Strength Training, Calorie Burn & Fat Loss

strength trainingSince the exact number of calories burned during strength training workouts depends on your size, body composition, the length of time you spend working out, and the intensity of your training, there isn’t just one chart that can tell you what the effects will be for you.

However, we can look to studies and ranges to get an overall idea of how beneficial strength training will be for you, if you are hoping to lose weight while maintaining your muscle mass (the recommended goal!). Below is a list excerpted from a chart by Harvard Medical School, which divides activities and their potential burn by the weight of a person.


Gym Activities
125 lb person
155 lb person
185 lb person
Weight Lifting – General 90 112 133
Weight Lifting – Vigorous 180 223 266
Calisthenics – Moderate 135 167 200
Calisthenics – Vigorous 240 298 355
Circuit Training – General 240 289 355
Golf – Carrying Clubs 165 205 244
Rock Climbing 240 298 355
Boxing – Sparring 270 335 400

Keep in mind, this chart doesn’t discuss physical measurements, the amount of body fat versus lean tissue, or age. A 55-year old weighing 185 lbs at 5’3” in height is quite different than a 30-year old weighing 185 lbs at 5’10 inches. Also, remember the benefit strength training offers after burning calories during the workout. Metabolic effects will continue post-exercise for hours, or even days, afterward.

Polar Watch

You can use equipment like heart monitors to help you get more accurate readings for your body’s response to your activities. But in the meantime, this handy chart will remind you that there is a LOT to be gained when using strength training to help you lose weight!

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