I am looking for the fastest way to burn calories. So far my research turned up that sprinting is the fastest way to burn calories. Is there anything more calorie consuming then sprinting? anything at all?

  • 1
    What do you mean with 'fastest way'? Do you mean kcal/hour or kcal/day?
    – user8119
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 6:22
  • 1
    And what's your goal here? Academic knowledge, to lose weight, to stay in shape, etc? Commented Jun 7, 2014 at 20:50

5 Answers 5


Running is generally a good exercise for burning calories as the RPE (rate of perceived exertion) is relatively low for a given workload, so you can sustain a high rate of calories burned per minute.

Now, say you have 30 min to exercise. What's the way to run to burn the most calories? Basically a constant speed that you can just barely sustain for 30 minutes will burn the most calories.

Intermittent sprinting and resting will not burn as many calories in the same amount of time.

  • Intermittent sprinting will not burn as many calories in the same amount of time. What it will do, however, is burn a greater total number of calories. The reason for this is an eleveted metabolism for up to 48h. Compared to the 30min elevated metabolism for a 30min aerobic session. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 16:31
  • Elevated metabolism will only count for around 100 calories during that post exercise time, and as far as I am aware that ceases after ~24 hours, not 48.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 2:06
  • Yes there is more EPOC (Excess Post-exercise Oxygen Consumption) but not enough to cover the caloric difference during exercise.
    – Ze Apelido
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 17:07
  • Sprinting,running, or jogging over the same distant will all burn the same amount of calories. The utilization of muscle's and resting heart rate will be different.
    – Chad
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 23:18

I am going to tell you a secret.
Other exercises might burn more calories but HIIT(high intensity interval training) can be better for beginners as it burns more calories overall. Here's why:
--it can be done without practising too much. To do run miles you need to practice for weeks.
--it increases you metabolism MUCH more than other exercises. It means that if you do HIIT and then go home and sleep you will be burning more calories while doing nothing for next 48 hours.
Here is how to do it:
After usual warm-up walk and stretched you will run very fast for something like 40s-60s and then slow down to moderate walk for about 3 minutes. Then again run very fast. This way you will get rest within high intensity running and you will run more fast and more distance than you would if you were running without any breaks.


I'd propose biking, as most 'How much calories do I burn with...?'-lists claim that (depending on intensity) it burns 600~1200 per hour. This is about as much as running (again depending on intensity), but much more scalable and much less exerting, at least for me.

On the one side, you can bike for short periods of time with a very high intensity. Provided you can keep up 30km/h for half an hour, you'd burn up to 600kcal in that time, making it very time-efficient. If you can only keep the speed up for a short time, interval training would be an option. It doesn't burn as much calories initially, but the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (commonly referred to as afterburn) will compensate for that.

On the other side, you can bike slowly for hours on end, enabling you to easily burn 1000kcal (or more) per day, while keeping exertion relatively low. This is incredibly scalable as you can just alter the duration, speed, ride some hills etc. to adjust it to your schedule and/or goals.

Also, biking is an 'eccentric-less' exercise, which keeps muscle tear and wear to a minimum. You also don't have the impact of every single step shaking your joints, as you'd have with running, making this a much healthier alternative.

Some other alternatives that might require additional equipment would be cross-trainers, rowing or swimming. All of these are highly scalable and you can also do interval training with them.

  • I'm a serious recreational cyclist with a power meter on my bike, so I can measure how many calories I burn fairly accurately. It is really hard to burn more than 600 calories in hour; I recently went on a 30 mile ride and climbed 2000', and burned 1200 calories in two hours. Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 4:21
  • @EricGunnerson: Seems like those tables I'm referring to leave out the fact that one would have to be a beast on the bike already to burn that much. May I ask your average wattage for reference?
    – user8119
    Commented Jul 5, 2014 at 14:25
  • My average wattage is around 190 watts. KJ in an hour = watts / 0.28 Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 4:55
  • @EricGunnerson: Okay, is that only the final output or are things like the body's heat production etc. already factored into that formula?
    – user8119
    Commented Jul 21, 2014 at 7:33

If you're fit enough to do interval training. Either running, or on the bike or rowing are all good. However, don't forget to add some resistance training. Choose to work the larger muscles, as muscles burn calories. Ie if you change body fat into muscle you will burn more calories.


I'd say that stand-up paddle boarding is also a great way to burn calories. You can burn upto 800 calories/hr

It mimics the motion for paddleboarding and helps strenghthen your core. However, it is a total-body workout that targets your core, back, shoulders, and legs. Legs to help ensure that you keep standing. Core is strengthened while you ensure that you are paddling while keeping yourself stable. Shoulders will be strengthened while paddling itself. You will feel the burn within minutes of starting.

  • A bit sparse for an answer... What are your reasons for suggesting paddle boarding. Why is it more beneficial than other exercises in terms of recovery, scalability, fun etc.? (if you decide to elaborate, please do it in your answer instead of comments, makes it easier to read)
    – user8119
    Commented Jun 8, 2014 at 12:29

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