How Many Push-Ups a Day to Lose Weight? It’s Less Than You Think!

Push-ups are a staple in many fitness routines, celebrated for their simplicity and effectiveness. But when it comes to weight loss, how do push-ups measure up? Let’s dive deep into the world of push-ups and their role in shedding those extra pounds.

A push-up is a compound exercise, meaning it engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Primarily, it targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. This multi-muscle engagement makes it a calorie-burning exercise, but is it enough for weight loss? To lose one pound takes approximately 500 push-ups!

Calories: The Deeper Connection

How Many Push-Ups Should You Do for weight loss

Weight loss, when stripped down to its essence, revolves around a straightforward principle: expend more calories than you intake. This principle is the bedrock of most weight loss strategies. Every physical activity, from walking to doing push-ups, contributes to calorie expenditure.

However, the caloric burn from these activities isn’t uniform and is influenced by various factors:

Intensity The vigor and energy you put into your push-ups play a significant role in calorie burn. A high-intensity routine will burn more calories than a low-intensity one. It’s akin to the difference between a sprint and a jog; both involve running, but one expends more energy in less time.
Duration The longer you engage in an activity, the more calories you burn. Extended push-up sessions will naturally burn more than quick sets. However, balancing duration with intensity is crucial to avoid overexertion.
Body Weight Body weight significantly influences caloric burn. Heavier individuals use more energy to move, resulting in higher calorie expenditure. This is why activities like walking or running might burn more calories for those with more weight compared to lighter individuals.
Technique Proper push-up form ensures maximum muscle engagement and efficiency, impacting calorie burn. Incorrect technique can decrease the exercise’s effectiveness and elevate injury risk.

To give a clearer picture, consider this: on average, a person might burn around 7 calories per minute doing push-ups. This means a 10-minute push-up session could lead to a 70-calorie burn. However, this is a ballpark figure, and individual results can vary based on the factors outlined above.

Weight Loss: A Closer Look at Reality

Push-Ups for Lose Weight

Push-ups, while undeniably beneficial, might not be the silver bullet for weight loss. Here’s a more in-depth look at why:

  • Limited Caloric Burn: When we compare the caloric expenditure of various exercises, cardio exercises like running, cycling, or swimming often come out on top. These activities engage large muscle groups and elevate the heart rate, leading to a higher calorie burn. In contrast, strength training exercises like push-ups, while essential for muscle building, don’t typically burn as many calories per minute.
  • Muscle Building vs. Fat Burning: Push-ups are primarily a strength training exercise, which means they’re excellent for building muscle. Muscle tissue is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest. So, while building muscle can lead to a higher resting metabolic rate, it’s a long-term benefit. In the short term, you might not see a direct correlation between muscle building and weight loss.
  • Adaptation: Our bodies are incredibly adaptive. When you start a new exercise routine, you might notice significant calorie burn and muscle soreness. However, as you continue and your body gets used to the routine, it becomes more efficient. This efficiency means that over time, you might burn fewer calories doing the same exercise. It’s why fitness experts often recommend changing up your workout routine regularly.

So, How Many Push-Ups Should You Do?

How Many Push-Ups Should You Do

Given the limited caloric burn from push-ups, it’s essential to set realistic expectations. If you’re looking to lose one pound of fat, you’d need to burn approximately 3,500 calories. If we go by the average of 7 calories per minute, you’d need to do push-ups for about 500 minutes to lose a pound. That’s a lot of push-ups!

However, instead of focusing on a specific number, consider these guidelines:

  1. Consistency is Key: Aim for a consistent routine, whether it’s 50 push-ups a day or 100. The key is to make it a habit.
  2. Mix It Up: Incorporate other exercises into your routine. This not only helps in burning more calories but also ensures overall fitness.
  3. Focus on Form: Quality over quantity. Doing 20 push-ups with proper form is more beneficial than doing 50 with poor technique.

The Bigger Picture: A Holistic Approach

 Push-Ups Holistic Approach

Weight loss is a multifaceted journey that goes beyond just one exercise or dietary choice. While push-ups offer numerous benefits, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires a comprehensive strategy. Let’s delve deeper into the components of this holistic approach:


  • Importance: At the heart of weight loss lies the principle of energy balance. Consuming more calories than you burn leads to weight gain, while a caloric deficit results in weight loss. Thus, your dietary choices play a pivotal role in determining your weight loss success.
  • Balanced Diet: A balanced diet ensures that you receive all the essential nutrients necessary for optimal body function. This includes a mix of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Consuming nutrient-dense foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains can keep you satiated and provide sustained energy.
  • Caloric Deficit: While it’s essential to eat nutritiously, it’s equally crucial to monitor portion sizes and overall caloric intake. Creating a sustainable caloric deficit, where you consume fewer calories than you burn, is the key to effective weight loss.


  • Why Cardio?: Cardiovascular exercises are known for their ability to burn a significant number of calories in a relatively short time. They elevate the heart rate, improve lung capacity, and enhance overall cardiovascular health.
  • Variety is Key: From brisk walking and running to cycling, swimming, and dancing, there are numerous cardio exercises to choose from. Incorporating a mix can keep things interesting and challenge different muscle groups.

Strength Training for weight loss

Strength Training

  • Beyond Push-Ups: While push-ups are a fantastic strength training exercise, diversifying your routine can target different muscle groups. Exercises like squats, lunges, deadlifts, and bench presses can help in building overall muscle mass.
  • Metabolic Boost: Muscle tissue is metabolically active. This means that the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. In simpler terms, you’ll burn more calories even when you’re not exercising.

Rest and Recovery

  • The Need for Recovery: Just as a car needs to be turned off and serviced occasionally, our bodies need time to recover from the wear and tear of exercise. This recovery is when the actual muscle-building happens.
  • Avoiding Overtraining: Continuously pushing yourself without adequate rest can lead to overtraining. Symptoms include prolonged muscle soreness, fatigue, irritability, and decreased performance. Overtraining not only hampers progress but can also lead to injuries.
  • Active Recovery: On your rest days, consider engaging in low-intensity activities like walking or yoga. These can aid in muscle recovery without putting additional strain on the body.


Push-Ups for weiht loss faq

Can I rely solely on push-ups for my daily exercise routine?

While push-ups are a comprehensive exercise that targets multiple muscle groups, for a well-rounded fitness routine, it’s beneficial to incorporate other exercises. This ensures that all muscle groups are engaged and provides variety, which can prevent plateaus and boredom.

How can I modify push-ups to increase their intensity?

There are several ways to increase the intensity of push-ups. Some methods include elevating your feet on a bench or step, incorporating plyometric push-ups (where you push off the ground with force), or using resistance bands. Always ensure proper form to prevent injuries.

Are there any alternatives to push-ups that offer similar benefits?

Yes, exercises like bench presses, dumbbell chest presses, and chest flys target similar muscle groups as push-ups. However, each exercise has its unique benefits, so it’s good to incorporate a mix for optimal results.

I find standard push-ups challenging. Are there any beginner-friendly variations?

Absolutely! If you’re new to push-ups or find the standard version challenging, you can start with knee push-ups or wall push-ups. These variations reduce the amount of body weight you’re lifting, making the exercise more accessible.

How often should I incorporate push-ups into my weekly routine for weight loss?

Push-ups can be incorporated 3-4 times a week, allowing at least a day of rest between sessions to let the muscles recover. However, remember to combine push-ups with other exercises and cardio for a comprehensive weight loss strategy.

Can push-ups help in toning the arms and reducing arm fat?

Push-ups primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps. So, they can indeed help in toning the arms, especially the tricep area. However, spot reduction (losing fat from a specific area) isn’t scientifically supported. For reducing arm fat, a combination of overall body fat reduction through diet and exercise, along with strength training, is most effective.


The journey of weight loss is akin to piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. While individual pieces, like push-ups, play a crucial role, the bigger picture emerges only when all the pieces come together harmoniously. By embracing a comprehensive strategy that melds diet, diverse exercises, and rest, we set the stage for not just weight loss, but a healthier, more vibrant life.

So, the next time you drop down for a set of push-ups, remember they’re just one piece of the grand mosaic of your fitness journey. Embrace the journey, cherish every step, and watch the transformation unfold.