As far as I’m concerned the burpee is the king of calisthenics or bodyweight exercises.
In boxing terms, burpees are the pound-for-pound champion when it comes to working out.
I mean you have a single exercise that is great for your cardiovascular health, a fantastic conditioning tool, and you can also build muscle to boot.
Whether you’re a beginner to exercise or as advanced as they come, the burpee has a knack of cutting us all down to size.
The focus of today’s article is – how many calories does 100 burpees burn?
Who’s Counting Anyway?
Firstly, I will say that from a personal point-of-view I very rarely look at the calorie expenditure when it comes to exercising.
However, that’s not to say I don’t agree with those who do.
Exercise has been part of my life for more years than I care to remember and now my exercise routine is based around how it makes me feel and whether I’m progressing.
Okay, I digress, and I know some of you just want an immediate answer.
So, the quick answer to the question is that the average person will typically burn 10-15 calories per minute of burpees they perform.
Sticking with the “average person” scenario, you can expect to perform about 10-15 burpees per minute.
So, realistically we’re saying that one burpee is equal to one calorie burned, and therefore the calories burned doing 100 burpees will be 100 calories.
If Only It Was That Simple
Burpees burn how many calories, you say?
If you’re still reading I guess you realize that there’s far more to it than that.
And for those of you who’ve got what you were looking for and are happy with the “100 calories for 100 burpees” and have already hit the back button on the browser, well… hold on, they’ve gone, no point in finishing that sentence.
Anyway, as I say there’s far more to it than that.
So, how many calories do burpees burn?
Well firstly we need to look at some obvious metrics when it comes to calculating a true figure for the calorie expenditure from performing burpees.
The speed at which the burpees are performed, I mean I know I average around 20 burpees per minute.
The intensity with which you perform the exercise, I typically perform my burpees with a push up (that’ll be the Spartan training that I’ll never forget).
I’m also partial to burpees with pull ups/chin ups, tuck jumps, long jumps, mountain climbers, jumping squats/jumping lunges, box jumps, kettlebell deadlifts, etc.
Basically, you name it, and I’ll throw it into a burpee workout.
So, in reality I know I can complete 100 burpees in around 6 minutes just doing the basics (I would need a bit of rest every 20-25 reps just to catch my breath).
However, I’ve also made a 100 burpees last for over 30 minutes due to the “additional exercises” I was throwing into the mix and could only perform 5 or 6 reps at a time.
I would also suggest that the amount you weigh has a lot to do with how many calories you burn.
Harvard Medical School provides some interesting stats on the calories burned in 30 minutes for people of 3 different weights (125-pounds, 155-pounds, and 185-pounds).
They cover a plethora of activities and the calories burned in 30 minutes. I’m talking from some of the most intense forms of exercise, to other physical activities, to normal daily routines that we wouldn’t even consider would burn calories.
I will say this is one of the most comprehensive lists of calories burned for activities (and inactivities) that I have seen.
In fact, I’ve just worked out I’ve burned approximately 102 calories while writing this article (now considering I’ve already done a 40-minute kettlebell workout this morning, followed by 8 x 40m sprints in my local park, I think it’s best to stop writing and go eat a donut).
Check out this dude doing 100 burpees in 3 minutes and 33 seconds. Granted, there’s not much of a jump going on, but impressive nonetheless.
Some of My Favorite 100 Burpee Workouts
I will say that if you’re just starting out with exercise that 100 burpees may currently be beyond your current means (that’s not an issue) and that you’ll want to stick to the basic burpee – squat down, hands on the floor, kick the feet out behind you, bring feet back in, stand up.
Even performing just 3-4 sets of 10 basic burpees will leave you winded as a newbie, but exercise is all about progression. Start small and build your way up, as long as you’re doing something.
Eventually once you find yourself doing 100 burpees you can try different varieties or adding additional exercises into the mix.
I will say that I tend to go through stages with burpees, as in I’ll go months and months without doing any and then I’ll spend a number of weeks or even months concentrating my entire workout around them.
I guess like many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with the burpee.
It’s one of those exercises that you cringe at the thought of, but you know it’s going to do you some good.
I typically set myself goals and targets when I am in “burpee mode”. At the time of writing this article we were all in some form of “lockdown” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On the day the UK went into lockdown (24th March 2020) I set myself a goal of completing AT LEAST 100 burpees a day for the 30 days.
Most days I would throw in my 100 burpees around my workout. I have kettlebells and sandbags at home and would also get out for a run or some sprints every few days.
I even had days (3 to be precise) where I did nothing but perform burpees for a workout and managed to get up to 500 on each occasion.
I mentioned the Spartan Race earlier and even my most basic burpee is performed Spartan style. So, this would involve a push up and a jump.
Just in case you weren’t aware, the Spartan Race is one of the toughest obstacle races there is (well in my opinion) and if for any reason you were unable to complete, or failed, an obstacle you were required to do 30 Spartan burpees as a way of forfeit.
This has just stuck with me ever since, so there’s always a push up and a jump for me.
As I’ve mentioned, for me the question, “How Many Calories Do Burpees Burn?” has never been an issue.
Trust me, you perform any one of these workouts regularly and your metabolism will go through the roof and your body will automatically become a calorie and fat burning machine.
This absolutely sucks if I’m honest, but is great for cardio, conditioning and muscle building.
I would usually complete 10 burpees and then sprint half the length of a football (soccer) pitch in my local park, which is around 35 meters.
Walk back (slower and slower as the sets went by) to the starting point and go again. Complete 10 sets giving you a total of 100 burpees and 10 sprints.
You’ll need a set of dumbbells (and probably a bed in an Intensive Care Unit by the time you’ve finished with this). Leave your ego at the door and don’t go too heavy here.
Admittedly, I’m not the biggest guy in the world, but I can lift (in fact, going back to an earlier boxing-related phrase, I’m proud to announce that me, the mighty midget, is often described as pound-for-pound the strongest lifter in the gym).
I typically use a pair of 10-12kg dumbbells, so around the 25lbs mark each.
You hold the dumbbells at your side, squat down until they touch the floor, kick your legs/feet out, perform a push up, do a renegade row with each arm, bring your feet back in, jump up, clean the dumbbells to shoulder level, front squat, press above your head, and bring the dumbbells back to your side, and repeat.
Perform 100 reps
Burpees with a Plyometric Jump
My two favorite types of jump would be a long jump or a box jump.
For the long jump I just head over to the park (and use the football field as a marker). As simple as it sounds. Perform a burpee and then jump forward as far as you can, swing your arms for momentum, and repeat until you run out of field (turn around) or perform 100 reps.
For the box jump burpee I like to keep it nice and simple and use a 24-inch box. You perform your burpee as usual, but you get to the final jump phase, jump up onto the box and then back down again, and repeat until you’ve completed 100 reps.
Burpees With pull up
As uncomplicated as it sounds.
Perform a burpee underneath a pull up bar and during the jump phase grab the bar and perform a pull up.
Perform 100 reps.
More than 100 Calories
I’m sure you can see that due to the additional physical exertion here you are definitely going to be burning more than the standard “100 calories per 100 burpees” for these variations.
I would guess all of these workouts, for let’s say someone who weighs 160-pounds, are going to burn 200 calories or more.
The sprint burpee workout alone could see you burning in excess of 300 calories, and will fire up your metabolism so that you continue burning calories throughout the day.
How many calories do burpees burn?
Well I possibly haven’t provided as strict an answer as some readers were probably hoping for.
However, when it comes to burpees (or any exercise) for that matter, there are various other factors that need to be taken into consideration.
As I’ve mentioned, speed, weight, fitness levels, type of burpee performed can all make a difference.
I think a better question would be, “Should I be doing burpees?”
And my answer will always be YES.
Thanks for reading and I’d love to hear some of your burpee stories, workouts, opinions, etc.
Just drop me a line in the comments section below.
Plus, if you are interested in losing weight or burning fat and calories then please take a moment to check out my Bodyweight Burn Review.