How Many Calories Does Wrestling Burn 2024? Surprising Insights

Wrestling is an intense sport that tests strength, skill, and endurance, but it’s also a calorie-burning powerhouse. “How Many Calories Does Wrestling Burn? Surprising Insights” grapples with the energy expenditure of this demanding activity.

How Many Calories Does Wrestling Burn?

Basics of Calorie Burning

When you’re on the mat, every minute counts as engaging multiple muscle groups and cranking up your metabolism. Calories burned are directly related to the MET value (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) of wrestling, your weight, and the duration of your activity. Let’s break it down:

MET Values Explained:

  • A MET value is a ratio indicating the energy expenditure of an activity compared to resting.
  • MET values typically range from 6 to 9 for wrestling, indicating a high-intensity workout.

Calculating Calories Burned:

  • Formula: Calories/minute = (MET x body weight in kg x 3.5) ÷ 200
  • An average person weighing around 180 pounds (approximately 81.6 kg) will burn an estimable number of calories, varying with the MET.
Body Weight (pounds)MET ValueCalories Burned/MinuteCalories Burned in 10 Minutes

Age & Body Composition:

  • Your age and body composition (muscle to fat ratio) also influence your energy expenditure.
  • Younger wrestlers and those with more muscle mass tend to have a higher resting metabolic rate, thus potentially burning more calories.

Remember, wrestling isn’t just about weight loss; it’s about improving fitness and strength. By understanding how you burn calories, you can use a calorie calculator to balance your diet to maintain or adjust your weight to your advantage.

Calculating Calories Burned During Wrestling

Two wrestlers grapple in a ring, exerting intense physical effort. Sweat drips as they engage in a high-energy, calorie-burning match

Wrestling is thrilling and strategic, but it is also an incredible workout that can burn a substantial amount of calories. You’ll be excited to learn that you can actually calculate your energy expenditure during this intense sport!

The Formula:
To estimate how many calories you burn during wrestling, use the subsequent formula:

Calories burned per minute = (MET x body weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200

MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task): This reflects the intensity of the activity, with 1 MET being the energy you spend sitting relaxed. For wrestling, METs can vary, influenced by your conditioning and the intensity of the match or practice.

Here’s a breakdown based on the average MET values for wrestling:

  • Practice Session: 6 METs
  • Competitive Match: 9 METs

Your Weight Class Matters: Tailor the calculation to your specific body mass. If you’re in the 180-pound (approximately 81.6 kg) weight class, and you’re wrestling with a MET value of 6, you’re likely burning roughly 6 calories per minute.

Match Duration: Typical college wrestling matches, such as those at Arizona State University, consist of three periods, adding up to 7 minutes. For longer training sessions, adjust the total time accordingly.

Environmental Factors: Temperature and other conditions can slightly affect calorie burn.

Example Calculation for a 180-pound Wrestler in a Match:

  • 1 Minute Burn: (81.6 kg x 6 MET x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 6.14 calories
  • Match Burn (7 minutes): 6.14 calories x 7 = 43 calories

Lastly, note that these calculations are estimates. For precision, you might want to use a dedicated wrestling calculator, which often factors in variables like age and gender.

Wrestling for Fitness and Weight Management

Two wrestlers engage in a dynamic match, exerting energy and strength as they grapple and maneuver around the ring

Diet and Nutrition for Wrestlers

Fueling Your Body: To optimize your performance in wrestling—a sport that demands high energy—you’ll need to focus on your intake of vital nutrients. Prioritize a balanced diet high in protein to repair and build muscle, and don’t skimp on carbohydrates; they’re your body’s primary energy source during intense matches and training sessions. Aim for a mix of complex carbs like whole grains and simple carbs for quick energy boosts.

  • Proteins: Lean meats, beans, and dairy
  • Carbohydrates: Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • Hydration: Water is crucial for maintaining peak athletic performance.

Weight Management Tactics: Losing weight for wrestling should be a gradual process. To lose body fat and retain muscle strength, safely aim to shed no more than 1.5% of your total body weight per week.

Benefits of Wrestling Beyond Calorie Burning

Wrestling transcends beyond being just a calorie-burning exercise; it’s an exhilarating sport with multifaceted health benefits.

  • Cardio Workout: Wrestling provides an intense cardio workout, enhancing your heart health and endurance.
  • Strength and Agility: As an athlete, you’ll see muscle strength and agility gains, which are crucial for mastering moves like joint locks.
  • Flexibility: Regular training promotes flexibility, vital for executing swift, fluid motions.
  • Mental Fortitude and Discipline: Wrestling instills discipline and mental resilience, driving you towards dedicated training and optimal sleep habits for recovery.
  • Self-Defense Skills: Through wrestling’s martial arts techniques, you develop practical self-defense instruments.
  • Joint Health: The sport pushes your range of motion, encouraging healthier joints.


How many calories do you burn when you wrestle?

You can burn around 430-575 calories per hour when you wrestle, depending on your weight and intensity.

How many calories do wrestlers eat a day?

Wrestlers typically consume between 2,000 and 4,000 calories daily, depending on training demands and weight goals.

Does wrestling burn fat?

Yes, wrestling can burn fat as it’s a high-intensity, full-body workout that increases heart rate and calorie expenditure.

How many calories do you burn in a fight?

In a fight, similar to wrestling, you can burn many calories, potentially hundreds, depending on the duration and intensity.

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