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How many calories does the average weight lifting routine burn?

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I logged my weight training today and to my surprise it said 337 calories burned for 1 hour..that seems really low. I am 5'4" 124 pounds..I worked out HARD..sweat pouring heart pumping workout! Minimal rest kind of like circuit training..we have a group session 4 women we work stations and switch every 45 seconds...example- walking lunges with overhead press-15 pound dumbells, chest press on fitness ball, upright rows, pull downs...we do 3 sets each exercise..then another group of exercises...1 legged dips off platform holding 15 pound weights, backward lunges with bicep curls 15 pounds, deadlift, tri ceps, 3 sets 45 seconds each( i would say we get in a good 15 reps each exercise)...then a 3rd set of exercises to follow but you get the idea. How many calories do you think something like this burns?

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perhaps even less than 337

WOW...really? Thats a real downer..I felt like I worked sooo hard!

think positive .... you might not have burned that many calories but the burnt a hell of alot most fat that you would have done doing cardio and you will have increased your body's ability to burn calories in the future.


A lot of the calories you burn weight lifting are actually burned AFTER your workout is over (over the next 36-48 hours).

 Weeeell, what you're doing sounds more like circuit training than weight lifting, to be honest.

 Which isn't a bad idea for anyone looking to lose fat, especially if you do compound exercises or hybrids in the general Real Fast Fat Loss style - you won't improve much, if any, on the maximal strength parameters of your body and you'd want to do some maximal strength training as well at some point - at 124lbs I'm not sure that you've got all that much fat to spare :)

 Anyway - the format is great for fat loss, medium-ok for athletic conditioning and increasing work capacity, not very good for increasing strength since the speed and lack of rest limits the weights you can use.

If that is so..calories burned after...then how do I adjust my calories? I do not want to go over in my deficit figures..or under for that matter. I just set my activity level at light activity since I move around most of the day..household chores and errands and such..then I added in my workout. I think that is the best way . Thanks for all the replies.

Melkor. thanks for the tips. You have great advice and recommendations! I am going to try to log it in as circuit training instead..since like you said I really wasn't doing any heavy lifting.Do you think with my size  I should lift heavier weights maybe once or twice a week..I like to change things up and I am really looking for a toned physic? Thanks again!

 Light activity + logging exercise should cover it actually - and keep an eye on the scale. If you're losing faster or slower than the projected deficits you know you need to tweak something.

 Whether or not you lift heavy at this stage in your training depends in your athletic goals, really - in general, yes, but if you want to have improved sports-specific performance you need a sports-specific program rather than a generic one. And if you're still looking to lose fat you're better off focusing on that first, and then build muscle - it's a lot easier to reach your goals if you aren't chasing after more than one at once ;)

 That said - doing one strength training session a week, 2 metabolic circuits har merit (or 2:1 strength:metabolic) if you're pretty close to your goals in terms of fat loss. If you feel like you've got a ways to go yet, stick with the circuits for another week or two and ask yourself the same question ;)
Original Post by floggingsully:

A lot of the calories you burn weight lifting are actually burned AFTER your workout is over (over the next 36-48 hours).

 Yes, exactly. And you are building muscle

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Original Post by kufunray:

Original Post by floggingsully:

A lot of the calories you burn weight lifting are actually burned AFTER your workout is over (over the next 36-48 hours).

 Yes, exactly. And you are building muscle

Not just that, though it's great to have more muscle. Resistance training has been shown to increase your metabolism for several hours after your session.

IF thats the case..should I be eating more than 1500 cals? My burn meter after I log my exercise says burn total at about 2150...that leaves me a deficit of 650...but if I am truly burning calories after does the burn meter recognize the exercise entered or could I eat more? I am not sure of that makes sense :0)

I believe that's accounted for in setting your activity level to light and then logging your exercise separately. You can check it by setting your activity level to "moderate" or slightly higher and see if you wind up with roughly the same calorie total - if you do, you probably don't need to adjust anything.

 If there's a significant (>100-200 cal) difference between sedentary/light activity+logging and moderate you may want to take a closer look using Phord's calculator.

Hi personaltraining,

I've always wondered how much I burned weight lifting--or circuit training--like you.

Some sources say one only burns about 300 calories per hour, while others say that with vigorous effort, one can burn 600-800 calories per hour. If your heart rate is up high, you're using your muscles, and sweating profusely--much like after cardio or running--than you are burning just as many calories.

I found this calculator which helps distinguish between weightlifting at different intensities, as well as circuit training at different intensities. ned.htm

I always knew I must have been burning more calories per workout at a higher effort than those that are in the gym barely breaking a sweat, but couldn't find the facts to back that up.

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