Performing 100 push-ups in a single workout is definitely no small feat. Even getting through a few sets of 10 chest-to-floor push-ups is impressive, to say the least.
Even though your muscles are working extra hard when you're doing 100 push-ups, the calorie burn won't be too high. Instead of performing your push-ups with a calorie goal, incorporate this exercise to build total-body muscle and focus on creating a calorie deficit for fat loss.
How Many Calories Do Push-Ups Burn?
Pinpointing exactly how many calories you burn while doing push-ups is tricky. Your calorie burn during any type of exercise depends on several factors, including your height, weight, gender and age, according to the Mayo Clinic. Plus, the intensity with which you exercise makes a difference, too.
For a 30-minute, moderate-intensity calisthenic workout, including moves like push-ups, lunges and dips, a 125-pound person can expect to burn about 125 calories, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Meanwhile, a 155-pound person can expect to burn approximately 167 calories, and a 185-pound person can burn around 200 calories.
The total calories you burn doing 100 push-ups will also vary depending on how long it takes and how vigorously you're doing your reps. Considering push-ups are a pretty strenuous move (and 100 reps is quite a lot), you'll want to keep your speed moderate and split up your sets. For instance, do 4 sets of 25 push-ups.
So, if doing one set of 25 push-ups takes you about two minutes, that means it will take eight minutes of work total to finish all 100 repetitions. Assuming you fall within the middle-weight range above, you can expect to burn somewhere around 44 calories for 100 push-ups.
Push-Ups and Weight Loss
If weight loss is your ultimate goal, performing 100 push-ups every day probably isn't the best idea. Not only is repetitive motion strenuous on your body, push-ups aren't going to be the one thing that ultimately gets you to your goal.
There are about 3,500 calories in one pound of body fat, according to the Mayo Clinic. Burning all of those calories through exercise is nearly impossible and probably unsafe. Combining exercise with a calorie deficit (when you burn more calories than you consume) and more general movement in your day, like walking up stairs, doing chores, etc., is the best route to take.
You can create a sustainable calorie deficit by first figuring out how many calories your body burns to maintain your current weight (aka your maintenance calories). From there, you can safely cut between 500 to 1,000 calories each day, per the Mayo Clinic. Throughout the week, your calorie deficit will accumulate, leading to weight loss.
Building Muscle to Lose Weight
Just because push-ups won't be the magical elixir to help you lose weight, it doesn't mean you should neglect the exercise. After all, push-ups are a great way to build more lean muscle mass, which is a key part of your body's total calorie burn.
A body that has a greater amount of lean mass is more efficient at burning calories all day long, according to the American Council on Exercise. This isn't due to the energy expended with doing push-ups; it's an after-effect that you'll experience after several weeks or months of training.
Incorporating cardio exercise into your workout routine will also help increase your calorie expenditure. Plus, cardio is necessary in order to keep your heart healthy and strong. For weight loss and overall health, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest you do at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic exercise weekly.
For example, doing workouts like HIIT, which can include push-ups, can help you lose belly fat. While you can't spot train a certain area of your body to lose fat, doing HIIT workouts can help produce the EPOC effect, which helps increase the calories you burn from fat post-workout.
- American Council on Exercise: "Muscle Up! Evidence-Based Solutions for Maximizing Muscle Growth"
- Health.gov: “Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd Edition”
- Mayo Clinic: "Metabolism and Weight Loss: How You Burn Calories"
- Harvard Health Publishing: "Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights"
- Mayo Clinic: "Counting Calories: Get Back to the Weight-Loss Basics"