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How Many Calories Will I Burn in an Hour of Personal Training?

Working with a personal trainer can give you the encouragement to meet your fitness goals. By partnering with a trainer, you'll also learn how to perform a long list of exercises correctly to help you maximize your time in the gym while minimizing your risk of injury.

The number of calories you can expect to burn when working with a personal trainer depends on the focus of the routine. Weight training generally burns fewer than a high-intensity cardio session; but a circuit that combines both can really take some energy. Your weight, the number of rest breaks you take and your effort also influence the calorie burn rate.

Balancing Cardio and Strength Training

Although each personal trainer tailors her recommended workout based on your fitness goals, workouts typically include a balance of cardio and strength-training exercises. If your chief goal is losing weight, the workout may include more cardio. While a trainer may emphasize strength training when your goal is increasing muscle mass.

Both types of activity play a role as you build a healthy body; in general, however, cardio exercises burn calories quicker than strength training. Typical cardio exercises include using such machines as the treadmill or calisthenic-style moves such as jumping jacks. Strength training includes exercises with weight machines, lifting free weights, and body-weight exercises, such as crunches, lunges and pushups.

Feel the Burn with Cardio

Personal trainers often put you through the paces of a cardio workout, and the gym provides a number of ways for you to burn calories at an accelerated rate. Exercises include pedaling the exercise bike, using the elliptical trainer and jogging on the treadmill. A 190-pound person burns 302 calories in 30 minutes of using an exercise bike at a moderate pace, 365 calories in 30 minutes of running at 5 mph and 490 calories in 30 minutes of using an elliptical machine.

Read more: The 12 Biggest Myths About Personal Training

Strength Training for Better Health

Strength training — which often includes weightlifting and body-weight exercises — also plays a key role in your workout regimen, despite its lower rate of burning calories. Strengthening your body leads to a number of health benefits, including boosting your metabolism. A 190-pound person burns 148 calories in 30 minutes of lifting weights, 194 calories in 30 minutes of performing moderate-paced crunches and 217 calories in 30 minutes of moderate-paced push-ups.

Circuit Train for More Burn

Circuit training, which involves moving from exercise to exercise in rapid succession can really scorch calories. If your trainer has you performing short intervals of push-ups, squats, treadmill sprints and other similar exercises with minimal rest, you'll burn up to 365 calories in just 30 minutes if you weigh 190 pounds.

Benefits of Working with a Trainer

While it's true that having a personal trainer won't directly cause you to burn more calories, exercising under the watchful eye of a trainer helps you stay on track to meet your fitness goals. Partnering with a trainer forces you to push yourself; when you exercise alone, it's easy to fall into the habit of going through the motions or skipping a workout altogether. A personal trainer can help you perform exercises safely, explain what exercises you need for your body type, and keep you motivated.

Read more: What Does a Personal Trainer Do?

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About the Author

Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.

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