Why does strength training not get counted in your daily calorie needs?

Yesterday I logged a super tough leg day with 23 sets of high rep, high weight exercises. MyFitnessPal does not budge the calories for the day like having a cardio entry does. I find this to be a big issue for this program. Weight training burns a lot of calories and the resulting lean muscle tissue raises your resting metabolic rate as well. I think your programmers needs to add in this functionality asap in order to keep your app relevant and accurate.

Replies

  • ajlmfp22
    ajlmfp22 Posts: 54 Member
    edited February 2021
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Firstly, weight training doesn't actually burn that many calories.

    Secondly, there is a strength training entry under cardio, which will give you a reasonable calorie estimate.

    I have a hard time believing that the estimate that MFP gives is reasonable though? I had a ~1.5 hr lifting session today at ~11,000 lbs. total volume but the ~400 cal estimate MFP is giving seems way too high. Especially when you say strength training doesn't burn a lot of calories 🤔
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,238 Member
    ajlmfp22 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Firstly, weight training doesn't actually burn that many calories.

    Secondly, there is a strength training entry under cardio, which will give you a reasonable calorie estimate.

    I have a hard time believing that the estimate that MFP gives is reasonable though? I had a ~1.5 hr lifting session today at ~11,000 lbs. total volume but the ~400 cal estimate MFP is giving seems way too high. Especially when you say strength training doesn't burn a lot of calories 🤔

    400 calories for 1.5 hours may not be huge calories, actually. Lightweight li'l ol' ladies can hit that number of calories in around 45 minutes of well power-metered steady-state cardio at under 70% heart rate reserve, i.e., only moderately high intensity. 😉 (I get 163 calories per the MFP estimate for a full hour of strength training. Doesn't seem like much . . . ?)

    Maybe our definitions of "a lot of calories" differs?
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,743 Member
    ajlmfp22 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Firstly, weight training doesn't actually burn that many calories.

    Secondly, there is a strength training entry under cardio, which will give you a reasonable calorie estimate.

    I have a hard time believing that the estimate that MFP gives is reasonable though? I had a ~1.5 hr lifting session today at ~11,000 lbs. total volume but the ~400 cal estimate MFP is giving seems way too high. Especially when you say strength training doesn't burn a lot of calories 🤔
    @ajlmfp22

    400cals in 90mins of exercise seems a modest burn rate to me - compared to the accurate 900cals from brisk cycling I do it's not a lot. What are you comparing it to to think it's way too high?
  • ajlmfp22
    ajlmfp22 Posts: 54 Member
    edited February 2021
    sijomial wrote: »
    400cals in 90mins of exercise seems a modest burn rate to me - compared to the accurate 900cals from brisk cycling I do it's not a lot. What are you comparing it to to think it's way too high?
    I think that might be my issue then. That I don't really have anything to use as baseline for comparison.

    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    400 calories for 1.5 hours may not be huge calories, actually. Lightweight li'l ol' ladies can hit that number of calories in around 45 minutes of well power-metered steady-state cardio at under 70% heart rate reserve, i.e., only moderately high intensity. 😉 (I get 163 calories per the MFP estimate for a full hour of strength training. Doesn't seem like much . . . ?)

    Maybe our definitions of "a lot of calories" differs?
    I can see that. If someone asked me to put a numerical estimate on "a lot of calories", I honestly wouldn't be able to give an answer.
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 10,847 Member
    Mfp exercise Calories are stated as gross, not net

    Mfp estimates a base level of BMR*1 25*time for sedentary (1.4/ 1.6/ 1.8 for higher pre set activity levels)

    This would have to be subtracted from gross calories to give you actual net.

    it is a primary reason why exercise estimates are often considered to be off

  • psychod787
    psychod787 Posts: 4,088 Member
    sijomial wrote: »
    mkbader wrote: »
    Yesterday I logged a super tough leg day with 23 sets of high rep, high weight exercises. MyFitnessPal does not budge the calories for the day like having a cardio entry does. I find this to be a big issue for this program. Weight training burns a lot of calories and the resulting lean muscle tissue raises your resting metabolic rate as well. I think your programmers needs to add in this functionality asap in order to keep your app relevant and accurate.

    Sadly it doesn't - it just feels like it should.
    Still a great thing to do for health and physique though.

    Well, yes and no. My high volume workouts burn maybe 200 calories on 60 mins, but the decrease in skeletal muscle efficacy can.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 40,993 Member
    ajlmfp22 wrote: »
    Lietchi wrote: »
    Firstly, weight training doesn't actually burn that many calories.

    Secondly, there is a strength training entry under cardio, which will give you a reasonable calorie estimate.

    I have a hard time believing that the estimate that MFP gives is reasonable though? I had a ~1.5 hr lifting session today at ~11,000 lbs. total volume but the ~400 cal estimate MFP is giving seems way too high. Especially when you say strength training doesn't burn a lot of calories 🤔

    That sounds about right...if I log strength training for 60 minutes on MFP it'll give me around 267...which would be right around 400 calories for 90 minutes. Relative to what I would burn in 60 or 90 minutes of cycling, it's pretty modest.
  • ndj1979
    ndj1979 Posts: 29,147 Member
    mkbader wrote: »
    Yesterday I logged a super tough leg day with 23 sets of high rep, high weight exercises. MyFitnessPal does not budge the calories for the day like having a cardio entry does. I find this to be a big issue for this program. Weight training burns a lot of calories and the resulting lean muscle tissue raises your resting metabolic rate as well. I think your programmers needs to add in this functionality asap in order to keep your app relevant and accurate.

    then just use TDEE method and not the MFP method...problem solved...
  • Strudders67
    Strudders67 Posts: 959 Member
    edited February 2021
    mkbader wrote: »
    Yesterday I logged a super tough leg day with 23 sets of high rep, high weight exercises. MyFitnessPal does not budge the calories for the day like having a cardio entry does. I find this to be a big issue for this program. Weight training burns a lot of calories and the resulting lean muscle tissue raises your resting metabolic rate as well. I think your programmers needs to add in this functionality asap in order to keep your app relevant and accurate.

    All of the above answer your point anyway but, for future reference, in case you have any issues that do need to be addressed, it's rare for anyone from MFP to be reading any posts on these Forums. You'd need to go the Help section and log a ticket with the Support team. Sometimes you see an MFP Moderator pop up but you won't find Support on here.
  • richardgavel
    richardgavel Posts: 1,000 Member
    If you want a sense of calorie differences in your base burn that's reflective of muscle vs fat, check out tdeecalculator.net. It includes a field that will take into account body fat percentage when calculating appropriate calorie levels.
  • csplatt
    csplatt Posts: 639 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    And if your heart rate monitor or fitness tracker is the thing telling you that the strength training burned a lot of calories . . . this is a scenario where it's a lying liar that lies. ☹️

    How? Why?

    https://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/Azdak/view?id=hrms-cannot-count-calories-during-strength-training-17698

    I wonder if this is a flaw in the Orange Theory Fitness model? I am curious how many “calories burned” I log during the 20 minutes on the floor. It has a HIIT component but not much. Mostly strength.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,238 Member
    csplatt wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    And if your heart rate monitor or fitness tracker is the thing telling you that the strength training burned a lot of calories . . . this is a scenario where it's a lying liar that lies. ☹️

    How? Why?

    https://www.myfitnesspal.com/blog/Azdak/view?id=hrms-cannot-count-calories-during-strength-training-17698

    I wonder if this is a flaw in the Orange Theory Fitness model? I am curious how many “calories burned” I log during the 20 minutes on the floor. It has a HIIT component but not much. Mostly strength.

    Compare it to the MFP database estimate for 20 minutes of strength training. That may give you a rough idea.