Stronglifts Workout Calorie Estimation

Stronglifts sends your estimated calories burned during your workout to Apple Health.

To enable this, go to Stronglifts - settings - Apple Health.

Apple Health will show two calorie values for your Stronglifts workouts:

  • Active calories are your estimated calories you burn during your workout
  • Total calories is the sum of your active calories and your resting calories - the calories you burn through the day at rest. Your total calories are slightly higher than your active calories.

Your resting calories are calculated using your body weight. You therefore need to enter your body weight in Apple Health for this to work. Here's how:

  1. Open the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on your profile picture in the top right corner.
  3. Scroll down and select "Body Measurements."
  4. Tap "Weight."
  5. Tap "Add Data Point" at the bottom.
  6. Enter your weight and the date you want to track.
  7. Tap "Add" in the top right corner.

How calories are estimated

Calories burned are estimated by Apple's algorithm when using an Apple Watch, and cannot be changed by us. This may result in discrepancies in calorie estimations for similar workouts between those tracked using an iPhone only vs those tracked with an Apple Watch connected.

The Apple Watch tends to overestimate how many calories you burn during your workout. Quote from a study by Hajj-Boutros et al...

"The Apple Watch 6, Polar Vantage V and Fitbit Sense showed poor accuracy for energy expenditure during 5 different physical activities.... proceed with caution on the clinical utility of energy expenditure of these devices during the implementation of an exercise training or nutritional programme."

When you log your Stronglifts workouts with your iPhone only, without an Apple Watch connected, your calories burned will be estimated by our algorithm. Our formula is based on this study that showed that lifting weights burns about 6kcal/min or ~300kcal/hour (the equivalent of brisk walking). The estimated calories calculated by us will be slightly lower than those estimated by Apple Watch when doing similar workouts.

Lifting weights burns less calories per minute than continuous activities like running, cycling, swimming or rowing. This is because you spend most of your workout resting between sets. However, the primary goal of lifting weight is to get stronger and build muscle. Increasing your muscle mass increases your resting metabolic rate. This helps you burn more calories even when you're not lifting. The calorie output of your workouts does not show the full picture of all the benefits you get from lifting weights.

Workout shows 0 calories burned when lifting

This issue can happen if you didn't enter your body weight.

You can add your body weight in Apple Health using the steps described above.