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TOPIC: How many calories does weight lifting burn?

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October 29, 2012 1:54 PM
So I was at the gym today and my personal trainer off handly said that you burn 500 calories in 20 minutes weight lifting. Is that even close to being true? huh
October 29, 2012 1:55 PM
I really doubt it. The only way to determine this is by monitoring your heart rate during the weight lifting process. For me, I burn around 100 calories in a 20 minute session from lifting weights.
  27180255
October 29, 2012 1:56 PM
Goodness no. It burns much less than cardio while you are actually doing it.... but the burn continues once the lifting stops. For 20 minutes, working HARD, I would guess maybe 150 or so.
October 29, 2012 1:57 PM
It's all a guess. heart rate monitors aren't accurate for it.
and a deadlift burns considerably more energy than a curl, but they take around the same amount of time.
so.
October 29, 2012 1:58 PM
I'd say I burn 500 calories during an hour of body pump class (like circuit training). 500 in 20 mins is VERY high. Even things like zumba and turbo kickbox only burn ~700-800 cals/hour...if you really turn it up!
  28951550
October 29, 2012 1:58 PM
5 cals a minute or less would be my guess
October 29, 2012 2:00 PM
It's hard to determine how many calories lifting weights burns as there are too many variables (i,e. how heavy the weights are, rest between sets, etc.) but 500 calories in 20 minutes. That's pretty close to impossible.
October 29, 2012 2:15 PM
Thank you for your replies. I thought that sounded impossible.
October 29, 2012 2:16 PM
If you are doing a very heavy and very intense session for an extended period of time, maybe you can burn 500 calories. I would also argue that a good hour long session will burn more than 100 - 150 calories. There are quite a few variables that make it hard to say you will burn X amount. How heavy did you lift? How much did you rest between sets? How many reps done? How fast were reps done?

The benefit of the weight lifting is that you continue to burn calories after the workout.
October 29, 2012 2:22 PM
QUOTE:

I'd say I burn 500 calories during an hour of body pump class (like circuit training). 500 in 20 mins is VERY high. Even things like zumba and turbo kickbox only burn ~700-800 cals/hour...if you really turn it up!

I started wearing a HRM to Body Pump classes and was surprised to find out I only burn about 300 calories in a 60 min session. The Les Mills websites claim you burn over 500 calories but that maybe only works IF you get your heart rate up enough and IF you're lifting heavy AND keeping up with the tempo AND if you have a guy's metabolism. Of course there's the "afterburn" and the fact that muscle burns fat.
Best thing to do is both cardio and weights.
October 29, 2012 4:50 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I'd say I burn 500 calories during an hour of body pump class (like circuit training). 500 in 20 mins is VERY high. Even things like zumba and turbo kickbox only burn ~700-800 cals/hour...if you really turn it up!

I started wearing a HRM to Body Pump classes and was surprised to find out I only burn about 300 calories in a 60 min session. The Les Mills websites claim you burn over 500 calories but that maybe only works IF you get your heart rate up enough and IF you're lifting heavy AND keeping up with the tempo AND if you have a guy's metabolism. Of course there's the "afterburn" and the fact that muscle burns fat.
Best thing to do is both cardio and weights.

calorie burn from resistance training as nothing to do with heartrate. heartrate is a useless indicator of anything outside of cardio, so ignore it.
December 1, 2013 2:28 AM
Guys, this is how you really figure it out.

Formulas available from the Journal of Sports Sciences provide the calorie expenditure calculations for both genders. Men use the equation Calories = [(0.6309 x average heart rate) – (0.09036 x weight) + (0.2017 x age) – 55.0969] x time / 4.184.
Women use the equation Calories = [(0.4472 x average heart rate) – (0.05741 x weight) + (0.074 x age) – 20.4022] x time / 4.184.
December 1, 2013 2:35 AM
It depends on the type of lifting. If you are deadlifting your 5rm max you will be burning a lot more than if you are 10 repping bicep curls. Generally compound lifts will burn a lot more calories if you do them at the right weight and intensity.
December 1, 2013 2:38 AM
Using heart rate to estimate calorie burn only works when the oxygen consumption correlates nicely with the work performed. That means that HRM's are weakly accurate for steady state cardio (where you constantly take in a similar amount of oxygen each minute and do a similar amount of work in each minute) but are totally rubbish for lifting (where your heart rate can be elevated while you are resting and doing no work).

For what it's worth, I think you are better off not estimating the calories burned for each individual weight lifting session. Instead, monitor your weight loss over a week or two, and adjust your calorie intake if the weight loss is too great or too little.
  51251042
December 1, 2013 3:07 AM
500 calorie in 20 min?? that is waay much more than cardio :O
You probably burn way much more less than that. BUT it also depends on how your heart pumps and how much you sweat + the way you use the weights. Maybe the exercises he gives you are mixed with heavy cardio, I see people using weights in the gym while running or holding it above their heads and lunging, if that what your instructor is making you do then he is correct, depending on the routine and how intense it is, you might be burning that much.
  27432369
December 1, 2013 3:25 AM
Interesting choice of necrothreads.

And the answer to the question= No. Unless you are very large it is extremely unlikely to burn 500 calories doing 20 minutes of weightlifting. Hell, I don't even burn 500 calories doing 60 minutes of intense cardio.
  5650072
December 20, 2013 2:16 AM
I have found this formula on wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joule
is said:
One joule in everyday life represents approximately:

the energy required to lift a small apple (with a mass of approximately 100 g) vertically through one meter.

So my conclusion based on that formula is that when I lift a weight of 1Kg on the height of 1m i used 10J (Joules)

Further on there is a saying that said:

1 thermochemical calorie = 4.184 J

Based on that it comes that I have spend :
10J/4.18=2.4 calorie

Is it true that I have spend 2.4 calories lifting 1Kg on the 1m height?
December 20, 2013 2:19 AM
1 calorie per rep I think. Does that sound right/wrong to anyone?
December 20, 2013 2:22 AM
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Edited by yogicarl On December 20, 2013 3:09 AM
January 8, 2014 10:41 AM
I know this was posted a while ago, but I will give a little insight. First of all, the person who got the closest was the guy with the formula. The only thing wrong with that formula is that we (common folk) report nutritional information and energy expenditure in Kcal, even though it is commonly referred to as calories. So you're off by 1,000 but you were on the right track. Also, that is the definition of work, but your body uses energy in ways other than just lifting perpendicular to the floor. For example, if you were to get on a rowing machine and row for an hour at high resistance, you would have performed zero work, according to its proper definition (anybody who's been on a rowing machine knows that is grossly inaccurate).

To understand calorie burn due to resistance training, you have to understand what is going on. Your body's muscles are literally tearing, microscopically, when you lift. Your body synthesizes protein to rebuild the muscles back to where it was, and then in layman's terms...adds a little more so it will be better next time. Some experts have said that you continue to burn additional calories from a weight-training session up to 36 hours after you're finished. To highlight that point, I suggest you experiment...get on a treadmill and run at a fast pace FOR YOU, whatever that is, for 30 minutes. See how you feel the next day and the day after that. A few days later, target big muscle groups (chest, quads, hamstrings, core) and lift as heavy of a weight as you can for 10 reps, performing 4 sets of 4 different exercises - USE A SPOTTER. After 3 days of rest, see how you feel. You will notice that the effects of the resistance training are MUCH longer-lasting than the cardio. 500 calories in 20 minutes is bogus, BUT...I'm 6'0 220 lb and typically work out for about 45 minutes with somewhat long rest periods in between sets. I can eat over 3,000 calories a day and still cut weight at about a pound a week. The rest of my day is typically sedentary, and I do little to no cardio. So your guy is wrong, but anaerobic exercise can likely be just as beneficial as light to moderate jogging, if you do it the right way.
Edited by raidernewskers On January 8, 2014 10:44 AM
January 8, 2014 10:47 AM
But that formula only applies for cardio. Not weight lifting.
  37322274
March 20, 2014 7:24 AM
I used to run 2-5 miles a day topping out at 10-20 miles per week. Because of a broken ankle I had to stop. I picked up weight lifting because it's pretty stationary. I have to tell you after a hard workout lifting not more than 25 pound on an upper body exercise (arm curls, rowing machine etc.) and doing not more than 40 -60 pounds on a lower body exercise (squats etc.) my body has never looked better. AND while I'm weightlifting, I sweat like I did when I was running and breathe just as heavily and often times not able to have a decent conversation. I by far think weightlifting is a bona fide cardio exercise. When I do circuit training, my heart beat increases, my chest heaves, can't catch my breath and sweat like it's raining outside. I used to have to run every day to keep in shape, I weight lift about three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes and I'm two dress sizes smaller and I eat more food. I'm sure this is because of the afterburn of weightlifting. I used to have to run just about everyday to stay in decent shape. The cardio left me looking like a small flabby person. The weights make me look Pah-DOW! You gotta do it. Trust me, weightlifting is cardio. Is it possible to burn 500 in 20 - 30 minutes, probably if you're a professional body builder. I think I can easily burn 250 in a 30 minute session. The fatigue I feel surely confirms it for me. The recovery is longer than if I'd done the running.
Edited by womanlexy On March 20, 2014 7:29 AM
March 20, 2014 7:53 AM
Oh good LORD that is ridiculous!
March 20, 2014 8:23 AM
QUOTE:

I used to run 2-5 miles a day topping out at 10-20 miles per week. Because of a broken ankle I had to stop. I picked up weight lifting because it's pretty stationary. I have to tell you after a hard workout lifting not more than 25 pound on an upper body exercise (arm curls, rowing machine etc.) and doing not more than 40 -60 pounds on a lower body exercise (squats etc.) my body has never looked better. AND while I'm weightlifting, I sweat like I did when I was running and breathe just as heavily and often times not able to have a decent conversation. I by far think weightlifting is a bona fide cardio exercise. When I do circuit training, my heart beat increases, my chest heaves, can't catch my breath and sweat like it's raining outside. I used to have to run every day to keep in shape, I weight lift about three to four times a week for 30 to 45 minutes and I'm two dress sizes smaller and I eat more food. I'm sure this is because of the afterburn of weightlifting. I used to have to run just about everyday to stay in decent shape. The cardio left me looking like a small flabby person. The weights make me look Pah-DOW! You gotta do it. Trust me, weightlifting is cardio. Is it possible to burn 500 in 20 - 30 minutes, probably if you're a professional body builder. I think I can easily burn 250 in a 30 minute session. The fatigue I feel surely confirms it for me. The recovery is longer than if I'd done the running.


You do realize that sweating isn't an indication of anything other than your body's attempt to cool itself right? not an indication of your workout
Edited by JoRocka On March 20, 2014 8:24 AM
March 20, 2014 9:38 AM
My personal trainer estimates 400 to 500 for an hour long session of a mix of cardio and weights. Based on the effort involved, I think that's about right (probably closer to 400 and sometimes, I record 300 to 350 depending on my perceived effort for the session). Straight lifting would depend on a lot of things but 500 for 20 minutes is way too high.
  7246266

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