Counting the Calories Burned

How many calories will you burn when you work out? It depends on the workout you do. Here are the average calorie burn rates for a woman who weighs 150 pounds (ranked in order of the calorie burn efficiency):

  • 1 hour of HIIT: 800 calories
  • 1 hour of running: 600 calories (10 minutes per mile pace)
  • 1 hour of boxing: 560 calories
  • 1 hour of weight training: 450 calories
  • 30 minutes of HIIT: 400 calories
  • 30 minutes of running: 300 calories (10 minutes per mile pace)
  • 1 hour of Pilates: 300 calories
  • 30 minutes of boxing: 280 calories
  • 1 hour of yoga: 240 calories
  • 1 hour of barre: 220 calories
  • 30 minutes of weight training: 220 calories
  • 30 minutes of Pilates: 150 calories
  • 30 minutes of yoga: 120 calories
  • 30 minutes of barre: 110 calories

Other Factors to Consider

It’s not just the workout you do that will determine how many calories you burn off. There are other factors at work here.


Men usually have more muscle mass and lower levels of body fat compared to women. This is generally true even the man and the woman are of the same age and weight. Because of the greater muscle mass and lower body fat, men tend to burn more calories.


You burn fewer calories off when you exercise, and you’re older.

When you get older, it’s normal for your muscle mass to decrease. This is natural, unless you exercise diligently to maintain your muscle mass even when you get older.

And as your muscle mass decreases, it’s also normal that the body fat accounts for more of your total body weight. Again, with the lower muscle mass and higher body fat, older folks burn off fewer calories as a result.

Body Size and Composition

If you’re sporting muscles, then you will burn off more calories in general. But you burn off fewer calories if you’re carrying a lot of body fat without a lot of muscle mass.

Type of Exercise

In general, when your exercises engage more of your muscles, you burn off more calories as a result. In addition, you also burn off more calories when you work out more intensely. That’s why high intensity training burns more calories than mere brisk walking, and also why gyms such as Bodyplex with its wide range of equipment are so popular.

Amount of Daily Physical Activity

In general, if you live a sedentary life with your days without any sort of strenuous activity, you’ll burn fewer calories. That’s true when you’re working out and for the rest of the day. You’ll burn off more calories when you live a more active lifestyle, and you generally stay active for the whole day.

Measuring Burned Off Calories

With so many individual factors involved, measuring how many calories you’ve burned off can be an iffy proposition. Individuals are by definition different from one another. Practically speaking, it’s just hard to get a truly accurate count. At best, you can get a general estimation.

Still, that’s better than not having any clue at all. But you can use these methods to have some sort of idea:

Fitness Apps and Activity Trackers

These include not just apps, but special devices such as FitBit or the Apple Watch. Some of the apps are advanced enough that they can estimate the number of calories burned based on specific factors. These include your gender, weight, age, duration of your workout, and your heart rate.

Just keep in mind that when you use different devices, you might get different information. So, just stick to one app or device you actually like, and use the numbers you get from that particular device.

MET Value Charts

These are the metabolic equivalent charts. These charts show the working metabolic rate in relation to your resting metabolic rate.

The metabolic rate refers to the rate of energy used up per unit of time, and it’s an effective way estimating how many calories you burn when you do a particular exercise.

Your resting or basal metabolic rate is equal to 1 MET. This is the energy you spend when you’re doing nothing except sitting down. So, when you’re doing an exercise with a 4 MET value, that means the exercise is burning off 4 times the energy you’re using up when you’re sitting down.

Heart Rate Monitor

Lots of machines have this feature built in now, as you can use this to calculate your calorie burn rate. But you can buy a separate heart rate monitor for outdoor exercise as well.

Final Words

Counting calories is always a crucial part of weight loss. You need to count the number of calories you consume, and then make sure you burn off more calories than that when you work out. With this guide, you can at least have a good idea if your workout is burning off enough calories so you can lose the extra weight.

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