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How Many Calories Are Burned Per Pull-Up?

author image Lisa M. Wolfe
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.
How Many Calories Are Burned Per Pull-Up?
A pull-up burns little calories.

If you are using pull-ups to burn calories, you may find your strength giving out before you reach your caloric goal. Pull-ups are not considered cardiovascular activities, which are more commonly associated with calorie burning. They are primarily used to increase strength.

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One pull-up burns approximately one calorie, according to Fat Burn's activity tool. Since 3,500 calories equal one pound, you will need to do 3,500 pull-ups to see weight loss.


According to the American College of Sports Medicine, the actual amount of calories you use during a pull-up depends on a few variables. A 200-lb. person will use more force during a pull-up than a 130-lb. person, therefore the 200-lb. person will burn more calories doing the same number of pull-ups.


The speed at which your muscles contract and increase your heart rate will also affect the number of calories burned. The faster you go, the more your heart will and the more calories you will use.


The slower you do each pull-up, the more calories you will burn.

Personal Variations

The amount of calories burned during a pull-up depends on your breathing rate, or oxygen consumption, and your heart rate. These will be different for each person.

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