20 Mar Why Do Men Burn More Calories than Women?
This question of “why” and “how” do men burn more calories than women comes up just about every time a workout concludes at RiPT Fitness. Exasperated, women step out of the RiPT room, turn to a trainer and ask how in the heck the guys in the class were able to burn so many calories in such a short period of time when the women almost never match their numbers. Frustrated, they point to the polar heart rate monitors displayed on the screen in the RiPT room and shake their heads in disbelief when they see their male counterparts have burned close to 850 calories in just 45 minutes when they barely managed to burn half that. Well ladies, there is an explanation for why men’s calorie burning capabilities seem to put women’s to shame and it all comes down to science.
The first thing to take into account when looking at calorie burn is the simple fact that the average man weighs more than the average woman: the more you weigh, the more calories you burn. The heavier you are, the more difficult it is for your body to do the necessary work to move, and the easier it is to expend more calories working out or doing other activities. Since women tend to weigh less, they burn fewer calories even if they are working really hard during a workout.
Secondly, men have more muscle mass than women, allowing them to burn calories with ease. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest (hence why anaerobic training is so important!). Women tend to have more body fat than men and less muscle mass, making it harder to burn a higher number of calories during a workout. Bottom line, muscle burns more calories than fat.
Thirdly, the hormonal profile of males is different than that of women. Men have more testosterone and less estrogen. Testosterone elicits a higher metabolism, muscle building, and fat burning response in the body. Furthermore, because men have more muscle mass (point number 2), it is easier to generate growth hormone and Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1) within the body. All of these help to boost metabolism, burn fat, and build more muscle (double whammy).
So, since men weigh more, have more muscle mass and less body fat, and their hormonal profile is different from women, they can easily burn double the calories women do during a given sweat session.
The next time a RiPT workout concludes and you’re dripping sweat after an intense effort, when you eye the polar heart rate monitor display, don’t get discouraged by the numbers. Just think after how hard you work in RiPT to burn that measly 425 calories ladies; now think about how much less you would have burned going somewhere else! Just remember you most likely kicked just as much butt as the man standing next to you…he just happened to burn a few more calories.