How Many Mountain Climbers Should You Do?

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After only a few repetitions it becomes clear that mountain climbers count as exercise. Find out how many you should do to see results.

The first thing to note is that the guidelines for how long you should do cardiovascular exercises like mountain climbers are a lot less precise than resistance training exercises like for example squats.

That being said, there are still a few specific amounts you can use as a target.

For example, to burn the number of calories in about one pound of body fat (3500 calories), the average person would have to do around 41,481 to 24,117 mountain climbers or do this exercise for 593 to 345 minutes.

Do keep in mind that other lifestyle habits heavily influence whether this routine will actually help you lose weight.

To hit the cardiovascular exercise guidelines for health, you would have to do at least 5250 mountain climbers a week or 750 repetitions a day.

A good HIIT mountain climber workout that can offer nice benefits can look something like 3 to 6 sets of 3 minutes (210 repetitions) of mountain climbers with 1 minute of rest in between each set.

How many mountain climbers should you do to lose weight?

Losing weight is one of the most popular fitness goals of individuals who are considering doing more mountain climbers.

Most people have a general idea that exercise can help with this goal but it can be useful to look more in-depth at how many mountain climbers you would actually have to do for this.

The first thing you have to know is that to lose weight, you have to make it so your body requires more energy (measured in calories) than is coming in from food.

When this is the case, your body turns to other energy stores like body fat to get the difference.

Mountain climbers can help with weight loss in the sense that they help you burn more calories. However, you need to keep in mind that other lifestyle habits like nutrition still matter and can undo your exercise efforts.

Similarly, you can lose weight without doing any exercise at all.

Calories burned with 100 mountain climbers and other amounts

So while the things above still apply, let’s assume your current routine makes you stay at the same weight and that the only change you make is doing more mountain climbers.

In that case, there are ways to predict how many repetitions and how long you will have to do mountain climbers to lose certain amounts of weight.

First of all, let’s assume that when doing mountain climbers at a vigorous pace you will do about 70 repetitions per minute (1 repetition = moving 2 legs toward your chest).

Next, some rough estimations are that 5 minutes of mountain climbers burns around 30 to 51+ calories during the workout for people with body weights ranging from 125 pounds (56 kg) to 215 pounds (97 kg).

Something else to note is that one pound (0.45 kg) of body fat is around 3500 calories.

With these things, you can calculate that you would have to do around 41,481 to 24,117 mountain climbers or do this exercise for 593 to 345 minutes to lose one pound of body fat.

Even if you consider that you may get an afterburn effect from exercising intensely, it becomes clear that you will have to do mountain climbers for a long time to lose significant amounts of weight.

In the table below, you can also find a quick overview of how many calories you can burn with 100 mountain climbers and other amounts. Keep in mind that you can do 100 climbers in only a minute or two.

# Of Mountain Climbers
Weight Person
100 Mountain
500 Mountain
1000 Mountain
125 Pounds (56 kg)8 calories42 calories84 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)10 calories52 calories105 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)12 calories62 calories125 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)15 calories73 calories145 calories
Calories burned with certain amounts of mountain climbers

How many minutes of mountain climbers should you do for health?

It is easier to predict how many mountain climbers you should do for a goal like weight loss than general health.

However, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion still has a few general recommendations for people who are trying to achieve this goal (1):

  • 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.

Assuming this exercise counts as vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, at least 5250 mountain climbers a week or 750 repetitions a day would be enough to hit the guidelines for cardiovascular workouts.

These guidelines are inevitably not perfect but they can be a starting point.

How many mountain climbers should you do in a workout?

The amounts of repetitions above are for if you have specific goals and/or are relatively in shape.

That being said, you could also be at the start of your fitness journey. In that case, you likely don’t want to go straight to the amounts above.

Partly because this can lead to overtraining and partly because these amounts of mountain climbers can be a bit overwhelming if you have not made exercise a habit yet.

If you have not exercised in a while, 100 mountain climbers a day can be enough. The 2 minutes of working out will not have the most impressive physical benefits but you get used to moving more often and intensely.

Once you get used to how to do mountain climbers and exercising, you can slowly increase the duration and number of repetitions in your workout.

Initially, you can start by adding an extra 100 mountain climbers or two minutes of exercise per week. If everything keeps going well, you can really start to think about hitting the repetitions for losing weight and/or general health.

An example of a HIIT mountain climber workout would look something like 3 to 6 sets of 3 minutes (210 repetitions) of mountain climbers with 1 minute of rest in between each set.

Should you do them every day?

Some of the examples about the number of mountain climbers you can do use “a day” but that does not mean you have to actually do this exercise that often.

In the general health guidelines, you can also find that at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activities a week are recommended.

You could also do mountain climbers on these days but many people decide that the resistance training is enough exercise for one day. For most people and their fitness goals, this is more than fine.

Additionally, mountain climbers are not some type of special cardiovascular workout.

You can also consider doing mountain climber alternatives and other cardiovascular exercises to keep things interesting, engage different muscles, and still see results.

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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.