Does Lifting Weights Burn Calories?

weight lifting burn calories

Everyone (hopefully) knows that weight lifting builds muscle, but are still confused whether or not weight lifting also burns calories.

Well, in order to burn calories your body needs to do some action which requires you to use energy. Since calories are literally energy, doing any form of movement or exercise will burn calories. Since weight lifting is indeed a type of exercise, it will burn calories, but just how much?

Basic Metabolic Rate (BMR)

Your BMR is the daily energy or calories you use without really doing anything. Too function; we all need a certain amount of calories per day. Your BMR will depend on a few things. It will depend on your sex, age, weight, height and your daily activities. You can find a good calculator for BMI by clicking here. So if you are a 24-year old male who exercises 5 days a week, you are going to need more calories to function then a 55 year old female who works out one day a week. Therefore the more you work out, the more calories your body will ask from you.

How Will Your Body React?

The next thing you need to know is how your body reacts to weight training. When you lift weights, your muscles slightly tear every time. These slight tears are then healed with the use of protein. As humans, we are always adapting. So over time, the protein you consume feeds and repairs those tears in your muscles. So it begins to grow to adapt to the stress that is put on it.

Your muscles, just like any other living thing, need to be fed. But unlike other components of your body, your muscles need the most calories!

muscle densityMuscles are the densest components and ask for a lot to continue at a constant size – here’s more on muscle density. That means if you are keeping the amount of calories you consume the same, you are now burning more calories then you were before! Weight lifting helps to burn calories during, before, and after workouts. Post workout nutrition is also extremely important, as that’s when your body is craving nutrients.

Think of your body like a car engine.

Let us say you are 160lbs, which we are going to equal with a 160 horsepower car. Your body needs a certain amount of calories to stay at the same weight and your car also needs a certain amount of gas to fuel the power. Now lets say you increase and gain 10lbs of muscle which means you are now 170lbs!

We will say that’s the equivalent of gaining 100 horsepower since 10lbs of muscle is a significant amount. Your engine now has 260 horsepower. At that much horsepower, you are going to need a lot more fuel to keep your pushing that much power. That’s exactly how our bodies work. More power needs more fuel. 

Eating more controlled food means your body uses that excess fuel (fat) as energy for power, resulting in fat loss. Whether you get your fuel from whey protein or a chicken dinner, you need to keep track of your total calorie goal per day.

So remember, weight training and eventual muscle gain increases your BMR which then burns more calories and fat! Don’t think that weight training is just for building mountains of muscles. No; it is a foundation of fitness that you need in your goal to burning fat.


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