How Many Calories Do You Burn Rock Climbing?

You know, we know, and everybody knows – the more calories you consume, your body changes extra calories to fat, which in turn leads to overweight and other health problems.

So is there any way to control your body calories?

Well, there are many ways, and the most efficient one is physical exercise. Now when we mention physical exercise, we are going to talk about rock climbing.

More on that later! First, let’s go through some rough stats on the calories burned by exercise or other activities:

The mentioned calorie counts are based on a 155-pound person doing the following activities for around 30 minutes:

ActivityCalorie Count
Stationary Bike (Light Effort)176
Grocery Shopping106
House Cleaning106
Running 12-minute miles282
Running 10-minute miles352
Running 7.5-minute miles428
Laundry, including folding clothes70
Mowing the Lawn (no riding mowers)141
Playing with kids at the playground141
Shoveling Snow211
Tennis (Singles)282
Brisk Walking141
Walking while pushing a stroller70

The above stats paint a clear picture of how important physical exercise is in controlling your body calories. But do you know that rock climbing is a more effective way to burn your calories for a better health state?

For your better understanding, we have decided to break down some rock climbing basics to offer you the most accurate data.

Let’s dive into the details!

Rock Climbing: The Ultimate Option for Burning Your Calories

Various researches have proven that rock climbing is not only fun and challenging, but it’s rewarding as well.

According to the study, traditional rock climbing and bouldering are two of the best exercises that help you to stay fit and healthy. This engaging and dynamic activity requires you to use different muscle groups and burn some serious calories.

Now let’s learn the basics of calculating how many calories you can burn while rock climbing.

How To Calculate Calories Burned While Climbing Rocks?

Some of the research suggests that rock climbing burns between an incredible 500 to 900 calories per hour.

Similarly, another research indicates that a person burns between eight to ten calories per minute while climbing.

Assuming that you carry this activity for one hour, you will burn 600 calories.

These are some rough stats that highlight the fact that rock climbing is one great way to burn extra calories that your body does not need. For a better calculation, you need to follow some guidelines.

Here are the required and proven steps to calculate the number of calories burned:

  • First, find the MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) value of the activity.
  • Secondly, calculate the number of calories burned per minute using the formula: (MET x body weight in kg x 3.5)/200.
  • Lastly, multiply the calories burned per minute by the number of minutes of your activity.

Here, MET value refers to the measurement of the energy cost of a specific physical activity for a particular period.

For instance, a MET of 1 would be roughly equivalent to a person’s energy expenditure from sitting still in neutral temperature and not actively digesting food. Similarly, an activity with the MET value of 10 would have a person using ten times the amount of energy that they would utilize with a MET of 1 over the same amount of time.

Let’s look at an example to calculate the number of calories burned by carrying out the rock climbing activity:

A person weighs 80kg and carries out different rock climbing activities (with the MET value ranging from 5 to 8). If the tasks are carried out for one hour, the total calories burned for each activity can be calculated as:

Type of ActivityMET ValueCalories Burned
Ascending or traversing rock (low-to-moderate difficulty)5.8487
Ascending rock (high difficulty)7.5630
Rock or mountain climbing8672

Alternative Method: Basal Metabolic Rate and the PAL Factor

Another way to calculate the number of calories burned during rock climbing is by finding out the individual Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and multiplying it by the Physical Activity Level (PAL) factor.

The Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the minimal level of energy required to sustain vital functions like breathing, digestion, and circulation. This rate differs depending on how old, heavy, and tall you are and to which sex you belong.

Here is the basic BMR Formula for Men and Women derived by Harris-Benedict:

Men 66.47 + (6.24 x weight in pounds) + (12.7 x height in inches) – (6.755 x age)
Women655.1 + (4.35 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age)

Using this formula:

For a man weighing 132 pounds, 67 inches tall and 24 years old, the BMR result is:

66.47 + (6.24 x 132) + (12.7 x 67) – (6.755 x 24) = 1579 kcal per day

For a woman weighing 121 pounds, 65 inches tall and 24 years old, the BMR result is:

655.1 + (4.35 x 121) + (4.7 x 65) – (4.7 x 24) =  1374 kcal per day

Now the next step is to multiply the results with the PAL factor.

PAL or Physical Activity Level factor is a measure of physical activity. It has to be multiplied by the BMR to measure the calories burned during any physical activity.

In the case of rock climbing. The PAL factor is 6. Since climbing is not done the whole day, we need to divide the result by 24 to get the total energy consumption per hour.

Using this formula in our above example, we get:

For Men: 1579 x 6 / 24 = 395 kcal per hour
For Women: 1374 x 6 / 24 = 344 kcal per hour

Does Belaying Help Burning Calories Down?

Although belaying counts as a work, it is not as intensive as climbing. Thinking of burning an insane number of calories while belaying is a false idea.

The reason is pretty clear! Unlike rock climbing, belaying hardly asks you to perform heavy amounts of work. You just have to feed the rope to your partner and lower your partner when it is required.

Moreover, it rarely constitutes a heavy workout. Nevertheless, you still are moving and burning some calories.

However, the number is likely to be negligible when compared to climbing, so it is sound to count only the number of calories you burn while rock climbing.

With this, you will have an accurate estimation of your caloric burn and will assist you in managing your fitness progress.

Does Bouldering Help Burning Calories Down?

Unlike belaying, bouldering involves great exercise, and as a result, you have the chance to burn down a massive number of calories carrying out this activity.

As with traditional rock climbing, bouldering requires you to move your body extensively. This sport forces you to work out a variety of muscle groups. With that, you are sure to achieve a high level of caloric burn.

So how many calories can you burn while bouldering?

The estimation is the same as rock climbing – 500 to 900 calories.

Still, it is vital to note that this only takes into account the time and duration you spend actively climbing. Few climbers find it easier to burn calories while bouldering, simply because they spend less time belaying and more time climbing.

In case you find it difficult to track the amount of time you spend in the air, carry a stopwatch with you during the climb. Though it won’t be entirely accurate, this method allows for a more-or-less precise estimation of the time you spend moving. As a result, you will gain a better idea of how many calories you burn.

Factors Influencing Number of Calories Burned While Rock Climbing

There are a few other factors that can influence the number of calories you burn while rock climbing. The most significant one is the weight.

Since your body requires more energy to function when you are carrying extra weight, those who are heavier may experience a drastic caloric burn while rock climbing.

Likewise, the climbers who climb with bulkier gears can also burn more calories, mostly because the extra weight demands more effort, which in short burns more calories.

Other factors that affect the calories you burn are age and sex. The older a person is, the fewer the calories burned per day. Similarly, men burn more calories than women, and those with more muscle burn more calories than the ones with less muscle.

To Sum Up

Fortunately, rock climbing is not just a sport that you can carry out for fun and challenge. It is also a handy physical activity to burn extra calories from your body. This intensive and exciting sport activates several muscle groups throughout your body to offer you an intense full-body workout.

By learning the basic and advanced rock climbing moves and techniques, you can get started with rock climbing.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your rock climbing equipment and look out for exciting climbing locations.

Your body is waiting for you to get that next workout. By the end of the day, you could burn more calories than you think!

Happy climbing, everyone!