Exercise! - How Many Calories Do You Aim To Burn When You Work Out?

10-12-2011, 05:08 PM
Hi everyone!
I was having a conversation with my friend who is also trying to lose weight (we keep each other motivated) and the topic of calories came up of course. I was surprised to find that when she goes to the gym she aims to burn 200-250 calories a session. Don't get me wrong it is a substantial amount of calories to burn off but I always aim to burn 400-600 most days of the week on my treadmill at home. These numbers are not based off the machines as I know they are largely inaccurate, we both use HRM's. Of course, I do have the days where I only burn 300 before I am pooped lol

It got me thinking and I was wondering how many calories you aim to burn off on the days you work out?

10-12-2011, 05:56 PM
i know that when i was strength training, it would be a lot to burn 200-300 a session versus cardio/running. its like comparing apples to oranges. you need both for fitness.

if your friend is doing cardio, i could say yeah, it will probably scorch more calories to run...

10-12-2011, 06:13 PM
She is doing cardio, elliptical, treadmill and so on. Sorry, I should have added that in before!

10-12-2011, 09:46 PM
I don't really have a calorie-burn goal. I just try to do at least one hour of some sort of non-routine activity a day. I like that goal better because there are already too many numbers in my life as a calorie counter. Besides, if I set a goal of say, 300 calories a day and I do an hour of some sort of activity that doesn't add up to 300, I don't want to feel like a failure.

10-12-2011, 11:42 PM
I don't aim for calories burned. It's too inaccurate to try to measure that number (even with a HRM). Exercise is for fitness, not weight loss (i.e. calories burned).

If I look at exercise as a way to burn calories, I end up a) not wanting to do it and b) making decisions about my calorie consumption and daily activity on a faulty estimate and c) choosing exercise that claim to burn more, even if my own body works harder or gets more benefits at other types of exercises.

I think this last point is important. Strength training doesn't burn as many calories as running, but if I made my goal "calories burned" I would opt to run. But strength training is critical for health and fitness. Same with yoga. Moderate and mild yoga sessions do not burn nearly as many calories as a hard yoga session, or running. But they are critical for improving balance, flexibility, and strength- all necessary for avoiding injury during runs and usual daily movement. If "calories burned" were my goal, I would gravitate away from yoga and just get on the elliptical or treadmill.

I aim for 3 hard workouts (run, lift, hard yoga) and 2 restorative (walking, light yoga) a week. That helps me reach my fitness and health goals.

10-14-2011, 05:35 PM
if i'm doing straight machines i aim for at least 500 total but since i take alot of classes i'm not sure how many calories i burn at a class. i know by how tired/sweaty i am that i got a good workout.

10-14-2011, 07:43 PM
I am for time, not amount of calories. Mostly because it's very difficult to get an accurate measure of how many calories you've burned.

I aim to get at LEAST 45 minutes of exercise a day. Can be any combination of cardio/weights, and I even try to walk around on my rest days.