The average person weighing 180 pounds burns 343-857 calories per hour Track and Field , depending on the your weight and the specific activity (e.g., shot, discus, hammer throw, steeplechase, high jump, long jump, triple jump, javelin, pole vault).
Track and field events are some of the very first organized sporting competitions that humans created in recorded history. Whether you’re doing track and field activities for fun or at the Olympic level, you can be sure that you’ll be burning plenty of calories in the process.
Track and field is known as a sport that encompasses many different types of athletic events involving running, jumping, throwing, and more. While it’s well-known what the benefits are for doing events involving running, the field events in track and field can provide great benefits as well.
People are competing in track and field events all throughout the world and at just about every level that you can imagine. At the lowest level, you have children competing in these events, all the way up through the high school level, college level, professional level, and Olympic level.
To be successful at track and field and to compete at the highest levels, you need to be in incredible shape and dedicate a significant amount of time to practicing the different events.
However, it’s important to know that the individual track and field events can be very different, as it takes different muscles groups to do sprinting events compared to the shot put, javelin, and high jumps.
Read on to find out how many calories you can expect to burn while doing various track and field activities.
How To Use The Calculator
Using the calculator to determine how many calories you’ll burn while doing track and field activities is easy and only requires a few steps. To calculate the number of calories that you’ll burn, just input your weight and the time that you’ve spent or plan to spend playing track and field. Then select the track and field activity that you’re doing and hit CALCULATE.
- Choose your unit of measurement (pounds or kilograms)
- Enter your weight in the corresponding unit of measurement
- Find the specific track and field activity that you are doing
- Enter the number of minutes that you’re playing the track and field activity
- Hit “CALCULATE”
How the Calculator Works
Our calculator uses MET values to give you an accurate estimate of how many calories you can expect to burn while doing track and field and similar activities. The higher the MET value, the more calories you will burn.
MET stands for metabolic equivalent of task, and MET values are an indicator of the amount of energy expenditure is needed for various activities.
A MET value is also a ratio between your working metabolic rate and your resting metabolic rate , which is the rate of energy that is used compared to the amount of time that you spend doing track and field events.
A MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 5 means you are expending 5 times as much energy compared to being at rest.
Almost all activities that you can think of have MET values assigned to them. Some activities with MET values are common, and some are not so common. For example, there are MET values assigned to activities like standing, playing video games, and painting.
Most activities come with varying levels of intensity and have different MET values assigned to them. For instance, running at a 5-minute mile pace will have a different MET value than at a 10-minute pace.
The formula that our track and field calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (MET x bodyweight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200.
A person weighing 180 pounds will burn approximately 342 calories per hour from doing the shot put or discus event. This activity has a MET of 4, which means that you burn 4 times as many calories as would while at rest.
This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while doing the shot put or discus will look like for a 180-pound individual with a MET value of 4.
- Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x MET x 5) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = ( 81.6 x 4 x 5 ) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = 7 calories x 60
- Calories burned (per hour) = 342 calories per hour
What is Track and Field?
Track and field is a collection of sporting events that primarily involve participants competing in events like running, jumping, and throwing. These events can be held outdoors at large stadiums or also indoors on enclosed tracks in climate-controlled arenas.
The events that involve foot racing (or running) are very difficult and will be hard to compete with others at a high level. The most common foot racing events for those competing in track and field are hurdles, sprints, and long-distance races.
Other popular track events test the ability to jump long distances. These events include the long jump, high jump, triple jump, and more.
Track and field events have a rich history as a sport, dating back to ancient Greece in the very first Olympic games. Track and field events were first recorded to take place in 776 BC . Other track and field events that were done in ancient Greece include pentathlons and discus throwing.
In the modern era, track and field events are extremely competitive at the highest levels of the sport, and the very best track and field athletes in the world continue to compete at the Olympic games every four years.
What Muscles Does Track and Field Work?
Since track and field is a sport that involves many different types of movements and running activities to compete at a high level, these events are going to use a variety of muscles groups very frequently.
For the events involving running, sprinting, or jumping, the muscles that are worked the most are in your lower body and core. However, for field events like the shot put, discus, and javelin, these movements depend on upper body strength and throwing motions to compete at these events.
The most common muscles that are worked when participating in track and field events are:
Competing and being successful at track and field will depend on your development of these muscle groups. Having a strong lower body is going to be very important since almost all of the track and field events use the lower body in one way or another.
Benefits of Track and Field
Track and field events are a great form of exercise and take a significant amount of energy in order to compete against others competitively. Therefore, there are going to be a lot of health benefits from practicing and competing in these events.
Track and field events are some of the most intense exercises that you can do. Whether you are running, sprinting, or throwing, these motions will allow you to burn a significant amount of calories because of the intense movements and motions that these events require.
It’s well known that running will allow you to burn calories no matter what type of intensity you use, but events like the shot put and discus also burn lots of calories due to the energy expenditure that is required to throw these heavy objects.
Since you are constantly burning calories when participating in track and field events, this makes it very easy to lose weight in the process. Any time that you burn more calories than you consume will lead to weight loss, and doing track and field events will help you reach that goal.
Track and field events use many different muscle groups for each activity and will help to build those muscles each time you go to practice. Since events like the long jump and sprints use the fast-twitch muscle fibers in your lower body, you are able to effectively put on muscle when you practice the track events frequently.
Another major benefit to track and field events is that they will increase your endurance and ability to exercise without experiencing fatigue. This is especially true for those that participate in the running events, since practicing long-distance running will allow you to continue to run for longer periods of time.
Improved cardiovascular health
Participating in track and field events such as running and sprinting have been proven to show that you can prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer even just by doing it once per week . Improving your cardiovascular health is also associated with increased longevity while also reducing the risk of other serious health conditions.
Many track and field events do require specialized equipment to compete in the sport. However, the track events may only require a few things like high-quality running shoes, sweatbands, heart rate monitors, hurdles, and athletic clothing.
Some of the equipment that you will need to participate in field events include:
- Shot put ball
- Hammer and weight throwers
- Hammer gloves
- Distance markers
- Measuring tape
- Special cleats
Frequently Asked Questions:
Do track and field events help to reduce abdominal fat?
Track and field events are great for burning calories and adding muscle. While there is no way to spot reduce areas with more fat than others, you can expect to lose belly fat if you continue to practice track and field events regularly.
What muscles do sprinters use most?
Sprinters use almost all the muscles in their bodies to propel themselves across the finish line before their competitors. However, the main muscles that sprinters use and need to develop are the quadriceps, hamstrings, and core muscles.
What muscles are used to throw a discus?
In order to throw a discus, you need a great deal of strength to compete at the highest levels of track and field. The main muscles that you will use when throwing a discus are the shoulders and triceps, as they are contracting when you extend your throwing arm and let go of the discus.
What exercises help with shot put?
Shot put is a very unique field event that involves many different movements than other track and field activities. To get better at shot put, you need to do exercises like the bench press, front squats, push-ups, pull-ups, and hang cleans.
The Bottom Line
Track and field activities can provide great benefits to those that decide to partake. Whether you’re competing at the highest levels of the sport or just to get some extra exercise, everyone can get the great benefits that come with doing track and field events like sprints, javelin, high jump, and shot put.
Track and field events also use a variety of different muscle groups and can help you add strength and muscle while reducing body fat by burning plenty of calories.
Track events also typically don’t require too much special equipment to practice, while specialized field events will require things like the discus, shot put balls, javelins, and more.
Be sure to use our track and field calculator to get an idea of how many calories you can expect to burn while practicing, and be sure to check out all the other calculators that we have to offer at Fitness Volt!
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
- Instone, Stephen (15 November 2009). The Olympics: Ancient versus Modern. BBC. Retrieved on 9 March 2022.
- Pedisic Z, Shrestha N, Kovalchik S, Stamatakis E, Liangruenrom N, Grgic J, Titze S, Biddle SJ, Bauman AE, Oja P. Is running associated with a lower risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and is the more the better? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2020 Aug;54(15):898-905. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2018-100493. Epub 2019 Nov 4. PMID: 31685526.