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How Many Calories Does Boxing Burn? (Calories Burned Based on Excercise)

If you’ve ever wondered how many calories does boxing burn during a typical workout, this is the post for you. Check out the below tables that breakdown the amount of calories burned based on weight, specific boxing training, and even when compared to other activities like Brazilian jiu jitsu and Muay Thai.


Boxing can burn up ~400 calories for 30 minutes of training and ~800 calories for an hour of moderately intense training for a 160lb-180lb male. Jumping rope, heavy bag training, and sparring are the boxing activites that burn the most calories.


Finally, we will also answer is boxing good for weight loss, and how to maximize your weight loss with boxing.

Calories Burned During Boxing – Key Takeaways

  • Boxing can burn approximately 400 calories in a 30-minute session. (see blow table for breakdown of other weights)
    • A 120lb male burns ~270 calories and a 240lb male burns ~540 calories with a 30 min session
  • So an average 1 hour boxing session may burn up to 1000 calories.
  • Male participants burn around 40% or exactly 38% more calories than female.
  • Shadow boxing can burn around 205-300 calories in a 30-minute session.
  • Jumping rope, heavybag training, and sparring burn the most calories in boxing
  • Lastly, physical variables like intensity, bodyweight, and duration significantly influence calorie burn rates.
Weight (lbs / kg)Avg Calories Burned in 30 mins of Boxing
120 lbs / 54.43 kg270
140 lbs / 63.5 kg315
160 lbs / 72.57 kg360
180 lbs / 81.65 kg405
200 lbs / 90.72 kg450
220 lbs / 99.79 kg495
240 lbs / 108.86 kg540

Calories Burned During Different Types of Boxing Training

Boxing ActivityEstimated Calories Burned in 30 mins
Heavy Bag Training~150 – 300 calories
Shadowboxing~100 – 200 calories
Sparring~250 – 350 calories
Running~250 – 350 calories
Jumping Rope~350 – 500 calories
*estimates based on a 160 lb/72.57 kg male

Comparing Calories Burned During Different Activities

Activity:Avg calories burned for 30 mins of activity:
Boxing350
Stretching99
Walking150
Running375
Weightlifting285
Swimming350
Basketball240
Sitting35
Wrestling390
BJJ Sparring365
estimates for a 180lb male*

Why Tracking Calories with Calculators or Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

Fitness trackers like apple watches, woop, or other wearables and even trackers like MyFitnessPal where you manually enter in the foods you’ve eaten and activity each day, really aren’t that accurate.

my calories burned after ~45 minutes of boxing at 200lbs

Some reasons why they aren’t the best way to gauge amount of calories burned is due to:

  • Difficult to wear with certain activites including boxing, wrestling, or Brazilian jiu jitsu.
  • They use generic algorithms/standard formulas not tailored to individual differences.
  • Trackers have limited sensors and often miss complex movements, affecting accuracy.
  • Better at tracking simple activities like running, less accurate for varied exercises like boxing, weightlifting, or yoga.
  • Accuracy is dependent on user input (ie. weight, height, etc.)
  • Incorrect placement or poor skin contact can lead to faulty heart rate data.
  • They don’t account for factors like muscle mass or environmental conditions.
  • Over time, sensors may become less accurate.
  • Individual metabolic rates vary, but trackers often use generalized rates.

While wearables and fitness trackers can give you a comparably gauge of amount of calories burned, I’ve found a better way to manage my and track my calories burned is by

  • weighing in every other day
  • taking and average of my weight each week
  • and adjusting my calories or physical activity based on my goals

How Many Calories Does Boxing Burn Per Minute

Each minute of boxing can potentially burn about 10 to 15 calories, depending on your body weight and workout intensity.

So, say you’re a 150-pound individual doing a moderate-intensity boxing workout, you’ll likely burn around 10 calories every minute.

How Many Calories Does Boxing Burn in 30 Minutes

On average, a person weighing around 150 lbs (~70 kilograms) performing a moderate-intensity boxing workout for half an hour may burn around 300-400 calories.

Again, intensity and specific activity can increase amount of calories burning with hitting the heavy bag and sparring burning the most calories.

How Many Calories Does Boxing Burn Per Hour

An hour-long session of moderate to high-intensity boxing can burn around 600-1000 calories.

The nubmer of calories burned will of course vary based on physical factors like intensity, age, sex, and weight.

How Many Calories Burned in an Average Boxing Class?

The average calorie expenditure during a typical boxing class can fluctuate between 400 to 600 calories per session for an average person. (Side note: this estimation leans towards moderate-intensity classes considering an individual weighing around 155 pounds.)

How Many Calories Do You Burn When Punching a Heavy Bag?

Based on a 155lb male, on avarge, you could be looking at an estimated burn rate of around 200 to 400 calories in a vigorous 30-minute heavy bag session.

How Many Calories Does Shadow Boxing Burn?

Shadow boxing burns a bit less calories than hitting a heavy bag since a heavy bag offers a good amount of resistance.

An individual weighing 155 pounds (70 kilograms) can burn approximately 205-300 calories during a half-hour session of moderate-intensity shadow boxing

Does Sparring Burn the Most Calories?

Sparring is definitely taxing and physically demanding. It is one of the boxing activities that can burn more calories. Depening on intensity, of course, a half an hour sparring session can burn up to 350 calories.

Is Boxing a Good Way to Lose Weight?

To cut straight to the chase, boxing can be great way to lose weight. However, there are many activities that can be ideal to lose weight so this will all depend on your preferences. If you enjoy boxing or the activity, you will lose while having fun.

Boxing is a great way to lose weight (if you enjoy it of course). Running is also a great way to lose weight too, but I find it boring and not engaging so be sure to choose whatever activity you like!

For me, the main reasons why boxing is great for losing weight is that:

  • its engaging
  • it teaches you self defense
  • let’s you train with and meet other people

Why Does Boxing Burn So Many Calories?

Boxingengages multiple muscle groups, especially the core, which is the prime mover in boxing. Continuous engagement of the core muscles during defensive and offensive moves increases the intensity of the workout, resulting in higher energy expenditure.

Additionally, boxing is a form of high-intensity interval training, leading to the ‘afterburn’ effect or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC). This means that post-exercise, the body continues to burn calories at a higher rate as it consumes more oxygen to recover. The intense and fast-paced nature of boxing elevates the metabolic rate, not just during the workout but also for some time afterward, contributing to ongoing calorie burn.

Simply put, boxing’s effectiveness in burning calories can be attributed to its continuous high-energy demands, core engagement, and the afterburn effect, making it an efficient workout for energy expenditure.

What Are the Benefits of Boxing Training?

Boxing isn’t just about throwing punches and striving to floor your opponent. There’s more to it. In fact, boxing training can lead to various physical and mental health improvements. On one end, it’s a high-intensity workout that engages and tones every part of your body, notably strengthening your core, arms, and legs. It also keeps your heart rate up—contributing to its recognition as a stellar cardio workout. A cardio session like boxing can invigorate your cardiovascular health and promote weight loss.

  • Excellent form of Self Defense: Boxing is an excellent form of self defense and one of the most effective martial arts out there
  • Great Base: Boxing is also a perfect base for Mixed Maritial Arts (MMA). You need a solid understanding of striking to combine with grappling if you want to properly learn MMA
  • Full-Body Workout: Boxing engages and tones every part of the body, especially strengthening the core, arms, and legs.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Keeps the heart rate up, making it an excellent cardio workout that can enhance heart health and aid in weight loss.
  • Stress Reduction: Linked to lowering stress levels due to the release of endorphins, the body’s natural mood elevators.
  • Improved Mental Well-being: Boosts confidence and resilience, helping to bring out a more assertive and determined mindset.
  • Enhanced Coordination and Focus: Requires precision and concentration, thereby improving coordination and cognitive skills.
  • Afterburn Effect: Boxing’s high-intensity nature leads to Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC), helping to burn calories even after the workout.
  • Muscle Engagement: Continuously engages various muscle groups, contributing to overall muscle development and toning.

How Can You Burn More Calories?

The best ways to burn more calories with boxing is to focus on:

  • intensity
  • consistency
  • training variety

It should also be noted: You can only do so much physical activity and you can’t out train a bad diet, if you diet is in check and you’re in a daily caloric defeicit you will lose weight.

Consistency is just as crucial. One high-intensity boxing training session will not miraculously shed a ton of calories. You need to be consistent, pushing yourself each day a bit more than the last. This does not mean that there isn’t room for rest, but it emphasizes the importance of maintaining a regular exercise schedule.

Next, adding high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to your workout routine can also make a significant difference. HIIT consists of short bursts of all-out-effort exercises followed by rest or low-intensity activities. For example, in boxing, you could clock in heavy-bag work for a minute, rest for 30 seconds, and then go all out again.

What’s a Good Beginner’s Boxing Workout at Home?

Below is a simple boxing routine that you can implement at home. However, you should note two things:

  • boxing training in a gym is always better
  • at home training will still require some basic equipment like:
    • timer
    • heavy bag
    • mirror
    • boxing gloves
    • pull up bar

Boxing Specific Workout That You Can Do at Home:

  • Warmup for 2 rounds : Jump Rope
  • Shadowboxingf for 3 rounds : Focus on footwork and combinations
  • Heavy Bag Training for 3 rounds : Various combinations and free-for-all
  • Body Weight Strenght Training (can alternate Workout A and B from below)
  • Ab Work (can choose from below)

At Home Weekly Boxing Routine (with minimal equipment)

Monday:

  • Morning: Slow run, 5k
  • Afternoon: Shadow boxing, 10 rounds

Tuesday:

  • Morning: Calisthenics (5 sets of 10 each of pushups, sit-ups, air squats, toe touches, mountain climbers, flutter kicks, lunges, bicycles, fire hydrants; finish with 10 pull-ups)
  • Evening: Jump rope 10 minutes; 5 rounds slip line drills; 5 rounds weighted shadow boxing

Wednesday:

  • Morning: Slow run, 5k
  • Evening: Shadow boxing, 10 rounds

Thursday:

  • Morning: 30 burpees, 50 sit-ups
  • Evening: Jump rope 10 minutes; 5 rounds footwork drills; 5 rounds weighted shadow boxing

Friday:

  • Morning: Hill sprints
  • Evening: Shadow boxing, 10 rounds

Saturday:

  • Morning: Calisthenics (similar to Tuesday morning)

Sunday:

  • Rest day

Strength Training (5 times per week):

  • Workout A (M, W, F): Pushups, Pullups, Diamond Pushups, Wide Pushups, Chinups, Mountain Climbers
  • Workout B (T, Th): Squats, Lunges, Calf Raises, Wall Sit, Burpees

Speed and Explosiveness (twice a week):

  • Plyometrics: Squat Jumps, Bounding, One-legged hops, Clap Pushups, Step Jumps

Anaerobic Conditioning (3 times per week):

  • Interval Training: Sprint and walk-back drills over increasing distances

Aerobic Capacity (2 times per week):

  • Endurance Runs: Long runs over 45 minutes, varying pace

What to Expect in an Average Boxing Class

In general you can expect some form of the below for your first boxing class:

  • warm up (jump rope, shadow boxing)
  • technique guidance
  • heavy bag or pad work
  • streght and conditioning (some form of body weight exercises
  • cool down

Here’s a further break down

  1. Initial Warm-Up (10 minutes): A grace period where participants are expected to jump rope or stretch before the class officially starts.
  2. Intense Warm-Up (20 minutes): Moderately intense exercises like mountain climbers, pushups, high knees, and shadow boxing.
  3. Technique and Combo Practice (35 minutes): Partnered drill combos demonstrated by the instructor, followed by practice and critique.

Some tips for your first class:

  • do not spar on your first day/week/or even month
  • listen to your instructor
  • focus on technique (not power or speed)
  • be a good training partner

Can You Gain Muscle from Boxing Training Alone?

While boxing can help you lost weight and may add some minimal muscle tone, boxing alone is not an ideal way to gain muslce.

If you’re goal is to gain muscle, you should add in some form of weight training and be sure to be in a caloric surplus.

Related Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Calories Does a Boxer Burn in 12 Rounds of Boxing?

On average a male weighing about 70 kilograms or 155 pounds can burn approximately 500 to 800 calories in a 12-round match, depending on the intensity.


Does MyFitnessPal or other Fitness Trackers Measure Calories Burned During Boxing Accurately?

In reality, fitness wearables or diet trackers like MyFitnessPal where you log your diet or activity might not be 100% accurate.

Specificaly, I’ve noticed that apps like MyFitnessPal do not accurately measure specific activities. Plus sometimes they don’t even offer that activity such as Brazilian jiu jitsu etc.

Fitness trackers, however, are good at providing comparable numbers so that you can better gauge your activity and amount of calories burned.


How Many Calories Does Muay Thai Burn?

In general, a one-hour session of Muay Thai can burn up to 1200 calories depending on intensity and specific activity of course.

It generally burns slightly more calories than boxing due usage of a larger variety of strikes plus grappling in the form of clinch fighting.


How Many Calories Does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) Burn?

You may be surprised to learn that a typical, one-hour moderate-intensity BJJ session can burn more than 500 calories.

Generally, BJJ class is separate between warm ups and drilling, and live sparring. Sparring of course burns the most calories while the other activities burn much less.

Read More: How Many Calories Does Jiu Jitsu Burn

    About the Author:

    Zack Nicholas

    Zack Nicholas:

    Zack is an avid jiu jitsu practitioner and weight lifting nerd. When not on the mats or in the gym, he can be found going for walks with his wife, attempting (and often failing) to train his dog, and frequently obsessing over a specific hobby only to forget about it a week later. He can be reached over his LinkedIn or at info@heavybjj.com