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Does Weightlifting Burn Calories After Workout

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Does Weightlifting Burn Calories After Workout


Does Weightlifting Burn Calories After Workout: Weightlifting, a popular form of resistance training, demands significant effort and exertion, pushing the body to its limits. During weightlifting sessions, the body draws upon its energy stores, leading to the creation of micro-tears in muscle fibers. These micro-tears, in turn, require post-exercise repair and recovery. The process of recovery is marked by a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), also referred to as the “afterburn effect.” EPOC signifies the additional oxygen intake required for processes such as muscle repair, the restoration of glycogen stores, and the elimination of metabolic waste products. 

This implies that even when the weights are set aside, the body’s metabolism remains elevated, contributing to the continuous calorie burn in the hours and days following a weightlifting workout. The intensity of a weightlifting session plays a crucial role in determining the extent of calorie burn during the post-workout period. High-intensity weightlifting, characterized by the use of heavier weights and shorter rest intervals, tends to elicit a more pronounced EPOC effect. 

This heightened effect can be attributed to the engagement of a larger number of muscle groups, which demands more oxygen and energy during the recovery phase. In contrast, low-intensity or light weightlifting, while valuable for different fitness goals, may result in a less significant post-workout calorie burn due to the lower oxygen and energy demands. Therefore, individuals aiming to maximize the calorie-burning potential of weightlifting should consider incorporating high-intensity sessions into their workout routines.

Does Weightlifting Burn Calories After Workout

How many calories do you burn after a weight lifting workout?

Calculating the calories that weightlifting burns.

In general, weightlifting for 30 minutes can burn between 90 and 126 calories, depending on a person’s body weight. Vigorous weight lifting for 30 minutes may burn between 180 to 252 calories, depending on a person’s body weight.

Exercise Intensity: Higher-intensity weight lifting workouts tend to burn more calories both during and after the workout. Activities like circuit training or lifting heavy weights with shorter rest periods can result in a higher post-exercise calorie burn due to the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) effect. This is often referred to as the “afterburn” effect.

Muscle Mass: People with more muscle mass tend to burn more calories post-workout because muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue.

Workout Duration: Longer weight lifting sessions can burn more calories during the workout, and this can contribute to a higher overall calorie expenditure. However, very long workouts can also lead to fatigue and reduced effectiveness.

Rest Periods: The length of rest periods between sets can affect the calorie burn. Shorter rest periods can increase the intensity of your workout and lead to a higher post-workout calorie burn.

Body Weight: Heavier individuals typically burn more calories during and after a workout because they require more energy to move their body mass.

Age and Gender: Age and gender can also influence calorie burn. Men tend to have a higher muscle mass and metabolic rate, which can result in more calories burned. Younger individuals may have a slightly higher metabolism than older individuals.

Do you burn more calories after lifting weights?

Studies have proved that strength training increases your calorie burn. The researchers in one study followed a group of participants for 24 weeks as they engaged in weight training: The men in the study saw an increase in resting metabolism of nine percent.

Oxygen Debt: During an intense weight lifting session, your body requires extra oxygen to fuel your muscles and perform the exercise. After your workout, your body needs to repay this “oxygen debt.”

Increased Metabolic Rate: To repay the oxygen debt and restore the body to its pre-exercise state, your metabolism remains elevated after your workout. This means you continue to burn calories at a higher rate than your resting metabolic rate.

Muscle Recovery: Weight lifting can cause microtrauma to your muscle fibers. The body expends energy to repair and rebuild these muscle tissues in the hours and days following the workout. This process also contributes to the post-exercise calorie burn.

Temperature Regulation: Your body temperature rises during exercise, and post-workout, it takes energy to cool down and regulate your body temperature, contributing to EPOC.

Do you continue to burn calories after a workout?

There have been several studies to determine how many hours EPOC, or afterburn, can last, and the consensus is that the effect peaks in the first hour after exercise and continues for up to 72 hours. That means your body could keep burning extra calories for as long as three days after a workout!

Elevated Metabolic Rate: After a workout, your body’s metabolism remains elevated, especially if you’ve engaged in intense exercise. This is because your body needs to replenish energy stores, repair muscle tissue, and remove metabolic waste products.

Muscle Recovery: The process of repairing and rebuilding muscle tissue after exercise requires energy, and this continues in the hours and days following a workout.

Cooling Down: Your body needs to cool down and return to its normal state, which also burns some extra calories.

Elevated Heart Rate: Even after you stop exercising, your heart rate may remain elevated for a period, which further contributes to calorie burn.

Does strength training burn more calories after workout?

Specifically, research has shown that you burn more calories in the hours following a weight training session, compared to a cardio workout (5, 6, 7). In fact, there are reports of resting metabolism staying elevated for up to 38 hours after weight training, while no such increase has been reported with cardio (7).

Intensity: More intense workouts, such as heavy lifting or high-intensity interval training, tend to create a greater EPOC effect.

Muscle mass: Individuals with more muscle mass tend to experience a higher EPOC effect since muscle tissue requires more energy for maintenance and repair.

Workout duration: Longer and more challenging strength training sessions are likely to result in a more prolonged EPOC effect.

Individual differences: EPOC can vary among individuals, depending on factors like fitness level, age, and genetics.

Can I lose weight by lifting weights only?

Weight lifting may not set you up for the calorie deficit that cardio can, but it may help ensure that your body burns fat instead of muscle. One study found that people who completed two to three 45- to 60-minute strength training sessions lost 1.4% of their total body fat on average after 5 months.

Muscle Development: Strength training can help you build and maintain lean muscle mass. More muscle requires more energy to maintain, so over time, having more muscle can increase your resting metabolic rate, which means you’ll burn more calories even at rest. This can contribute to weight loss or weight maintenance.

Caloric Deficit: Weight loss ultimately comes down to achieving a caloric deficit, which means you’re burning more calories than you’re consuming. While strength training burns calories during the workout and through the EPOC effect, it’s typically not as calorie-intensive as cardiovascular exercises like running or cycling. Therefore, controlling your diet and creating a caloric deficit is essential for weight loss.

Dietary Considerations: What you eat is a crucial factor in weight loss. Even if you’re lifting weights regularly, if you’re not paying attention to your diet and consuming more calories than you burn, you may not see significant weight loss results. A balanced, calorie-controlled diet is essential for successful weight loss.

Cardiovascular Exercise: Incorporating some form of cardiovascular exercise, like running, swimming, or cycling, can help you increase your overall calorie expenditure and potentially create a larger caloric deficit. Combining cardio with strength training can be an effective approach for weight loss.

Overall Health Benefits: Strength training has numerous health benefits, including improved muscle tone, bone density, and metabolic health. It can also help you reshape your body, making it a valuable component of any weight loss plan.

Can weight lifting burn belly fat?

A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology that was done specifically on a group of young, healthy trained females found that resistance training exercise significantly increased belly fat burning, largely due to the hormones released when we lift weights.

Maintain a Caloric Deficit: Weight loss, including belly fat reduction, requires burning more calories than you consume. Pay attention to your overall diet and ensure you’re consuming fewer calories than your body needs for maintenance.

Cardiovascular Exercise: Including cardiovascular workouts in your fitness routine, such as running, cycling, or swimming, can help increase overall calorie expenditure and aid in fat loss.

Dietary Choices: Make healthy food choices by focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods, and avoid excessive consumption of sugary and high-calorie items. Reducing your intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars can be particularly helpful.

Consistency: Consistency in both your strength training and overall fitness routine is crucial for achieving and maintaining your fitness and weight loss goals.

Does lifting burn calories at rest?

Rachel MacPherson, an American Council of Exercise certified personal trainer, performance specialist and Garage Gym Reviews expert, explains that muscle is metabolically active, meaning it burns calories even at rest, and even though the effect is small, it’s significant and does add up over time.

Muscle Tissue: Muscle tissue has a higher metabolic rate compared to fat tissue. This means that for each pound of muscle, your body burns more calories at rest to sustain that muscle. So, when you have more muscle, your RMR increases, and you burn more calories throughout the day, even when you’re not active.

Post-Exercise: After a strength training workout, your body goes through a process called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). During this phase, your body expends additional calories to repair and recover from the workout. This can further contribute to the calorie burn at rest.

Long-Term Effects: Over time, if you consistently engage in strength training and build and maintain muscle mass, your RMR can increase, leading to a sustained, higher calorie burn at rest. This can be beneficial for weight management and overall metabolic health.

What type of weightlifting burns the most fat?

Yet another general category, compound lifts are by far the best way to burn calories. This includes things like the squat, bench press and bentover row; Those exercises that cross multiple joints and work many muscle groups all at once.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Combining strength training exercises with high-intensity intervals can be very effective for fat loss. This approach increases your heart rate, burns calories, and promotes both muscle building and fat loss. It’s often referred to as “metabolic conditioning.”

Compound Exercises: Compound movements involve multiple muscle groups and require more energy. Exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses are excellent choices. They engage more muscle, which can contribute to a higher calorie burn during and after the workout.

Circuit Training: This involves moving quickly from one exercise to the next with minimal rest in between. It keeps your heart rate elevated and combines both strength and cardio elements for effective fat loss.

Progressive Overload: Regardless of the type of weightlifting, it’s crucial to progressively increase the resistance or intensity over time. This can be done by adding weight, increasing repetitions, or reducing rest periods. Progressive overload keeps your body adapting and burning more calories.

Consistency: Consistency is key in any fat loss program. Regular strength training, combined with cardiovascular exercise and a balanced diet, can yield significant results over time.

Balanced Diet: It’s important to create a caloric deficit by burning more calories than you consume to lose fat. A healthy diet that supports your fitness goals is crucial. Focus on whole foods, lean protein, plenty of vegetables, and appropriate portion control.

Rest and Recovery: Ensure that you allow your muscles to recover between strength training sessions to prevent overtraining and injury. Adequate rest is essential for long-term success.

Does Weightlifting Burn Calories After Workout


The intricate mechanisms at play, driven by the phenomenon of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), demonstrate the lasting influence of this exercise modality on the body’s metabolic rate. Even when the weights are re-racked and the sweat has dried, the body remains an active calorie-burning furnace as it undertakes essential processes like muscle repair and energy restoration.

Understanding the intricacies of weightlifting’s calorie-burning effects opens a world of possibilities for those seeking to optimize their fitness journey. High-intensity weightlifting sessions, characterized by heavy weights and demanding workouts, maximize the afterburn effect, making them a valuable choice for individuals aiming to shed extra calories. Weightlifting’s unique blend of immediate and prolonged benefits, encompassing muscle development, strength gains, and enhanced metabolism, makes it a versatile and potent tool for anyone seeking a well-rounded fitness routine. 

Weightlifting extends its calorie-burning impact long after the last rep, making it a compelling choice for those with fitness goals ranging from fat loss to overall health and vitality. As part of a holistic approach to wellness, weightlifting stands as a resounding endorsement for those who wish to harness the long-term benefits of an active and efficient metabolism.

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