Chris Heria is an American Pro Bar Athlete, Street Workout Champion, and certified personal trainer. He is an entrepreneur and founder of ThenX, The Miami Trainer, and other fitness institutions like Calisthenics Evolution Institute and Calisthenics Academy.
Heria is one of the most popular calisthenics athletes in the fitness industry. At the time of publishing this article, he has over 1.4 million followers on Instagram and 3.69 million subscribers on YouTube.
Chris Heria is known for his incredibly shredded physique that he achieved using a workout program that is a crossover between calisthenics and a training routine involving weights.
Calisthenics are exercises that don’t rely on anything but a person’s own body weight. These exercises are performed with differing levels of intensity and rhythm.
However, Heria doesn’t restrict his training routine to bodyweight exercises. He uses compound and isolation movements — performed with free weights — to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
Contrary to what many people think, resistance training and calisthenics can go hand-in-hand. Free weight exercises help in building strength, which can improve an athlete’s calisthenics performance.
Notably, Chris Heria doesn’t go crazy on the free weight exercises. He uses moderate weights and performs them with strict form until he achieves muscle failure.
Heria proves that you do not need to join a fancy gym to build a Greek god-like physique. You could build washboard abs and perfectly chiseled muscles using minimal equipment in the comfort of your home.
Remember, intrinsic motivation and dedication to your training, diet, and recovery programs are your most valuable assets on a Heria-style transformation program.
Chris Heria Stats
- Name: Christian D. Heria
- Height: 5′11″
- Weight: 165 pounds
- Birthday: Dec. 21, 1991
- Birthplace: Miami, Florida
Chris Heria Diet Program
Heria is very particular about his diet. He follows a strict nutrition regimen to meet his daily macro and micronutrient goals.
Hernia follows an intermittent fasting diet. Intermittent fasting (IF) is a meal timing schedule that cycles between voluntary fasting and non-fasting over a given period.
A popular example of the IF diet is the 16/8 method. It features a daily 16-hour fast and an eight-hour eating window wherein you can fit in two, three, or more meals. Research has shown that intermittent fasting can support weight loss and improve metabolic health. (1)
“If you’re not already doing so, being very aware of your macronutrients and having a balanced diet will immediately give you results.” — Chris Heria.
Check Out: Intermittent Fasting Calculator
“It was a lot of trial and error for me in the beginning, but if I had counted my macros, I probably would have gained a lot more muscle faster.” — Chris Heria
Heria is a big believer in counting calories and meeting your daily macro and micronutrient goals. Here are the dieting principles Chris Heria swears by:
1. Stay Hydrated
Chris Heria drinks water first thing in the morning after waking up. Water is needed for every metabolic process, including protein synthesis. So if your training intensity is high, one of the simplest things you can do for your body is to drink more water.
Up to 60% of the human adult body is water. A lack of water consumption or dehydration can be counterintuitive to your goal of building muscles mass and losing body fat. You should be drinking at least a gallon of water every day.
2. Limit Your Sugar Intake
If you want to lose bodyweight, you should start by limiting your sugar intake. Added sugars are extra calories with no extra nutrition. On the other hand, natural sugars (found in fruits) also have vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients to nourish your body.
An apple can have around 20 grams of natural sugars, but it also has fiber that can satisfy your hunger and make your body absorb the sugar from the fruit more slowly.
Heria doesn’t eat sweets or drinks alcohol, and fruits make up the majority of his sugar intake.
3. Train on an Empty Stomach
Heria likes to train on an empty stomach — or at least mostly empty — as it can help burn fat faster, boost your body’s response to insulin, and improve overall performance during a workout. (2)
Chris usually has two small meals before his workout, but they mostly consist of supplements, water, and a medium-sized banana.
4. Make it Flexible
Heria modifies his diet plan as per his fitness goals. He regularly switches up his carb intake based on the kind of training he will be doing.
If his training is focused on hitting higher repetitions with heavyweights, he would be consuming more carbs. On the contrary, if he is focusing on burning fat, he would be cutting down on carbs.
Chris Heria Diet Plan
Heria’s daily diet includes:
‘A lot of guys like to eat around 8 in the morning. I like to fast. It feels most comfortable to me.’ — Chris Heria
- Fish oil
- 1 banana
- 9 ounces chicken breast
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 cup broccoli
- 6 ounces salmon
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups sauteed spinach
- 1 cup asparagus
- 1 cup peppers
- 1 scoop whey protein
- 2 cups nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
Heria’s Grocery List
Chris usually breaks his grocery list into three categories — protein, carbs, and snacks.
Here is a list of his favorite food items:
- Ground turkey
- Chicken breast
- Turkey bacon
- Balck beans
- Greek Yogurt
Foods to Avoid
The following food items are a big no-no on the Chris Heria transformation program:
- Empty-calorie Food
- Fast Food
- Junk Food
- Fried Food
- Refined Sugar
- Artificial Additives
- Hydrogenated Oils
Chris Heria Training Program
The YouTube sensation started his fitness journey at the age of 17, working out in public parks near his home. Additionally, he conducted workshops for BarStarzz (a Calisthenics-focused brand) and traveled the world for the brand.
The social media star has been practicing calisthenics for a long time and as a result, can lift his body weight with relative ease.
However, using the same weight and training protocols can lead to a plateau. You need to constantly shock your muscles with different exercises to ensure you never hit a plateau.
Chris Heria understands this well and uses weighted vests while performing bodyweight exercises like push-ups, dips, pull-ups, inverted rows, etc.
Training principles act as a guiding light in a transformation program. They help you navigate through training and dieting decisions with the least amount of friction. Here are the rules Heria abides by to maintain his diced physique throughout the year:
1. Warm-Up Before Every Workout
Most fitness newbies make the mistake of heading straight into their first working set without investing some time in warming up their muscles. Warming up before a workout can help improve flexibility, range of motion, reduce muscle tension and pain, increase blood flow and oxygen to muscles, and as a result, lower the risk of workout-related injury.
Heria’s warm-up routine includes a 10-minute cardio session before every workout. He sometimes switches to exercises that get his muscles prepped for his main workout. Additionally, he spends 5-10 minutes cooling down after every workout.
2. Combining Calisthenics and Weight Training
Although Chris is known for calisthenics, he doesn’t restrict himself to one style of training. He uses weight training (dumbbells and barbells) and incorporates isolation and compound movements in his workouts to build muscle mass, strength, and endurance.
Unlike most other calisthenics practitioners, Heria uses a wholesome training approach focused on hitting each body part from multiple angles.
“If you’re trying to build muscle every morning, the best exercises that you can do are going to be compound exercises,” explains Heria. “Compound exercises will recruit more muscle groups and will allow you to build more muscle, which will compound muscle growth daily, as opposed to isolation work or working a single muscle which can be done during the day and with more time.”
Chris Heria Workout Split
Heria trains five days a week and uses the last two days to allow his muscles time to recover from his intense training regimen. This is what his training split looks like:
- Day 1: Chest
- Day 2: Back
- Day 3: Shoulders
- Day 4: Legs
- Day 5: Arms
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Rest
Chris Heria Workout Regimen
Heria’s training routine is perfect for people who train at home as it can be done just by using one’s own body weight, resistance bands, and some free weights like dumbbells and barbells.
Day 1: Chest
- Weighted Vest Push-Up: 1 set of 25 reps
- Weighted Vest Ring Dips: 1 set of 12 reps
- Weighted Vest Push-Ups (with a Bar): 1 set of 25 reps
- Weighted Vest Ring Push-Up: 1 set of 12 reps
- Weighted Vest Decline Push-Up: 1 set of 25 reps
Day 2: Back
- Spiderman Push-Up: 1 set of 5 reps (as a warm-up)
- Mountain Climber: 1 set of 45 seconds (as a warm-up)
- Plank: 1 set of 45 seconds (as a warm-up)
- Barbell Deadlift: 4 sets of 5 reps
- Bent-Over Row: 4 sets of 7 reps
- Pull-Up: 4 sets of AMRAP (as many reps as possible)
- Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets of 7 reps
- Barbell Curl: 4 sets of AMRAP
- Inverted Row: 4 sets of AMRAP
Day 3: Shoulders
- Single-Arm Pull-Up: 3 sets of 4 reps
- Tuck Planche Press to Handstand: 3 sets of 6 reps
- Barbell Military Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Tuck Planche Push-Up: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Handstand to 90-degree Push-Up: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Handstand Push-Up: 3 sets of 8 reps
Day 4: Leg
- Jump Squat and Hold: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Alternating Lunge and Hold: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Sumo Squat: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Jumping Jack: 4 sets of 45 seconds
- Calf Raise and Hold: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Pistol Squat: 4 sets of 8 reps
- Wall-Sit: 4 sets of 45 seconds
- Box Jump: 4 sets of 15 reps
Day 5: Arms
- Pronated Curl (with your back facing the wall): 3 sets of 10 reps
- Supinated Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Neutral Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Overhead Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Dumbbell Extension: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Supinated Triceps Kickback: 3 sets of 10 reps
Day 6: Rest
Day 7- Rest
“If I’d known exactly what progressions to do, in the exact order, I would have achieved these exercises way sooner, and I would have hit way fewer plateaus in the process.” — Chris Heria
Since Chris is a calisthenics expert, he relies on the following training equipment:
Investing in this training equipment won’t burn a hole in your pocket and will pay dividends in the long term.
Here is the list of supplements Chris Heria uses to keep his physique in top shape:
- Biotin: Helps keep your skin, hair, eyes, liver, and nervous system healthy.
- Collagen: May improve skin health, relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, boost muscle mass, and promote heart health. (3)(4)(5)
- Glutamine: Improves gut health and recovery after workouts and reduces muscle soreness.
- Fish Oil: Provides omega-3 fatty acids that are essential nutrients and cannot be produced by the body. They are needed for optimal health and many functions of the human body.
- BCAA: Prevents muscle breakdown during workouts and kickstarts muscle repair.
- Whey Protein: One of the most popular supplements that aid in building muscle mass and burning body fat.
Other Diet & Workout Program You Should Check Out:
- Mike Tyson’s Insane Workout & Diet Program
- Jake Gyllenhaal Southpaw Workout & Diet Program
- Get Ripped Like Michael B. Jordan With The ‘Creed’ Workout Program
Building a ripped physique like Chris Heria requires military-grade discipline, dedication, and consistency. Additionally, you will need a personalized diet and training program, as per your current lifestyle.
Since Heria mainly relies on bodyweight exercises, you might experience an improvement in your strength in the first few weeks of training. However, building muscle mass can take some time. Patience and persistence are key to a successful physique transformation. Best of luck!
- Welton S, Minty R, O’Driscoll T, Willms H, Poirier D, Madden S, Kelly L. Intermittent fasting and weight loss: Systematic review. Can Fam Physician. 2020 Feb;66(2):117-125. PMID: 32060194; PMCID: PMC7021351.
- Gonzalez, Javier, Veasey, Rachel, Rumbold, Penny and Stevenson, Emma (2013) Breakfast and exercise contingently affect postprandial metabolism and energy balance in physically active males. British Journal of Nutrition, 110 (4). pp. 721-732. ISSN 0007- 1145.
- Garnero P. The Role of Collagen Organization on the Properties of Bone. Calcif Tissue Int. 2015 Sep;97(3):229-40. doi: 10.1007/s00223-015-9996-2. Epub 2015 Apr 17. Erratum in: Calcif Tissue Int. 2015 Sep;97(3):241. PMID: 25894071.
- Zdzieblik, Denise et al. “Collagen peptide supplementation in combination with resistance training improves body composition and increases muscle strength in elderly sarcopenic men: a randomised controlled trial.” The British journal of nutrition vol. 114,8 (2015): 1237-45. doi:10.1017/S0007114515002810.
- Nezwek TA, Varacallo M. Physiology, Connective Tissue. [Updated 2021 Sep 20]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-.