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Weightlifting Calories Burned Calculator

Weightlifting Calorie Calculator

Quickly receive an accurate estimate of your calorie burn after weightlifting by simply inputting your workout's intensity, how long you trained, and your current body weight. This feature empowers you to log workouts, accumulate data on your performance, and push yourself to new heights by attempting to outdo your records.
Table of Contents
Start Weightlifting Calculator
About the Calculator
Log Workouts and Build Stats
Weightlifting Calorie Burn Chart
Understanding your Calorie Burn
Lose Weight and Gain Muscle
Calorie Surplus Calculator
The Role of Calorie Surplus
Afterglow Effect for Bonus Burn
Weights vs. Cardio: What Burns More Calories?
Walking Calorie Calculator
BMR: Calorie Burn While at Rest
TDEE: Total Daily Calorie Burn
Macro Calculator
Optimal Macros for Weightlifters
Reevaluating BMI for Weightlifters
Weightlifting vs Bodybuilding
Body Fat Percentage Calculator
Fat Loss and Muscle Gain
Tools for Tracking Calorie Burn
Foods to Fuel Muscle Gain
Top High Protein Foods List
Frequently Asked Questions

Weightlifting Calories Burned Calculator

Welcome to our Weightlifting Calories Burned Calculator, a fantastic tool designed to help you accurately track your caloric expenditure during workouts. To use this tool, select your workout intensity level from the provided list, input your body weight, and specify the duration of your workout. With all these factors taken into account, our calculator provides you with a close to accurate estimate of your total calorie burn from weightlifting.

Our weightlifting calorie calculator is just one of the many fitness tools we provide to aid in exercise tracking. We highly recommend you also explore our versatile Exercise Calorie Calculator for a comprehensive analysis across various workouts.

Log Workouts and Build your Stats

Elevate your weightlifting routine with our Workout Log App included with your innovative Calories Burned calculator. Tailored for strength trainers at any level, this tool provides a detailed overview of calories burned during various weightlifting exercises. Integrating seamlessly with our workout exercise log, it aids in crafting a balanced fitness plan that not only focuses on strength but also on achieving a healthy, toned physique.

Weightlifting Calorie Burn Chart

Here is our Calories Burned Chart for Weightlifting that serves as the backbone of our Calculator. The chart provides an in-depth look at how your caloric expenditure varies based on the intensity of your workout and your body weight. Featuring three levels of intensity (easy, medium, hard), and four different body weights (130, 155, 180, and 205 pounds), the chart generates our calculator's precise calorie burn estimations. This chart is merely a fragment of our extensive complete chart of calorie burn for all exercises, sports and activities. It helps answer your question 'how many calories do I burn weightlifting' while providing a more detailed exploration of your workouts and aiding in the careful monitoring of your fitness progress.

ActivityMeasure130 lbs155 lbs180 lbs205 lbs
  Calories Burned in 1 Hour
WeightliftingEasy177 211 245 279
WeightliftingMedium266 317 368 419
WeightliftingHard354 422 490 558

Understanding How Many Calories You Burn Weightlifting

Calculating the calorie burn from a weightlifting workout involves a few vital considerations: your workout's duration, its intensity level, and of course, your body weight. The chart above provides calories burned per hour values, segmented by intensity and body weight ranges. To begin, identify your precise body weight category on the chart (130, 155, 180, or 205 pounds). Next, determine the intensity of your workout (easy, medium, or hard). The intersection of your weight and workout intensity will give you the number of calories burned per hour.

But what if your workout wasn't exactly an hour long? No worries! To calculate the calories burned for the exact duration of your workout, figure out the portion of time you lifted weights compared to an hour. For instance, if your workout lasted for 30 minutes, you would calculate half of the calories burned per hour figure. If your body weight does not exactly match one of the four categories (130, 155, 180, or 205 pounds), you can still estimate your calorie expenditure. Simply determine where your weight falls between the two closest weight categories on the chart. Then, calculate your calorie burn by taking the average of the two corresponding calorie values.

But we've made it even simpler than that! With our innovative calculator, you don't need to do all these calculations manually and you can easily figure out how many calories are burned weightlifting. Just input your body weight, the duration of your workout, and its intensity level, and we'll do all the heavy lifting (pun intended!) for you. Our calculator uses the data from the comprehensive chart above to provide you with an accurate estimate of calories burned, taking all the guesswork out of tracking your progress.

Weightlifting to Lose Weight and Gain Muscle

Weightlifting plays a pivotal role in weight loss and muscle gain, as it increases the metabolic rate, helping you burn calories at a faster pace. When combined with a well-planned diet, weightlifting can lead to an effective calorie deficit for weight loss while preserving muscle mass. This approach targets and eliminates stored fat while maintaining and strengthening muscles.

Our weight lifting calorie deficit calculator is designed to assist individuals in this complex process. By calculating the number of calories required to create a calorie deficit, it aids individuals in determining their optimal caloric intake for weight loss. This is based on factors such as age, gender, current weight, and activity level. This calculator is particularly useful in a weightlifting regimen as it helps to ensure that you are consuming an adequate amount of energy for your workouts without overeating.

In addition to this, we offer a calorie calculator for weight loss that plays a significant role in the management of dietary intake. It helps you to accurately plan and monitor your calorie consumption to align with your goals. This calculator is particularly useful for weightlifters as it assists them in maintaining a balance between their caloric intake and expenditure, preventing unnecessary weight gain.

Finally, we have the Weight Loss Calculator by Date, a free to use tool that estimates when you can expect to reach your target weight based on your daily caloric deficit. This calculator keeps you on track and motivates you towards achieving your weight loss objectives in a planned and time-bound manner. All these tools, when used together, can significantly enhance your weightlifting performance, promote weight loss, and encourage muscle gain.

The Role of Calorie Surplus in Muscle Building

While a calorie deficit is the cornerstone of weight loss, a calorie surplus is often considered equally vital for muscle gain. To build muscle effectively, your body requires extra energy beyond what it expends daily. This is where a calorie surplus enters the equation, providing your body with the additional fuel needed to support muscle synthesis, promote recovery, and enhance performance during strength training. The surplus should be moderate, as excessive calories can lead to unwanted fat gain.

It's advisable to approach a calorie surplus just as methodically as you would a deficit. A daily surplus of 250 to 500 calories above your maintenance calories typically strikes a balance that supports muscle growth without excess fat accumulation. It's crucial to source these additional calories from nutritious foods that are rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats to maximize muscle gain while minimizing fat storage. To determine your optimal intake for a muscle-building phase, consider utilizing our Calorie Surplus Calculator, which can provide a tailored estimate based on your physical attributes and activity level.

Pairing your calorie surplus with a well-structured resistance training program is essential. Resistance training stimulates muscle fibers, creating a biological demand for muscle repair and growth that your calorie surplus can fulfill. The surplus aids in repairing the microtears in muscle fibers caused by lifting weights, leading to an increase in muscle size and strength over time. As your training progresses, it's important to re-evaluate your calorie needs regularly since your body composition and maintenance calories might change as you gain muscle mass.

The Afterglow Effect: Extending Your Burn Beyond the Workout

The body continues to consume more oxygen and burn more calories as it works to repair muscle tissue and restore hormonal and energy balances post-workout. This process known as the afterburn effect, can last from a few hours to a couple of days, depending on the intensity, duration, and type of weightlifting performed, as well as individual characteristics like fitness level and body composition. Incorporating high-intensity workouts or weightlifting into your fitness routine can yield better results in the long run because of the afterburn effect.

The Afterburn Effect

The afterburn effect, also known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), plays a crucial role in the total caloric burn of weightlifting or high-intensity exercise sessions. Post-workout, the body demands additional oxygen to recover and return to its normal state, resulting in an elevated metabolic rate and, thus, an increased calorie burn. Studies indicate that heavy weightlifting and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) are especially apt at inducing EPOC, potentially escalating the metabolic rate for up to 48 hours after exercise.

Unfortunately, accurately calculating the precise number of afterburn calories for an individual is not straightforward. Factors such as the workout's intensity and duration, the individual's fitness level, and their body composition all influence the outcome. Moreover, metabolic responses can vary between individuals and even between different workouts for the same person, adding to the complexity. Nonetheless, the impact of afterburn calories on the total caloric burn is undeniable. Therefore, any comprehensive fitness plan, particularly those seeking weight loss or enhanced metabolic health, should incorporate weightlifting or other high-intensity routines to harness the benefits of EPOC.

Weights vs. Cardio: What Burns More Calories?

Many times we get asked does lifting weights or cardio burn more calories. There is a very popular cardio workout that is similar to weightlifting, and that is walking. Although the intensity, impact, and nature of weightlifting and walking differ significantly, surprisingly, both activities burn approximately the same number of calories per hour. This similarity in caloric burn, however, doesn't tell the whole fitness story. One key advantage of weightlifting is the afterburn effect.

While weightlifting primarily works your muscles and demands a high metabolic requirement during the workout, it also continues to burn calories post-workout as your body heals and recovers. This afterburn effect enhances the total caloric burn of a weightlifting routine, making it a dynamic and effective exercise for those aiming to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

In contrast, walking, while a great low-impact cardio activity, does not offer this same afterburn benefit. Therefore, when considering the overall impact on calorie burn, weight training may have a slight edge. The calorie burn during a walking workout is less intense than weightlifting, but it can add up over time, especially when done consistently and over longer distances. The number of calories burned while walking is largely determined by the walking speed, distance covered, and the individual's body weight.

To determine the exact number of calories burned during your walks, our free Walking Calories Calculator can be very useful. It uses data about your weight, the speed of your walk, and the distance covered to provide an estimate of the total calories burned. The walking calculator also track steps, making them an excellent tool for those aiming to hit a particular step count each day.

BMR: Calorie Burn While at Rest

Calculating your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) can provide useful insights into your resting calorie burn. BMR refers to the number of calories your body requires to perform its most basic functions when you’re not doing any physical activities. It's essentially the energy needed to keep your body running while at rest. To get a better understanding of your body's needs, try our online BMR Calculator and see how many calories you burn at rest.

TDEE: Total Daily Calorie Burn

It's important to note that while BMR provides a baseline, it doesn't account for the calories burned during physical activity, including weightlifting. This is where the concept of Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) comes into play. TDEE factors in your BMR and the energy used during physical activity to provide a more accurate picture of your daily calorie expenditure. For a more precise measure, you can use our TDEE calculator, a powerful tool that integrates your BMR and activity levels to furnish detailed and personalized energy expenditure information.

Weightlifting, due to its nature as an anaerobic activity, can significantly affect both your BMR and TDEE. Regular weightlifting can lead to increases in muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat at rest, having a greater muscle mass can increase your BMR, meaning you'll burn more calories even when you're not actively exercising. Hence, a weightlifter's TDEE will be considerably higher than their BMR.

Strength in Nutrition: Optimal Macro Ratios for Weightlifters

Our free Macro Calculator is a powerful tool designed to assist weightlifters in managing their daily caloric and macro-nutrient intake after working out. It computes the exact amount of calories you should consume daily, further splitting these calories into specific proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. This ensures a balanced diet that complements your weightlifting routine.

Academic research and field studies propose an ideal nutritional division of 45% protein, 35% carbohydrates, and 20% fats for weightlifters. Consuming 45% protein aids in muscle repair and building, while 35% carbohydrates provide sustainable energy for grueling weightlifting sessions. Lastly, the 20% fat intake is crucial for maintaining a healthy hormonal balance and promoting vitamin absorption. For a more in-depth look at optimal ratios and diet plans, check out our Top 35 Macro Ratios & Diet Plans.

Our Macro Calculator for weightlifting assumes these ratios as a starting point, delivering an efficient macro-nutrient distribution. However, we believe in the importance of a diet plan that caters to an individual's specific needs and preferences. Our calculator, therefore, allows you the flexibility to adjust these macro-nutrient ratios and receive a custom-calculated breakdown of the grams of protein, carbohydrates, and fats you should consume daily. In this way, we provide a personalized, adaptable approach to your weightlifting diet plan.

The Muscle Mass Factor: Reevaluating BMI for Weightlifters

Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is a helpful tool to assess your physical health status. We calculate your BMI by dividing body weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. While it doesn't directly measure body fat, it serves as an approximate gauge of whether you're underweight, of normal weight, overweight, or obese.

However, if you're a regular weightlifter, BMI might not be the most accurate measure of your body composition since it doesn't differentiate between muscle and fat mass. Muscular individuals may be categorized as overweight or obese due to their high muscle mass. As a weightlifter, you may want to consider other measures like Body Fat Percentage, which can give you a more accurate picture of your fitness level.

Calorie Showdown: Comparing the Burn of Weightlifting vs. Bodybuilding

Weightlifting and bodybuilding are two distinct practices within the realm of fitness, each with its unique intricacies and goals. Both involve lifting weights and can significantly impact your body's composition and caloric needs; however, the primary focus and methodologies of each differ substantially.

Weightlifting, also known as powerlifting or Olympic lifting, centers around maximizing one's strength. Athletes in this field aim to lift the heaviest weights possible in one to three repetitions, focusing on compound movements like the squat, deadlift, and bench press. Comparatively, the caloric expenditure during a weightlifting session is primarily determined by the intensity of the workout. High-intensity weightlifting can lead to a high peak caloric burn; however, the overall caloric burn may not be as substantial due to the typically shorter duration of these intense lifting sessions.

On the other hand, bodybuilding concentrates on sculpting the body to achieve a specific aesthetic, characterized by increased muscle mass and decreased body fat. Bodybuilders typically perform higher repetitions with lighter weights, focusing on isolating each muscle group. Consequently, bodybuilding workouts tend to be longer and more frequent, which could result in a higher overall caloric burn compared to weightlifting. For a more precise understanding of the calories burned during your bodybuilding workouts, we recommend using our Calories Calculator for Bodybuilding, which can provide a detailed overview based on your specific parameters.

However, it is essential to note that while the actual workout sessions may burn varying amounts of calories, both weightlifting and bodybuilding can increase your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) by boosting your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is due to the fact that muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue, meaning the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Thus, despite their differences, both weightlifting and bodybuilding can play a significant role in your overall energy expenditure and can be effectively integrated into your fitness journey based on your individual goals and preferences.

Strategies for Fat Loss and Muscle Gain

Shaping a physique that is low in body fat and high in muscle mass is a common goal for many fitness enthusiasts. Achieving such a transformation requires a balance of strength training, cardio exercises, and a well-rounded diet. Our Body Fat Percentage Calculator can assist you in tracking your progress. This tool will give you a clear picture of your body's composition, helping you to manage your goals effectively.

Strength training is crucial in preserving and gaining muscle mass. By adding weightlifting exercises to your routine, you can stimulate muscle growth. Start with basic compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and bench presses, which engage multiple muscle groups. These exercises not only increase your strength but also boost your metabolism, helping you to burn calories even when at rest.

Cardio exercises are effective at burning calories and reducing body fat. Incorporate both high-intensity interval training (HIIT), for a short, intense workout, and low-intensity steady-state (LISS) cardio, for longer workout sessions, into your routine. By varying your workouts, you can prevent your body from adapting and keep the fat loss constant.

A balanced diet is equally important. Consume a diet rich in protein to support muscle growth and recovery, and maintain a slight calorie deficit to encourage fat loss. Avoid crash diets and opt for sustainable changes to your eating habits. Remember, it's not just about losing weight, but about changing your body composition.

Tools for Tracking Calorie Burn

Heart Rate Monitor

Using a Heart Rate Monitor is an effective way to measure the number of calories burned during weightlifting. These devices calculate calories burned by measuring your heart rate during the workout. They often provide more personalized results as they take into consideration your heart rate, age, gender, and weight. However, results might vary based on the brand and model of the monitor.

Smart Watches and Fitness Trackers

Smart Watches and Fitness Trackers are increasingly popular tools for measuring caloric expenditure. These devices use a combination of sensors and algorithms to calculate calories burned. They track your activity levels, heart rate, and sometimes even your body temperature to provide a more comprehensive picture of your calorie burn. While convenient, they may not be as accurate as other methods but still give a good ballpark figure.

Online Calculators

Online Calorie Calculators are an accessible and easy-to-use tool for estimating caloric burn. These calculators use a formula that factors in your weight, the duration of the workout, and the intensity of the exercise. While not as accurate as methods that employ heart rate, they offer a decent estimate and are especially handy for planning workouts and diets.

Metabolic Testing

Metabolic Testing is a more scientific and accurate way to determine how many calories you burn during exercise. These tests measure your oxygen consumption and carbon dioxide production to calculate your total metabolic rate, including during specific activities like weightlifting. While this method is the most accurate, it is also more costly and requires a visit to a specialized lab or fitness center.

Smart Clothes

Smart Clothes embedded with sensors are a relatively new development in this area. They can give a more accurate reading of calories burned by measuring your body's physical responses directly. These may include heart rate, sweat rate, and even muscle tension. However, these are usually more expensive, and the technology is still developing.

Health and Fitness Apps

Apps are another tool that can help track your calorie burn. Many of these apps use the data from your phone's accelerometer along with your personal data (such as weight and age) to estimate the number of calories burned. Some apps also allow you to input the type and duration of your workout for a more personalized estimate. While their accuracy varies, they are a convenient and affordable method for keeping track of caloric expenditure.

High Protein Foods to Fuel Muscle Gain

Incorporating high protein foods for muscle building into your diet is a fundamental aspect during your fitness journey. Protein is the building block of muscle, and ensuring you consume enough of it is crucial for repairing and building muscle tissue after resistance training. There are a plethora of nutritious options that can help meet your protein needs while also supplying your body with other essential nutrients to support overall health and performance.

Lean Meats

Lean meats like chicken, turkey, and lean cuts of beef are excellent sources of high-quality protein that can aid in muscle synthesis and recovery. These options not only provide the essential amino acids your muscles require to repair and grow but also offer vital nutrients such as iron, zinc, and B vitamins, which play critical roles in energy metabolism and overall well-being.

Plant-based Protein

Plant-based proteins, including lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, and tofu, are fantastic for those following a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Incorporating a variety of these foods can ensure you're receiving all the essential amino acids and benefit from the additional fiber, vitamins, and minerals they provide. Including plant-based proteins in your diet not only supports muscle gain but also promotes a healthy digestive system and lowers the risk of chronic diseases.


Fish, particularly fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, are not only rich in protein but also high in omega-3 fatty acids. These healthy fats are beneficial for muscle recovery by reducing inflammation, which can be particularly helpful after intense workouts. Including omega-3 rich foods in your diet can thus accelerate muscle repair and contribute to a stronger, leaner physique over time.

Frequently Asked Questions


Do you burn more calories lifting weights or doing cardio?


How many calories does 1 hour of weightlifting burn?


How many minutes does a 1,000 calorie weightlifting workout take?


Does weightlifting burn more fat than cardio?


Does running or weight lifting burn more calories?


How many calories does heavy weight lifting burn?


How many calories does intense weightlifting burn?


How many calories does moderate weight lifting burn?


How many calories does light weight lifting burn?


How many calories should a weightlifter eat?


Does the type of weightlifting exercise affect the calories burned?


Can weightlifting increase my Resting Metabolic Rate?


How does weightlifting compare to cardiovascular exercises in terms of calories burned?


Can I lose weight by weightlifting alone?


Does increasing the intensity of my weightlifting session burn more calories?


How does body weight influence calories burned while weightlifting?


Will I continue to burn calories after my weightlifting session is done?


What are some other factors that affect calories burned during a weightlifting session?


  1. Mayo Clinic: Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour
  2. Women's Health: How Many Calories Are You Burning?
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