MFP's calorie estimate for a weightlifting session -- This seems low

mikenmar
mikenmar Posts: 31 Member
I'm 5'10", 190 lbs, with a fair amount of muscle. I lifted for 60 mins today.

According to MFP's "Strength training" entry in the Cardiovascular section the exercise page, it estimates that I burned 264 calories. Really? That seems low given the amount of exercise I did.

It was front and side shoulders day. Here's what I did:

5 sets of lateral raises:
12 reps w/12.5 lb dumbbells in each hand
10 reps w/15 lb dumbbells
8 reps w/17.5 lb dumbbells
6 reps w/20 lb dumbbells
Drop-down set of about 20 reps (4-5 reps at each of the above weights)

4 sets of overhead dumbbell presses:
12 reps w/35 lb dumbbells in each hand
11 reps w/40 lb dumbbells
10 reps w/45 lb dumbbells
8 reps w/50 lb dumbbells

4 sets of overheard presses on a Hammerstrength plate-loaded machine:
8 reps w/70 lbs on each side
6 reps w/80 lbs on each side
4 reps w/90 lbs on each side
Drop-down set of about 15 reps (4-5 at each of the above weights)

6 sets of upright rows (free weight with a bar):
12 reps @45 lbs (just the bar)
12 reps @55 lbs
12 reps @65 lbs
10 reps @75 lbs
8 reps @85 lbs
Drop-down set of about 20 reps (about 4-5 reps at each of the above weights)

4 sets on a Lifefitness lateral shoulder raise machine

I use good form. No jerking; nice, slow, controlled movements, and I lift until failure in the last set and in the drop-down sets.

At the end of the workout, the front my my t-shirt was soaked in sweat. But I never got out of breath.

It seems like 264 calories is way too low for this kind of workout, compared to the calories you'd burn from something like jogging or biking for the same amount of time.

So what's an accurate estimate of the calories burned in this workout? Anyone?

Replies

  • Chieflrg
    Chieflrg Posts: 9,081 Member
    edited September 2017
    Looks close enough to me from a guesstimate stand point to get you in the ball park.

    Keep in mind sweat doesn't equate how many calories you burned, just that you needed to cool off for possibly several reasons. I also wouldn't compare running to lifting, they are two different animals.

    If you want accuracy just look at your average weight change over four weeks or so and adjust your calories according to your set goals.

    Losing too fast, add cals to your dailly intake.

    Losing too slow, subtract cals.

    Gaining too fast, subtract cals from your dailly intake.

    Etc...

  • sgt1372
    sgt1372 Posts: 3,966 Member
    mikenmar wrote: »
    So what's an accurate estimate of the calories burned in this workout?

    Accurate?

    No way to know for sure w/o hooking you up to a lot of specialized scientific equipment while you're doing your routine.

    Best guess would be pretty close to the MFP estimate of 264, based on the assumption that you were NOT actually performing physical work and burning cals consistently during the entire 60 min period.

    More likely, no more than 30 mins of effort overall which would be roughly equivalent to 30 mins of consistent rowing, elliptical or stairmaster activity at a moderate rate of 600 cals/hr.

    FWIW, I lift alot less vigourously than you do and only use a rate of 120 cal/hr (net of rest and set up time) to estimate how many cals I burn while lifting or doing body weight exercises, which I consider rougly equivalent to the same amount of work that I do rowing or on the stairmaster in a 15 min period.


  • donkey9512
    donkey9512 Posts: 60 Member
    That's why during a cut, people add more cardiovascular activities. Weight training is not about fat burn during the activity. However, there's the afterburn affect that ramps up your metabolism for 24 hours afterwards. There's where you burn many calories.
  • mmapags
    mmapags Posts: 8,953 Member
    Looks as close as you are going to get. Def not low. Lifting doesn't burn that much during.
  • mikenmar
    mikenmar Posts: 31 Member
    OK, thanks folks. I'll keep relying on the MFP estimate.

    I hope the estimates for bicycling are also accurate. According to that entry, I can burn 529 calories in 60 minutes of light cycling. Woohoo!
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,149 Member
    edited September 2017
    mikenmar wrote: »
    OK, thanks folks. I'll keep relying on the MFP estimate.

    I hope the estimates for bicycling are also accurate. According to that entry, I can burn 529 calories in 60 minutes of light cycling. Woohoo!

    Ah no - they are absolutely awful for cycling if you have any kind of decent bike.

    For example my ride today was 2hrs 13 mins, 38 miles @ 17 mph - Garmin estimated 1232 cals, Strava estimated 1125 and MFP's (far too wide a range) "16 - 20 mph very fast" category would give me 2027.

    We are talking almost double the realistic calorie estimates - might be somewhat accurate if you are riding an ultra heavy bike through sand, with flat tyres, into a headwind and uphill.....

    Suggest you download the Strava app to your phone for a free and very reasonable calorie estimate.
  • mikenmar
    mikenmar Posts: 31 Member
    Crap... OK, thanks, I'll check it out.
  • donkey9512
    donkey9512 Posts: 60 Member
    They say you generally cannot out excercise a bad diet. Diet and calories in count more. Excercise has benefits beyond calories burned