Wellness | Calculating calories burned during exercise for weight loss

burn_calories for weight lossTrying to lose some weight and get into better shape, I started going to the gym.

Since my pounds are not melting away I decided to calculate calorie consumption.

Usually I’m lifting weights and using the elliptical. The elliptical is specifying how many calories I consume and it’s ~115 per 10 minutes but how much calories do I burn while weight lifting?

Surfing the internet I found weight lifting calculators that specified between 12 to 40 for 5 minutes of weight lifting, I wanted to get more accurate result, so I went back to physics 101…

Typical weight I’m lifting is about 130 Pound, I’m lifting it by an average of 1 feet, doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions each – this is 5,850 foot pounds (just multiply 130 x 1 x 3 x 15).

Converting to Calories this is resulting ~2,000 calories, Wow this is great! I just forgot that whenever talking Calories in connection with body metabolism, we are talking Kcal which are 1,000 calories So this set only burnt 2 Kcal, is this possible? what about the 12 – 40 from the internet? Well we are not very efficient machines and our efficiency is about 22% so to produce these 2 Kcal we had to generate ~9 Kcal, or each lift is consuming ~0.2 Kcal. Overall 5 various weight lifting exercises will result burning of 45 Kcal.

Well, physics 101 was of some help, yet this is not the whole story – while lifting weights you build more muscle mass and in rest, 1 pound of muscle burns 6 Kcal per day vs. 2 Kcal 1 pound of fat burns per day. It will take time losing weight, but at least you’ll feel much better while trying…

Different trainers, I spoke with, have different theories on this, some don’t ever try to count calories burned during strength training.

What is your view – should we even try to count calories?