Leg day, the workout everyone knows they need to do, but only some do.
In fact, asking someone whether they train their legs regularly or not is a great way to discover who is taking their training seriously, as working the lower body is not only great for building strength but as you’ll see has several other sought after benefits too.
In this article, we’ll explore those benefits then take a look at the number of calories burnt amongst the most common leg day exercises both in and out of the gym.
Before we start, we get that the point of leg day is not to burn a lot of calories but to get stronger over time. However, if you’re trying to maintain a calorie deficit or surplus then it can be useful to get an idea of the number of calories you burn in your workout.
Plus, if you’re training outside and like to include sprints or other cardio as part of your training plan then this becomes a really useful thing to know.
With that said, let’s begin.
The Benefits of Leg Training
As we alluded to before, training your legs has several benefits for your health and your performance in and out of the gym.
Now you know how beneficial leg training can be, let’s take a look at the number of calories you can expect to burn per exercise.
When you think of leg day, chances are you immediately picture someone in the rack, under the bar, doing reps of heavy back squats. Head into most gyms and this is likely what you’ll see as the squat is a leg day staple.
However, it’s not the only weighted exercise for building bigger, stronger legs and there are a variety of other movements that can help you build an athletic lower body.
To figure out the calorie burn per exercise you need to know the MET value, this is how hard you are working. For example, if you can still hold a conversation whilst you squat then your MET value is low, probably around 4.
On the other hand, if you’re breathing hard and can no longer maintain a conversation then your MET value is high and probably around 8.
Knowing this you can then use the following calculation to figure out your calorie burn per exercise:
Calories burned per minute = .0175 x MET score x weight in kgs
Using some example weights and time here is how some of our favourite exercises stack up for calorie burn.
This is all approximate values and will vary largely depending on the intensity and duration of exercises as well as your body weight.
Here at TPW, we respect that everyone is different and although some of you live to pump iron, some of you will prefer getting outside and being active.
We get that and enjoy mixing up our training too with a combination of activities and exercises, which means leg day doesn’t always mean squats and lunges.
Sometimes it means getting out in the fresh air and sunshine to do a 5k, hike a mountain, do some hill sprints or just go for a walk and clear your head.