Maybe it’s best to start this workout with a disclaimer: “I do not recommend aiming to burn 1,000 calories during your workouts on a regular basis for most people,” says Jayson Lee, a personal trainer in New York City. “It’s a recipe for injury and burnout.” Got it? Great. Now, let’s say you have a slow week, you feel fresh, and you’re looking to take on a workout for a man who could lose a bit of weight. In that case, says Lee, a 1,000-calorie workout is fair game. “Just be sure you take plenty of days for recovery afterwards.”
So, what exactly is entailed in a 1,000-calorie workout? Well, minutes on the clock, for one thing. You’ll want to budget at least an hour and a half for this extravaganza — closer to two hours if you want to build in some extra time for catching your breath between segments. You’ll also want plenty of fluids nearby since you’ll be headed into endurance activity territory. (Drink approximately 7-10 ounces every 10 to 20 minutes during your workout, according to the American Council on Exercise, plus another 16-24 ounces per pound of bodyweight lost due to sweat when you’re done.) You might even, counter-intuitively, want to keep an energy bar or banana on hand, in case you start to feel your energy wane mid-workout. (Sometimes, you’ve got to eat fuel to burn fuel.)
What you won’t need: Complicated gym equipment or machines. This is a good old-fashioned sweat session that can be done at home or on your street (see: sprints). These moves require a little creative improv with weighted objects you have lying around the house; mostly though, they can be done using your own bodyweight for resistance.
One more thing: The calorie counts here are estimates. “You will burn more or less calories depending on your weight and also your fitness level,” says Lee, who notes that the fitter you are, the higher intensity you’re apt to work at, meaning a higher average burn rate. Still, let’s just say this workout will gobble up more calories than anything you’ve done in a very long time. Ready?
Warm up: 5 minutes walking/jogging (50 calories)
Cardio blast: 10 minutes running up and down stairs as fast as you can (150 calories)
Strength circuit #1: 1-minute each of burpees, sit-ups, and pushups. Four sets for a total of 12 minutes. (100 calories)
Cardio blast: 7 minutes jumping rope (100 calories)
Rest: 5 minutes
Strength circuit #2: 1-minute each of mountain climbers, squats holding 2 one-gallon jugs of water, and walking lunges while lugging a heavy box in your arms. Four sets for a total of 12 minutes. (100 calories)
- Mountain climbers: From an extended pushup position, lift one foot off the floor, bend knee, and hike knee to your chest. Straighten leg and repeat on opposite side. Alternate sides as quickly as possible.
- Squats: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out. Hold a gallon jug in each hand, arms bent at chest height. Sink your seat to the floor until knees are over toes. Straighten.
- Walking lunges: Holding heavy box in your arms at chest height, take a wide step forward with your right leg. Bend your knee until it is over your toes. Bend back leg until knee hovers over the ground. Push off back leg, straighten knees, and swing back leg through to the front. Repeat lunge.
Cardio blast: Run as hard as you can for 60 seconds; rest 30 seconds. Repeat 10 times. (250 calories)
Strength circuit #3: 1-minute each of Bavarian split squats (30 seconds each leg), overhead carries (using large chair as your weight), and triceps dips (using same chair). Four sets for a total of 12 minutes. (100 calories)
- Bavarian split squat: This is a regular squat but with one leg elevated and resting on a chair seat or low table behind you. Focus on keeping your weight over your forward leg, and don’t let your knee bend further than your toes.
- Overhead carries: As it sounds, hoist your weight over your head, arms nearly straight. Walk with quick but steady steps for 60 seconds.
- Triceps dip: Sit on the edge of the chair, placing hands on either side of your hips. Support your weight with your hands and lift your butt off and forward from the seat. Bend elbows and lower your butt toward the floor. Straighten arms and return to start.
Cardio blast: 30 seconds each: jumping jacks, high knee drills, fast feet drill. After each 90-second set, rest for 30 seconds. Four sets for a total of 8 minutes (100 calories)
- High knee drills: Run in place, hiking your knees as high to your chest as they will go with every step.
- Fast feet drills: Run in place, moving your feet back and forth as fast as you possibly can. You will keep your feet very close to the floor for this drill.
Cool down: 5-minute easy jog (50 calories)
*Calorie estimates are based on a 185-pound man using the University of California, San Diego fitness calorie calculator.
*Sprinting calculations based on sub-6-minute-mile pace.