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How many calories do you really burn?

Strength training is not only important for building muscle, but it also plays an important role in calorie consumption. The amount of energy you burn during a strength training session affects your overall energy balance and therefore your body composition. In this article, we examine in detail how many calories you actually burn during strength training and what factors influence this consumption.

Basics of calorie consumption:

Energy balance is the key to weight loss, maintenance or gain. It determines whether you burn more calories than you take in, or vice versa. Calorie consumption during strength training plays an important role, but the afterburn effect, where the body continues to burn calories after training, is also crucial.

How is calorie consumption calculated during strength training?

There are different methods to estimate calorie consumption during strength training. One of them is the use of METs (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) to estimate energy expenditure. Calorie consumption depends on many factors, including body weight, exercise intensity, type of exercise (e.g. compound exercises vs. isolation exercises), and exercise duration.

Effective methods to increase calorie consumption during strength training:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) during resistance training can increase energy expenditure. Varying training methods, rest lengths and repetition numbers can also increase calorie consumption. Building more muscle mass can also increase your basal metabolic rate and therefore increase your calorie consumption at rest.

The afterburn effect:

The afterburn effect, also known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” (EPOC), describes the increased oxygen consumption after exercise. This effect can increase calorie burn after exercise, especially after intense resistance training sessions.

Individual differences in calorie consumption:

Calorie consumption during strength training can vary greatly depending on individual factors such as age, gender, body composition and genetics. People with more muscle mass tend to burn more calories because muscle requires more energy than fat tissue, even at rest.

The importance of nutrition and rest periods:

Nutrition plays a key role in calorie consumption during strength training. Consuming enough protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats not only affects performance during training, but also the recovery process afterwards. Adequate rest and recovery are also crucial to optimize calorie consumption.

Practical tips for effective calorie consumption during strength training:

  • A balanced training plan with variation in intensity and exercises.
  • The combination of strength and endurance training for optimal results.
  • Taking break lengths and training volume into account for maximum effectiveness.


The calorie consumption during strength training is individual and depends on many factors. Integrating high-intensity training sessions, taking into account the afterburn effect and a balanced diet can significantly increase overall calorie consumption. It's important to tailor your training and nutrition strategies to your own needs and goals for optimal results.

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