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How Many Calories Does Strength Training Burn?


Strength training is a great way to build muscle and improve overall fitness. But many people wonder, "How many calories does strength training burn?" Knowing how many calories you burn can help you plan your workouts better and reach your fitness goals. 

In this detailed guide, we’ll discuss how many calories strength training burns, what affects calorie burn, compare strength training to other types of exercise, and highlight the many benefits beyond just burning calories.

What is Strength Training?

Strength training, also called resistance training or weight lifting, involves exercises that boost muscle strength and endurance. This workout includes lifting weights, using resistance bands, or doing bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats. Strength training is essential for building muscle mass, speeding up your metabolism, and improving overall physical health.

Unlike cardio exercises, which mainly focus on cardiovascular Health, strength training targets muscle strength by using resistance. This resistance can be from weights, bands, or your body weight. Adding strength training to your fitness routine can greatly improve muscle tone, strength, and overall body composition.

Factors Influencing Calorie Burn in Strength Training

The number of calories burned during strength training depends on several factors, including:

  • Intensity of the Workout: More intense workouts with heavier weights and shorter rest periods burn more calories. For example, lifting weights at a high intensity raises your heart rate and boosts calorie burn.
  • Duration of the Session: Longer workouts naturally burn more calories. A 30-minute session will burn fewer calories than a 60-minute session if the intensity is the same.
  • Individual Factors: Your age, weight, muscle mass, and overall fitness level also affect how many calories you burn. Generally, people with more muscle mass burn more calories both at rest and during exercise.

Other factors such as the type of exercises performed and the rest intervals between sets also play a key role in calorie burn. Compound movements like squats and deadlifts, which use multiple muscle groups, burn more calories than isolation exercises like bicep curls.

Average Calorie Burn During Strength Training

On average, a person can burn around 200-400 calories per hour of moderate-intensity strength training. This amount can vary greatly depending on factors like intensity, duration, and individual characteristics. For example, someone weighing 155 pounds can burn about 223 calories in 30 minutes of vigorous weightlifting.

To get a more personalized estimate, you can use an exercise calorie calculator, which takes your specific details into account. Here are some general estimates for different body weights:

  • 125 pounds: About 180 calories burned in 30 minutes
  • 155 pounds: About 223 calories burned in 30 minutes
  • 185 pounds: About 266 calories burned in 30 minutes

Keep in mind that these numbers can change based on the intensity and type of strength training you do. Adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your strength workouts can greatly increase calorie burn.

Comparing Strength Training to Cardio

While strength training might burn fewer calories per session than high-intensity cardio exercises like running or cycling, it offers unique long-term benefits. Cardio training is excellent for immediate calorie burn, but strength training boosts your metabolism over time.

Strength training helps build muscle, which increases your resting metabolic rate (RMR). A higher RMR means you burn more calories even when you're not working out, aiding long-term weight management and fitness. For example, a pound of muscle burns about six calories a day at rest, while a pound of fat burns around two calories a day.

Additionally, strength training can cause "afterburn," known scientifically as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). This means your body continues to burn calories at a higher rate even after your workout is finished. EPOC can last for several hours after exercise, enhancing your overall calorie burn.

Benefits Beyond Calorie Burn

Strength training offers many advantages beyond just burning calories, including:

  • Improved Muscle Mass: Builds muscle strength and size, which can improve physical performance and appearance.
  • Enhanced Metabolism: Increases your metabolism by adding muscle mass, helping you burn more calories even when resting.
  • Better Bone Health: Strengthens bones and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercises promote bone growth and density.
  • Improved Mental Health: Alleviates anxiety and depression by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood enhancers.
  • Increased Functional Strength: Makes everyday activities like lifting, carrying, and climbing easier.
  • Injury Prevention: Strengthens muscles, ligaments, and tendons, reducing the chance of injuries during other activities.

Adding strength training to your fitness routine can greatly enhance your overall health and well-being, making it an essential part of a balanced fitness program.

Tips for Maximizing Calorie Burn

To maximize calorie burn during your strength training sessions, consider these tips:

  • Incorporate Compound Movements: Exercises that work multiple muscle groups, like squats and deadlifts, burn more calories. These movements engage more muscles, leading to higher energy expenditure.
  • Increase Intensity: Lift heavier weights and reduce rest times between sets. High-intensity workouts elevate your heart rate and increase overall calorie burn.
  • Add Cardio Intervals: Mix in short bursts of cardio between strength sets. For example, perform a minute of jumping jacks or burpees between sets to keep your heart rate up.
  • Stay Consistent: Regular workouts will help you build muscle and improve your overall calorie burn. Consistency is key to seeing long-term results.
  • Focus on Progressive Overload: Gradually increase the weight or resistance you use in your exercises to continuously challenge your muscles and promote growth.
  • Vary Your Workouts: Incorporate different exercises and routines to prevent plateaus and keep your workouts engaging.

By following these tips, you can maximize the effectiveness of your strength training sessions and achieve your fitness goals more efficiently.


Strength training is an effective way to build muscle, boost metabolism, and improve overall health. While the calorie burn during strength training varies, understanding the factors that influence it can help you optimize your workouts. Incorporate strength training into your fitness routine to enjoy the wide range of benefits it offers, both in terms of calorie burn and overall well-being.

By focusing on these key aspects, you can create a balanced and effective strength training program that helps you achieve your fitness goals. Remember, the benefits of strength training extend far beyond just burning calories – it enhances your overall physical and mental health, making it an indispensable part of a healthy lifestyle.

At Olympiasouq, we offer a wide range of fitness equipment, including resistance bands, dumbbells, and more. Our high-quality gear is designed to support your strength training and overall fitness goals. Explore our selection to find everything you need.

How Many Calories Does Strength Training Burn?
abc, Administrator May 28, 2024
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