Lunges are a powerful exercise but just doing them a few times may not be enough. Find out how many lunges you should do to achieve certain goals.
The first thing to note is that I will consider 1 lunge to be a pair of one repetition with each leg.
That aside, to build muscle you want to do around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 lunges with a weight where you can barely complete these ranges.
However, even if you don’t have any equipment sets of up to 50 lunges could be challenging enough to build muscle if you hit muscle failure within this range.
You want to give your body enough time to repair and grow your muscles in between lunge workouts like this. That means you preferably have at least an extra rest day in between quadricep workouts.
Lunges are mainly helpful for losing weight because of the extra muscle mass they help you build. In simpler words, for this goal, you want to do the same amounts as above.
That being said, as a first example, a 185-pound (83 kg) person would have to do about 6322 pairs of bodyweight lunges to build the number of calories in one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat during the repetitions.
This very rough estimation does not take any extra calorie burning from afterburn or any extra muscle mass into account.
How many lunges you should do to build muscle
Lunges are mostly a resistance training exercise that works muscles like your quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, calves, inner thighs, and outer thighs.
Even so, to actually build aka grow these muscles you still have to do the right amounts of sets and repetitions with the right amount of weight.
More specifically, to build muscle you should do around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 weighted lunges with a weight where you can barely complete these ranges.
You will likely prefer the lower limits of the repetition range because lunges can get challenging for your cardiovascular system too.
As you build muscle and get stronger, you will have to increase the weight you use in your lunge workouts to keep seeing progress.
That being said, you may not have any good equipment available for weighted lunges.
Even then, you could see muscle growth results if you reach muscle failure before around 50 lunges per set (1). You do really want to push to failure in these high-repetition sets and do the same number of sets as above.
How many lunges beginners should do
Resistance training beginners may wonder whether the muscle-building repetition ranges above also apply to them.
The simple answer is yes. Beginners also want to aim for workouts with 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 (weighted) lunges to build muscle in their quadriceps.
That being said, some beginners may struggle with getting to the recommended minimum of 3 sets of 6 lunges because this is a relatively challenging exercise.
If this applies to you, you preferably want to start with two-legged exercises like squats. The recommendations for how many squats you should do to build muscle are similar.
However, because both of your legs carry your body weight, the repetitions become more doable and you should be able to reach amounts of sets and reps that are better for muscle growth.
As you get stronger over time, you can switch to lunges to see more and faster results.
Should you do them every day?
During resistance training exercises like lunges you damage the main muscles you work.
This may not sound like something you want but it can actually start a variety of processes that repair the muscles and make them stronger.
However, your body still needs time to complete these processes. Especially in the case of exercises like lunges where you work big muscle groups.
For this reason, you typically want to implement at least one extra rest day in between serious lunge workouts.
So something like 100 lunges a day could be too much to recover from. Interfering with the processes above by training too soon actually reduces your results.
Two exceptions are if bodyweight lunges are more of a cardio or a muscle endurance exercise for you. In that case, you could likely do them every day without too much of an issue.
How many lunges you should do to lose weight
To lose weight you need to get to a point where you use up more energy than is coming in from food. When this is the case, your body starts using energy stores like body fat to get the difference.
Lunges help weight loss because they increase how much energy you use. Both during the workout by moving more intensely and after the workout thanks to the extra muscle mass you gain.
Of these two types of extra calorie burning, (weighted) lunges are typically more useful in terms of building muscle mass.
So you should do the same amount of lunges for losing weight as for building muscle mass. That means 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 (weighted) lunges.
That being said, there are also ways to estimate how many lunges you need to do to burn certain amounts of calories during the workout.
As an example, a 155-pound (70 kg) person has to do about 7546 pairs of lunges to burn the number of calories in one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat (about 3500 calories) during the workout.
Keep in mind that whether these calories actually come from body fat also depends on things like your diet.
Additionally, lunges may help you grow muscle mass and lose body fat at the same time. This could make it so the number on the scale does not move while you are actually making positive progress in terms of health.
How many lunges you need to burn amounts of calories
With the estimations for how many calories lunges burn per minute and that the average person does about 10 pairs of lunges (so 20 individual repetitions) per minute, you can do a few calculations to get interesting numbers.
You do want to keep in mind that these are very rough estimations.
Because of differences in body composition, hormone levels, exact intensity, weight used, etc. the actual amounts will likely look different for you.
Additionally, these estimations only include how many calories you burn during the bodyweight lunges. Any effects from afterburn and extra muscle mass are not included.
|Calorie Burning Goal|
|100 Calories||1000 Calories||3500 Calories|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||267 lunges||2673 lunges||9357 lunges|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||216 lunges||2156 lunges||7546 lunges|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||181 lunges||1806 lunges||6322 lunges|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||155 lunges||1554 lunges||5440 lunges|
Do lunges help you lose thigh fat?
Many people get the impression that you can choose where you lose fat first by doing certain exercises and/or eating certain foods.
Unfortunately, it is generally not possible to target fat loss in very significant amounts. So lunges do not necessarily help you lose thigh fat.
Even if you get to a point where lunges help you lose body fat, your body may “choose” to use up fat from other areas first.
On the flip side, it is also possible that lunges help you get to a point where you lose body fat and that this fat comes from your thighs.
Whether or not this happens depends on details like your genes and how far you are in your weight loss journey.
What is a good amount of lunges?
Around 3 to 6 sets of 6 to 25 (weighted) lunges is a good amount for building quadricep muscle.