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Old 08-21-2007, 05:54 PM   #1
aikispike
Dojo: Yoshinkan
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How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

So, I am on a quest to slim down and am wondering how many calories might be burned in a "typical" one hour aikido class.

I've found charts where they claim 60 minutes of karate or judo will burn 700 calories. I wonder if that is supposed to be 60 minutes of actual randori or kicking or does it take into account a real class situation where you are probably watching sensei, or waiting for uke, or (gasp!) talking for a third of the time.

I also understand that there really is no "typical" class, so perhaps we could assume:

10 minutes of warm up,
15 minutes of watching/waiting/talking,
35 minutes of moderately intense hands on bashing and banging.

Anyone have any ideas?

Spike

--
Michael Kimeda
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Old 08-21-2007, 06:14 PM   #2
Ryan Sanford
Dojo: Northwest Aikido
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Depends on the type of class, really... there are some days that we do high-activity classes with intense ukemi, and there are days where we do lots of connection or footwork exercises. Either way, I think it's safe to say that in a typical Aikido school, the student will burn maybe 400-500 calories. That's nothing scientific, just a guesstimation.

As for weight loss, though, I find that diet will help more than exercise (though both are important). However, I'm a physically active-vegetarian-health freak-adolescent, so weight loss really isn't an issue for me.

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:08 AM   #3
Jess McDonald
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

I don't know...400-500 calories seems like a lot for only ~35min. of actual work. And if your not "bringing it", then 400-500 cal is definitely not going to happen.
I like to think I have adequate knowledge with most things fitness and I have found that it is much more likely that the average person only burns 200 cal or so for every 30min of continuous moderate excertion and that's being generous. To lose weight you need to sweat, sweat, sweat. Sweating is great indication of how hard your body is working and if you want results you have to work!! This is cliche' but totally true to any gym rat: NO PAIN, NO GAIN!!!
Frankly, if you really want to lose weight, in addition to your aikido class- run and run far. Start jump training/plyometrics and start pumping weight (make sure you push it during those last three reps). Do weights first then cardio. After 6 weeks switch to cardio then weights. The key to perfection of the body is keep it guessing!!
Good Luck and see ya at the gym!!!
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Old 08-22-2007, 06:43 AM   #4
Timothy WK
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

A person burns ~ (+/-) 200 calories walking for 35 minutes. I guess you could use that as a comparison. Is your practice more or less vigorous than walking?

--Timothy Kleinert

Aikido & Wujifa qigongs
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Old 08-22-2007, 07:46 AM   #5
Dewey
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

When I first began Aikido, I also struggled with being out-of-shape. The problem I found with Aikido is that it just isn't aerobic and/or anaerobic enough for the time period given (30-40 minutes of actual workout time). My solution: work out just prior to coming to Aikido. It got me highly motivated for Aikido, I already came in with a good sweat going and already warmed up and ready to go. You don't have to do anything hardcore, maybe an hour of powerwalking...low impact and excellent cardiovascular workout. It worked for me. No gym fees...only the cost for a good pair of walking shoes and an extra gi or two..since you'll be washing them more often...since you're sweating profusely from the moment you walk into the dojo!

Also, if your interest in Aikido is more self-defense oriented, then this is truly the most effective way to study Aikido...when your tired & exhausted. Why? It more closely simulates the reality of self-defense application. Rarely will you be completely ready, either physically or mentally. Learning how to use it when you're not at 100% will make your self-defense skills more directly applicable to a real-world scenario. This is the tried and true method that the military uses.

For what it's worth...
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:12 AM   #6
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

It is much easier to slim down by taking control over eating habits than to burn excess energy by physical exercise.
To lose 0,5kg per week you will have to lose 3500 kcal, that is akin to something like 10 km of running/walking each day or 20 km of bicycling outside of your normal training schedule.
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:50 AM   #7
Roman Kremianski
Dojo: Toronto Aikikai
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Bear in my that you will mostly get tired doing ukemi rather than actual technique yourself.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:37 AM   #8
Don
Dojo: aikido of charlotte
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

If you are uke for the whole class and you are being thrown with little or no rest for 35 minutes then you will burn a tremendous amount of calories in excess of 400 calories. However most practices are not like that. Aikido as a primary aerobic exercise is not sufficient to burn lots of calories. Generally the heart is not beating at a SUSTAINED training rate to promote aerobic activity, and it is not done for long enough to switch from burning glycogen to stored fat. You throw and are thrown for a releatively short period of time. Then you kneel in seiza or anza and observe the next technique. Then you repeat. Aikido practice is closer to anerobic activity in my opinion. I try to do as a previous poster: do a good aerobic workout or resistance workout for an hour before aikido. Of course after two Aikido classes, I then go home and die.....
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:33 PM   #9
grondahl
Dojo: Stockholms Aikidoklubb
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Wouldn´t be smarter to do the aerobic exercises after aikido? Since aikido keiko is more about learning than excercising? And studies shows that you learn new skills much easier the more well rested you are.
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:34 PM   #10
Ron Tisdale
Dojo: Doshinkan dojo in Roxborough, Pa
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Hi Spike,

Utada Sensei used to start off every class with between 80 and 100 breakfalls...forward rolls (3 to 5 types), backward rolls (2 to 3 types), backfalls (2 types) 10 of each. THEN class would really start Not quite so rigorous now, at least not every class. If you want to lose weight, and Kimeda Sensei doesn't do this, just do on your own before class.

Best,
Ron (I really should do more ukemi...)

Ron Tisdale
-----------------------
"The higher a monkey climbs, the more you see of his behind."
St. Bonaventure (ca. 1221-1274)
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Old 08-22-2007, 12:59 PM   #11
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

This scale was developed by my personal trainer and he based it on a couple of known statistical models for calorie burn in the Martial Arts and observing allot of different Aikido practices.

150-200 Calories Per Hour: Basic Warmup Stretching Basic Ukemi done at 1/4 speed

250-300 CPH: Ukemi done at 1/2 speed

300-350 CPH: Ukemi done at 3/4 speed

400+ CPH: Ukemi Done at full speed.

In Comparision with other Martial Artists an Aikidoka does not expend the same kind of energy. Practice tends to focus on technique and not (unlike Karate, Tai Kwon Do, Judo) on specifically building arobic endurance or physical strength. The average Aikidoka (me) expends an average 200 to 300 calories per hour! Aikido does allow you to develop specific physical attributes like coordination, balance, breathing, and some "core strength". There is also a huge physical benefit in being able to execute techniques under physical stress (indeed many Sensei's over the years have mentioned the best techniques are performed when one is close to physical exhaustion hence "relaxed" LOL)

His conclusion is that you cannot expect to get in good shape just going to practice... and it may be a part of the reason some styles of Aikido get a bad rap because most of thier Aikidoka and Yudansha are in terrible physical shape. But that is just simple observation on my part.

I know personally I am at a crossroads. I have two choices... Relax and become an old Sempai of the Mat and watch my physical skills fade or continue to focus on retaining my Physical Acumen so that I can Practice Hard... Surf Big Waves... and Make love like a Tyrannosaur!!! (What me mid-life crisis??? LOL) Getting old does not have to mean getting out of shape!

Sorry if some of you catch TMI from this post LOL

William Hazen

Last edited by Aikibu : 08-22-2007 at 01:02 PM.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:23 PM   #12
Basia Halliop
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Keep in mind that to really find out how many calories you burn in an activity you need formulas that include your own personal characteristics. E.g. a larger person burns more calories in the same activity.
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Old 08-22-2007, 01:27 PM   #13
Chris Li
 
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Quote:
Peter Grdahl wrote: View Post
It is much easier to slim down by taking control over eating habits than to burn excess energy by physical exercise.
To lose 0,5kg per week you will have to lose 3500 kcal, that is akin to something like 10 km of running/walking each day or 20 km of bicycling outside of your normal training schedule.
An interesting article on the hazards of maintaining your weight through diet alone:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18594089/

Even if you don't lose any weight through your exercise program at least you improve your fitness and health levels.

Best,

Chris

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Old 08-22-2007, 01:54 PM   #14
grondahl
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

I´m a big fan for excercise and I guess that the threadstarter is already working out (or atleast trains aikido) on a regular basis (hence "outside your normal training schedule"). But in my experience it´s easier to slim down by focusing on my diet than by more exercise.

A intermediate heart rate monitor will estimate the amount of burned calories according to your data and your heartrate during practise.
Like this one: http://www.suunto.com/suunto/Worlds/...=1187809285803

or:
http://www.suunto.com/suunto/Worlds/...=1187809298475

or:

http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/e...ess/F55al.html

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
An interesting article on the hazards of maintaining your weight through diet alone:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18594089/

Even if you don't lose any weight through your exercise program at least you improve your fitness and health levels.

Last edited by grondahl : 08-22-2007 at 02:07 PM.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:13 PM   #15
Dewey
Location: St. Louis, MO
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
An interesting article on the hazards of maintaining your weight through diet alone:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18594089/

Even if you don't lose any weight through your exercise program at least you improve your fitness and health levels.

Best,

Chris
That's very true. I personally know 3 people who are thin as rails due to their metabolisms and/or diet, but are quite unhealthy and in rather poor shape. I'm the short, stocky, barrel-chested type (5' 7" and 185 lbs.) who is not a weightlifter...but I have lower blood pressure & cholesterol levels than they do, and my cardiovascular system is much stronger (not to mention the fact that I can benchpress more than their bodyweight!). I easily outlast them in any sort of aerobic activity.

Speaking personally, people often associate weight with health, and in many cases, that's certainly true (in regards to the extremes of obesity or anorexia). However, it's not always true. Folks who struggle with their weight should more concerned about the "internals" (i.e. blood pressure, cholesterol levels, cardiovascular system, diabetes, etc.) rather than the "externals" (i.e. "how thin I am" or "how good/bad do I look")...even though our society places a great deal more emphasis on looking good at all costs.

Last edited by Dewey : 08-22-2007 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 08-22-2007, 02:16 PM   #16
Dewey
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Quote:
Peter Gröndahl wrote: View Post
I´m a big fan for excercise and I guess that the threadstarter is already working out (or atleast trains aikido) on a regular basis (hence "outside your normal training schedule"). But in my experience it´s easier to slim down by focusing on my diet than by more exercise.

A intermediate heart rate monitor will estimate the amount of burned calories according to your data and your heartrate during practise.
Like this one: http://www.suunto.com/suunto/Worlds/...=1187809285803

or:
http://www.suunto.com/suunto/Worlds/...=1187809298475

or:

http://www.polar.fi/polar/channels/e...ess/F55al.html
Yup. Comes down to that most dreaded maxim that everyone who's trying to loose weight hates to hear: "diet & exercise". However, it's absolutely true.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:26 PM   #17
Aikibu
Dojo: West Wind Dojo Santa Monica California
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Quote:
Basia Halliop wrote: View Post
Keep in mind that to really find out how many calories you burn in an activity you need formulas that include your own personal characteristics. E.g. a larger person burns more calories in the same activity.
It's called BMI and yes there can be vast differances in the amount of calories a person expends during activity but the relative baseline is the same.

For those of you who are interested:http://www.crosstrainer.ca/

I have been using this software for my training needs for over 5 years now. It's a bit expensive but you definately get what you pay for, and if you're serious about training you may find it helpful.

William Hazen
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:35 PM   #18
Jonshez
 
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

As someone who has managed to lose 9% bodyfat this year I'd just like to add my thoughts in the exercise vs diet debate.

The obvious answer is a good mix of both (weights are great, muscle is a real calorie burner). The conclusion I came to was to consider exercise primarily for cardio benefits and to increase muscle for base metabolic rate, and diet for weight loss.

In other words, you can't counteract a poor diet with exercise. Exercise can only supplement a good diet in weight loss.

It's all about calories in vs calories out at the end of the day, and it's much less effort not to eat lots of saturated fats than it is to burn them off!

Regards

Jon

Ai-Ki cannot be exhausted
By words written or spoken.
Without dabbling in idle talk,
Understand through practice.
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Old 08-22-2007, 03:56 PM   #19
Ryan Sanford
Dojo: Northwest Aikido
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

Quote:
Christopher Li wrote: View Post
An interesting article on the hazards of maintaining your weight through diet alone:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18594089/
Even if you don't lose any weight through your exercise program at least you improve your fitness and health levels.
Quote:
According to Bell, people who are fat on the inside are essentially on the threshold of being obese. They eat too many fatty, sugary foods — and exercise too little to work it off — but they are not eating enough to actually be fat. Scientists believe we naturally accumulate fat around the belly first, but at some point, the body may start storing it elsewhere.
That article is quite interesting, thank you for posting it Mr. Li. I beleive, though, that the article proves even more that a healthy diet is every bit as important (and perhaps for some people, even more important) as burning calories through exercise.

The thin-but-fat-on-the-inside people mentioned in the article were said to have an unhealthy, and fatty diet. I believe that the message of the article was that "thin doesn't mean healthy." I'm thin and eat a very healthy, almost completely plant-based diet, and I think that even if I did not exercise regularly that I would be in good health (as compared to the rest of my country, that is... ), though, please don't think that I'm discrediting exercise as an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

Just my rantings...
Ryan S.

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self." - Aldous Huxley
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:24 PM   #20
giriasis
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Re: How many calories would you burn in a one hour class?

I have gained weight practicing aikido and have lost weight practicing aikido. I have lost weight practicing aikido and doing additional cardio/weight training routines and lost weight without extra routines. I agree with others, you can lose weight practicing aikido, but it's about a good healthy diet. The reason I gained weight is after intense practices I would eat like I was a starving lunatic. Now, I've been taking that weighth off with a healthy diet.

But for overall health and regardless of weight loss or gain...Aikido is part of an overall active lifestyle. Which is better than sitting at home and vegetating in front of a television.

Regarding calories burned...it depends on how your classes are run. Where I train we have basics and mixed classes. In the basics classes I am able to maintain my heart weight at a moderate level for at least 30 minutes. I'm able to do this because in basics class sensei might focus on one or two techniques and I don't spend a lot of time standing and instructor my junior partners. I just keep throwing and they just keep throwing me. My heart is up and stays up but it's not too high where it's in an anaerobic zone.

Now, in mixed classes they are more intense and we train more techniques so there is more stop and start, but more intesity of practice. The stops are not too long so my heart rate doesn't come all the way down. This is more like praciticing with anaerobic bursts (depending on your training partner sandan will be really high paced, fellow 1st kyu high, lower rank moderate) In these classes I feel like I'm pushing my aerobic capacity (endurance?).

I think I get more caloric burn in the basics classes than the mixed, but with the mixed I'm pushing my heart rate and increasing my stamina.

Of course, if your classes lean toward being more slower paced overall then you really do need something other than aikido. If your classes are dynamic then you are burning calories.

And, as someone else suggested, if you really want to know how many caloreis you are burning wear a heart rate monitor that tells you how long you were in the aerobic zone and the number of calories you burned.

Anne Marie Giri
Women in Aikido: a place where us gals can come together and chat about aikido.
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