Timing weights workouts

It has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to “time” my lifting sessions for logging purposes. Do you log the whole time “in the weight room”, workout minus rest time, or estimate how much of each set you are “under load” for?
I tend not to have long rest breaks (maybe 30sec or whatever it takes to change the kit for the next exercise) and put down about half the time elapsed between starting and ending the “weights” sections of my workouts, but feel I may be cheating myself.
I guess in the long run it doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious as to how other people tackle this.

Replies

  • Chef_Barbell
    Chef_Barbell Posts: 6,375 Member
    The whole session. Rest time between lifting counts too. Plus no need to make things over complicated. 🤷🏼‍♀️
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,632 Member
    The strength training entry in the database assumes the traditional 2 - 4 minute recovery between sets. You log the entire duration of your workout to get what might well be a very modest estimate depending on how much weight you shift in your workout.

    BTW
    Maybe you should consider if such short breaks between sets is in line with whatever is your training goal?
    That recovery time is important if you are training for strength.

    If you are doing no rest circuit training with weights then maybe logging as strength training isn't appropriate. There is a circuit training entry in the database too (which to me seems very generous in term of calories).

    Without seeing your workout or knowing your goals there's a big element of guesswork going on.
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    I'll say again, as I have before, that I do not believe you can get a good "guess" of calorie burn without knowing energy expenditure.

    You and I lift the same weight, but in terms of difficulty it's a 5 out of 10 for you but a 7 out of 10 for me. Thus, all else equal - I would burn more calories doing the same lift.
    Also, let's take the squat.as an example exercise. If I weigh 200 (i.do) and you weigh 160, then even if we.load the bar the same, I would be squatting 40 lbs more than you.

    And, I'm 5'10". So the guy 6'1" has to squat FARTHER than I do, thus expending more energy (calories).

    I could go on, but the point is anything saying "strength training is this much" is a fairy tale.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,381 Member
    I disagreed with the above.

    Being in weight stable maintenance when I started lifting I found using the MFP estimate helpful until I had enough data to compare.

    MFP does take your age, weight and height into consideration when awarding exercise cals so a taller or lighter person would be given a different cal credit for the same workout.
    What it doesn’t know I’d the routine and the weights you are moving, that is where your personal data comparison comes into play.

    My sessions average out at 200cals for 90min (a rounding out of my data and MFP) and my weight has stayed stable for 4+yr.

    One doesn’t need to be exact, one just needs a reasonable estimate and the common sense to adjust when needed.

    Cheers, h.

    PS, my sessions are probably longer than most for the same routine as I take longer rest periods.
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    edited November 2019
    So you think the same.workout with longer breaks is the same.calorie [email protected]!

    I'm not really a break person. In the time some folks call 'rest' or 'break' I could have a snack and a nap 😂

    But your story doesnt take.into consideration efficiency (or the lack of it). In the first couple if months most see the weight on the bar increase significantly. Some of this is strength, but much is just becoming familiar and.coordinated with the movements.
    But strength OR efficiency, are you really suggesting.that the calorie burn is the same.for the.person who barely manages to push up.135 and the person who pushes 135 though he can push 270?
    In other words, you think the calorie burn is the same.for.somemone pushing MAX weight and the person pushing 50% of max weight?
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,381 Member
    jeffjeff85 wrote: »
    So you think the same.workout with longer breaks is the same.calorie [email protected]!

    I'm not really a break person. If I stop sweating, I'm not moving.hard enough. In the time some folks call 'rest' or 'break's I could have a snack and a nap 😂

    No, I am saying that you can start with MFP estimates for lifting then use your personal data to adjust.

    Cheers, h.
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    edited November 2019
    Food for thought for the next guy ....

    You start strength training today. You do bicep curls 25 lbs for 3 sets of 12. Reps 10,11, and 12 kinda sucked.

    45 days from now, you do the same workout. It's easy now, almost boring to do it. You think maybe you.should move up to the 35# dumbbells.

    You haven't weight lifted yourself taller, so you're still 5'10" tall. But you.did some workouts honestly and your body composition is a bit better even tho weight is unchanged , still at 200#. You are 45 days older than the first workout.

    Height, weight, age and workout all the same as before. Calorie burn same as before?
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,835 Member
    jeffjeff85 wrote: »
    Food for thought for the next guy ....

    You start strength training today. You do bicep curls 25 lbs for 3 sets of 12. Reps 10,11, and 12 kinda sucked.

    45 days from now, you do the same workout. It's easy now, almost boring to do it. You think maybe you.should move up to the 35# dumbbells.

    You haven't weight lifted yourself taller, so you're still 5'10" tall. But you.did some workouts honestly and your body composition is a bit better even tho weight is unchanged , still at 200#. You are 45 days older than the first workout.

    Height, weight, age and workout all the same as before. Calorie burn same as before?

    So you're saying that how you feel when you do an exercise is a better indicator of the calorie burn than is the actual physics-type definition** of the work that's being performed?

    (** Britannica says work = "measure of energy transfer that occurs when an object is moved over a distance by an external force at least part of which is applied in the direction of the displacement".)
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    Not about how you feel. You saying two.ppl doing the same.thing but. The same calories? Then why the height, weight, age?
    Dont waste time and money on more than one set of dumbbells. Right? Since the one set affects.us all equally, we just need one set in the gym. that's sarcasm

    PHYSICS is a good point. Work equals force x distance applied (may be measured in time). Or, W= fd. So even if the weight stays the same ( we use the same.bar) increasing the distance its.moved increases the AMT OF WORK DONE. The FORCE is the same. But the WORK is increased.
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    Ih, anybody ever heard of the body adapting to a workout? So, gains stop.. be use your body has adapted to the work and you're now not losing weight, or gaining strength, or whatever.
    This is why strength training is PROGRESSIVE.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 24,835 Member
    edited November 2019
    jeffjeff85 wrote: »
    Not about how you feel. You saying two.ppl doing the same.thing but. The same calories? Then why the height, weight, age?
    Dont waste time and money on more than one set of dumbbells. Right? Since the one set affects.us all equally, we just need one set in the gym. that's sarcasm

    PHYSICS is a good point. Work equals force x distance applied (may be measured in time). Or, W= fd. So even if the weight stays the same ( we use the same.bar) increasing the distance its.moved increases the AMT OF WORK DONE. The FORCE is the same. But the WORK is increased.

    Calorie burn is not the same thing as strength gain. I don't question that you need progressive resistance to attain progressive strength gain. Moving the same weight the same distance at the same body weight is going to burn roughly the same amount of calories, even if neuromuscular adaptation makes it seem easier.

    Bicep curls (your earlier example), if done correctly, are the same movement: Same force, same distance. Same work. If you're saying that the distance difference when reps 10, 11, 12 sucked are going to make a significant difference is calorie burn, we have different definitions of "significant".

    There's every reason to progress the weight if your goal is strength, mass or general fitness. But pushing X weight Y distance is the same amount of work, and pretty darned close to the same calorie expenditure, whether X weight is near the max you can achieve, or only a small fraction of your max.

    None of which has anything to do with Haitch's contention that MFP gives people a workable enough approximation of weight training calories that most people can use it as part of their weight management equation, and succeed. None of this stuff is exact, but close enough is close enough.

    ETA: None of this is germane to OP's question, so I won't post further about this digression. Other readers can draw their own conclusions. Best wishes to you!
  • jeffjeff85
    jeffjeff85 Posts: 118 Member
    It has occurred to me that I’m not really sure how to “time” my lifting sessions for logging purposes...
    I guess in the long run it doesn’t really matter, but I’m curious as to how other people tackle this.

    According.to some.these.people, doesnt matter. 10 sets in succession, or 1 set per hour for 10 hours, all the same.
    I'm not one who says that, but they exist.
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    edited November 2019
    The physiology of lifting weights is completely different from cardio, so any cardio-based metrics (e.g. heart rate) are not applicable. Since there are so many variables involved in a lifting workout, it is virtually impossible to come up with a formula that is generally applicable (like the energy prediction equations for running or walking).

    I have tried to put together some common concepts from various studies I have read on the topic. One, is that, overall, lifting heavier weights burns less calories than burning lighter weights. That is because, while calorie burn per second might be higher for heavier weights (and I don’t know if it is or isn’t—I’ve never seen it studied and am not sure how you would do so), the time actually spent under tension is much less and recovery periods need to be longer.

    The calorie burn for lifting one set to failure of a 40% 1RM weight is about twice that of one set at 90% of 1 RM. That’s mainly because the lighter weight set lasts about 4 times as long.

    There is no difference in “afterburn” between sets of lighter or heavier weights performed to failure.

    Since the body is not moving during lifting, body weight does not make any difference. Like riding a bike. Height and age don’t make a difference either.

    I have not seen any studies that looked at the difference between absolute weights—i.e. independent of relative intensity, do you burn more calories lifting 50 lbs vs lifting 100lbs.

    Every study I have seen measures relative weights — the % of one’s 1 RM.

    This is one of those topics where using “what makes sense” is a very poor strategy for drawing conclusions. The usual observations of heart rate, breathing, sweating, muscle fatigue, etc have little or no predictive value.

    Neither does increased strength performance.

  • wifeoferp
    wifeoferp Posts: 86 Member
    I actually don’t log my strength workouts, or any workouts actually, and I don’t *eat back* exercise calories.
    I recommend using an online calculator like at legionathletics.com and seeing what it spits out as your daily recommended calories (and macros if you are into that.) Use that amount as your daily calorie amount and just be consistent about working out (which the calculator takes into account.) This will give you a bit higher calorie allowance than MFP allows, but it already considers your weekly calorie expenditure from working out.
    I have lost 25 pounds over the past five months (female, 5’8”, started at 158 and am now at 133) and have found that it is less stress to not worry about the workout calories.
    Do it for a few weeks and see how it is going for you, and make adjustments to your calories given from the calculator if you want to speed up or slow your progress.
    Anyway, my point is that you don’t need to worry about the timing if you use a calorie amount that takes your general workout schedule into consideration from the beginning.
  • KNoceros
    KNoceros Posts: 316 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    The strength training entry in the database assumes the traditional 2 - 4 minute recovery between sets. You log the entire duration of your workout to get what might well be a very modest estimate depending on how much weight you shift in your workout.
    .

    Thank you. That’s the clarification I was after. I have probably been “under logging”. (Although that’s probably better than the other way around).