How Many Calories does Pole Dancing Burn?

This started as a blog post that was just going to answer the question “how many calories does a pole dancing class burn” but it has kind of become a bit of a post on burning calories at pole dancing in order to lose weight. Here is some background to the post, which does answer the original question as well as one about “can you lose weight pole dancing?“.

I decided the other day that I wanted to lose a few pounds, I pole dance once a week and wondered if I managed to fit in another session if it would help me shed my excess in the run-up to my Christmas vacation.

In order to see if it would help I thought it would be a great idea to investigate how many calories I would burn during a pole dancing class.

But first I got a bit side tracked and looked at if building muscle by pole dancing I would burn extra calories at rest thus speeding up the weight loss. 

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Will Pole Dancing Help Me Burn Calories?

There are some amazing health benefits of pole fitness. Polers get stronger by essentially using bodyweight exercise to build muscle and it’s a great way to tone the whole body. Many claim increased happy feelings from amazing endorphins that are released when we do exercise and have fun.

I already know that it’s great for building muscles and according to my father in law muscle burns more energy than fat, so by just building some more muscle I will burn more calories when I am at rest. I checked out my father in laws facts on the internet. This is what I found out:

Webmd states that

“When you exercise, you use muscle. This helps build muscle mass, and muscle tissue burns more calories — even when you’re at rest — than body fat.”

And according to Christopher Wharton, PhD, a certified personal trainer and professor at Arizona State University,

10 pounds of muscle would burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest, while 10 pounds of fat would burn 20 calories. 

So in my mind, if you do pole dancing and thus build arm and ab muscles you will burn more calories at rest and lose weight, as long as you don’t eat extra calories – right?

And even better if you start using those big muscles in your legs and glutes for leg hangs, pole squats progressing to climbs you’re going to build some great muscles that burn a load of calories. Chuck in a dance routine which will totally use the thigh muscles and you’re surely going to be a calorie-burning powerhouse.

I double-checked my thought process on this and according to the website military dot com:

“Since your lower body has the biggest muscles in your body, you can kick-start your metabolism and burn more calories by exercising the thighs, hamstrings, calves, lower back and glutes. You will find that leg workouts also have a cardiovascular element to them”.

So in summary, if I build muscle by pole dancing then I will burn more calories at rest than if I don’t build the muscle. 

This if I up my one pole session a week to two I will get stronger and bigger muscles and thus burn more calories. Boom.  That’s a win win.

Now to see how many calories I will burn in a single pole class.

How Many Calories are Burned in a Pole Class?

There is actually a handy online calculator that helps you work out how many calories are burned during a range of exercises. 

The website that the calculator is on looks a bit basic but the calculator does everything you want it to.

However, the website creators actually get the information for their calculator from a pretty cool study that was done in Australia. 

Nicolas et al wrote a paper “Pole Dancing for Fitness: The Physiological and Metabolic Demand of a 60-Minute Class” presumably for a degree thesis.

Nicolas found that revealed that pole dancing has a METs value (** see below for what a MET is) of 4.6, and people can burn 281.6 kcal in an hour of pole dancing class session. This is the same as the number of calories burned in a body pump class or a 25-minute run at a speed of 10 km/h(6.2 mph).

** I had to look this one up on Healthline

METs = metabolic equivalents. One MET is defined as the energy you use when you’re resting or sitting still. An activity that has a value of 4 METs means you’re exerting four times the energy than you would if you were sitting still

That’s great news as it means that whilst pole dancing I will be burning 4 times more calories than if I was just sitting on my ass at home. And it’s just as effective as going to an exercise class at the gym. And I for one find pole way more fun than a gym class. 

Angela Edwards, owner of PoleLaTeaz, an Atlanta, Georgia dance studio told CNN, “We have women who come in here 40 to 50 pounds overweight and they drop it in about six to eight months and they get great hourglass curves.” Cicely Rogers has gone down two dress sizes and has lost a total of 20 pounds with the pole dancing fitness class at Edwards’ dance studio. “I’ve lost 20 pounds and I feel awesome,” she said.

I don’t have that much to lose but it looks like fitting an extra session into my calendar I will be able to lose a pound or two. 

Number of Calories Burned in a Pole Class

I borrowed the content for this table from the calories calculator. It gives you a rough guide to how many calories you’ll burn in a class.

lbsper minute30 minutesper hour

Moves That Will Help Me Build Muscles to Burn Calories with

Next my crazy brain thought well maybe I can design myself a little home workout if I was to get a pole for home. I was thinking that my workout would need to incorporate my upper body and abs as standard but also work these big muscles so that I kick start the metabolism. Remember from above if I get big muscles I will burn more calories at rest. So not only will going to class burn calories I will also burn them when I’m sitting down at work the next day.

So I’m thinking pole squats, pull up seats and pull up crunch as a starting point.

These pretty standard pole conditioning moves will make a nice body-weight set.

They use the arm muscles, glutes, thighs and abs.

I’m thinking that I will do 3 sets of ten reps. Which obviously will be quite tough at first but it will get easier after a week or two of consistent effort. If the pole is at home I could even do them every day.

Then a couple of spins and some dance moves will get my heart pumping and burn some calories.

Repeating the dance moves to make a short routine will be a perfect way.

I might need to research this a bit more after and come back with a proper pole workout to build as much muscle as possible.

If you’re looking to learn how to do the move mentioned above there are some great online lessons that I will post links to in a day or two.

What Else Could I do To Assist Help Me Burn More Calories at Pole

So I’m not thinking about taking supplements or anything like that. But if building muscles at pole will help me burn calories at rest then i need to make sure that my diet is filled with protein and the current macros to build the muscles most effectively.

I guess grabbing a book on macros and building muscles wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

I’m going to order this one I found on Amazon:

I recently was chatting with a personal trainer and getting your macros correct can be a brilliant way to build muscle and lose fat. 

So obviously as I have discussed going through this blog post the more muscle the more calories burned. And to get those muscles you need to have enough protein in your diet.

I’ve decided that I am going to add a  good quality protein shake to my diet so that I get adequate in my diet on a daily basis.