How Many Calories Are Burned During 30 Minutes of Weight Lifting?

Weight lifting builds muscle, but also burns calories at a low rate.
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While it's easy to count the calories you're putting into your body, it's often hard to determine how many calories you're burning when working out. However, based on specific factors, you can actually count how many calories you burned weight lifting for 30 minutes.

Benefits of Weight Lifting

Weight lifting is a type of strength training and is a key component of overall fitness for everyone. Many of us know that weight lifting can help build and maintain muscle mass and strength; however, there are many more benefits than you might think.


A combination of age, inactivity and inadequate nutrition decreases bone mass at the rate of 1 percent per year after the age of 40. According to Harvard Health Publishing, by stressing your bones, strength training can play a role in increasing bone density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.

If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose over time, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body. By incorporating strength training into your fitness routine, you can burn calories in just 30 minutes, increase your metabolism and even reduce signs and symptoms of chronic conditions like arthritis and back pain.


Read more: How to Get Started With Weightlifting

Calories Burned Weight Training Calculator

According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, most people need to reduce the number of calories they consume and increase their physical activity. Typically, that means, in order to lose 1 1/2 pounds a week, you need a calorie deficit of 500 to 750 calories.

Forcing your body to lift heavy weight repeatedly will stimulate muscle growth, which leads to a higher metabolism. When you are done lifting weights, your body continues burning calories due to the need for your muscles to recover. Based off of Harvard Health Publishing's calories burned chart for activity and weight, for 30 minutes of general weight training, a:


  • 125-pound person will burn 90 calories
  • 155-pound person will burn 112 calories
  • 185-pound person will burn 133 calories

Read more: How Many Calories Should I Burn a Day to Lose Weight?


For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends you get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity and two days of strength training a week.

Calorie Burning Exercises With Weights

Whether you want to focus on your upper body, lower body or total body, circuit training is a great way to get in multiple exercises at once. You'll be sure to burn calories if you keep up the intensity, focus on using heavy weights and move quickly from exercise to exercise.



It's important to always maintain proper form when lifting heavy weights to prevent injuries and stress on your tendons, muscles and joints.

Move 1: Squats and Curls

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair, push your hips back, squeeze your biceps and bend your arms to lift the dumbbells.
  3. Press your heels into the floor while returning to the initial position, and slowly lower your arms.
  4. Repeat eight to 12 times for three sets.

Move 2: Push-Ups

  1. Position yourself on the floor with your face down, palms on the floor shoulder-width apart and the balls of your feet touching the ground.
  2. Raise yourself using your arms, making a straight line from your head to your heels.
  3. Repeat lowering and raising your body at a steady pace for three sets of 15 reps.

Move 3: Dumbbell Rows and Flies

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand and bend forward at your hips so your torso is nearly parallel to the floor.
  2. Keeping your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells to your side while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  3. Lower your arms and return to the initial position.
  4. Raise your arms straight out to your sides until they are in line with your body.
  5. Slowly return to starting position and repeat for three sets of eight-12 reps.