We use a large number of variables to give estimates of "Calorie Burn" for every single Fitness Blender workout. In this video and article, we give you a rundown of the factors that we consider in order to create these figures, which will hopefully help you determine where on our ranges you might fall.
How Fitness Blender calculates calories burned ranges
Here are a handful of the most influential factors we consider to give our calorie burn ranges.
Bodyweight - Our calorie burn ranges typically reflect the calorie burn of someone who weighs between 110-200 lbs. Heavier people will burn a higher number of calories than people who are lighter. If you're lighter than 110 you may burn lower than our estimate range; heavier than 200 and you may burn higher than our estimate range.
Workout length - The amount of time spent exercising is an important variable in calorie burn. Additionally, longer workouts may create more of a metabolic disturbance (depending on the intensity and training type) that the body will need to regulate itself from afterwards (meaning that you may have a slow return to your normal rate of expenditure).
Workout training type - The more intense the training type, the higher the burn. HIIT, bodyweight training, cardio, weight lifting and circuit training or supersets tend to have the highest calorie burn during an actual workout session.
Muscle groups used - Generally speaking, the larger the muscle group being focused on, the higher the expenditure.
Additional resistance/amount of weight being lifted - If weights are involved, a person who is lifting lightly will burn fewer calories; someone lifting heavily enough to challenge themselves (it's always relative to individual strength) will burn more.
Baseline fitness level - Being brand new to working out will likely make you less efficient, which can actually mean a higher calorie burn, on the other hand, if you're more fit, you may be able to push yourself harder and burn more calories.
Efficiency at training type - If you're a pro at something, you may actually burn fewer calories doing it. This is just one of the reasons why it's important to switch up workouts often and incorporate many kinds of training.
Effort/output of exerciser - Push yourself harder, burn more calories; drag your feet through your workout and you'll burn fewer.
Gender - Males tend to burn more calories because of their typically higher muscle content, in combination with a usually higher scale weight (see above).
Age - As we age, muscle content tends to diminish, which will result in a lower expenditure during a workout. That's just one of the reasons why strength training is so important.
Muscle content - Muscle content influences expenditure by increasing overall output of energy and intensity.
Height - Longer levers take more effort (i.e. calories) to manipulate.
These are just an example of the many, many variables that influence an individual's expenditure during a workout.
Remember that these are estimates
We give ranges, instead of exact numbers, for a reason. We aren't pitching this as an exact science; please keep in mind that these are still just estimates, meant to give you a vague idea of how much energy you're expending. Each person's body will vary enormously in how it burns energy, and the exact number of calories that you've burned is less important than the fact that you've completed a workout. With that said, we estimate that 90% (or more) of the population will fall into our calorie burn estimate ranges.
It's not just about calories burned
Working out is about a lot more than just calories burned, and even from a technical standpoint; different kinds of workouts & training types have much more importance than their face value calorie estimates. Take into consideration the afterburn of training types like HIIT, the flexibility benefits of Pilates and yoga workouts, the long term muscle building advantage of strength training, and so on.
It's less about exactly how many calories you're burning during a workout, and more about the fact that you're actually working out on a regular basis, so try and not obsess about exact numbers.