# What is the real caloric rate for tennis?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by ChadW, Oct 15, 2012.

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So, I've used a few different activity/diet tracking applications to monitor calories in/calories out. I'm always put off by the numbers they come up with for tennis as an exercise.

From Myfitnesspal.com: 60 minutes of tennis singles amounts to 840 calories burned. 60 minutes of doubles tennis: 525 calories.

By comparison, 60 minutes of jogging (6mph): 1680 calories.

It's as if they are saying 60 minutes of singles doesn't consider all the breaks between points, change overs, etc. If I were to just hit for 60 minutes in a row, I could see an expenditure of something like that, but playing a 2 hour match should have me depleted if I'm working through 1680 calories.

What do you think is a 'realistic' number of calories burned during a couple sets? Or, should I go ahead and take credit for the 840 cal/hour?

2. ### rtl11New User

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No way is 6 miles 1680 cal.

3. ### r2473Legend

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6 miles at 6mph could only burn 1680 calories if you weighed something like 1,000 lbs I'd guess.

I burn an estimated 1,000 calories running 6 miles at about 8mph and I weigh 215.

Give this a try OP:

http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/cbc

4. ### LeeDBionic Poster

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Depends how the match played out.
Quick 2 shot points with little effort, not much.
Long running 30 shot points, both players trying, could be a lot.

5. ### CrispvolleyNew User

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Interesting that they have a calculation for brushing teeth

6. ### LeeDBionic Poster

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Depends HOW you brush your teeth. Say 38 total. AlanAlda brushes each side of each tooth 10 times, or 20 strokes total. Now multiply that by 38.
Conan the Barbarian doesn't bother to brush his teeth, so saves that energy to pummell big guys.

7. ### floridatennisdudeHall of Fame

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I wore a heart rate monitor for a 90 minute hitting practice and burned over 1500 calories. Very few breaks and constant rallying.

Same monitor in the gym for a 60 min weight workout and 20 mins of intervals burned 1200.

Tough for a chart to predict the effort that goes into someone's workout. I'd say get a monitor if you really want to know. Polaris makes good ones that sync up with treadmills.

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Thanks for the insight. Maybe the estimations from websites aren't that far off given my 230 pounds.

9. ### 3feesLegend

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What is the real caloric rate for tennis?

From Dr John McMurray, Cornell University and me.

This depends on sex,age,weight, and physcial condition.

Firstly you have to get the BMR-Basal metabolic rate-this is the amount of energy an organism expends per unit time to be alive--woo,,woo.

BMR- is measured by monitoring respiration and finding the rate of oxygen consumed-- For Humans,dogs,cats,etc-running on a treadmill with a mask and measuring CO2 exhaled by sensors and then correlated thru expensive medical computers and programs.

BMR as a rule, is lower for older people than younger people,lower for wenches(females) than for males,lower for people in good physcial condition than for those who are out of shape and overweight. Unusal High BMR can be caused by fevers or abnormal biochemical activity.

The total number of calories a person needs is the sum of BMR and physcial activity done--long distance runners can use 10,000 calories above BMR

Energy cost of various activities
Sleeping(many on this forum) 1.2 kcal/min
standing still 1.8
walking 3-6
Tennis 7-9
walking up stairs 10-18
running 9-22
for 70 kg man

Human BMR is 65kcal/hr or 1600kcal/day

So fur tennis 65 kcal/hr-BMR + ~8 kcal/min (hour ~ 480kcal/hr) total is 545 kcal/hr ~ 545 C/hr..large C=1000 small c.

The BMR machine is what Medical Doctors use to measure BMR and cost more than a Ferrari Testarossa,,so I would not give to much belief to these cheap devices claiming to measure calories burnt,,you get what you pay for,,all that glitters is not necessarily gold..woo,woo.

Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
10. ### dominikk1985Legend

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it depends. if you just have some light rallies like this:

you are not burning a lot of calories, probably not more than a light jogging. but if you play a really hard match with high pace and a lot of direction changes you will burn a ton of calories.

11. ### Maui19Hall of Fame

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The number of calories burned tends to be more affected by duration than level of exertion. Longer and slower burns more than shorter and faster.

12. ### sixftlionRookie

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MyFitnessPal says I burn about 570 calories in one hour singles. I weigh 160 lbs. I think it's about correct, because I do drills for 1 hour. Playing sets feels less exhausting, so I would maybe change the number down depending how much exertion I feel. I eat about 3,300 calories per day to keep my weight at 160 lbs, playing 90 mins tennis, walk the dog for one hour, and a little workout or bike ride here and there.

I think it depends also on how much muscles (or fat) you have, how high/low metabolism you have and many more factors. Just log in what MFP says, your calories in and out and see if you are losing/gaining weight (whatever your goal is). Then you will see if you need to adjust something.

13. ### LeeDBionic Poster

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I don't get it.
How can you people, very knowledgeable about calories and rate, lump all tennis play the same?
Don't some of you play 30 shot points? Running back and forth, lunging, and trying real hard? Is that the same caloric burn of one serve and a miss?
I've played sets and matches that barely get my heartrate up at all.
I've played half a game that had me dragging and crying "UNCLE" from my exertion and cardio overload.
There is a difference!

14. ### sixftlionRookie

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I said it's approximately correct when I do one hour drills. With drills I mean having 50+ balls rallies, as we don't miss and the heart rate is up all the time. I also said that if the exertion is not the same (aka playing sets, or your "serve and miss") then one has to adjust the numbers. I guess we are saying the same thing, LeeD...

15. ### Say Chi Sin LoG.O.A.T.

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What did you expect when most of these people aren't qualified to talk about the topic in the first place? When they're not speculating based on something they have read without doing an actual study, they're posting numbers based on some random algorithm found online without factoring in individual metabolic rate and multiple trials like that of a real experiment.

16. ### RoforotProfessional

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This is more important for marathons or long distance biking where you need to keep up your stores. I used a powermeter on the bike which gives me a measure of how much energy I'm putting out (I think 1 kJ = 1 kCal). From this somewhat objective measurement I derive a more subjective measurement of "perceived effort." Anyway, I know what an 800 calorie ride feels like and for me, it's the equivalent of an hour of drills emphasizing footwork or three sets of singles (about 2 hours).

I suspect you're trying to lose weight. While I haven't seen you play and you might run around like Nadal for every ball, my gut instinct is to tell you to halve those values you quoted. If I'm wrong you'll lose an extra pound every week.

17. ### 0d1nHall of Fame

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Where did you get those numbers??? I'm between 72-75 kg (depending on season...and level of physical activity) and a man...so pretty close to your example but I very much doubt I consume more calories walking up some stairs when compared with playing tennis.
If somebody burns more calories by walking upstairs than by playing tennis...then they are probably not playing tennis but just joking around and/or missing every other ball.

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It's completely useless, it says I only burn 333 while playing badminton, which in reality it's more like double of that.

19. ### Feña14Legend

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The numbers do seem high, but I think it may have something to do with the effects after exercise. The metabolism is at a higher rate in the hours after working out, so you're still burning calories.

20. ### NTRPoliceProfessional

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Ok geniuses. There is no answer for this. It's still debatable as to even how youre supposed to measure caloric consumption by the human body. Every persons metabolic rate is different.

We know how much energy is in a "calorie" (which is a kilo calorie in human terms) but that's about it. We dont know how many calories you burn while you just sit there. We certainly dont know how many calories you burn while you're engaged in something as dynamic as tennis.

There is no way to tell how much calories are burned by the body at any one time. There is only just a guess.

We cant even tell you what your BMI is with much certainty. BMI is just an approximate guess, much like "calorie counters".

We know within a few kcal how much kcals are in the prepackaged food that we eat. That is a far cry from "how many hours of what exercise" it will take for our body to consume enough calories we absorbed from that food.

21. ### Logic DudeNew User

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For sure. It's way more than that. 1680 kilocalories I'm not so sure about.

After all, when some food says it has 100 calories, it actually has 100 kilocalories, or 100,000 calories.