Mountain climbers can be intense enough to improve your health. Find out whether doing 100 of them a day is a good idea or not.
It may sound like a good idea to do 100 mountain climbers a day for goals like losing weight, building muscle, and physical health in general.
If you want to build as much muscle mass as possible, doing 100 mountain climbers and doing them every day is likely not the fastest way to do this.
For optimal muscle growth, you want to go for resistance training exercises you are able to do for fewer repetitions and give your body some rest to repair and grow your muscles.
Another popular exercise goal is losing weight.
The number of calories you burn during 100 mountain climbers is not that impressive compared to something like jumping rope and the progress you can make with other lifestyle areas like nutrition.
If you have not tried it out yet, doing 100 mountain climbers at a medium speed takes only about 2 minutes (1 mountain climber is one raise with each leg). You will need to do more mountain climbers to see significant results.
That being said, even if it isn’t the number 1 routine for muscle gain or weight loss getting to 100 mountain climbers a day and sticking to it can be a fun goal in itself.
If you are currently more of an exercise beginner, 100 mountain climbers will likely make a positive difference in both muscle strength and cardio.
Will 100 mountain climbers a day help you build muscle?
The way you build muscle in places like your legs and core is by engaging these muscles so that they get damaged enough.
This may sound counterintuitive but this damage makes it so your body repairs these muscles, and adds a bit more to be better prepared to exert similar efforts in the future.
If you stick to exercises with the same weight, as your muscles become stronger this same effort may not damage your muscles enough to promote extra muscle growth.
So if you are able to do 100 mountain climbers a day, and you keep doing them in the same quantity with the same weight, you will gradually see less and less muscle gain.
100 mountain climbers a day is also generally not the ideal number of repetitions for optimal muscle gain.
By adding extra resistance to exercises you are better able to damage the muscles in a shorter amount of time. Doing this at the right points in your training journey can also speed up muscle growth.
You can wear a weighted vest and/or ankle weights when doing mountain climbers but in the end, this is not an ideal exercise to add a lot of resistance to.
Another thing is that while doing something every day is a great way to make it a habit, for weight lifting exercises, even if they have a cardio aspect like mountain climbers, this isn’t always the best idea when it comes to getting the most results.
Your body needs time to repair and grow these muscles. If you damage them again before they are fully repaired you won’t get as many results compared to letting them rest for 48 hours.
In short, to build the most muscle mass you generally want to choose other exercises than mountain climbers. There are plenty of core and hip flexor exercises that can offer more results in a shorter amount of time.
Will 100 mountain climbers a day help you lose weight?
Losing weight is about using up body fat, which is basically energy stored. To do this you want to make sure that you require more energy throughout the day than there is coming in from food.
One way to try to make this happen is by doing a workout. By increasing the intensity of your movements for a period of time you use up more energy than usual.
Doing mountain climbers can help with weight loss since doing a workout like it generally requires more energy than most of your usual daily activities.
Another way exercises can help you lose weight is by building muscle. This helps you burn more calories with everything that you do.
While mountain climbers are not ideal for this, you may be able to build some muscle mass initially.
Keep in mind that other lifestyle habits like what you eat are important when trying to lose weight no matter what exercise you do. You can work out and gain weight at the same time if your other lifestyle habits are not good.
How many calories do 100 mountain climbers burn?
The average person will burn 12-20 calories when doing 100 bodyweight mountain climbers.
Below you can find a table with more precise estimations for individuals of different weights doing different amounts of mountain climbers based on MET values.
Higher speeds may also cause a calorie-burning effect after the workout that is not included in the estimations. The extra calorie burning from muscle gained is also hard to put into exact numbers.
Keep in mind that these are estimations. The calculation method doesn’t take into account certain factors that do influence calories burned with mountain climbers.
To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories (1).
|# Mountain Climbers|
|100 Mountain Climbers||500 Mountain Climbers||1000 Mountain Climbers|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||12 calories||60 calories||120 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||14 calories||70 calories||140 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||18 calories||90 calories||180 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||20 calories||100 calories||200 calories|
The number of calories you can burn with bodyweight mountain climbers, especially only 100 repetitions, during the exercise is not that impressive compared to most other workouts. They will help with burning calories, but only a small amount.
Other benefits of doing 100 mountain climbers a day
100 mountain climbers a day may not be the fastest way towards your goals but if your body can deal with it, 100 mountain climbers a day can change your body for the better. Doing something every day makes it easier to form a habit. Some benefits of mountain climbers you can expect include:
- Improved mood
- Improvements in posture
- Improved cognitive function
- Improved bone density
- Lower LDL
- Improved sleep
- Improved coordination
You can also expect similar benefits from other types of exercise to varying degrees. So if for example your elbows or wrists can’t handle 100 mountain climbers every day you can switch it up with other workouts.
Is it OK to do 100 mountain climbers every day?
Whether or not doing 100 mountain climbers every day is OK is very hard to predict since it is so different from person to person.
The main thing to keep in mind is that mountain climbers can be hard on body parts like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, knees, and back, even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that doing 100 mountain climbers a day is not (yet) for you.
Should you do 100 mountain climbers a day?
Doing only 100 mountain climbers a day is likely not the fastest way towards your fitness goals whatever they are.
If you have the time for it, for optimal results it is also generally smarter to separate your cardio and strength training exercises instead of combining them into one exercise like with mountain climbers.
At the time of writing the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends the following exercise guidelines to adults (2):
- Moving more and sitting less throughout the day
- At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. Preferably spread throughout the week.
- Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity and that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
- You can gain additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
That being said working towards 100 mountain climbers a day and sticking to it can be a fun goal in itself and the beginning of even more daily habits that are positive for your physical health.
If your body is able to deal with it and you were relatively inactive you will likely initially see a lot of progress in both cardiovascular capacity and muscle strength.
If you feel pain it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, or a less intense workout schedule.