Do Calisthenics Make You Ripped?

| by Truth Seeker |

It’s close to impossible to see a calisthenics master with a big gut and massive love handles. As a result, many wrongfully assume that bodyweight exercises have a secret property that leads to ultra-leanness.

The lighter you are, the easier it is to do lift yourself. Extra body fat does not help at all. Therefore, most bar stars are ripped but not as a direct result of their training. It’s more of a prerequisite. The heavier you are, the more weight you have to pull/push. That’s why the bodyweight warriors do not allow themselves to get fat.


An hour of lifting does not burn more than 300-500 calories depending on how heavy you are. Keep in mind that about 50% of those calories are needed simply to be alive during that period of time. In other words, you may create a caloric drop between 150-300 calories thanks to your workout, but two apples alone could reverse this effect.

For the average person, six pack abs have nothing to do with a preferred type of training. If your food intake is right, you will have lean abs regardless of the resistance you choose.

If you don’t believe me, try this. Get ripped while doing bodyweight exercises. Then, switch entirely to weights without changing your diet at all. Your level of leanness will have no reason to change.

Many naive individuals believe that men like Hannibal For King can get away with junk food thanks to the mysterious shredding power of bodyweight movements. I am sorry but no. Hannibal may be eating junk food, but obviously, the overall number of calories that he consumes allows him to stay shredded. Also, how do you know that he is eating junk food all the time? Because he told you so? Honestly, you can never know.


A few years ago, a powerlifter posted an article based on the idea that you have to “eat your way through a sticking point” as the popular lifter Hugh Cassidy used to suggest. The author revealed a special diet – one cake a day. Crazy, right?

It’s true that extra water and fat will help you lift heavier weights. The squat and the bench benefit a lot from extra mass even if it’s lard. There’s a reason why Paul Anderson (American strength legend) remained so fat throughout his entire career whereas people like Jasper Benincasa (bodyweight specialist) were thin and lean.

Aggressive bulking will not help your gymnastic goals. If anything, it will push you further away from them. Gymnasts benefit only from lean gains, which is why most of them stay ripped.

In conclusion

Bodyweight exercises don’t come with magical qualities that tell your body to burn fat faster. Most people who specialize in that type of training just don’t allow themselves to get fat, and that’s done through dieting.

Anybody who claims that calisthenics will give you the freedom to eat whatever you want is either ignorant or a liar.

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