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500 Crunches A Day: Will It Do A Lot?

No matter what exercise you do, you also need the right repetitions to get results. Find out what effects 500 crunches a day can offer.

The first thing to note is that personal factors like your current strength level and body will influence your results a lot.

A rough guideline is that if you are barely able to complete 8 sets of 50 crunches or less, implementing 500 crunches a day can help you grow your ab muscles.

The remaining 100 or more crunches are often even not that helpful in terms of ab muscle growth effectiveness.

People who manage to get to a point where the range above becomes too easy can still improve ab muscle endurance and burn a few extra calories with 500 crunches a day.

However, these individuals will want to consider doing weighted crunches to keep seeing significant muscle growth.

Even before you get to this point, doing crunches with weights and smaller repetition ranges will likely align more with your training goals.

Muscle-related effects aside, if you want a workout plan that can be considered good for general health, you definitely want to choose a different exercise routine.

Is 500 crunches a day good?

Whether you can consider doing 500 crunches a day good or not depends on things like your current fitness level, your training goals, what you are comparing this routine with, in what sets you do them, etc.

Below, you can find a few of the most important details and questions discussed with a conclusion at the end.

Calories burned with 500 crunches a day

Crunches are mainly a resistance training exercise but because you are likely moving more intensely than usual, you are also burning more calories.

Exactly how much energy you use is hard to predict but there are some ways you can roughly estimate the number of calories burned with crunches per minute for different body weights.

With these and that the average person does about 30 crunches per minute you can estimate that 500 crunches burn the following amounts of calories for different body weights:

  • 125 pounds (56 kg) body weight: 46 calories
  • 155 pounds (70 kg) body weight: 57 calories
  • 185 pounds (83 kg) body weight: 68 calories
  • 215 pounds (97 kg) body weight: 79 calories

To put these numbers into perspective, one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is around 3500 calories.

While these are better than nothing, it becomes clear that you will need a lot more crunches to lose belly fat and weight from other areas.

Additionally, there are just many exercise options that are better than crunches for burning calories.

Does it help you grow your abs?

To grow your ab muscles you need to pressure them with enough weight and repetitions.

One concern people have is that when you get to a point where you can do 500 crunches a day, this exercise may have become too easy to see ab muscle mass increases.

However, from studies it looks like doing resistance training with only 30% of 1 RM can be enough to grow muscles (1). You do want to really push to muscle failure in these sets.

A rough guideline is that if you are not able to complete more than 8 sets of 50 crunches in one session, 500 crunches a day can be challenging enough to grow your ab muscles.

The remaining 100 crunches for the second session could still offer some benefits to a small extent but most of your results would come from this first session above.

When you start being able to do more than 400 crunches in one session (and even before that), you likely want to consider doing fewer crunches but with weights to see more ab muscle growth faster.

In short, 500 crunches a day can be good enough to grow the ab muscles of many people. It is even often possible to achieve results with fewer repetitions.

Is every day too much?

During resistance training exercises like crunches you damage the muscles you work.

This may not sound like something you want but it actually starts a variety of internal processes that can make the muscles stronger and healthier.

One thing to keep in mind is that your body still needs time to complete these processes.

For this reason, it is generally recommended to implement at least one rest day before doing another resistance training workout for the muscle you just worked.

That being said, there are definitely exceptions and ways to approach your training where you can recover in 24 hours.

For example, the ab muscles you work with crunches tend to recover relatively quickly because they are smaller. At least in theory, many people can do 500 crunches a day.

That being said, doing 500 repetitions once every other day can make sure you avoid overtraining and already offer great results too. You can use the extra time for other workouts and activities.

Does it improve muscle endurance?

Even if you are at a certain strength range and do the 500 crunches in the sets and reps for ab muscle growth, you will likely improve muscle endurance in your abs too.

If you really like this result and are not interested in ab muscle growth, you could do the 500 crunches a day in sets and sessions where you are still a good amount away from muscle failure.

Can you get results with fewer crunches?

Even if 500 crunches a day can be good enough for certain goals does not mean this is the most time-efficient and effective routine.

When it comes to growing and strengthening your ab muscles, you can likely have similar or better results with 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 weighted crunches.

Besides offering more results faster, most people will also find these ranges more comfortable because you don’t have to push through muscle fatigue as much.

Even just something like 300 crunches a day or less may already offer most of the effects you are looking for.

In this sense, 500 crunches a day are not good compared to other exercise routine options out there.

Is it enough to reach health exercise guidelines?

Ab muscle size, strength, and endurance are important but they are not the only reasons why people exercise. More general good health is also a popular motivator.

The guidelines for this goal are not as good as muscle-building guidelines but there are still some recommendations you can aim for.

For example, 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.
  • You can gain additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

Doing 500 crunches only takes around 16.7 minutes and it definitely does not count as a muscle-strengthening workout that involves all major muscle groups.

In simpler words, 500 crunches a day is not enough to hit (good) exercise guidelines for general health and get all the health benefits that can come with that.

Conclusion

You can summarise the information above in a few statements.

For many people, doing 500 crunches a day can be enough to grow and improve endurance in their ab muscles. At the same time, it is hard to call this routine “good” with all the better alternatives available.

Similarly, 500 crunches is enough to burn a few extra calories. Even so, there are many better workouts and even with these, other lifestyle habits like nutrition influence whether you will lose weight or not.

One more precise statement is that doing 500 crunches a day is definitely not enough to hit any good exercise guidelines for general health.

500 crunches a day before and after results

The more theoretical information above is definitely helpful but you may also want to see what the visual results are of someone who tries this type of challenge.

Eric from the youtube channel Ericliaoo did (mostly) 500 crunches a day for a month (30 days). You can see his before and after results in the video below.

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Matt Claes

Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.