I want to burn say 500 calories in 30 minutes. But I do not want to build any muscles in the process, I want to have a thin type of body, not one build with thick muscles.

A little bit of research said that kettlebells burn 400 calories in 20 minutes. However, it involves weights. I do not want to have thick arms or legs saturated in muscle.

I thought about running up and down the stairs for 30 minutes. Or possibly walking up stairs carrying a heavy weight. I am worried however that this will add thick muscle to my legs.

What do you suggest as a good method for burning calories and still preserving a thin body?

  • 1
    1) You are NOT going to build any muscle by doing cardio, in fact, the opposite 2) You definitely are NOT going to be building any thick muscles by using kettlebells for 20 minutos or going up stairs with a weight 3) Building muscle is a very hard thing to do and it would take years of heavy weight lifting to get "thick muscles" all over your body 4) I think you need some serious research before you start working out, since you seem to lack some basic information.
    – erictrigo
    Oct 2, 2015 at 8:51
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    @EricTrigo: It really depends what one means by "muscle". Muscles grow when they're used, even with cardio-like kettlebell workouts (though only a bit). And some people really do not like any sign of visible muscle at all. Add the fact that whatever was there in the first place will be much more visible once the fat goes away and it's not so easy anymore. That said, it's nearly impossible to burn big amounts of fat with sports and stay un-"toned". But if "toned" is an acceptable amount of muscle, the op should probably go for it.
    – user8119
    Oct 2, 2015 at 9:12
  • @LarissaGodzilla He/she is going to have to eat his/her own bodyweight to build any thick muscle doing those exercises. Definitely will look more toned, yeah.
    – erictrigo
    Oct 2, 2015 at 9:15
  • Curious - what is the disadvantage to improving muscle mass while burning calories?
    – rrirower
    Oct 2, 2015 at 14:21
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    Please note @EricTrigo comment; I like to compare building muscle to driving a manual transmission car. When learning to drive, most people stall when shifting into first because they're afraid of giving the car enough gas (and a lot is needed at that initial gear ratio). Building muscle is the same way. It takes a long time of heavy lifting and proper eating to get "saturated in muscle" (note, you already are, you just have fat and skin on top of that).
    – casperOne
    Oct 5, 2015 at 14:54

1 Answer 1


As stated above it will take a lot of work and time to get bulky. Naturally you will build muscle as you work out but it won't be anything remotely close to body builder status. It is nearly impossible not to gain some kind of muscle if you work out.

If you are new to using kettelbells start out with a lower weight, between 5 to 10 pounds even 15. You'll get the heart pumping benefits for sure but you will develop some muscle. Yoga and pilates help develop lean muscle mass. Unfortunately you won't be burning 500 calories per session. I would say running would be the only option but you'd have to sprint for 30 minutes to burn that many calories.

  • According to reseach, kettlebell exercise can burn 20 calories per minute. Oct 2, 2015 at 17:19
  • @user2109131 There's no way that you're going to be able to sustain that level of intensity for 30 minutes. You need to warm up and come down, which takes time, and you'd have to take no breaks.
    – casperOne
    Oct 5, 2015 at 14:51

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