how many burpees equal 1 mile run
Fitness

How Many Burpees Equal 1 Mile Run?

If you run for a mile, you will burn roughly 100 calories (depending on your weight). To burn 100 calories you would have to be doing burpees for 10 minutes. 

Burpees vs. Running: Calories Burned

Running and burpees are very different exercises. Both of them are very effective calorie burners, though the burpee is also a very good strength and muscle developer. They will both allow you to torch calories for weight loss and cardiovascular fitness. But how do they compare?

Fitness experts at Harvard Health Publishing recently conducted a study where they compared various types of exercise in terms of their calorie burn. Here’s what they found …

ActivityCalories burned (30 minutes) 185lb male
Running 5.2 mph355
Burpees400

As we can see, you will burn more calories from running compared with burpees over the same period of time.

Other research tells us that you will burn about 10 calories per minute from doing burpees.  A person running at a moderate speed will burn about a hundred calories after traveling a mile distance. That means that you will need to do burpees for 10 minutes to match the calorie burn from a one-mile run. 

Let’s break down the numbers on calories and burpees.

It takes a person with an average fitness level three seconds to do a properly performed burpee. So, provided that you maintain a fluid, uninterrupted action, you will be able to pump out 20 burpees every minute. That means that 20 burpees will burn 10 calories. If we do the math, we find that a single burpee will burn half a calorie.

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If you did a hundred burpees, therefore, you would burn 50 calories.

That all sounds great, but when we translate those figures to the real world, we find a problem. Can you get down and perform a hundred burpees with good form?

Unless you are supremely fit, the answer is probably going to be no. 

You would be doing very well to be able to do 20 burpees in a row, which will burn around 20 calories.

The bottom line here is that running provides you with a more realistic way to get a consistent calorie burn.

So, What’s So Good About Burpees?

While you may not be able to continue doing burpees the same way you can with running, there are other benefits of burpees over running. It is a full-body cardiovascular exercise that improves your endurance while also improving muscle strength, boosting your heart rate, and enhancing your explosive power, along with a range of other health benefits.

Numerous studies have been conducted on the benefits of this dynamic exercise for various health conditions. They have been found to be beneficial for people who have Type 2 diabetes, as well as those who are obese and have a heart condition. 

Alternative exercises which provide similar benefits to burpees include the jump rope, a three-mile run, bodyweight squats, and power jumps.

How to Perfect Burpees?

Burpees are only as good as your ability to perform them. Here is how to do them properly:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms by your sides.
  • Drop down to the floor as with your palms on the ground just outside shoulder distance and your knees bent with feet under your torso.
  • Kick your feet back to full extension. You should now be in the top push-up position.
  • Immediately bring your knees back in and explode back up to the start position. Throw your hand into the air in the top position.
  • Immediately move into the next rep. 

HIIT Burpees

Burpees are a good choice for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This involves performing a high-intensity interval exercise for short bursts of explosive movement followed by even shorter rest periods. Being a full-body exercise, burpees are an ideal high-intensity interval exercise for HIIT.

An ideal HIIT intense full-body workout involves doing 20 seconds of exercise at full speed, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This is repeated for 8 rounds. Burpees is ideal for this as you can do it without any equipment, anywhere, any time.

Simply drop down and pump out burpees for 20 seconds. At three seconds per burpee, you should get about 6 or 7 in that time period. Then rest for exactly 10 seconds. Do this eight times for an awesome high-intensity interval training workout. 

Final Thoughts

Burpees are a very good calisthenic exercise that works your entire body while burning lots of calories and improving your explosive power and strength. You won’t burn quite as many calories as when you go for a run and you won’t be able to keep it up for as long as running. However, burpees will make you stronger, more muscular, and more explosive – something you will not get with long-distance running (1 mile).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are burpees bad for shoulders?

No burpees are not bad for shoulders, so long as you are doing them properly. When you are doing the push-up portion of the exercise, get down in the plank position with your hands on the ground directly under your shoulders. Focus on pushing through the pectorals rather than the front delts when coming out of the push-up.

Can burpees give you a six-pack?

Burpees by themselves will not give you a six-pack. It is the combination of exercise and diet that leads to the low body fat percentages that will reveal your six-pack. While the burpee is a good exercise choice to burn lots of calories, you should focus on reducing your caloric intake by 500 calories per day. The combination of calorie reduction and calorie burn through exercise will result in a daily negative calorie balance, which is the key to getting ripped. 

Why are burpees hated?

Burpees are hated for the same reason that pull-ups and squats are hated – they are damn hard work. Unlike push-ups, burpees require you to explode up and down off the ground as well doing strength and muscle-building movement. The combination of cardio and muscle activation is exhausting. 

Steve Theunissen

Steve Theunissen is a former gym owner and personal trainer based in Tauranga, New Zealand. He is the author of six hardcopy books and more than a hundred ebooks on the topics of bodybuilding, fitness, and fat loss.

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