When Calories Don't Matter

Why exercise shouldn’t be about the calories

A lot of people use ‘calories burnt’ from their fitness watch as a way to measure the effectiveness of a workout. It’s a bonus but it shouldn’t be the primrary goal of your training.

Firstly… They are not accurate ❌ They’re a very rough guess based on your height, weight, gender, age and heart rate and they are never 100% accurate.

If you purely want to burn as many calories as possible and that’s all you care about go and take up ultra running or any endurance event because strength sessions don’t actually burn that many calories but that’s not why you should be strength training anyway

It’s not a competition. We’re all highly individual therefore burn calories at different rates. Unless you’re competing against your identical twin who is also identical athletically then theres no real comparison… even then… you shouldn’t be doing it to be competitive

You should be exercising because you enjoy it and because you want the positive physical adaptations exercise provides (improved muscle size and strength/bone density/cardiovascular health/insulin sensitivity etc.) not just to burn calories

Exercise doesn’t actually burn that many calories… unless you’re running/cycling or swimming for very long durations. If you’re focusing on calories burnt because you’re trying to lose weight focus on your diet don’t try to create a deficit through direct exercise alone. Having more muscle mass means you’ll burn more calories at rest but the actual act of strength training doesn’t burn that many calories.


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