The Fat Burning Bodyweight Workout

Sometimes we feel that we just don’t have any time in the world to spare for exercise.

With the pressures of work and family it seems that every hour of the day is taken doing something other than keeping up our promise to ourselves to stay on our weight loss goals.

Take a deep breath and get excited because there are solutions to this hectic lifestyle that can give you the same fat loss results while leaving you with plenty of time to get everything else done.

As fitness coaches in NYC, we truly know how hectic life can get.

It’s not uncommon for me to get the “Mike, I only have 20 minutes to get the workout in today because I’m on a flight to Seattle at 4:30” phone call.

My answer? “No problem”

home bodyweight workout- woman
Bodyweight exercises are a great way to build muscle and strength. They’re also relatively low-impact, so they’re a good option for people who are just starting out with exercise or who have joint problems.

The over riding, Numero Uno principle to follow is:

Shorten your workouts while greatly increasing effort.

If you’re like most people, your workouts last between 40 minutes (decent) and 2 hours (as Eugene would say, “GAH”).

If your goal is fat burning, you simply don’t need work out for that long. In fact, in some cases you could be overtraining and actually signaling to your body to store fat.

Many people equate weight loss = time spent in the gym. That’s false.

A better way to attack fat and burn it off is to progressively perform more work in a shorter period of time.

Home Bodyweight Workout

Here’s a quick sample body weight workout:

  • Body Weight Squat x 15 reps
  • Flag Pushup x 10 reps
  • Burpees x 5 reps
  • Plank 30 seconds
  • Trunk Rotations x 5 reps
  • Split Squat x 10 reps
  • Rest interval for 1 minute

Repeat for as many circuits as you can in time (12 minutes) or a minimum of 3 circuits.

1) Squats

* Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes out slightly.
* Arms crossed, hands on shoulders. Elbows up.
* Bend at the knees and hips, as if sitting down in a chair. Stop when knees reach a 90 degree bend.
* Ascend to starting position. Keep the chest proud.

2) Flag Pushups

* Pushup position, hands slightly wider than shoulder-width.
* Bend elbows to 90 degrees keeping body completely rigid. Don’t let the hips sag.
* As you come back up, turn your body sideways and point one of your arms skyward. At the top, your body viewed from the side resembles a “T”.
* Bring your arm back down, rotating your body back to center. Immediately begin the descent of your next pushup.
* Alternate between sides

3) Burpee

* Begin standing feet shoulder-width apart.
* Squat all the way down to the floor, placing your hands on the floor.
* Extend your legs behind you, shooting them back to get your body into pushup position.
* Perform a pushup.
* Bending your knees, bring your feet back underneath you so that you get back into squat position.
* Stand up, and at the top, hop into the air extending your arms and legs out (star jump).
* Upon landing, begin again from the squat.

4) Plank

* Position your body in the starting position of a pushup, except place your forearms and elbows down on the floor.
* Maintain this position for time. Gently bring your knees down when you stop the exercise.

5) Trunk Rotations

* Lie down on your back.
* Extend your arms out to act as a brace.
* Bring your legs up, bending them about 90 degrees at the knee.
* Keeping your knees together, rotate your hips and try to touch the outside of your knee to the floor. Get as close as you can making sure your shoulders stay glued to the floor.
* Alternate between both sides.

6) Split Squat

* Stand in a lunge position: body up straight, one foot in front of the other about a body length apart, knees slightly bent to avoid injury, hands either on your hips or out to the sides for balance.
* Bend both knees, descending until your front knee reaches a 90 degree bend. Be sure not to allow the front knee to pass in front of your toes.
* Ascend to starting point.
* Perform all reps on one side before switching legs (e.g., 10 reps with right leg forward, 10 reps with left leg forward).

The best thing about bodyweight workouts is you don’t need any equipment to get in shape!

Bodyweight workouts are short, effective, and can be done anywhere! You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to get in shape using this method. Studies show that bodyweight workouts increase your metabolism for up to 48 hours after the workout.

They are perfect for when you want to get back into exercise as well.

How to Optimize Your Weight Loss

If the dog needs a walk, then how about taking it for a run instead. You will still be out for the same amount of time but you will be getting increased calorie burn from running rather than walking.

  • Not only will you be burning extra weight off, but your pet will also be healthier.
  • Try walking to work rather than driving the car or park the car a little further from your office and walk the extra distance.
  • Go for a walk or do some sprints at lunchtime rather than sitting in the lunchroom or your office.

If you are sitting in an office all day working at a desk try doing leg extensions as you sit there.

Even without weight resistance you will still be exercising your legs and you can add weights if you like to get more benefit from this fat burning workout.

You’ll be creating an unstoppable fat burning 1-2 punch by tearing it up in the gym, and adding in the extra calorie burners- in shorter time.


  • Mike Collins CPT- ISSA. Specialist in Performance Nutrition. Expert Fat Loss Consultant. Founder of MCNewsletters- Weight loss for Women, and co author of the Black Book of Secrets, Dirty Little Book of Dieting, and Man on a Mission. Has held the World Championship Title of Fitness Professional for 23 years. Got hooked on turning ordinary bodies into extraordinary bodies in the gym at night, while working his way through school. Now he observes the nuance and distinctions that generate success and slings insight straight to you from his laptop while eating pizza in Brooklyn or fish tacos in Sausalito. Easily Bribed w/ Tickets: U2. Baseball. Football. Basketball. Tennis. ✈ NYC ✈ Nor Cal ✈