I wanted to see how comparable body weight exercises were compared to interval training on the treadmill, so I decided to to a little test.
I did 11 minutes of body weight exercises, such as jump rope, jumping jacks, high knees, cross cross, and so on in tabata style, 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest. I burned 111 calories. My heart rate averaged between 150-165. My target heart rate is 184. There were a few times I was pretty winded, but picked an exercise that would help to bring my HR back down a bit to get ready for the next exercise.
Body weight cardio = 111 calories in 11 minutes.
Then I did intervals on the treadmill. I started with a 2 minute warm up at 3.5, did 3 intervals at 7.0 and the last one at 7.5. Did 13 minutes (included 2 minute cooldown) and burned 130 calories. My heart rate averaged between 155-184.
Intervals on treadmill = 130 calories in 13 minutes.
I would say they were pretty comparable, but I was able to reach my target heart rate with the intervals, but only on the last interval when I increased my speed to 7.5.
But if I had to choose, I would prefer the body weight cardio over the intervals. Foremost because its easier on my knees, but also because its something different and actually seems to go much faster.