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Does Fitbit Track Calories Burned While Lifting Weights?

Latest Update: February 8, 2023

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Does Fitbit Track Calories Burned Accurately?

As we move further into the future, our activities are becoming more technical. People can now easily keep track of their weight and health through different apps and devices. And these days, a balanced diet and a healthy body are massive priorities for most people. Weight lifting, cardio, swimming, yoga: there are so many ways to burn your calories quickly and effectively. That said, it isn’t easy to keep track of your progress through your routines. This is where Fitbit comes in. You can watch your heart rate, steps, etc. However, the real question is: does Fitbit track calories burned while lifting weights? Before that, let’s see if weight lifting is good for burning calories.

Fat Loss with Muscle Strengthening

On the surface, weightlifting does burn fewer calories than cardio. That said, a lot of people wish to do more than just burn calories. Your end goal should always be to lose fat while conserving lean muscle. So, if you’re thinking about building some muscle, while also losing your fat, then you should include weights into your routine for the best results.

Weight Maintenance

Even if you feel that building muscle isn’t something you need or are into, there’s an important fact that’ll make you reconsider. Lifting weights can help with faster and easily maintainable fat loss. Studies show that both cardio and weightlifting routines burn the same level of fat in many cases. So, it’s obvious that if you add both weights and cardio to a routine, you’ll be losing double the amount of fat in no time.

Calorie Counting with Fitness Trackers

The Fitbit weight/health tracking device is very accurate when it comes to jotting down your everyday step count. That said, studies from 2017 showed that the Fitbit Surge specifically has an error margin of about 27% for counting calories that people burn during the day and while exercising. But it should be noted that most other fitness devices in those studies tested just as poorly. All the trackers, such as the Apple Watch, Gear S2, and Microsoft Band, performed no better than 25% in error rate for calorie counting.

Why Fitbit is Used for Calories Burned in Weightlifting

Since noting down calories taken in compared to the calories burned is so important for ideal weight loss and management, you have to consider using a Fitbit as a reference point instead of an actual meter for all your burnt calories. An athletics medical professional can assist you in figuring out the actual calories burned more accurately, in case you need any help. FitBits also help you get a ballpark estimate of the number of calories that you have burned, although they may not always be precise. Besides that, having a Fitbit to track the estimated calories burned will be able to help you lose fat and maintain your body. This gives you a better sense of how your weightlifting is working out.

How a Fitbit Tracks the Calories Burned

So, does Fitbit track calories burned when lifting weights? The answer is that it uses both specific details related to you, as well as more general estimated pre-downloaded within its algorithm, such as calculations for how humans burn calories. Firstly, you put in different metrics related to you into the device app, such as your age, weight, height, and sex. This data is then used to set a basal metabolic rate, also known as BMR.

Your BMR is the rate at which calories are burned in your body at rest due to activities like digestion, heart pumping, breathing, etc. It generally accounts for 50% of the calories you burn in a day. The remainder is assessed from an elevated burn the Fitbit estimates you are doing when it detects an increased heart rate and body motion.

However, your heart rate could be affected by stress, and the movement could be because of driving or other nervous motions. So, be careful with the estimates calculated during weightlifting since the values are not exactly accurate.


  • Strava is a great fitness app that works really well with Fitbit devices. All you have to do is connect the two accounts and you’re good to go.
  • Both Fitbit and Apple don’t allow you to sync your Fitbit device with the Apple Health app directly. So, this means you’re forced to rely on third-party methods. One of the ideal apps is the MyFitnessSync app for Fitbit. While it does cost $5, the software does a great job at getting all your details from your Fitbit account moved around.
  • Various Fitbit devices have different notification options, but the concept is similar across each of them. You don’t need to use the notification options that your tracker provides out of the box. You can change the configurations easily regardless of the model of Fitbit you have.
  • Fitbit does provide users with a barcode scanner that comes inbuilt in the app. When you’re going to eat or drink, click the Plus image at the bottom left of the dashboard, and pick “Scan Barcode” out of the pop-up menu. Aim your phone’s camera at your food or drink, and you’re good to go. This makes calorie tracking a lot easier during weightlifting routines.
  • Fitbit Coach gives people access to a broad selection of exercise films and audio files and can adapt what you see or hear according to the stats you’ve noted into the Fitbit.
  • You can have your Amazon Echo indicate how far you’ve moved during your routines. It’s also useful if you just finished a run outside your house, or are getting ready for a routine but don’t have your phone on you. Check the Fitbit skill on your Alexa app that you’ve downloaded on your phone so that the two services are connected. When you’ve made sure to log in and confirm your access, all you have to do is command Alexa whatever you want, like “ask Fitbit the number of steps I’ve taken” and “ask Fitbit what’s my progress today”.
Date Published: July 24, 2019

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