Physical Fitness Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for physical fitness professionals, athletes, trainers, and those providing health-related needs. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I hate exercise, I find it excruciatingly boring. But I am overweight and need to lose fat fast. The main reason why I find it boring is because it takes too long and I don't like doing a a variety of exercises. It seems like you have to run on a treadmill for half an hour to lose the calories you get from eating one apple. And following exercise dvds with it's myriad of exercises is just painfully annoying.

I want to get my daily exercise session over with as fast as possible while getting the most out of it. So I am looking to do some intense high straining cardio exercises to the point where my heart is beating really fast and I am burning a lot of calories and fat.

The exercises I found so far that does this for me are:

Mountain Climbers
Suicide Sprints

I can't do the latter because I work out in my room and well there is no room for sprints. I like mountain climbers but it doesn't exhaust me as much as Burpees do so I rather just stick to that as it is the most exhausting.

So I just want to do Burpees. How many do I have to do and how many reps of each and how much rest in between reps in order to burn an insane amount of calories (and then fat) per day?


Age: 23
Sex: male
Weight: 180lbs
Height: 5'8
Body Type: overweight 

Please don't hesitate to recomend something super intense.

share|improve this question
You hate exercise because you find it boring and annoying but want to lose fat fast yet you also ask for something super intense? To be honest, I think your first real step is changing your attitude about exercise. – Matt Chan Aug 3 '12 at 11:17
@MattChan I know a lot of people who hate long, slow, plodding exercise, and one good alternative in that situation is short, intense exercise. Sprints (or parkour) instead of distance running can do a lot to keep many people's attention and motivation. – Dave Liepmann Aug 3 '12 at 14:35
Losing weight is all about motivation. Once you start feeling even a little bit healthier you'll really want to get into other exercises. Get yourself some kettlebells or dumbbells and increase your muscle mass. Some good music will also help. – Salsero69 Aug 6 '12 at 20:42
Jump rope. Boxers do this. It is a full body workout, and low impact when you know how to use it properly. – user5458 Mar 19 '13 at 19:06
What about 5-10 burpees in between weight lifting sets? – user7725 Feb 2 '14 at 14:45
up vote 9 down vote accepted

One work-out routine for high-intensity is "Tabata", see this search on this site: Search:tabata and this question: What is tabata? How effective is it?

Answering your question, you would do 20 seconds of burpees, rest for 10 seconds and repeat this for e.g. 8 times. That would take you about 4 minutes. The more fit you are, you can add more sets.

However, since you are overweight (BMI ca 27), you should take it easy initially, burpees are very hard if you do them correctly. So:

  • Do a medical checkup first since you will have a very high pulse rate doing burpees in a tabata context.
  • Do some light warm-up before the burpees, e.g. see this question: Morning stretch
  • Work on the technique initially (e.g. don't do a maximum jump or step backwards instead of jumping)

Whether this will help you to loose fat depends also on diet, see this weight-loss tag

share|improve this answer
A close friend of mine asked for an intense workout today. It was raining so running was not an option. Since I had this answer in my mind, I suggested "Tabata[Burpees, 2 sets, 4 min]". She could do about three strict burpees in 20 seconds. The perceived effort level was very high – FredrikD Aug 3 '12 at 18:46
just tried my first session and stopped after 3 sets. Will shoot for 4 tommorow and so on until I can get up to 8. Insane lol – JakeRow123 Aug 4 '12 at 1:51
how is the work out progressing? – FredrikD Sep 29 '12 at 11:31
It might also be a good idea to track progress, so something like: 6/6/6/6/5/5/3/4 = 41. Helps with the motivation to see that you've actually improved in time (since the effort should always be perceived as maximal). – VPeric Jul 20 '13 at 14:37

The bottom line is that you need to burn Calories, and have a way of measuring the Calories you are burning. If you have a heart rate monitor that is calibrated to where you are right now, you'll have a pretty decent indicator of the progress you are making.

That said, the most amount of Calories I've burned in one session was about 1,400 Calories over 1.5 hours. The activities involved included heavy lifting with compound lifts, and following it with performing my katas for conditioning. This is not something I can do every day, but I can do it about 3-4 times a week.

I can't tell you how many burpees you have to do per day. I can tell you that your heart rate has to be up for an extended period of time to burn a lot of Calories.

In general, a pound of fat is ~3500 Calories. If you do not change what you are eating, and you are burning 1,000 Calories a day through exercise, you can lose a pound every 3-4 days. However, to keep it off, you will have to either adjust what you are eating or keep doing the grueling workout from now till eternity.

share|improve this answer

I did about 500 per day combined with a restricted food intake over some period of time and lost about 25 pounds.

Here is the deal. I went to prison & only had muscle&fitness mags & men's health to study. This was my formula I discovered that worked four me... 200lbs 6`0=over weight now 173 & nicely baring a cut/tone.

Take your body weight &multiply by 15 = how many calories your body needs/uses to maintain. Okay, pick a goal weight &multiply it w/that same formula. There. You've established exactly the very most calorie intake for one day. Now for myself I wanted to shred quicker than most people I multiplied my goal weight by 12.5 and that's all I would consume calorie wise in a 8~10 hour day divided into 5 or 6 small meals.

First and foremost CUT OUT the WHITE CARBS I.e potatoes, bread, flour,rice. Think green and protein. Wheat or oatmeal only minimal EARLY in the day. Plus make sure you leave at least 11 hrs total of fasting before,during, and after you sleep. This is when your metabolism resets itself and goes into repair fat burn mode ( so get SLEEP!! Schedule it as you would a work out). Okay people will argue me but I am simply presenting a sure fire routine that worked for me; however, I did 250 burpees right out of bed, no food or water. Fat burn galore that'll go all day. It's a fasted HIIT (look up HIIT if your lost) regimen. Okay I did 250 in the morning & 250 at night before my last meal, the workout kills any appetite or late munchies while you train your bod into not eating after a set time at night. For me it was 6pm. Now sometimes if I was not sore I would do 250 too in the afternoon. Now Mens Health says if you run a 10 minute mile which is about 85% max heart rate you'd burn roughly 100 calories.

Now HIIT BURPEES will be in the realm of 400~500 calories at a minimum if you do them right w/adequate seconds of rest to play the interval aspect to your heart rate. I cut up w/ a quickness nicely, it's remained off & make strip priority to eat as much protein w/ that allowed calorie figure because your body burns so quickly w/ this method that you have got to keep your muscles fed so your body doesn't turn on burning them....because remember it's a full body work out, especially w/me because I did various styles of push ups incorporated w/ my burpees; wide, diamond, thrusting off the ground, commandos, what ever change I could think of & it showed itself in my chest,tris,bis, and shoulders.


share|improve this answer

If you don't like spending a lot of time doing exercise, bodyweight is the wrong way to go about it. To make gains you need progressive overload, and the only way to get progressive overload with bodyweight exercises is to increase your reps or sets, and that's going to draw your exercise out.

To get things done quickly, you need to lift heavy weights, as you can get progressive overload by increasing the weight you lift while keeping the same number of reps and sets, so you don't end up spending any more time.

If you really want to do burpees you can, but as you start losing weight you're actually doing less work with your burpees so you'll have to do more just to maintain any progress you've made, and further jack it up to continue making inroads.

share|improve this answer

I would reiterate what some people have said about addressing your diet first before going gungho on exclusively burpees. I know for myself I used to run a couple miles every day (not super regularly but often enough I thought should have made a difference). Nothing really changed for me until I made dietary changes.

In my experience the following holds true: (Whatever amount of exercise you normally do) + (However much you normally eat) = (Your body weight equilibrium).

The dietary changes that worked for me was cutting out (most) sugar and carbohydrates (wheat, rice, potatoes, etc.) Sugar and carbohydrates have a high Glycemic index which basically means they turn to glucose readily which turns into fat if it isn't used right away. By not taking in these foods in the first place, you force your body to burn the fat. Don't starve yourself, just don't eat sugar and carbs, you still have meat, fruit and veg, and dairy. You don't have to be psychotic about it but the more you stick to it the more successful you'll be.

Basically, if you don't make any dietary changes and you are currently eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, you won't be able to outrun your intake by doing burpees and like other contributors have mentioned, as you become more fit you will have to do more burpees to get the same effect. You'll become more fit but you won't lose the fat.

As for finding exercise boring, maybe you just haven't found the one that isn't boring for you. I starting cycling more consistently lately and I've found it to be great exercise. I try to keep up with the cars, so I am essentially sprinting between stop lights. I lost a few pounds just by cycling back and forth commuting. Keep trying till you find something you enjoy doing and then it won't be so loathsome.

share|improve this answer

If you don't like exercise, you can focus on improving your diet. Cut down on sugar and flour. Cut out fried foods. Eat more vegetables, especially green leafy ones. Consult your doctor or a nutritionist about supplements.

You can also incorporate more "stealth" exercise into your daily routine rather than setting aside explicit exercise time. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. At work, if you are just reading or on the telephone rather than actively typing at the computer, try standing rather than sitting.

These changes won't produce fast results—nothing except for maybe lipo-suction will—but they will produce results. Safely. Good luck!

share|improve this answer

I recently was 200 lbs and went down to 160 lbs in about 6 months entirely by small and easy changes in my diet. Essentially, I decided 2 things: 1.) to be strict for lunches (no high sugar, carb or fat content), for example, white chicken breast with lemon zest, sauteed vegetables and a glass of water.2.) To stop munching around after supper. Other than that, I eat regularly and normally and have not stopped eating anything that I used to eat before. When in a restaurant, I still order the ribs if I want to. I actually found it very easy to lose the weight and I wasn't even aiming to lose that much. The trick is to not be too strict with yourself, you can cheat from time to time as long as you stick to your plan the bulk of the time. I also found out the effort of eating well is not really an effort because I quickly came to enjoy eating vegetables more than junk.

I also started jogging after I lost the weight. I do 10 km 3 times a week and I can tell you that the exercice has had no effect whatsoever on my weight. Whatever you spend exercicing your body will intake in surplus (sometimes unconsciously) in order to be able to go through your workouts. So my advice is If you want to exercice, do it to keep in shape, not to lose weight. If you really want to lose weight, change your diet.

share|improve this answer
This answer is very anecdotal. Stories of "I did this and that" don't really fit the Stack Exchange model. – Alec Feb 14 at 22:26

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.