Weightlifting Doesn't Burn As Many Calories As You Think

Many people often hit the gym to burn calories through cardio exercise and weightlifting. When Women's Health ranked the best calorie-burning exercises, jumping rope topped the list. It can burn up to 990 calories per hour when jumping at 120 skips per minute.

Of course, not all exercises burn this many calories. That being said, some low-burn exercises are still popular, such as weightlifting. Medical News Today states that a half-hour of weight training will only burn between 90 and 126 calories, which really isn't much for a workout that may leave you sweating when it's over. 

This is where anaerobic exercise in the form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) comes in handy, according to Healthline. HIIT allows you to exhaust your muscles and burn more calories than you would if you were to engage in cardio exercise. It's important to note, however, that calorie burn isn't everything. Weightlifting offers a host of benefits that go beyond immediate calorie burn. While HIIT might torch those calories, traditional weight training is just as important for reasons fairly unique to the practice.

Weightlifting offers other benefits

As HuffPost explains, your body burns more calories at rest when you have more muscle on your frame. The Mayo Clinic backs this up, adding that more muscle can also give your metabolism a small boost.

HuffPost notes that weightlifting can help increase muscle density. This is particularly important as you age, as many people begin to lose bone density in their later years (via Johns Hopkins). This leads to an increased risk of fractures and breaks.

Although these benefits are important, many people may still want to see more calorie burn from their weight training sessions. Luckily, Shape reports that you can still achieve this goal. Opting for full-body moves, like deadlifts and pull-ups, can increase the number of calories you burn per session. Integrating supersets, in which you perform two different moves back-to-back prior to resting, can also help you achieve your exercise goals.