Calculating Calories Burned in a Workout

by Kathleen Parker

by Kathleen Parker

iGnite member Angela emailed me asking about the calories burned in our workouts, so I thought I would share my answer with all of you.  Because our philosophy at iGnite is  about being active and achieving balance in our lives and health, counting calories is not something we encourage here at iGnite; however, I know this is something that many people are often curious about, so I want to be sure to give you the answers that you are looking for!

It is really a question of a low-intensity workout vs. a high-intensity workout.  I prefer a high-intensity, 40 minute workout to a longer, lower intensity one. A high-intensity workout is defined as one with exercises that push your heart rate up to 75% of its maximum. High-intensity workouts, with little rest, have been proven to burn 9 times more fat per each calorie burned during exercise. Obviously, the activity that expends the greatest amount of total calories will lead to the most amount of fat burned. Best of all, with higher intensity workouts the benefits become evident in a much shorter time.

Time is definitely an issue when exercising, and it is certainly an issue with most of us trying to squeeze it in before work, at lunch or quickly after work! If you cannot spend a lot of time exercising, remember that you can get results in a shorter period of time by increasing the intensity of your workout. No more spending hours in the gym!

This is the reason we have amped up our iGnite lunch workouts — first of all, because you all can do it!   Secondly, you can see changes in your health and body FAST with the short time we have.  I am not saying low-intensity workouts (running 3 to 5 miles) are not good to do. They are GREAT to do! You cannot do high-intensity workouts 5 days a week — you would be overtrained and feel chronically bad. We should all be getting in some long walks and runs at least 2 to 3 days a week, along with our circuit training 2 to 3 days per week.

Okay, back to the question of calories burned…
A high-intensity workout burns roughly 14 Calories per minute. 60% of those calories are burning fat tissue.
Another way to look at it is to take 60% of the 14 calories burned per minute, and you are burning 8.4 fat calories per minute.

The American College of Sports Medicine suggests a workout should expend 300 calories in order to be deemed a fat-loss workout. This is equivalent to about three miles of jogging or power walking, or 30 minutes of a mid- to high-intensity circuit workout.

For our lunch workouts, we usually start with a 5-minute warm up, and then spend about 30 to 35 minutes doing our workout, with 5 minutes at the end to stretch.  So, according to calculations, the workout we typically do at lunch — which is definitely a high intensity workout –would burn 420 calories!! ( 14 X 30 minutes)

Thanks for asking, Angela. It was good for me to research this answer again and refresh myself on stats!
Keep moving!



1 thought on “Calculating Calories Burned in a Workout

  1. Pingback: The Perfect Addition to your Winter Fitness Routine | the iGnite blog

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