How many calories do I burn when training?

Great question!

I am asked this question a lot and many of our participants wear heart rate monitors which track many things, including calories burnt.

I’d like to answer this question like this…

I actually do not teach workouts that only focus on calorie burn. This is misleading and perpetuates the number obsession far too many ladies get caught up on…and really it distracts them from focusing on what truly does matter…an increase in strength and overall fitness and more importantly better health.

How can calories burned tell you that you are getting better?

Truth of the matter is, the more efficient your body becomes at an activity, the less calories are burned during a workout. This then leads many, particularly ladies to think they need to workout longer – just to see those numbers go up…when reality is, this is often causing them to go backwards.

Only today was I again told that when someone sees big numbers of calories burnt on their heart rate monitor, they then gave themselves permission to go and eat a big meal – bigger than normal.. This is really not the aim and in fact is just another example of justifying overeating.

The purpose of your Total Body Workouts (strength & cardio) workouts is to workout with intensity in order to elevate the afterburn. This is the metabolic boost your body will experience when your workout has been completed.

Your goal is to change body composition – not just weight loss, right?

Weight loss is simple – burn a lot more calories and reduce what you eat. You lose weight – but you do so at the cost of your metabolism, energy levels, mood and for many damage of hormones – all to just be a smaller, softer version of your original body.

If you wish to change your body composition, this means you must improve/increase muscle and burn more body fat. This is achieved by following a full body strength training program, smart cardio, which you know as ITs and cleaning up your eating habits, choosing foods that support the increase of muscle and the decrease of fat.

Still with me? Great!

You will know your strength workouts are effective when with each and every workout you complete, you are feeling it AND with each new workout you take on, you find your strength levels are improving. Calorie burn has ZERO to do with this.


Sure. Activity trackers and heart rate monitors CAN be beneficial – – the one area I feel they work best and in a healthy way – not causing number obsession – is to double check to see if you truly are living an active lifestyle.

For example, for health we should be taking about 10,000 steps a day – and this is outside of workouts. Many busy mums find they barely get 7,000 a day. This is where such a tool is helpful – to bring awareness to time spent sitting and thought put into how movement can be weaved into a daily routine for optimal results.

Eg – parking further away – getting up to stretch every hour if very sedentary, take the stairs not the elevator – PLAY with your Children… they are so awesome for adding this aspect to our lives.

Long winded response, but honestly…anything less just would NOT have gotten the point across…or at least I think that’s the case.

Have you been distracting yourself with numbers?

Try a new approach and see what you now notice.

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