Calorie burn is a complex calculation based on many factors, including age, sex, body weight, intensity and genetic factors. According to Valdosta State University, boxing calories burned per hour while using a heavy bag range from 354 for a 130-pound person to 558 if you weigh 205 pounds.
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Since punching bag workouts can vary greatly in duration and intensity, your best bet for tracking calorie burn is to wear a fitness tracker with a heart rate monitor.
Boxing Calories Burned
The heavier you are, the more calories you burn in your workout — about 2.72 calories per pound per hour when working out on the heavy bag, according to Valdosta State University.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), from 2015-2016, the average weight for men ages 20 to 39 was 196.9 pounds while men ages 40 to 59 averaged 200.8 pounds.
This means that a 15-minute heavy bag workout would burn about 133.9 calories for a man weighing 196.9 pounds and 136.5 calories for a man weighing 200.8 pounds.
Women tend to weigh less than men, with the average female age 20 to 39 weighing 167.6 pounds, while women age 40 to 59 weighed 176.4 pounds, between 2015-2016, according to the CDC.
A boxing workout for a female weighing 167.6 pounds would burn about 114 calories in 15 minutes of punching a heavy bag, while a 176.4-pound woman would hit 120 boxing calories burned.
Read more: Boxing Exercises for Beginners
Of course, the longer the workout goes on, the more likelihood that you will lower the intensity, whether consciously or not. These numbers only apply if you are able to maintain a consistent level of intensity throughout your workout.
Mix It Up
It's highly unlikely that a person would punch a bag for 45 minutes straight. More than likely, a punching bag workout consists of spurts of high-intensity punching alternated with periods of rest or lower-intensity activity.
In this type of interval training, the calorie burn could be less, equal to or even greater than the estimates for a steady intensity heavy bag workout. It all depends on your level of effort.
According to the American College of Sports Medicine, incorporating high-intensity interval training — also called HIIT — into your workout routines can add about 6 to 15 percent more calorie burn to your overall workout.
Vary Your Boxing Workouts
Boxing involves a lot more than just hitting a heavy bag, so if you train at a full-service boxing gym your calorie burn will vary depending on what other activities you are doing. Besides the heavy bag workout, you may also be working on the speed bag, jumping rope and sparring with other boxers.
A more varied workout reduces the chance of developing repetitive stress injuries from continuously repeating the same high-impact moves — plus, it makes your workout a bit more interesting.
Read more: 6 Reasons You Should Try a Boxing Workout
For a more intense boxing workout, consider sparring with a partner. According to Valdosta State University, this can boost calorie burn per hour to 354 for a person weighing 130 pounds and 838 calories if you weigh 205 pounds.
- Valdosta University: "Exercise and Calories Burned"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Mean Body Weight, Height, Waist Circumference, and Body Mass Index Among Adults: United States, 1999-2000 Through 2015-2016"
- American College of Sports Medicine: "High-Intensity Interval Training"
- Punching Bag Workouts