Calories Burned Weight Lifting Calculator

Written by Noleen Arendse
Reviewed by Gareth Chapman

On average, the calories burned weight lifting for 30 minutes can be between 180 to 280 calories, depending on your weight. This is about 8 to 10 calories per minute. 

Our calories burned weight lifting calculator not only helps you calculate the number of calories burned in a strength training session but can also calculate the calories burned for pushups, lunges, pull-ups, squats, Jumping Jacks, and ab exercises like sit-ups, crunches, and planks.

Use the calculator below to estimate your calories burned weight lifting and/or performing other body weight workouts.

calories burned weight lifting

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Table Contents

Calories burned weight lifting calculator

To use the calories burned weight lifting calculator, follow these steps:

1. Enter your weight in pounds or kilograms

2. Enter the duration of your workout in minutes

3. Select all activities in your workout

The calculator will then calculate the calories burned weight lifting based on the average metabolic rate for your height and weight. 

  • The calculator assumes an even distribution of workout activities. If you select a workout with pushups, sit-ups, and weight lifting, it assumes an even division of your workout between each activity.
  • The resistance / free weight workout is assumed to be multiple reps of weights between 60% to 80% of your 1 rep max.
Weight Lifting & Calisthenics
Calories Burned Calculator

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Calories burned weight lifting can run into hundreds of calories per workout. If you’re using resistance weights, free weights, or your own body weight, lifting heavy things (combined with a healthy diet) is a solid proven path to weight loss and great muscle tone. For two free workout plans, head over to Free Workouts for Men Over 40.

How many calories burned weight lifting?

Depending on the intensity of your workout, the average person can burn between 350 to 550 calories lifting weights for an hour. However, there are several variables that can influence the calorie burn. 

It is important to remember that weight lifting primarily builds muscle, and the actual calorie burn during the session might not be as high as other forms of cardio exercise. However, building muscle can increase your resting metabolic rate, leading to more calories burned throughout the day.

How many calories burned weight lifting 1 hour?

On average, you can burn between 360 to 560 calories in a 1-hour weight training session. 

Use our quick table below to find the approximate calories burned weight lifting for 30 minutes and 1 hour or use our weight lifting calories calculator for a closer average.

Weight Ibs

30 minutes

1 hour


































What burns more calories... one hour of cardio or one hour of weight lifting?

The calories burned running are generally more than the calories burned weight lifting. However, it can be challenging to compare the two because they are different types of exercise and are both beneficial to your health. Running is cardio whereas weight lifting is resistance training.

Calories burned weight lifting versus calories burned running

The table below shows the estimates for calories burned weight lifting versus 1 hour of running.

Weight Ibs1-hour weight lifting

1 hour running

(10min per mile)

Calories burned weight lifting versus running

Do you continue to burn calories after lifting weights?

Yes, while running may burn more calories in 1 hour, lifting weights tends to continue to burn calories after your training session. It’s estimated that this is about 6 to 15% extra calories.For example, if you burn about 300 calories during your workout, you can burn an additional 18 to 45 calories post-workout.  

This phenomenon is thanks to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption): after intense activities, the body uses extra oxygen to replenish energy stores, repair muscle tissue, and restore the body back to its pre-workout state.

The number of calories burned through EPOC depends on the following factors:

  • The workout duration
  • Your workout intensity
  • Your level of fitness
  • How much muscle you have 
  • Your body weight

You can maximize the EPOC by doing HIIT workouts (high-intensity interval training), using compound movements such as squats and deadlifts, lifting heavier and reducing your rest breaks. 

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The calories burned weight lifting can be between 360 to 560 calories in 1 hour. Running burns more calories than weight lifting. However, resistance training burns more calories after your workout. This is thought to be about 6 to 15% extra.

How many calories can you burn with calisthenics?

An hour of calisthenics (bodyweight exercises) can burn between 390 to 600 calories depending on your weight and other factors. 

Calisthenics are strength exercises that use your body weight to build strength, flexibility, and fitness. They are generally compound exercises that use large muscle groups, usually performed rhythmically and with minimal equipment. Body weight exercises are a great way to build strength without needing to hit the gym.

For example, some common bodyweight exercises are:

  • Pushups
  • Lunges
  • Squats
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Pull-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Crunches
  • Planks

Calories burned during individual activities may be low, for example, push-up calories are about 0.3 – 0.6 calories per pushup. However, when combined with other exercises and cardio, such as in circuit training, you can burn a decent amount of calories.

Calories burned doing calisthenics table

Here’s a quick table to show you the number of calories burned during a 30-min and 60-minute bodyweight circuit training that consists of pushups, lunges, pull-ups, squats, jumping jacks, and sit-ups.

Weight Ibs

30 mins

60 mins


































Calories burned weight lifting versus calisthenics

Both weight lifting and calisthenics are excellent options to increase the calories burned in your training session. 

The table below compares the calories burned weight lifting versus the calories burned doing calisthenics.

Weight (pounds)Weight liftingCalisthenics
Calories burned weight lifting versus calisthenics

Combining weight training and calisthenics in a session will burn even more calories.

An hour of calisthenics can burn between 390 to 600 calories. It's a great way to get stronger without needing to go to the gym.

Factors that affect calories burned lifting weights

There are several factors that can influence the number of calories you burn during weight training sessions.

Your body weight

The heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn weight lifting compared to someone who is lighter. 

For example, a 125-pound person will burn about 357 calories during a 1-hour weight training session. Whereas a 185-pound person will burn about 530 calories.

Your muscle mass

Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat. Individuals with greater muscle mass will generally burn more calories during weight lifting due to the increased energy requirements.

The intensity of your session

The intensity of the workout directly impacts the number of calories burned. Vigorous weight lifting with heavier weights and shorter rest periods will typically lead to more calories burned than lifting with a lighter weight at a lower intensity.

The duration of your workout

Lifting weights over longer periods leads to more calories burned. However, make sure that you don’t get so tired that you can’t maintain proper form. Losing your technique can put you at risk of injury.

The length of your rest periods

While you may need to rest between sets, keeping them short will help increase the number of calories burned.

Your fitness level

A person’s overall fitness level influences the number of calories burned. However, the fitter you are, the fewer calories you’ll burn as your body will become more efficient at performing exercises.

Your metabolic rate

Your Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to maintain vital functions and processes while resting.

The BMR varies from person to person and is also influenced by factors such as gender, age, and genetics. Some individuals with higher BMR will burn more calories during their workouts.

Your exercise form

Proper form is crucial for maximizing calorie burn during weight training. Using the correct form ensures that the targeted muscle groups are effectively engaged, which leads to more energy expenditure.

It’s important to approach weightlifting holistically. Don’t only focus on the immediate calorie burn and weight loss but also on the long-term benefits of increased muscle mass, improved metabolism, and overall strength.

The key factors that affect the calories burned weight lifting are: body weight, muscle mass, intensity, duration, rest periods, fitness level, metabolic rate, and exercise form.

The health benefits of lifting weights

Weight lifting and resistance training offers a multitude of health benefits that are much more than building lean muscle mass and strength. 

In fact, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week plus at least 2 days of muscle-strengthening activity like weight lifting or doing bodyweight exercises. 

Here are the most frequent health benefits of doing resistance training.

It builds muscle strength

It’s well known that resistance training and weight lifting build muscle strength and cause your muscles to grow (hypertrophy).

This leads to improved physical performance and reduces your risk of injury. 

It's good for your bones

Regular weight lifting increases bone density which reduces your risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

It increases your metabolism

Building and maintaining lean muscle mass through weightlifting can help increase your metabolism. This can lead to more efficient calorie burning and potentially aid in weight management.

It can help you lose weight and improve your body composition

Weightlifting can help to reduce your body fat percentage, body fat mass, and belly fat plus increase lean muscle mass. This leads to improved body composition and a more toned physique.

Enhanced mental health

Exercise, including weightlifting, has been shown to improve your mental health and well-being. It reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression, improves mood, and enhances overall well-being through the release of endorphins and other neurotransmitters.

Improved sensitivity to insulin

Resistance training can improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and helps to manage blood sugar levels.

Improved cardiovascular health

While weightlifting is not a typical cardiovascular exercise, it can still help to improve your heart health by reducing the risk of heart disease, improving blood pressure, and enhancing overall cardiovascular health.

Improved functional capacity

Weightlifting and resistance training for your upper body and your lower body can improve your ability to perform functional movements and your activities of daily living.

It can help slow aging

While we can’t stop aging, resistance training can help slow down the aging process by preserving muscle mass, bone density, and overall physical function. This helps to promote a better quality of life.

Resistance training has several health benefits that will improve your health, fitness, and strength. Not only can it help you in your daily functional activities but it can also slow aging.

Tips to lose weight by lifting weights

Lifting weights is a great way to help you lose weight. Not only does it burn calories, but it also helps your body to keep burning calories after your workout and can also boost your resting metabolic rate.

Here are a few tips to help you lose weight by weight lifting.

Aim for a calorie deficit in your daily diet

Weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you consume. While weightlifting helps you burn calories, for the best results, you’ll need to manage your diet and create a calorie deficit to effectively lose weight.

Aim for a balanced diet rich in lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats so that you give your body enough nutrients to build muscle.

For more on this read: How many calories should I eat to lose weight?

Combine strength training and cardio

For best weight loss results, add a few cardio sessions to your training routine. Incorporating activities like jogging, cycling, or swimming into your training can help increase your overall calories burned.

For example, you can use the calories burned biking calculator to calculate the calories burned cycling and add that to the calories you’ve burned weight lifting. 

Add compound exercises

Compound exercises use multiple muscle groups to perform an exercise. This will naturally work your entire body plus increase the energy expenditure in a session. Examples include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.

If you are already weightlifting, use the Wilks calculator to work out your Wilks Score to see how your strength compares to weightlifters around the world. 

Gradually increase the weight you lift

Gradually increase the weight you lift (called progressive overload) over time so that you continually challenge your muscles and promote hypertrophy (muscle growth). This not only helps in building muscle but it also burns more calories during and after the workout.

Include High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

This form of training involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief recovery periods. If you add HIIT workouts into your weight lifting routine, they can be effective in burning calories and improving overall fitness.

Focus on form

Using proper form when weight lifting is crucial to prevent injuries and maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. Consider working with a trainer initially to ensure you are performing exercises with the proper form.

Stick to your workout routine

Consistency is key to seeing weight loss results. Set a regular workout schedule and stick to it. This will help build muscle, increase your metabolism, and aid in weight loss over time.

Rest and recovery

Incorporate rest days into your routine to give your body enough time to allow your muscles to rest, repair, and strengthen.

Stay hydrated

Drink plenty of water, especially when engaging in intense exercise. Hydration is vital for overall health. It can help regulate your appetite and support your weight loss efforts.

The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to train regularly and eat a healthy balanced diet that is in a calorie deficit. Combining resistance exercise and cardio will help increase your calories burned.


You can burn about 180 to 280 calories weight lifting for 30 minutes. This is about 8 to 10 calories per minute. 

You can burn more calories by using compound movements, upping the intensity, adding in some HIIT sessions, or lifting heavier weights. Reducing the length of your rest breaks between sets will also help to boost your calories burned. 

Cardio, like running, will burn more calories during the training session. However, after weight lifting, you’ll continue to burn calories for longer. The best option is to have both cardio and weight lifting in your workout routine.

You should aim for 3 to 4 weight training sessions a week. Also include cardio sessions to help improve your fitness. 

You can’t spot reduce fat from certain locations. However, weightlifting will burn calories which will help you reduce fat all over.

Additionally core strength workouts will tighten the muscles around your belly making it look flatter.

Overall Summary

  • The number of calories burned weight lifting for 30 minutes can be between 180 to 200 calories.
  • Lifting weights burns about 8 to 10 calories per minute depending on your weight and intensity.
  • Running burns more calories than weight lifting. It’s best to have cardio and weight lifting in your training routine for maximum health benefits.
  • The best way to lose weight is to train regularly and eat a healthy balanced diet that is in a calorie deficit.