How Many Calories Are Burned During Weight Lifting?

Burn Calories With Weights

Everyone understands that by doing cardiovascular exercise you burn plenty of calories. This is why people use treadmills/cross trainers and other cardiovascular equipment in their quest for fat loss, as the machines actually give you a guideline around how many calories you burn while you’re using them and you feel like you’re immediately becoming closer to your fat loss goals as you watch the calories burn before your eyes.

Cardiovascular exercise predominantly uses the aerobic system, whereas lifting weights uses the anaerobic system. This means that because lifting weights involves short bursts of high-intensity movements, the body cannot create all of the energy it needs from oxygen; it needs to gather energy from sugars instead.

Weight Lifting Vs Cardio For Fat Loss

A typical weight training session lasts between 45 and 75 minutes. However, after participating in this style of training the body needs to repair the muscles which have been used and replenish their energy too. This actually means that post-exercise the body burns calories quicker than it would if you were to perform cardiovascular exercise. 

Using resistance training is a fantastic way to build muscle and also burn calories (fat), however you would need to perform weight lifting for an unsuitably long time to burn a substantial amount of calories that you’re able to see instantly burned, whereas cardiovascular exercise can be performed for a longer period and will burn calories quicker and enable you to track them more easily by using cardiovascular exercise equipment. 

Ideally, a combination of both forms of exercise will provide the best results in terms of calories burned and body composition improvements. This is also the case when it comes to reducing calories through nutrition. It’s more beneficial for your body composition and health to reduce calories through exercise rather than just nutrition, as exercise requires the muscles of the body and the heart to function at a higher rate than usual which helps to strengthen the muscles as well as vital organs.

Of course, some exercises will burn more calories than others, so if your aim is to work as intensely as possible and burn as many calories as possible while resistance training then you’ll want to edge more towards compound movements such as squats and deadlifts. The more muscle groups an exercise requires to be performed the more calories you’ll be able to burn.

How Many Calories Will A Person Burn Performing Resistance Training?

A number of calories you burn while weight lifting will depend on the individual, as it’s influenced by personal factors such as gender and weight. However, some guidelines for how many calories you’re likely to burn while weight lifting is as follow;

1) A person weighing 125lbs performing 60 minutes of resistance training is likely to burn around 180 calories.

2) A person weighing 155lbs performing 60 minutes of resistance training is likely to burn around 224 calories

3) A person weighing 185lbs performing 60 minutes of resistance training is likely to burn around 266 calories.

If a person weighing 185lbs wished to place themselves in a deficit of 500kcals per day with a goal of losing 1lb per week, an easy way to reach the deficit would be combining 1 hour of resistance training with just 234 calories worth of cardiovascular exercise, which would only take 15 minutes if running at a pace of 8mph.

Cardiovascular exercise should be performed post-weight lifting in order for the resistance training strength to be sufficient. A light warm up beforehand is always a good idea though, and you can also track these calories too, in order to leave yourself with even less to do afterwards!

Take Home Message

People often struggle to eat in calorie deficits when they’re aiming to lose weight, and part of this is due to not taking into consideration a number of calories they’re burning while performing resistance training exercises. They over-compensate with cardiovascular exercise and burn too many calories which make them frustrated and too hungry to stay committed to their routine. However, by being aware of a number of calories burned through resistance training, it’s blatant to see that the amount of cardiovascular exercise you need to perform on top of your weight training to lose fat is actually not that much. 



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