If a 200 pound person jogs for 5 miles and it takes them 2 hours to do so, they will burn about 480 calories. If you weigh 250 pounds and jog for 2 hours and end up jogging a total of 5 miles, you burn about 550 calories. If you finish this run in one hour, add 100 calories.
So let’s say you weigh 250 pounds, and can jog 5 miles in about an hour. You just burned 600 calories. Great! Right?
If that same 250 pound person were to do squats for two minutes straight (which is hard to do), you would burn about 350 calories. So in 4 minutes, you could burn almost 700 calories. Even if you don’t have any weight on your shoulders. Now, that is great!
Exercising large muscle groups (like legs), burns a ton more calories than jogging, running, or biking. That is a far more efficient use of time and energy.
If doing two minutes of squats is too easy, and you can go for longer than 2 minutes, you need to put some weight on (or carry some dumbbells). Put on enough weight on so that you can no longer go past two minutes, and at two minutes you are at complete failure and your legs feel like jello and are in pain. That’s how you know it worked.
Another way to burn a lot of calories quickly and efficiently is to sprint. Pick a distance, like forty yards. And run your fastest for that forty yards. Wait a few minutes. Do it again. And again. You will burn a ton of calories and overwork your leg muscles. This will cause them to adjust and grow in response to this stimulus and will raise your overall metabolism in the future. So, in effect, you can keep losing weight in the future by doing these sprints.
So if you are using a treadmill because you think it will burn calories, please don’t. If you are doing it for cardiovascular health, keep it up. I highly recommend 40 minutes of daily cardiovascular exercise. But obviously, not many of us can do that.