How Many Calories Does a Cycling Class Burn?

When you participate in a cycling class, you can expect to sweat a lot and move at alternating paces. The amount of calories you burn depends on certain conditions. One thing is for sure, you will feel a nice burn in your buttocks.

Fitness instructor teaching a spinning class (Image: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images)

Size

The size of your body has a direct impact on the calories you expend in a class. Someone who is light is going to burn fewer calories than someone who is heavy. For example, a 150-pound person burns about 240 calories cycling at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes; a 200-pound person burns about 320 calories under the same conditions.

Time Frame

The length of the class plays a role in your caloric expenditure. The longer the class, the more calories you will burn. For example, a 180-pound person burns about 570 calories in 60 minutes at a moderate intensity. If the class is 90 minutes, this person would burn about 860 calories.

Intensity

The intensity of the class is going to make a difference in your caloric expenditure. Simply put, the higher the intensity, the more calories you will burn. A 200-pound person burns about 500 calories in 60 minutes at a light intensity. This same person burns about 1,130 calories in 60 minutes at a very vigorous intensity. Most classes involve an interval format so your caloric expenditure will probably be somewhere in the middle of these two expenditures.

Considerations

When you cycle, you work multiple muscles in your lower body, such as the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves. Even the slightest amount of muscle gain can raise your resting metabolic rate. According to the University of Michigan Health System, 1 pound of added muscle contributes to an extra 30 to 50 calories burned per day.

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