower your upper body to the floor, getting as close as you can without touching the floor.

Push yourself back up, as you would in a push-up, jump your feet to your hands and then jump into the air, landing back in the lower squat position.

This is a tough movement and it has lots of parts to it. If you’re not familiar with burpees, practice them before you complete a workout so that you know what you’re doing.

High Plank

Lay on the floor with your hands under your shoulders.

Engage your abdominal muscles, curl your toes under and push yourself up so that your arms are straight and your body is in a straight line, and you are resting on your hands and your toes.

Hold this position, keeping your core engaged and your shoulder blades back and down at all times.


How to do a squat

Standing with your feet hip-width apart, engage your core and sink your bum backwards, bending your knees and your hips.

Keeping your chest up, sink back until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Return to a standing position by pushing through your heels and straightening your knees and hips.

Squat Hold

Start as you would with a normal squat.

Feet hip-width apart, core engaged. Lower you bum down to the floor, bending at your knees and hips. Stop when your thighs are parallel with the floor.

Hold this position.

Make sure your chest is lifted the entire time.

Pulse Squat

Get into a lower squat position as you would with a normal squat.

But instead of returning to the start position, slight raise and lower your bum. So you’re pulsing.

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: The Workouts

Workout 1: Getting You Fitter

A HIIT workout to get your fitter

So, this is the all out cardio workout. It will get your heart, lungs and muscles pumping.

It’s a full-body workout meaning there’s upper body, lower body and

It’s an AMRAP, so as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Rest where you need to, and remember to re-do this in a few weeks to see how you’re improving.

  • 50 Mountain climbers
  • 5 push ups
  • 50 jump squats
  • 5 push ups
  • 20 burpees

Workout 2: Getting You Stronger

A calisthenic workout to get you stronger

This is a simple workout, just 2 movements, but it is a bit of a killer. So be prepared.

I’ve chosen upper body exercises, but you could easily adapt this to a lower body workout slow squats or lunges and a wall sit.

Remember with the push up, the goal is to get as close to the ground with your chest as you can. If that means you need to do them on your knees, do that.

It’s an EMOM, which means every minute on the minute. Rest, or follow the other instructions for the remainder of the minute.

Rest for a full minute after each round.

Round 1: Four times through (so four minutes workout)

  • 15 Push ups

Round 2:

  • Minute 1: 15 Push Ups, rest for the remainder of the minute
  • Minute 2: High Plank for the full minute
  • Minute 3: 15 Push Ups
  • Minute 4: High Plank for the full minute

Round 3: Four times through

  • 15 Push Ups, High Plank for the rest of the minute.

Workout 3: Getting You Stronger no.2

A HIIT workout that will get you stronger

This is a tabata style workout, but instead of 20 seconds of work, 10 seconds of rest, you’re going to be doing 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of active recovery.

Complete eight rounds of each pair of exercises, rest for 1 full minute and then move onto the next pair of exercises.

  • Bodyweight Squat: Squat hold
  • Squat hold: pulse squat
  • Pulse Squat: bodyweight squat

Calisthenic HIIT Workout: What's Your Goal

Calisthenic exercises are a great way to get fitter, stronger and leaner. 

Whatever your goal is, a calisthenic HIIT workout can help. 

If you try any of these workouts, let me know how you get on and if you want workouts delivered straight into your inbox, remember to sign up for my newsletter. 

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