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MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,400
1/20/13 10:13 P

While weight is relevant to how many calories you burn on a treadmill, they are largely irrelevant to how many calories you are burning on the elliptical. With the elliptical, you are really working against the resistance of the machine, rather than your own bodyweight.

MOMMYOF2RN Posts: 579
1/19/13 11:20 P

I would go with the machine esp. if you have to put in your weight and height, much more accurate

SNOWJESTER SparkPoints: (29,896)
Fitness Minutes: (21,528)
Posts: 985
1/19/13 7:27 P

I knew as soon as I saw your post that the machine in question was the elliptical. Spark always gives me a number that's more than double what the machine says. Go with the machine in this case.

SJOLLIFF1 SparkPoints: (73)
Fitness Minutes: (68)
Posts: 1
1/19/13 6:32 P

I am just starting this website and I think it is great for tracking everything but I am confused by the fitness tracker when it asks for the calories burned. I was trying to put in the routine exercises prescribed by my personal trainer that I did today and when it asked for calories burned I didn't know. Do I have to keep track of that from the machine at the Y so I can input it? I don't get it.

JKW1957 Posts: 185
12/13/12 10:45 P

I own a Smooth elliptical and program in my age and weight and it also picks up my heart rate from my Polar HRM but it underestimates my calories burned compared to my HRM. I have been on other equipment that overestimates. HRM is the best route. My Polar HRM calculates the calories burned.

Edited by: JKW1957 at: 12/13/2012 (22:55)
KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (80,021)
Fitness Minutes: (45,635)
Posts: 5,092
12/7/12 6:37 P

To the PP - as far as I know, most HRM's show how many calories you've burned

COXBETH SparkPoints: (8,276)
Fitness Minutes: (3,770)
Posts: 471
12/7/12 5:55 P

I agree with "motivated" - I never use the machine because they're usually wacky, but in your case it's probably the best bet.

If you do get a heart rate monitor, you might try using a calculator like this one (
) to help figure out calories burned. It's always just an estimate, but even if you just use the heart rate settings on the machine, you might be able to get better numbers.

DATABLUE Posts: 18
12/7/12 1:27 P

Thanks for all of advice! And I was on the machine for 30 minutes, with a warm-up and cool-down. I'll use the lower number.

SH9719 SparkPoints: (40,217)
Fitness Minutes: (39,783)
Posts: 1,304
12/6/12 7:09 P

When in doubt be conservative. Machines are notorious for being high. Since the calories you enter into SP help determine your ranges, err on the low side.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (80,021)
Fitness Minutes: (45,635)
Posts: 5,092
12/6/12 7:02 P

I would go with the machine on this one. You may want to invest in a good heart rate monitor. They're not that expensive and worth every penny IMO.

For how long were on the machine?

JSTBECUZ99 Posts: 81
12/6/12 6:26 P

I would take an average of the two numbers.

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 15,400
12/6/12 5:20 P

Many pieces of gym equipment (including the elliptical) are notorious for significantly overestimating the calories burned,

However, for exercise such as the elliptical, where you are working against the resistance of the machine rather than your body weight, it is difficult for online calculators to objectively measure exercise intensity, as it depends very much on the speed and resistance settings you are using. Instead, Spark uses broad averages of exercise intensity. Spark's estimate can become more distorted for heavier people.

Given these known biases, unless you are using a very high resistance setting, I would recommend going with the more conservative of the two estimates.


JENMC14 Posts: 2,786
12/6/12 3:55 P

I'd use the machine. I always err on the side of caution as to not over estimate. If t's ar egular thing, you might want to invest in a HRM so that you can make sure of what you're burning so your getting adequately fueled. However, since SP's elliptical tracker doesn't have any accounting for speed or intensity, I'd definitely go with the machine's reading, especially if you tracked your HR and you entered your current weight.

DATABLUE Posts: 18
12/6/12 3:27 P

At the gym today I used the elliptical trainer. I entered my weight into the machine and watched the heart rate monitor built into the machine. At the end of my workout the machine told me I had burned 352 calories, but when I found elliptical on the tracker and entered in my workout time it told me I had burned 600+ calories. In this case, which do I consider more accurate? Have you found a noticeable difference between the machine's readouts versus what the tracker brings up?

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