This is the next installment in my “How many calories does…” series, and you can access the other articles I have written in this series further down the page.

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Okay, I’m going to try to keep this section as simple as possible, as I know many of you will want to know EXACT calorie values, so unfortunately it does get a little technical when calculating these.


What may surprise you is that the MET values for weight lifting, or resistance training if you prefer, are fairly similar to bodyweight training, if not lower when compared to vigorous bodyweight training.

All the following figures and calculations are based on performing the barbell back squat.

Squatting with light weights has a MET value of 3.5, training with moderate weights is 5 METs, whereas heavy weight lifting has a value of 6 METs.

I’m going to base the following on our person weighing 70kg and taking 10 minutes to perform 100 weighted squats.

This of course is just for comparison purposes, because I can tell you right now that it is pretty much impossible for anyone to perform 100 heavy weighted squats in 10 minutes.

The calories burned for 100 weighted squats are:

42.9 calories with light weights61.35 calories with moderate weights73.5 calories with heavy weights

If only it were that simple.

One of the workouts I’m going to introduce you to in a moment is German Volume Training (GVT).

I would consider this heavy weight lifting, so a MET value of 6.

This involves completing 10 reps for 10 sets with exactly one minute’s rest in between sets, thus giving you a total of 100 reps.

Now what you have to take into consideration is that your oxygen consumption and energy expenditure while “resting” is going to be a lot higher than if you were just sitting down at rest.

Basically, you’re still going to be breathing hard in between sets while you try to recover.

In fact, in most cases you won’t be fully recovered in just one minute, and your oxygen consumption and energy expenditure is going to increase as you get further into your workout.

In layman’s terms, you will be breathing a lot heavier after your 8th set of 10 reps than you will be after your first set.

Okay, just for calculation purposes I’m going to say that each set of 10 squats is going to take you 40 seconds, and each minute of rest you will be expending energy and consuming oxygen at the same rate as moderate-intensity exercise.

Stay with me, I’m doing the calculations, you just have to read.

So, this means that 100 squats (10 x 10) will take 40 seconds x 10 = 400 seconds or 6 minutes 40 seconds.

Therefore, 6 minutes and 40 seconds of this squat workout will be performed at a MET value of 6.

You will then be resting for 1 minute x 10 times = 10 minutes of rest, but I’ve already said that this “rest” will be valued at 3.5 METs (due to a higher than normal heart rate, breathing heavily, and the requirement for additional oxygen consumption).

Based on these values (and our 70kg person) performing 100 heavy weighted squats burns 49 calories.

The “rest” taken between sets will burn 42.9 calories (yes, it’s entirely possible to burn almost as many calories while at rest during a weight-training session).

So, this entire workout which will take 16 minutes and 40 seconds (and is probably one of the best workouts you will EVER perform in under 20 minutes) burns a total 91.9 calories.

Now, hopefully you caught sight of the fact that I talked about burning calories while at rest.

This is extremely important in terms of weight training and burning calories in general.

My regular readers will have heard me talk of the after-burn effect many times before.

This is basically when your body continues to burn a higher than usual amount of calories even while you are at rest.

This is typically achieved by performing exercises that boost your metabolic rate, e.g. lifting weights, circuit training, HIIT.

In fact, it was estimated that a person would typically burn an additional 150-200 calories for the next 10 hours AFTER they have stopped exercising, and were at rest, due to the additional metabolic boost (plus when I say “additional” calories burned, this is on top of what you would normally burn anyway while at rest).

My regular readers will also know that I’m not a fan of moderate-intensity, steady state cardio (can’t stand it), e.g. jogging, treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical trainer, etc.

There are many reasons for my “hatred” and I won’t go into them all again, but the main important factor about this type of exercise is that it DOES NOT produce the after-burn effect.

So, whatever calories you burn while exercising, well that’s it.

However, the reasons many people are “fooled” by the effectiveness of this type of exercise is because of the number of calories burned during exercise.

Our 70kg person running a 10-minute mile on a treadmill would burn approximately 104 calories (using the MET calculations), so 208 calories for a 20-minute 2-mile jog.

When you compare these figures to our 91.9 calories it seems as though there is no competition.

However, once we factor in the after-burn effect from weight-training (up to 200 calories over the next 10 hours and this still continues, but at a lower rate for 24-48 hours), we are now looking 291.9 calories burned with weight training (and more to come) compared to 208 calories for jogging.

Additionally, muscle burns more calories while you are at rest. Therefore, the more lean muscle you have the more calories you will automatically burn anyway.

Now who’s the “winner”.

You can read more about the after-burn effect in my “strength training” article in the next section.

See more: Super Smash Flash How To Unlock All Characters In Smash Flash?

Okay apologies, no more technical stuff, i promise.

Further Reading in the “How Many Calories…” Series

How Many Calories Does 100 Burpees Burn?