Your Calorie Burn Guide: What Should You Be Aiming For?

Fitness // Chooky Biordi, BSc (Statistics)

Reviewed by Tim Pittorino, BHSC

Your calorie burn during exercise is unique and specific to YOU.

We are not the same – not in body composition, capabilities, beliefs, and certainly not in how our bodies burn calories. How we burn calories is dependent on several factors, including age, gender, height, weight, body composition, exercise technique, type of exercise performed, and current fitness level.

BUT, it can be helpful to have an idea about what to aim for, so here is a very general calorie burn guide for those doing our 12WBT Weight Loss Fitness Programs:

For Women:

Under 100kg: 250-400 calories during weekday workouts and 300-1000+ calories in Super Saturday Sessions

Over 100kg: 300-450  calories during weekday workouts and SSS 350-1000+ calories in Super Saturday Sessions

For Men:

Under 100kg: 300-450 calories during weekday workouts and for SSS 350-1000+ calories in Super Saturday Sessions

Over 100kg: 350- 500 calories during weekday workouts and for SSS 400-1000+ calories in Super Saturday Sessions

You’ll notice that these calorie burn ranges are broad…and for good reason! On your strength training days, you’ll likely burn fewer calories during your workout. But the beauty of this training type is that you will boost your metabolic rate and continue burning calories for significantly more hours afterwards. So sitting at the bottom of the range here is perfectly okay!  An added bonus is that strength training is better at building muscle than cardio, and muscle continues to burn calories when resting.

If you’re not getting close to those targets, dig a little deeper into your ‘pain cave’. Increase the intensity by jumping higher, running faster, boxing harder or lifting heavier!

However, calorie burns are not the ‘be-all and end-all’, either. For those doing our 12WBT Running, Lean & Strong, Pregnancy and Post Baby Fitness Programs, your primary focus is not burning calories but rather:

  • Running: improving running tests
  • Lean & Strong: increasing strength, power and endurance in addition to changing your body shape
  • Pregnancy: staying active and healthy
  • Post Baby: reawakening your core and improving balance and fitness

It’s one thing to earn the burn, but how do you measure it? The best solution is to wear a heart rate monitor (HRM).  A HRM will tell you how many calories you’ve burned, what your average, highest and lowest heart rate was during your workout and how long your workout was. I highly recommend getting your hands on one as it will become the best, hardest working equipment in your kit!

If you don’t have access to a HRM there are many websites that will give you an estimated figure. This one is pretty spot-on. Keep in mind it is only an estimate, and your actual figure may vary.

Monitoring your calorie burn can be insightful and motivating. However, at 12WBT, we believe optimal health and functionality is achieved through a mix of cardio, strength, flexibility and mobility training, as well as a regular dose of R&R. The most important point is to give each workout 100%. In no time you’ll be on track for awesome fitness gains and weight loss results!

Happy training!

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