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WHOVIAN85 Posts: 861
2/2/13 7:39 A

I love polar brand hrm watches with chest strap, imhad a ft4 and loved it, gave it to my momma somshe could track her calories and now I need to, buy me a new one this weekend.

JENNILACEY SparkPoints: (81,623)
Fitness Minutes: (86,171)
Posts: 2,489
2/2/13 7:32 A

Going by the Spark estimates I lose way too much weight than I'm suppose to. Especially since I started JM's Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism. I was working my butt off just to break a 2000 weekly cal burn at my weight (which has becoming increasingly harder the more weight I lose). I've been losing 2 lbs a week and sometimes more at my current weight even though according to Spark's I'm only create a 1 lb a week calorie deficit.

So I bought a cheap heart rate watch at a refurbished store. I couldn't pass up the deal $15. I know it's probably not as accurate as other models of heart rate monitors but it accounts for my weight, height, age and resting heart rate. I've been testing my intensity during my cardio which is averging 75-80% of my max heart rate. Only problem is, the calories burned on it is for the pedometer (walking/jogging I'm assuming) so it's never accurate. But I just use my avg heart rate on an online calculator. The amount it says I burn compared to what Spark's says I burn for circuit training or high intensity aerobics is about 150-200 cals more in 50 mins.

I still don't know exactly how many calories I'm actually burning per week. I'm pretty active during the day but it's definitely got to be a lot more than Spark's says I am and this would make sense as to why I've been losing so quickly the entire time I've been with Sparks. So I put the new calories burned amount and cut back on my cardio a bit. I really can't handle working out 7 days a week with no break anyways. And the last week I've been losing flippin' half a pound a day. I'm going to have to increase my cals too I imagine but I want to see if cutting out a bit of cardio helps. Somethings gotta give.

Edited by: JENNILACEY at: 2/2/2013 (07:35)
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,412
2/2/13 12:54 A

Walking/running are well studied and understood activities, and online calculators are pretty reliable for the treadmill. Any two of speed, distance or time will give you a good estimate of intensity. Don't put any reliance on a treadmill estimate that does not include body weight.

For a stationery bicycle, you are really working against the resistance of the machine rather than your bodyweight, and the machine's estimate is more reliable than an online calculator.

HRM's are a good measure of intensity, but they do have their problems - high blood pressure and some medications can lead to a faster heart rate than the exercise actually warrants, and may give you inflated calorie burn figures. You may want to check your results against an online estimate for the treadmill to see how the HRM's estimate stacks up against the online one.


EKING23 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (305)
Posts: 15
2/1/13 6:51 P

You will never be able to get a completely accurate calorie count on exercise because everyone burns calories at a different rate. The machines in the gym give you a guide based on the average person working at that level.

The best way to get a calorie count is to use a heart rate monitor. You can enter your age, weight and height in to the watch and it will give you a much more personalised reading. d

Personally I don't have my clients count calories - it can get a bit overwhelming. Just workout for 30-60 minutes every day at a challenging intensity.

Hope this helps


GLH1980 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,951)
Posts: 278
2/1/13 5:31 P

I also have the Polar FT4. I love it. It's easy and reliable. Much better than the New Balance one I previously used. It's also very affordable.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (80,552)
Fitness Minutes: (46,589)
Posts: 5,092
2/1/13 1:50 P

I have the Polar FT4. You can buy it on for about $65. I love it!

LUCKYNUMBER23 SparkPoints: (12,425)
Fitness Minutes: (15,322)
Posts: 449
2/1/13 1:45 P

I have a polar and love it. I use it more for HIIT training and making sure I exercise to get my heart rate up. If not, I get very lazy and not have a great work out. I don't really use the calories I burn at the gym to eat more.

2/1/13 1:32 P

Irrespective of what formula or gadget you use you will never get a totally accurate calorie burned measurement outside of a laboratory setting which measures oxygen consumption. All of the algorithms used are based on averages meaning that presuming a standard bell shaped curve 23% of the subjects measured will fall out at either end of the spectrum and the data is semi accurate on 50% of the time.

Personally I have my clients assess calories in and not out since that will produce a closer to accurate assessment.

TO-BE-AMAZING SparkPoints: (906)
Fitness Minutes: (1,185)
Posts: 10
1/31/13 10:56 P

I have the Polar FT7 and love it. It does have a chest strap but it's mostly made of fabric and can't feel it at all.

JULIA1154 Posts: 1,783
1/31/13 7:35 P

Does the Polar utilize a chest strap?

Obviously, I need to go on line and do some research...

GLH1980 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,951)
Posts: 278
1/31/13 6:42 P

I agree about the heart rate monitor. I love mine. I also have a Polar and highly recommend it. I use it for all my cardio.

MELJONES3478 SparkPoints: (15,754)
Fitness Minutes: (6,082)
Posts: 505
1/31/13 3:41 P


WHOLENEWME79 Posts: 949
1/31/13 3:28 P

The best way would be to purchase a heart rate monitor. A lot of people on spark seem to like the FitBit, I personally am a fan of Polar.

Heart rate monitors let you put in your age, weight, sex and it tracks your heart rate during exercises to tell you how many calories you are burning during an activity.

Before I got my HRM, I would estimate that my actual calories burned was half way between what the machine and sparkpeople would tell me. No idea how accurate that actually was but it worked for me until I got my Polar.

best of luck!

Edited by: WHOLENEWME79 at: 1/31/2013 (15:28)
MELJONES3478 SparkPoints: (15,754)
Fitness Minutes: (6,082)
Posts: 505
1/31/13 3:08 P

I have no idea how many calories I am burning each day. When I use the treadmill or bicycle it will tell me one number. When I use my calorie counter watch it tells me another number so I go to the internet and try to use an online calorie counter calculator and it tells me a completely different number. I know that the treadmill does not take into account my weight, the watch & online calculator do not know the intensity of the work out. How can I get an accurate number?

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