How you train is a large factor in how many calories you will burn.
Chest and back day in the weight room can be physically demanding on the upper body, with multiple sets of intense, focused movements. How many calories you burn from any given exercise depends on your weight and how long you are exercising. Although traditional chest and back exercises are not known for their calorie burning power, weight training can increase how many calories you burn at rest. There are also ways that you can maximize how many calories you burn during your workout.
Maximize Your Calorie Burn
According to a "Harvard University" study, a 30-minute weight training session burns between 90-133 calories depending on your weight - 90 calories for a 125-pound person and 133 calories for a 185-pound person. A calorie calculator from the American Council on Exercise determines that for a 180 pound person, a typical normal intensity weight training session burns 205 calories per hour. Calorie burning effects from weight training can last up to 24 hours post-workout by boosting the body's Basal Metabolic Rate, which will burn calories throughout the day, even when sitting or sleeping. So that chest and back workout will not only burn 205 calories in the hour it was performed, but you will keep burning calories all day.
Vary Your Training
To maximize how many calories you are burning in your chest and back workouts, vary your workout with high loads and high resistance. Train for 60 minutes per day, four days a week with a rest day between each training day. On high load workouts, strive for a weight that can only be lifted 6-8 times before burnout and muscle failure. Complete three-to-four sets, resting as needed. For high repetition workouts, choose loads that can be lifted 15-18 times and perform four sets with only 45 seconds of rest between each set to maximize muscle endurance. Alternate between high load and high repetition workouts to challenge your body and burn more calories.
Add Some Supersets
Another way to maximize calorie burn on chest and back day is the addition of supersets. Supersets alternate pairings of opposing groups of muscles with little to no rest in between. A superset can burn one-third more calories per minute, cutting out down time between sets and causing the body to work harder to recover. Try alternating the chest press with a dead lift row. Complete 10-12 reps of each exercise using a weight that challenges you to finish the set. Alternate each exercise until three sets of each has been completed with no rest in-between to maximize calorie burning potential, up to 550 calories in one hour.
Switch it Up
Adding new and diverse moves to a chest and back routine can fatigue your muscles faster by challenging new areas of the muscles and adding new patterns of coordination. This will cause the muscles to work harder and burn more calories. You can also vary your workout by alernating between barbell exercises, dumbbell exercises, exercise bands and body-weight exercises. For example, your chest routine can consist of chest press, decline chest press, dumbbell chest flyes, wide grip push-ups and narrow grip push-ups. For your back you can do bent over rows with dumbbells, chin ups and lat pull downs.