Actually, strength training doesn't burn all that many calories directly in the same way that cardio does. After all, even an all-body workout involves only a few dozen reps, while even something as simple as walking 2 miles involves thousands of steps.
The real benefits of strength training are indirect. Without ST, up to 25% of your weight loss can come from lost muscle, rather than fat. Even without a calorie burn, ST helps preserve your existing muscle mass, and ensures that more of your weight loss comes from fat alone.
Also, ST boosts your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day, not just when you are working out. But these benefits really come from a regular routine of ST, and are hard to pinpoint to a particular ST workout.
So althought the benefits of ST are real, their indirect nature means it is hard to accurately measure a specific calorie burn figure.
I track mine under cardio primarily so that I can track time, but I use the Curves Circuit Training to count mine. From what I understand this includes weight machines and walking/running in place. I could be wrong, but the calorie burn isn't very high tracking it this way so I figure it's a decent estimate.
Your HR may be up, but it's a different type of "burn" than with cardio. The benefits of ST, and most of the calories burned, actually come during the recovery period, as your msucles are repairing themselves. Plus the added benefits to your metabolism the more lean mass you have. I just putmy lifting into my quick tracker to account for my time, and I don't worry about the calories burned.
Fitness Minutes: (3,250)
195 6/11/12 8:44 A
I've been asking myself the same thing. I know you burn less calories than with cardio but my heart rate gets up and I sweat so much. Calories are being burned, probably the same amount I would burn if I walked for 30 minutes.
The "bottom totals" aren't bottom totals - they're "cardio totals". That's why they don't include strength training time. :)
Since I'm not much fussed about recording sets and reps, I just log everything into Cardio so I can use those totals. While you don't get a calorie burn estimate, I just manually enter anything non-cardio with a name, time spent, and 1 calorie burned.
Fitness Minutes: (40,263)
1,694 6/7/12 11:25 P
Most asked question on the board. ;-) I think what gets too many folks upset about it is that they want a mathematical accounting of every little calorie burned and think that will explain why they are or aren't losing weight. I just finished my weight lifting and am sweating like a pig. I got my heart rate up many times during the evolution. But I don't worry anymore about counting it as I do about deducting the time I spent typing here, watching TV or other none exercise events that go on in the day. To me, it's just a nice trade off and I owe it to my body.
Now the cardio counts and can be counted pretty accurately. That helps to get the caloric range I need to stay within to lose the planned weight loss in the amount of time I alloted for. So the most important thing for me to do is to make sure my nutrition is right, accurate, balanced, etc. That has kept me losing a consistent 1-2 lbs per week since January. It can be done and actually, rather easily. So just accept that ST is too hard to count and not as important to count as cardio and caloric intake. Just enjoy it and keep the faith.
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
46,222 6/7/12 9:55 P
Below is a link to the Ask the Experts response as to why SparkPeople does not count ST exercises in the cardio fitness tracker.
Fitness Minutes: (15,596)
392 6/7/12 9:47 P
I have been wondering for some time when I track my work outs the bottom daily and weekly goals only count the cardio and doesn't count the strength training. Why is this? I burn calories with my weight work out as well as my cardio work out.
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