How Many Calories Does Calisthenics Burn?

How many calories does calisthenics burn?

Have you ever wondered how many calories does calisthenics burn? It takes more than just pushing yourself to the limits to know that you’ve spent the most energy possible. You could’ve already dropped dead and still shed less than what your gym buddy had. 

If you’re wondering why then read on to know the factors that affect how many calories you burn in each calisthenics session. You can also count on this guide to learn what calisthenics exercises can help you get rid of the most energy in the shortest time.

What are the factors that affect how many calories you burn in each calisthenics session?

Burning Calories During Calisthenics

#1 Your weight and body composition

Thinking of joining that biggest loser challenge that the gym is hosting? You might want to scout the weight and body composition of your competitors first.

An overweight person can burn a lot more calories than those who already have an ideal mass. In fact, it’s possible for them to expend more energy, even while at rest.

Meanwhile, more muscular people can are more efficient at burning calories than those who aren’t. It’s your muscle tissues’ job to assist the body in moving around and getting work done and that requires energy costs, while your fat cells just sit idly and do nothing other than store calories.

#2 Your gender

Women often find it so unfair that they could already be working out so hard and yet that flat tummy seems to be a farfetched dream. Meanwhile, their partners can eat piles of junk food and shed all the excess calories in a jiffy. This is because men can generally burn more energy (even at rest) than women could given the same amount of time and exercise. Let’s look into the science behind it:

  • Men’s testosterone assists them in shedding off unwanted fats, while women are packed with estrogen that helps them hold on to calories longer in anticipation of pregnancy.
  • Men’s fat deposits are concentrated in their bellies, so weight loss can be more noticeable. On the other hand, women have to endure a slower pace since their fat is spread out in varied body parts such as their thighs and buttocks.
  • The more muscle mass a person has the more calories that can be burnt. Generally, women usually have less lean muscle tissues as compared to men.

#3 Your age

When you were in your 20s (or if you are, lucky you), your metabolism – your body’s ability to convert nutrients into energy – was at an all-time high. But as you age, you start to lose muscle mass. This slows down your metabolism, causing you to become more susceptible to weight gain.

Thus, as you age, you will burn fewer calories than when you were in your youth.

#4 The intensity of your workout

Naturally, high-intensity calisthenics workouts can burn a lot more calories than light exercises. According to the Harvard Medical School, here’s how much energy/calories you can burn in varying difficulty levels of common exercise routines:

  • Calisthenics
    • Moderate calisthenics exercises – 135 to 200
    • Vigorous calisthenics exercises – 240 to 355
  • Aerobics
    • Low impact aerobics – 210 to 311
    • High impact aerobics – 300 to 344
  • Running
    • Running at 5 mph – 240 to 355
    • Running at 6 mph – 300 to 444
    • Running at 7.5 mph – 270 to 400
    • Running at 10 mph – 495 to 733

How can you compute the calories you have burnt, and have to burn?

If you want a quick estimate for the number of calories you have burnt after doing calisthenics, you can visit online tools such as My Fitness Pal and Captain Calculator. Simply enter your weight and the number of minutes you have spent for your exercise, then it will generate an approximation of how much you have shed.

However, these calculators do not take into consideration important factors that can affect the energy cost of your calisthenics workout, including age, sex, body mass, the efficiency of movement, and even environmental conditions.

For a more comprehensive calculation, let’s walk you through the Harris-Benedict formula. It was first introduced in 1918 but was revised in 1984 and 1990 to enhance its accuracy in computing your physical activity’s energy cost.

Simply put, the Harris-Benedict equation asks you to multiply your basal metabolic rate (BMR) with your daily activity level. This allows you to know how many calories you’ll have to consume and burn in order to stay in your desired weight.

Let’s study how you’ll get the required figures.

Doing The Calculations

Start off by calculating your BMR, taking into consideration your sex, age in years, height in inches, and weight in pounds:

  • For men: 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)
  • For women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)

So assuming that you are a 45-year-old male weighing 190 pounds and standing 6-foot-tall, you’ll get the formula of 66 + (6.2 x 190) + (12.7 x 72) – (6.76 x 35). This yields the BMR of 1921.80.

Meanwhile, you can refer to this list to get your activity level:

  • Sedentary (with little to no exercise) – 1.200
  • Lightly active (with one to three days of light exercise each week) – 1.375
  • Moderately active (with three to five days of moderate exercise each week) – 1.550
  • Very active (with six to seven days of hard exercise each week) – 1.725
  • Extra active (with regular very high-intensity exercises or physical work) – 1.900

Putting the two figures you’ve calculated together can now help you estimate your required calorie intake each day.

Using the computation we had earlier and further assuming that you’re working as a postal office messenger which involves a lot of walking every day, you’ll get your energy cost by multiplying your BMR of 1921.80 with your activity level of 1.900. This will lead us to the result of 3,651.42.

What are the best calisthenics exercises that can burn the most calories?

Best Calorie Burning Exercises

I find that once I have found out the number of calories I have to consume and burn every day, I get curious about how I can burn energy faster. Here are my top picks among the best calisthenics exercises that can help you shed the most calories in as short as time as possible.

#1 Running or Sprint

Calories you can burn per minute: 10.8 to 16

This exercise is great for burning calories, increasing endurance, and enhancing flexibility all in one session. The general rule of the thumb is that the faster you run, the more calories you can burn. So if you’re short on time to do a full run, you can consider upgrading your workout into short yet high-intensity sprints. Make sure to warm-up first to avoid any injuries!

#2 Mountain climbers

Calories you can burn per minute: 8 to 11.85

You can get the best of cardio and a full-body workout with mountain climbers. A high-intensity session with this routine can make beginners drop dead, but you’ll be rewarded with a speedy calorie burn. Start off with a planking position, with your shoulders aligned over your hands. Lift your right knee towards your chest, return to your original position, then do the same for your left knee. Repeat this motion quickly for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your skill level.

#3 High-knee running

Calories you can burn per minute: 8 to 11.85

High-knee running can be a high-intensity cardio workout that strengthens your lower body as you boost your heart rate. To perform this exercise, simply run in place as you lift your knees as high as you can then pump your arms quickly in an up and down motion.

#4 Butt Kicks

Calories you can burn per minute: 8 to 11.85

Similar to high-knee running, butt kicks are cardio exercises that can burn a lot of calories in no time. When I do 30-minute high-intensity session this one can already get the job done. Execute this workout by alternately lifting your heel towards your butt as if you’re also running in place.

#5 Jumping Jacks

Calories you can burn per minute: 8 to 11.85

I have found this simple playground exercise is one of the best. I use it as a basic cardio workout that can be integrated with your warm-up, high-intensity training, or general routine. Even with a limited amount of space, you can pump up your heart rate alongside tapping your full body. Begin by standing with your feet together, arms placed at your sides. Lift your arms above your head as you jump, landing with your legs a shoulder-width apart. Repeat these movements for as long as necessary.

#6 Aerobic Dance

Calories you can burn per minute: 6.6 to 9.8

If other high-intensity routines seem too bland and training or for your liking, you might want to consider performing a high-energy dance routine or a Tabata style workout. The most popular aerobic dances are Zumba and Bokwa, Tabata is similar to the classic HiiT training, and you can count on both to transform your workout session into a fun recreational activity.

Main takeaway

Main Takeaway - Running

Calisthenics often involves exercises that get multiple muscle groups to work in synergy, thereby increasing the number of calories you can burn. Even better, when training calisthenics is to work in more complex routines. This demands high concentration just to stay in the moment, and this requires a lot more energy.

In general, working out your largest muscle groups can burn the most calories. This is why even simple squats, lunges, and push-ups that engage your entire body can help you shed excess energy. 

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