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Elliptical: how many calories am I really burning?



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BECCA103
Posts: 173
4/30/10 2:09 P

I had forgotten that I had a HRM from about 100 years ago, HA HA It is a polar. I just contacted them and they will replace the transmitter for me. WAHOO! Thanks everyone.



THATGIRLY
Posts: 123
4/30/10 1:54 P

This is all really great info - thanks to everybody for your input. I will get a HR monitor - I really want to be accurate about this stuff.

And I have the same question as Becca - any personal experience with a HR monitor that works well?



BECCA103
Posts: 173
4/30/10 1:32 P

Can anyone suggest a great HR monitor?



BECCA103
Posts: 173
4/30/10 1:25 P

MARINASHU, SKYWATCHERRS,

THANK YOU both for the detailed answers.
Iím going to get an upgrade in my watch. There were a few noís to your questions. My husband is 178lbs, his numbers on the ellipitical are about the same steps as mine and close to the same calories as me. Thank you both soooo much. Becca ;~)






EMILYFIELDS
Posts: 204
4/30/10 1:20 P

I got the impression that Becca meant that his number on the heart rate monitor and his readout on the elliptical were similar--not that HIS calories burned were similar to HER calories burned.

Sorry I don't have anything more valuable to add, but I've been wondering this same thing myself but can't afford a heart rate monitor just yet.



SKYWATCHERRS
Posts: 6,315
4/30/10 1:14 P

Totally agree with MARINA - the fact that you and your hubby scored the same is a huge red flag.

Like MARINA I find that I really have to bust my rump to get 600 calories in an hour of cardio, and I weigh more than you.



MARINASHU
SparkPoints: (24,056)
Fitness Minutes: (21,677)
Posts: 1,441
4/30/10 1:12 P

Becca, if your husband gets close to the same numbers on your watch that you do, that would be a red flag for me. For one thing, men tend to burn more calories than women, because their muscle mass is greater. For another, men usually weigh more than women, which would also mean a greater number of calories burned. Unless your husband is the exact same weight and body fat percentage as you, if your watch isn't taking those things into account and coming up with different calorie numbers, I would guess it's innaccurate!

From what I've read, and seen during my own workouts, 600 calories per hour is about what most high intensity workouts burn for me, whether it's on the elliptical, in aerobics class, running, whatever. The number the sparkpeople tracker seems pretty in line with that, while the other two numbers are TWICE that! It just seems really unlikely to me that you'd be burning that much.



SKYWATCHERRS
Posts: 6,315
4/30/10 1:10 P

Becca,

There's no way I could say with 100% certainty, but 554 for 30 minutes and you weighing about 130lbs sounds too high, even if you are working hard.

I weigh around 145-150 and can work out to about 95% of my max heart rate, and on the elliptical I burn about 330 calories in 30 minutes.

If you weigh less than I do, you burn fewer calories than I do, even working hard.

So 554 sounds way too high.

Does your watch allow you to program it with your personal stats - height, weight, age, gender, target heart rate range, and an activity multiplier based on how much you work out? Does it have a chest strap? If the answer is no to one or both of these, I'd say you need to upgrade.



BECCA103
Posts: 173
4/30/10 12:40 P

Thatgirly and Deb, Iíve been struggling with the same problem. This is my post and some answers from Jen.

Jen, Getting back to my cardio tracking. I set up my heart rate monitor watch and did the same program on my elliptical this morning. Here are the results. My heart rate ran between 153-168 today.

Aerobic #5, 30 min. 1887steps

SP fitness tracker ......247

Watch.......554

Elliptical.......515

Iím at a loss to know what is correct. As you know the mathematical part of tracking your cal. out and food in is so important. If Iím doing 30 min of cardio twice a day and the range is so far apart on cal. out I canít even begin to eat the correct amount of food.
Please share your thoughts. Thanks Becca ;~)


Hi Becca

I'd double check to make sure your watch is set up correctly. 554 calories in 30 minutes at your size sounds too good to be true, but that's just a guess on my part. You might also want to try some other activities (like walking or biking) to see what kind of results the watch gives you and whether or not they seem reasonable.

Sorry I'm not more help!

Coach Jen


So my watch is set correct. I have tested this for a few days now and having my husband do it with the watch set to his stats. His numbers on the watch and on the elliptical run very close like mine.

I did a competition program that is 30 minutes and is set up as a pyramid that starts out at resistance 2 and goes up every 2 minutes to resistance 10 then back to 2. My heart rate is between 155- 168 Iím working my butt off.

My numbers are very close to the above.

Competition #1, 30 min. 1811 steps

SP fitness tracker..........247

Watch.............556

Elliptical.........540

I do not want to just be able to post more calories burned. I need to be tracking this accurately. I do 30 min of cardio twice a day M-F and add weight training M-W-F. Some nights I feel weak,,, like when you run out of energy and need to eat something. Iím eating to the maximum side of my calories.

Is there anyone that can help?




UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/30/10 1:37 A

The elliptical is a particularly troublesome piece of equipment to get an accurate figure from, because it doesn't use your own bodyweight as resistance, it uses mechanical resistance.

Neither of the figures is likely to be very accurate.

Your best bet is to purchase and wear a heart rate monitor, which will give you a personalised burn based on your own heart rate.

In the meantime, it's probably best to enter the lower figure. Better to understate fitness burn than overstate it.



THATGIRLY
Posts: 123
4/29/10 11:42 P

So, I've been loving the elliptical machine for the last couple of weeks - spending 20-65 minutes on it daily, and then coming home and entering the exercise in, and being really stoked about how many calories I'm burning. It's been a great upward spiral for me - exercise makes me feel good, burning calories makes me feel good and makes me want to exercise, etc. - but I've been noticing the calorie counter at the gym the last couple of days, and I'm worried that I'm counting the calories wrong. The machine I'm on says I'm burning about 1/4 - 1/3 fewer calories than the website. Have you had a similar experience? Am I missing something?
I just don't want to end up eating too much because I'm trying to stay in calorie range (I have a history of under-eating and starvation mode when I try to lose weight, I'm breaking that cycle, down that path lies madness!) when I'm overestimating my calories burned.




 
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