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Thread: Macros and calorie for weightlifters

  1. #1
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    Macros and calorie for weightlifters

    Hello my WL forum friends.

    I am trying to fine tune my nutrition, and I am trying to figure out how many calories a real weightlifting session burns, or what activity level to set my TDEE calculations at.

    Anyone who pays attention to their nutrition and has some useful data, please feel free to share.

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    Hi CNL, was thinking about this a bit.
    Not sure you actually can get "real" calories burned without some advanced equipment. (not sure how all the new fancy wearables are accurate )
    To my understanding the "expenditure" directly from weightlifting is so small you can neglect it.
    What you are looking for is how many calories you need to recover from the damage done during the training.

    I have nothing of good value. Only subjective "data".
    I was measuring my calories years ago to gain weight (and not die from training :P) so i started at 2500kcal and increased gradually over the course of the program.
    I was running LSUS end to end (so 12 weeks till competition).
    I ended up at around 4000kcal a day before taper just to keep BW. BUT - I wasn't restricted by BW, as my overall goal was to gain and jump weightclass in the long run.
    If you ask about the macros.. at the final stage it was "all i can eat" just to reach the calories (personally unpleasant experience).
    The macros were just generally distributed preferring carbs and protein (no extremes like 80% fat etc. / no cake diet).
    Sorry to disappoint, i am certainly not the right person to comment about this.
    But this is interesting topic for me - hopefully someone more knowledgeable will participate.

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    Hello matej! Long time no see, I hope you are well.

    Macros specifically are actually very simple and can be ignored more or less past that. 0.5g per pound of bodyweight for fat, 1g per pound of bodyweight for protein, give or take 10%, and that is it. The rest of your calories are going to be coming from carbs for many reasons, least of all peak performance. The people who have high fat or low protein diets are excel are much more rare. The fat and protein requirements are generally agreed upon as what is needed for optimal health and muscle gain/maintenance, within the strength science community.

    The easiest way to find your daily expenditure is to track your calories strictly, your steps strictly (to find general daily activity levels), and your training session lengths. I say training session length, because in general weightlifters will not have a dramatically easier or harder session day to day, so its easier to average it out based on time. Track them for a few weeks, and you will have an idea of where you are at.

    I have collected a bit of data and looked into this to some depth. There is actually a way to measure the calories per session specifically and I am currently testing its validity. The specific calculation depends on your vo2max and having accurate heart rate data, through a chest strap or other tool. So far so good.

    Disappointingly, after all my data collection, meticulous documentation and number crunching, my TDEE at maintenance for 4 training sessions a week was almost exactly what TDEECALCULATOR.NET told me my TDEE was based on 'moderate' activity, bang in the middle and pretty much what I would have blindly chosen, since 4 sessions is not a lot but also not minimal, and on average I get 10,000 steps a day, which is moderately active, above minimal levels and below what you would expect of 'very active'. It was disappointing but also kinda funny. I fully expect if I chose to train 6 sessions a week, then my calorie requirements would probably still match the generic calculator.

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    Doing good, thanks. Haven't lifted for few years now.
    My understanding is that whatever we do and especially in weightlifting, it doesn't matter too much in terms of calories burned at the session.
    The situation changes when we introduce long distance anything (running, cycling, swimming..) or endurance in general.
    In my understanding, the biggest calorie consumption is "maintenance" of body temperature, metabolism and basically keeping the organism alive.
    Wearing less layers of clothing (in temps lower than 36°C) takes probably more calories than weightlifting training 2hrs a day.

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    https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/h...-weightlifters

    I've posted the various guidelines from Soviet WL books, Takano or the NSCA or this or that on reddit. I'll see if I can find those numbers again because some of the WL texts and Takano's seemed very high.

    I don't think they were factoring in things like 10,000 steps/day. Likely trying to not do more than a third of that since their focus was on lifting weights not looking good in the mirror.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blairbob View Post
    https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/h...-weightlifters

    I've posted the various guidelines from Soviet WL books, Takano or the NSCA or this or that on reddit. I'll see if I can find those numbers again because some of the WL texts and Takano's seemed very high.

    I don't think they were factoring in things like 10,000 steps/day. Likely trying to not do more than a third of that since their focus was on lifting weights not looking good in the mirror.
    I'm not sure how this post could have been any less valuable. An article link, then talk about something you read but don't remember what it was or what it said, then off on a tangent about looking good in the mirror when talking about steps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CNL View Post
    I'm not sure how this post could have been any less valuable. An article link, then talk about something you read but don't remember what it was or what it said, then off on a tangent about looking good in the mirror when talking about steps.
    The article Blairbob posted is outlining the exact data you were looking for in the OP. Bit of a snarky comment tbh.
    Last edited by DylanJM; 04-21-2021 at 03:53 AM.

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    Member Blairbob's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how this post could have been any less valuable
    the only thing that matters in that article is the energy expenditure data. the article is pretty short and you skim through most of the rest. You could likely find some data based on joules expended and loads in the Garhammer studies (which I forgot about when posting).

    https://wlforums.com/forums/showthre...-weightlifting macros and calories were hashed out well in this post that you made.

    My post was something of a placeholder until I could sift through either my posts on it via search function or the texts. Or if you had those texts, you skim through the 100-200 pages for those details yourself. My short term memory has always been kind of scatter brained (no, i have no idea where my wallet is right now and if i don't keep my phone handy, I'll forget where I put it besides my keys [luckily i usually know where to check]).

    Especially as it's a favor, you're not my athlete or teammate and you obviously could just use the search function and find the NSCA or USADA nutrition guidelines. Not that I really think they are very WL specific.

    You could try to remind me via PM, but let's be honest I rarely check my email though I'm pretty accessible on IM.

    If I don't leave a note for myself, I'll probably forget about it until I come back and see it. Which was part of the point about that post. It was a start.

    I mean technically if you don't have those books, I shouldn't even share those details. Not that I really give a shit about the copyright data of the Soviets but I do know Bob so unless it's details he's published somewhere I usually avoid posting about said details.

    5, 10, 20000 steps/day will drastically change your necessary caloric intake. Pretty much all the Soviet lifters were discouraged from even riding a bike around gym much less walking 2-5+ miles/day for the fuck of it. According to one calculator it's 65-100 calories/mile walked (2000 steps) depending on your bodyweight (120 vs 185lbs).

    I've decided to take the civil route which tbh is something I almost never do. Have fun searching and sifting the data yourself but if you want to go through my zillion fn posts here or on reddit, have fun searching through that mess.

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  11. #9
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    In Myfitnesspal I've never really gone wrong just putting "Strength Training" in the exercise box for however many minutes I did it regardless of intensity or if I was doing bodybuilding, plyos, etc. For calories it counts it around the same amount of calories per hour as walking, or about 300 per hour if you're 200lbs or so. I've never had it not work, as in, fail to lose weight, using those calorie amounts.

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