NZ Glen : BodyCombat fanatic

Calories burnt in a BODYCOMBAT class

Posted on: September 2, 2009

I’m in the process of completing my full review on BODYCOMBAT 41 but in the interim I thought I’d pull another post out of the archives; hmmm… the lazy blogger’s solution perhaps?? 😉 This was a post I wrote about a year ago when I wore a heart rate monitor to every class. One thing I’ve been meaning to start doing is to actually “rate” each release in terms of intensity based on the average calories I’d burn when doing it (I do realise that the caloric rating is only an estimate but still it is a reference point). Would be really fascinating to see if a given release consistently rates lower in terms of calories burnt than another. And that’s still something I might do – be keen to hear if anyone’s ever done the same. Look out the the BC41 review in the coming days – in the meantime enjoy this “blast from the past” 🙂

Calories burnt in a BODYCOMBAT class

I get a lot of questions regarding the number of calories one can burn during a BodyCombat class (or BodyPump class for that matter). Whilst this is almost impossible to determine with 100% accuracy some of the more advanced heart rate monitors (HRM) have the ability to estimate your caloric expenditure using calculations based on your weight, gender, resting heart rate and of course your heart rate whilst exercising. I wore my heart rate monitor (a Polar F11) to every class I did for three straight months, so I’ve now got a pretty good idea of the approx amount of calories I personally burn in a class.

With a few exceptions I almost always track between 800-900 calories per Body Combat class – now that may seem high but there’s a couple of factors to bear in mind. First I’m not a small guy, I’m a dash under 6’1″, and weigh about 82 kg (about 182 lbs), and I’m one of those freaks that puts 110% effort into every movement, and then some (like jump knees at every opportunity – even if they’re not in the chorey!) I’ve also found you burn a lot more calories whilst instructing, not sure if it’s the extra adrenalin boost, nerves boosting your heart rate or the fact that you know you’re on display so always strive for perfect technique and maximum effort – but it’s definitely noticeable. In fact I’ve gotten as high as 1050 calories in a one hour class before!

In class this morning a member mentioned she only burns about 600 per class (she also wears an HRM), and that got me thinking. I weigh about 80 kg and burn say, 800 in an average class (with no extra tracks thrown in). She’s about 60 kg and burns 600 on average (and she does train very hard). Could there be a simple direct relationship here? It does make sense that if you’re 25% larger you’ll exert 25% more energy moving that mass. Maybe for those without a HRM a basic calculation of 100 calories per 10kg of bodyweight could work? Food for thought anyway…


16 Responses to "Calories burnt in a BODYCOMBAT class"

Oh, and I also I commented on this at the time: Found an interesting site – take a look at It seems pretty accurate, I typed in 60 minutes at my weight (180lbs) and it came out 850 or so calories… pretty much exactly what my HRM says. Give it a try

I weigh @ 53 kgs, am female, and burn about 500-550 calories per BC class. I give it 110%, too. During BP70 launch, I burned 510 calories. I really upped my weights. I was still surprised it was that high though. Interesting observation, when I do the back-to-back pump/combat, I burn 100 total calories MORE if the line-up is combat FIRST and then pump versus the other way around.

That works about right… I’m 63kgs and generally burn around 700 -800 calories (going by my Polar F7) during a 1 hour combat class (release 40… new release tonight YAY!)

Hi all,

I have a question…. So based on the assumption of 100Cals per 10Kgs, I would burn around 570Cals per BC class. I also work at high intensity for the full class, BUT I also wear weighted gloves during the workout (1.5lb each, so a 3lb pair). I read a lot about using these weighted gloves, some good reviews, some bad, but so far I’ve had amazing workouts with them (and luckily no pulls, tears or injuries). I guess Im curious as to how many more calories do you think I burn because of wearing the gloves? I wear them right through till the end, even for the ab track.

If someone would help answer my query, I’d really appreciate it 😀


… I guess I should mention my stats:

Female, 5″4 (and a bit), 57kgs or 125 lbs, 24 years old.

Thanks 😀

From the responses I’ve had on twitter and facebook we seem to agree and it looks like this could be a really good rule of thumb!

Geniuses we are! 😀


Just tweeted this info.

I am 175cms tall and 65kgs.. on average I burn between 600-700 cals per class. I think I give 100% in every class (even in recovery tracks) and so agree that maybe there is something going on here. I would LOVE to burn more cals per class!! If anyone has a secret I’m all ears.


Fi it would seem the secret is to weigh more!! Hehe 🙂

Hi guys, I noticed two things…
Yep, it’s definately related to weight… they discuss the formula on the page:
right at the bottom, it indicates:
Calories burned by exercise = ((METs * 3.5 * weight in kg) / 200) * duration in minutes.
where a met is a “metabolic equivalent task”, which is used to assign intensity units to each activity (Each MET is roughly “the amount of energy used by an average adult at rest” – .

It’d def be interesting to see what the MET values are are for combat in general, and for each release. (you could even got as far as each track for when we’re mixing eh!)

I just tried one of the calculaters and checked the difference between the count for “Dancing, aerobic vigorous” and “Judo, vigorous, continuous” and the later definately had a higher work rate than the former.

Personally, Id rate combat more in line with the Judo reading than the dancing/aerobics reading.

Mind you, Glen you’ve definately got a great point about getting out of it what you put in.
On stage, when you’re demo’ing and locking on your core, and exagerating moves, you’re work rate skyrockets.
When you compare that to someone who’s still got a bit of the day on their mind, not locking on the core (or really using it for tham matter) and holding back… Jeez!

But then, for your participants, it really comes back to coaching, and enthusing to ellicate their maximum work rate eh!.

I also feel they get better rates of work when changing the tracks, as the bodies condition for the releases.

You know what, the most fun is… when your class is smashed & has nothing left in the tank, & you really push that next level (kinda like dan does in track 7 & 8…) & everyone puts in, and drags a little more out!
Kia Kaha!

I have been testing it with my HR monitor for a couple weeks.

19 year old female, about 130lbs, and I burn about 450-550 calories per class. Pump is normally closer to 350-400. At the launch o BCf 40 I burned nearly 600 though, so it counts a lot how into it you are.

The better I know the chorey the more calories I burn too…

Weigh MORE you say?! Hmm… heehee muscle weighs more than fat doesn’t it? maybe I’ll build me some of that!

Awesome blog Glen, Love it! 🙂

I do agree with you. I wear an F11 as well, and weight about 79kgs.

I actually don a pair of 2.5lb weighted gloves and average about 900calories with it.

On days I do not BC with the gloves, I will be pushing to get to 900 but usually about 850 to 880 calories.

And I do not lax during class as well so I think there is some basic relation there.

Makes it tricky for me because I am not able to do alot of jumping. I weigh about 100 kg and do the scissors, criss cross jumping but not the skipping (I jog instead). I do all the jogging and running though..

When it comes to the (for eg) the Muay Thai track, I can’t jump with the knee raises but I do all the rest.

I follow combat with a pump class so am wondering what I might burn calorie wise in both sessions .

they should give you a real jumprope and have a rope drill between each segment for a real cardio workout
i LOVE to jump rope….. and box

dont like bp but like bc

This is pretty accurate, i’m obsessed with wearing my Polar F6! I teach BC, weigh 61kgs and will burn 650 calories on average 😀

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