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SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/7/12 9:40 A


BMR (the calories your body need to support basic biological functions-fighting off illness, regulating heart rate, blood pressure and respiration, repairing damaged muscle, etc) still continue on even when we are active. Heart rate monitors are used to measure your heart rates and base the calories burn on an algorthim based on the HRM's feedback.

Trying to subtract out your BMR is splitting hairs. As I mentioned before, outside a laboratory setting, your BMR and calories expended are just estimates. What looks good on paper does not always transcribe to our bodies.

Coach Nancy

MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,911
12/7/12 6:52 A

The standard convention for calculating calories is to include your underlying BMR (after all, this represents the total load on your heart and lungs).

Technically, for total daily burn, this does represent a double count. I agree with MPLANE - for a typical 30-40 minute workout, this double count is pretty small, and probably less than the error inherent in estimating calories. But for longer workouts (eg. 2+ hours), the double count should be considered, as it can introduce a more significant distortion.


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (65,762)
Fitness Minutes: (35,117)
Posts: 2,167
12/7/12 4:35 A

In theory you are right, you should subtract the BMR calories from the calories burned reported by your HRM.

But one question is how long you exercise. I do interval runs for 30mins. For 30mins, the BMR for me turns out to be about 50kCals, which will be lost in the margins of error of even the HRM alone, and not counting the errors that can result from measuring the portion sizes for example. It is not trivial to be that accurate with the daily caloric expenditure and intake.

If you work out for 5h, as in going on a mountain bike trip, then you would be more accurate in subtracting 500kCals from the total caloric burn. But such a trip typically will burn about 3000kCals, so the correction will amount to about 17% of total expenditure.

But still, if you would like to subtract 100kCals for your BMR for 1h of exercise, that would be correct.

``Don't break the chain." -Jerry Seinfeld
``Moments of silence are part of the music." -Anonymous
SP_COACH_NANCY SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
12/6/12 11:05 P


Don't worry about doing subtracting out the BMR. Just use the number on your heart rate monitor for calories expended. Remember your BMR, calorie burned are just estimates of the actual calories you do burn.

Coach Nancy

SH9719 SparkPoints: (40,183)
Fitness Minutes: (39,783)
Posts: 1,304
12/6/12 9:13 P

It is just the opposite. Do I need to deduct the BMR from the calories burned. My theory is that if I workout for an hour the total calories on the monitor will also reflect an hour of the BMR calories. Since I need to determine my incremental calories do I need to deduct my BMR number from the number on the monitor to enter into SP as the calories burned during the week.

KRISTEN_SAYS SparkPoints: (75,327)
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Posts: 5,092
12/6/12 9:03 P

I'm not quite sure I understand...are you asking whether or not you need to add your BMR into your calories burned? If that's your question, then no, you don't. That just gets confusing.

- Kristen
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SH9719 SparkPoints: (40,183)
Fitness Minutes: (39,783)
Posts: 1,304
12/6/12 7:27 P

I use a heart rate monitor to help me determine calories burned because. I do a number of exercises where SP cannot be accurate in telling me the calories burned. It has helped a lot and I think I am pretty accurate, if not still conservative about the calories I enter. My nagging question is how to figure the BMR into the numbers. At the end of my session, can I use the total number on the monitor for SP use or should I back out the BMR calories. My BMR is around 2400 so I have been taking 100 calories off my total since SP already has built the BMR into the calories we burn and we are supposed to only enter our incremental calories. Does this make sense.

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