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  1. #1
    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Question Questions about calories in vs calories off

    I have a question that i kinda fear there is no real answer to. How do I figure out what I am burning caloricly during my workout? I dont think you can set a static amount like 185lb bench burns x calories per rep, as I can do reps of it no problem, but my buddy can do a 1 rep or maybe 2 reps for it, so due to the effort difference between us.

    There is a crap ton of bro science about it but thats why i am here not there. And I am sorry if this comes across as a profoundly obtuse question, and I feel it kinda is, but I am just trying to understand how much you are using during training and how to figure it out. Also everyone is different, each body is similar but not identical and lots of workouts vary greatly, and half of my training is to failure.

    So if anyone could toss a middle aged meathead like myself some info id really appreciate it.

    Again, apologies if this makes people facepalm.
    THANKS ALL!
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  2. #2
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 410Stroker View Post
    I have a question that i kinda fear there is no real answer to. How do I figure out what I am burning caloricly during my workout? I dont think you can set a static amount like 185lb bench burns x calories per rep, as I can do reps of it no problem, but my buddy can do a 1 rep or maybe 2 reps for it, so due to the effort difference between us.

    There is a crap ton of bro science about it but thats why i am here not there. And I am sorry if this comes across as a profoundly obtuse question, and I feel it kinda is, but I am just trying to understand how much you are using during training and how to figure it out. Also everyone is different, each body is similar but not identical and lots of workouts vary greatly, and half of my training is to failure.

    So if anyone could toss a middle aged meathead like myself some info id really appreciate it.

    Again, apologies if this makes people facepalm.
    THANKS ALL!
    There's literally zero way to do it, so I wouldn't bother.

    If your workout durations are always similar, just assume it's a static amount and have it set as a normal component of your baseline calorie expenditure....

    Lifting doesn't burn THAT much extra calories for most people anyway... it's really pointless to try and pin-point a number.

    Cardio etc is much easier to estimate.
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    Originally Posted by AdamWW View Post

    Lifting doesn't burn THAT much extra calories for most people anyway...
    He's right, at most you are looking at maybe 300-350 calories burned for an hour of weight training and that is assuming that you are actually pushing yourself for the hour, working up a sweat and only taking 60-90 seconds at most between sets.

    On the other hand, if you are one of those people that does a set, then sits around looking at your phone for five minutes then does the next set...

    ... Then just don't even bother to count that time in the gym as "exercise".
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    I estimate 400/hr in the gym, 100 per mile walking, 100 per 300 ft climbing, 200/hour while working on my van build, etc. Add to 1.2x BMR estimate. My last bulk and cut came in almost exactly as calculated. YMMV. Pick a number and adjust if it isn't matching up with the scale.
    April 2021.................16 week cut.................168 lbs
    2020......................375 / 285 / 505..............186 lbs
    Pre-COVID..............335 / 295 / 499..............185 lbs
    July 1, 2019................9 week cut.................164 lbs
    Late April 2019.........285 / 275 / 440.............178 lbs
    Oct, 2018..............175x6 / 145x6 / 275x5......163 lbs
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  5. #5
    team ketchup AdamWW's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jademonkey View Post
    I estimate 400/hr in the gym, 100 per mile walking, 100 per 300 ft climbing, 200/hour while working on my van build, etc. Add to 1.2x BMR estimate. My last bulk and cut came in almost exactly as calculated. YMMV. Pick a number and adjust if it isn't matching up with the scale.
    I disagree with this.

    If you're walking 3miles per hour, which is CONSTANT movement, then you'd burn 300 calories per hour given your estimates.

    And yet, you estimate you're burning 400/hr lifting weights, when lifting weights is basically just long periods of waiting with tiny burst of anaerobic actions...

    Unless you're doing a crossfit workout for the whole hour, 400 calories is WAY more than you'd likely burn....

    Like I said, even a constant movement like walking would burn more than that IMO.

    But of course, it depends on total sets, reps, rest intervals, and what you're doing between sets.
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    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Thanks guys, I kinda figured there was no real answer, but it cant hurt to ask those who know more. Thanks!


    As for the statement about time taken between sets, and dont call long breaks exercise. I had been out of the gym for a long time, then got a bad injury that had me off my feet for a year plus, and nothing training lower body per my doc for another 8 months.... When I first came back, my old routine that was an hour +/- depending on body part too me close to 3 hours, and i was waiting for my heart rate to come down enough to not be dizzy and\or numb\tingling in parts. But I made a lot of improvements, im down to about 1:40 now 3-4 months later, lost noticeable amounts of fat, and gained substantial strength, im not where i want to be, i need to keep bringing down my wait times between sets, and its better every couple days...so, I do think it qualifies as exercise, as I HAVE progressed, but i will continue to improve and get myself back down to where I should be, in both strength and energy(keeping my gaps between sets down).
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    IMO burning calories to lose weight is like trying to erase a dictionary with a pencil and mind you new words get added everyday.

    Caloric intake is priority #1 Workout routine is #2 (in regards to losing weight)

    Make sure your calorie intake is correct and exercise at least 5 days a week. That's what I do when cutting
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  8. #8
    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VySingh View Post
    IMO burning calories to lose weight is like trying to erase a dictionary with a pencil and mind you new words get added everyday.

    Caloric intake is priority #1 Workout routine is #2 (in regards to losing weight)

    Make sure your calorie intake is correct and exercise at least 5 days a week. That's what I do when cutting
    Well yeah, its not about weight loss, the initial question was just that, curiosity about can that be quantified? This thread is in fat loss as I didnt know where else to put it.
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    Originally Posted by 410Stroker View Post
    the initial question was just that, curiosity about can that be quantified?
    Can burning more calories with exercise be quantified?

    Yes and no, there's a thin line there where you can easily burn yourself out and feel like you have mono for 2 weeks
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  10. #10
    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    There is no way of being remotely accurate. All you can do is give it your best guess, take in X amount of calories a week and after a month determine how close your equation was based on weight loss or gain or if you've maintained.
    If you don't get what you want you didn't want it bad enough
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  11. #11
    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VySingh View Post
    Can burning more calories with exercise be quantified?

    Yes and no, there's a thin line there where you can easily burn yourself out and feel like you have mono for 2 weeks
    I meant the initial question, tracking real caloric burning from training. I ask how and why to a LOT of things, it really was just curiosity.
    And you are 100% right, you can definitely overdo it and make yourself miserable.
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  12. #12
    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tommy W. View Post
    There is no way of being remotely accurate. All you can do is give it your best guess, take in X amount of calories a week and after a month determine how close your equation was based on weight loss or gain or if you've maintained.
    So I have learned unfortunately But I am glad I got this much of a reply, got some info I wasnt expecting, and your process there makes sense, THANKS
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    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 410Stroker View Post
    Well yeah, its not about weight loss, the initial question was just that, curiosity about can that be quantified?
    Yes and with near absolute accuracy.

    However to do so requires a medical lab and the exercise to be performed under strict conditions with the subject hooked up to a heart rate monitor and a respiratory calorimeter (a device used to measure the calories burned via the amount of CO2 produced by the subject).

    On the other hand, trying to figure it out on your own at home is not something you are going to be able to do, at least not with any real degree of accuracy.

    The best you can do is to wear a decent HR monitor while working out to get some idea of how much actual effort your are putting out while weight training but other than that it is really just guessing at it and hoping that you are close.
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    Registered User 410Stroker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Yes and with near absolute accuracy.

    However to do so requires a medical lab and the exercise to be performed under strict conditions with the subject hooked up to a heart rate monitor and a respiratory calorimeter (a device used to measure the calories burned via the amount of CO2 produced by the subject).

    On the other hand, trying to figure it out on your own at home is not something you are going to be able to do, at least not with any real degree of accuracy.

    The best you can do is to wear a decent HR monitor while working out to get some idea of how much actual effort your are putting out while weight training but other than that it is really just guessing at it and hoping that you are close.
    Hah, holy cow, that's a lot! Makes sense, that would work, and you are completely right not something I can do myself. OK, again, thanks for the info.
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    Train hard play harder Tommy W.'s Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 410Stroker View Post
    So I have learned unfortunately But I am glad I got this much of a reply, got some info I wasnt expecting, and your process there makes sense, THANKS
    i figure 200 calories for every gym workout and 100 calories for every mile of cardio. It has been fairly accurate over the years however it took a long time to dial it and those numbers jive pretty well With my calculations in respect to body weight gain and loss.

    Your results will vary
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