Calories Burned Weight Lifting Calculator
Calculate the calories you burn lifting weights by entering your body weight, intensity, and duration below.
Calories Burned Weight Lifting:
Calories per Hour
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How Many Calories Do You Burn Weight Lifting?
Weight lifting, often associated with building strength and lean muscle mass, is also an effective calorie-burning exercise. Whether you’re performing compound lifts, such as squats and deadlifts, or targeting specific muscle groups with isolation exercises, energy is expended.
But how do you determine the exact caloric burn from your strength training sessions?
To calculate the calories you burn lifting, you can use a measurement called Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET).
Metabolic Equivalent of Task
The Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) is a measurement of the energy cost of an activity as a multiple of the resting metabolic rate.
Specifically, one MET is the oxygen consumed while at rest, which is equivalent to 3.5 milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute. Different activities have different MET values. For instance, walking might have a MET value between 2 and 3, while a fast-paced run could have a MET of 13 or more.
Weight lifting generally falls within the MET range of 3.5 to 6, and general calisthenics falls within the MET range of 3.5 to 8, depending on the intensity of the workout. The Compendium of Physical Activities provides a comprehensive list of activities and their corresponding MET values. Some common activities and their MET values are provided in the table below.
Once you know the MET value for the activity, you can use the MET formula to find the calories burned performing it.
MET Formula for Calculating Calories Burned
To estimate the number of calories you burn during any activity, including weight lifting, resistance training, or calisthenics, you can use the following formula:
calories burned = time [minutes] × ((MET × 3.5) × weight [kg] ÷ 200)
For example, let’s say you weigh 75 kg, and you lift weights for an hour and a half at an intensity that corresponds to a MET value of 5 (moderate intensity weight lifting). Using the formula, the calculation to find the calories burned in this workout looks like this:
calories burned = 90 minutes × ((5 × 3.5) × 75 kg ÷ 200) = 591 kcal
So, for this lifting session, you would have burned approximately 591 calories. You can use our pounds to kilograms converter to get the correct weight value for this formula as needed.
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G., Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity, Clinical cardiology, 1990, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
- Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett Jr DR, Tudor-Locke C, Greer JL, Vezina J, Whitt-Glover MC, Leon AS, The Compendium of Physical Activities Tracking Guide, Healthy Lifestyles Research Center, College of Nursing & Health Innovation, Arizona State University, https://sites.google.com/site/compendiumofphysicalactivities/