Doing burpees can be challenging in a variety of areas. Find out how many repetitions you should do to achieve certain fitness goals.
The first thing to note is that just because some amounts of burpees will be more “optimal” for your goals does not mean you should instantly implement these.
As an exercise beginner, you want to start with something less challenging like 6 sets of 10 burpees or less and build up from there. This will help you get into the habit of working out and prepare your body for bigger efforts.
That aside, one of the most popular goals of people who consider doing more burpees is losing weight.
To burn the calorie equivalent of 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body fat, 3500 calories, a 155-pound (70 kg) would have to do around 5376 burpees.
If you want to hit general exercise guidelines for cardiovascular activity, you want to do at least 1125 burpees (75 minutes) a week.
People who are barely able to do 2 to 8 sets of 5 to 25 (weighted) burpees before some of their muscles fatigue could even build some muscle with workouts that include these amounts.
How many burpees you should do as a beginner
The details about what amounts of burpees are needed to burn this or that amount of weight or hit certain guidelines will definitely be discussed.
However, it is also important to note that you don’t have to start with these durations, sets, and reps.
As an exercise beginner, one of the most important goals is to get used to exercising. Some of the more intense burpee workouts below may be too overwhelming.
Additionally, if it has been a while since you exercised, your body likely needs some time to strengthen itself.
In simpler words, if you are new to burpees, it is likely smart to start with only a few sets and reps. If that goes well, you can consider increasing the duration and intensity of the next workout and so on.
More specifically, as a beginner, you can do something like 6 sets of 10 burpees or less in your first few workouts. Potentially with modified pushups if this part of the exercise is a struggle point for you.
After that, you could make your sets longer by doing 15 burpees and/or doing more sets.
How many burpees you should to lose weight
A popular reason why people consider implementing more burpees is that they can help you lose weight.
By moving more intensely, your body requires more energy (measured in calories) than usual. This can get you to a point where you need more energy than is coming from food.
When this is the case, your body starts using other energy stores like body fat to make up for the difference.
As a first example, a 155-pound (70 kg) person will burn around 20 calories while doing 30 burpees at a vigorous intensity.
This individual will also burn some extra calories after that due to the afterburn effect.
Something important to keep in mind is that whether or not and to what extent these calorie-burning effects from burpees actually help you lose weight depends a lot on other lifestyle habits like your diet.
You can even lose weight without doing any burpees at all.
How many burpees to burn 100 calories and other amounts
The average person can do around 15 burpees per minute (1).
With this and the methods to estimate how much energy certain amounts of burpees require, you can start to figure out how many repetitions you have to do to burn 100 calories and other amounts.
For example, a 155-pound (70 kg) will have to do around 5376 burpees to burn 3500 calories, the equivalent of about 1 pound (0.45 kg) of body fat.
You can find more rough estimations for during the workout in the table below. Again, you will likely experience some extra calorie-burning due to afterburn.
|Calorie Burning Goal|
|100 Calories||1000 Calories||3500 Calories|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||190 burpees||1905 burpees||6667 burpees|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||154 burpees||1536 burpees||5376 burpees|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||129 burpees||1287 burpees||4505 burpees|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||111 burpees||1107 burpees||3876 burpees|
Will it also help you lose belly fat?
Besides just losing overall weight, many people are also interested in losing belly fat specifically.
Let’s say you get to a point where you start using body fat as energy to fuel your movements.
Depending on details like your genes and how far you are on your weight loss journey, your body may or may not use belly fat specifically and to different extents.
In simpler words, burpees could help you lose belly fat from a certain point on.
However, for this, you first have to have to get to a point where you start losing weight. Even then, you may lose fat from other areas first. It is hard to predict whether this will be the case and to what extent.
How many burpees a day to get build muscle
Burpees are basically a sequence of a plank, pushup, and jump squat. Since these are resistance training exercises, some people consider doing burpees to build muscle.
The first thing to note about this is that burpees are not that great for this fitness goal. At least not compared to doing these exercises separately.
At the same time, burpees can still potentially build muscle depending on your current strength level, your cardiovascular capacity, and how many repetitions you do.
If you can barely do 2 to 8 sets of 5 to 25 (weighted) burpees before some of your muscles fatigue, you can likely see some muscle growth in the area that fatigues first. At least temporarily before you get stronger.
For people who get to this point, the pushup part will likely be the most challenging. That means you could potentially grow your chest, tricep, and front deltoid muscles with burpees.
That being said, many people will be out of breath before they can really work their muscles to fatigue. In cases like this, you should not expect too much, if any, actual muscle growth from burpees.
What sets and reps are enough to hit exercise guidelines
Losing weight and building muscle are popular fitness goals but they are not the only positive effects of doing more burpees. You can also see improvements in other areas of your health.
To get an idea about how much exercise you need for good health, there are some general guidelines. These are not perfect for everyone but do give you something to aim for.
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.
- 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.
While they do engage your muscles a nice amount, you likely want to consider burpees to be vigorous-intensity aerobic activity in the context of these guidelines.
That means you want to do at least 75 minutes of burpees, 1125 repetitions, a week to hit the cardiovascular exercise part of the guidelines.
Let’s say you do 5 sessions a week. In that case, 225 burpees is a workout that is good enough to hit the cardiovascular exercise guidelines.
The specifics depend on your fitness level but you could do this amount in something like 45 to 20 burpees per set.
Is it OK to do them every day?
Some people look at a challenge like 100 burpees a day and instantly say that this is too much exercise to do every day. However, this is not necessarily the case.
First of all, if you are doing your first few burpee workouts, you likely want to give your body rest days in between sessions.
This allows you to feel whether doing this type of exercise every day could be possible without injuries.
Besides that, you want to see whether burpees are challenging enough to build muscle with the guidelines above.
If so, you likely don’t want to do burpees every single day. Instead, you want to give your muscles an extra rest day to repair and grow.
That being said, for most people burpees will be more of a cardiovascular exercise. If that is the case, doing burpees every day is OK in the muscle recovery area.
Lastly, even if your muscles recover quickly enough from doing burpees, this may not apply to other body parts like joints and tendons.
You can try implementing burpees every day but stop or reduce the intensity of your workouts if you notice signs of overtraining.
How many burpees the average person can do
One study with 3862 women and 5971 men between the ages of 18 and 25 set out to create international standards for a 3-minute burpee test.
They measured that on average, the men did 56.69 burpees per 3 minutes, 18.9 burpees per minute, and that the women did 48.84 burpees per 3 minutes, 16.3 burpees per minute (1).
In simpler words, this study implies the average person between 18 and 25 can do between 48.84 to 56.69 burpees per 3 minutes.
How many burpees is considered good?
In one study with 9833 participants between 18 and 25 years old, the best male participant did 82 burpees in 3 minutes and the best female participant did 73 burpees in 3 minutes. Amounts of burpees near or bigger than these numbers can definitely be considered good.