Calories are tasty, but getting rid of them is a pain, airsoft is a wonderful sport that entertains you, but also does more than that.
Now, I really think that many people underestimate the power of airsoft to get in shape, and in the following content, I will explain why is, how many calories can you realistically lose per game, and how that translates to weight loss.
I have been in fitness for almost 10 years, rarely ever missed a weekly training routine, and managed to get lean, muscular, and strong. A few years after I got in a wanted shape, I started to develop an interest in airsoft and paintball, so I decided to start playing games in the local fields a couple of times per mount.
Back in the day, I did not care much about how many calories I would burn during a match, but I noticed that running and crawling managed to exhaust me despite my fit form.
Now, I have made some research and compared airsoft activities with my regular cardio and weight training routines to see how effective airsoft really is for losing weight, so let’s begin.
How many calories can you realistically expect to burn during the average airsoft game?
Expect to burn between 100-300 calories per airsoft game and between 500-1800 calories per full day on the airsoft field. The results will certainly vary from person to person.
This is the approximate amount of calories that an average player burns during airsoft activities, however, I calculated this by involving the most active and the most inactive airsoft players and then finding the realistic number in between.
I think that we should be more accurate so that you do not leave with this answer in mind, I will now get into details and cover every important question that you may have based on multiple possible scenarios.
How to track the calories burned per airsoft game?
There are players more active than others, so we need to treat it accordingly. If you just show up to the game and stay on cover for the entire game and do some sprints to another cover every once in a while, you are not going to burn many calories.
So, let’s assume that each game lasts exactly 60 minutes and you have 10-20 pounds of gear on you.
Non-active players with burn around 50-100 calories per game
Medium-active players will burn around 100-200 calories per game
High-active players will burn 200-300 calories per game
If you stay in the field for a whole day and play 5 games, you should then burn around 250-500 as a non-active player, 500-1000 as a medium-active player, and 1000-1500 as an active player using these factors.
However, it is difficult to say how active you actually are during the play and it should not be something that you should be focused on at all. If you track your heart rate, speed of movement, and distance you pass during games and try to improve it while playing, you are likely going to end up at the respawn point after a few minutes into a game.
If you want to know how many calories you possibly burn during your match then you can use the mentioned approximations to get the answer, but I will suggest you better ways to get in shape and lose some of that unnecessary fat.
Use the calorie tracking apps
To be more accurate you can download some calorie-tracking apps on your mobile phone, so you won’t have to think much while playing the game.
However, be aware that such data is not very accurate and although can be a good way to measure some approximate data, so you do not have it on your own, it is not something you should base your fitness and results on.
The better way to lose weight
It is a popular belief that in order to lose weight and get in better shape you need to lose calories by running, jogging, sprinting, or even weight lifting.
I have tried everything and although I think that the airsoft and paintball games when played actively outdoors with continuous moving can burn lots of calories, it is not the case for every player who wants to get in shape.
When you are not fit it is way harder to do tons of cardio and training than it is for a person who is already fit and used to it.
So, I am not saying that playing in the field does not help, but it should be just a bonus activity that helps you reach the goals, but not the main strategy!
I have worked as a trainer for some of my friends and acquaintance for a short time back in the day and I know how difficult it was to start burning calories through massive workouts for every single person who was trying to find the solution.
The answer lies in diet and moderate training with consistency.
Oh, did I mention that even if you are highly active during your airsoft games, you would need to train like that at least 3-4 times a week to notice some minor improvements? I don’t think that your job is in the airsoft field.
Did you know that a single Snickers bar (1.66 oz) contains 229 calories and if you eat only two of these, it is 458 calories? Therefore, in order to burn these 458 calories you would need to do high-pace jogging for more than an hour.
Add to this all other sugars that come from sodas and other food you eat in the day and you end up having to burn at least 1000 calories to lose fat even if you are not eating that much and only having a few sodas and candies with a regular diet a day.
No one can run for 3 hours every day with full intensity to burn these calories, no mentioning that many people would need to burn 2 or 3 thousand calories with their diet.
As you can see, cardio is not really the answer, but rather the tool that will help you reduce those calories as a bonus, hasten your metabolism rate, and make you feel good and healthy.
When you increase the metabolism and you can do these with both, cardio and weightlifting, your body will naturally begin to burn more calories, however again do not focus on this and do it more as a complimentary thing.
Aim to get rid of simple carbohydrates (sugars) that come from soda drinks, fast food diets ( a single hamburger can contain over a thousand calories), and other processed foods.
Try to drink only water, non-sugared or artificially sweetened coffee and tea.
Do not get rid of complete carbs that come from quality sources such as potato and rice, but lower them to the minimum that is required for your body to feel good. I am at 180 lbs and do not need more than 250 grams of carbs a day and yet I train almost every day and I am not losing weight, just maintaining.
Do not skip fats because they are important for your endocrine system, but focus on healthy fats instead of those found in fast food.
You can also start with weight lifting and if you gain some muscle, your body will also burn more calories which is a good thing.
I am not going to continue with this, because it is not the primary topic of this post and I will rather post some workout plans in the airsoft style in the future.
I care about this topic, so sometimes I can not help my self, but talk about it and try to explain to people at least the fundamentals, so if this helped at least one person and made them research more about the importance of fitness, I will be glad to be of help.
Remember, diet first, everything else second!
How does your body burn fat?
I will take this part in short, so you can get some important fundamental knowledge about how our bodies burn fat and lose weight.
You should know that it does not have to be the lost fat whenever you see the positive difference on a weight scale. Just because you have a few pounds less than the previous time you weighed yourself, it does not have to be fat, but rather water, glycogen, or lack of undigested food.
To make sure it is not undigested food, always weigh it in the morning before you have eaten or drank your breakfast. It is also important to measure the area around your waist, legs, chest, and arms. This way you will be able to have accurate data when you compare it to the very next week.
In order to lose fat, your body needs to first empty the glycogen reserves along with water from the muscles and the liver. After that it will slowly get rid of the fat, unless you put too much pressure on it and do not put enough proteins for recovery, in that case, it may also attack your muscles.
To lose fat, you need to be in a calorie deficit, hasten your metabolism rate and be consistent for at least a couple of weeks to see the first significant results.
If you see that you have dropped 10 pounds in the first week, after lowering calories and carbs from your diet, 90% of it is just the glycogen reserves and water.
Comparing airsoft with other sports
- A full 60 minutes of an active game of basketball can burn up to 700 calories, but you can burn 300 calories per hour just by shooting hoops.
- Freestyle swimming can burn up to 700 calories per hour.
- Cycling can burn up to 600 calories per hour.
- A full 60 minutes an active game of tennis can burn up to 500 calories.
As you can see all these numbers are relative, but it is possible to reach them.
Almost every sport is a great way to boost the metabolism and add shape and when smartly combined with a proper diet it can turn you into a machine.
As you can see airsoft may not be the best solution for fitness goals but can help you reach those goals sooner.
Next time you go to your airsoft game, remember that it is about fun and socializing, but if you see an opportunity to be a bit more active, take it!
You can read more about advantages of playing airsoft because fitness is just one of them!
Invite your friends and start sharing a great time with them!