A fatigue life prediction method for a specimen subjected to axial low cycle loading is proposed assuming that the internal heating during cycling is the result of the conversion of plastic strain hysteresis energy to heat. Smooth cylindrical specimens of a Cr-Mo quenched and tempered steel were subjected to a fully reversed strain control loading for five strain amplitudes, determining the stress-strain response, the mechanical properties and the fatigue life. During testing, the surface temperature evaluation of the specimen was continuously measured using the infrared thermographic technique. The number of cycles to failure is determined by equaling the plastic strain hysteresis energy per cycle, represented by the area enclosed by the loop, analytically related to fatigue life, and the thermal energy calculated based on the temperature increment. A good agreement between experimental and predicted fatigue lives was observed.