Title says it all.


I used to do cardio, burning between 1000 to 1500 kilocalories in one session 1 hour to 1.5 hours, which is deemed beginner to intermediate for endurance training with running.

Short and kind of bulky at 67kg for 1.65m, or 147 lb and 5'5".

Running is not the best option and won't be the best option for the next 2 or 3 years for obvious reasons.

So I'd rather do something new, like push-ups.

Any plan on how to burn the same amount of calories with push-ups in a similar timespan?

  • 4
    Why isn't running the best option for 2 or 3 years? Treadmill or indoor cycling if you want to stay inside. No one has said to stop running outdoor? Otherwise, you're probably wanting something like HIIT. That still won't be the same but you won't get anywhere near the same doing only pushups.
    – C. Lange
    Jan 29, 2021 at 19:02

3 Answers 3


I am novice myself, but there is no way you can burn 800 calories an hour with push ups.

Rope skipping, jumping jacks or simply jumping might help you reach there. I never did more than 300 repetitions of jumping jacks and when I do that much, it hurts my knees and my ankles a little, that is why I don't go further than 300. Rope skipping or regular jumping might help you more.

Besides, doing hundreds of push ups a day would cause your chest and triceps to develop unproportional to rest of your body. I hope veteran fitness trainers would excuse me for this metaphor but it would be like attaching a jet motor to a thirty year old car, good strong motor but the chassis is not built for it.

Long story short, warming up with jumping jack and rope skipping and continuing with some balanced body weight moves might help you spend a lot of calories, but an unbalanced uno-rage training would not help you at all.

  • 1
    +1000 for rope skipping. It works wonders, straight from the beginning, and with very little damage.
    – Fr.
    Feb 4, 2021 at 14:07

Replacing "cardio", with "not cardio" is not a good idea to begin with. You should always strive to have a good mix of the both just for general health. You should first ask yourself, why do you want to burn that many calories? Is it to maintain the calorie in calorie out balance (ie: I can eat this doughnut if I run an hour after)? Do you care about cardio respiratory fitness? Or are you just trying to "exercise" in a more broad sense? I definitely would not recommend trying to burn as many calories doing push ups as you do running. Especially if you are a novice. The drastic increase in volume could lead to many issues (strained ligaments, tendinitis etc). You may want to consider a more measured turn to resistance training which will increase your baseline caloric expenditure throughout the day by increasing your total muscle mass. Otherwise, maybe try a different kind of cardio if running is not an option. Cycling is a good way of social distancing if that's why you can't run.


Estimates of exactly how many calories a single press-up (or push-up) burns vary somewhat, from about 0.29 calories each to 0.36 calories per press-up, depending on the research you cite (Cohen, 2012; McCall, 2017).

so as you are on the lighter end of things I will assume 0.29 calories per push up.

to burn 1000 calories at this rate you need: 3448 push ups per day.

You would be better off following a calisthenics home workout with a strict diet incorporating liss(low intensity steady state) cardio like walking or running as you have done.

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