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Sweat vs. Calories Burned



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SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,412
9/2/11 10:50 A

@GUNNARUN

Learn to use and trust your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) it is more accurate than a heart rate monitor in that it is you reading your body and not an electronic algorithm. In laboratory tests when an individual feels they are working at X% of their ability the laboratory measuring apparatus indicates a one to one relationship. Since individual hearts rates have wide variations the use of the standard formula (220 - age) does not give an accurate value. Monitor your body and trust your perception as to how much work you are doing in any given workout.

Sweating only means that the body is cooling itself or you are nervous. .

Edited by: SERGEANTMAJOR at: 9/2/2011 (10:52)


YOU_CALIBAN
SparkPoints: (7,482)
Fitness Minutes: (11,441)
Posts: 488
9/1/11 11:29 P

Use common sense and don't lie to yourself. Which one makes your body work harder? You know the answer.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
9/1/11 1:52 A

Connection, not relationship.

Sweating is purely a sign of heating.

When you work out, heat is a byproduct. So it makes sense that for many, they sweat when they work out.

However, many people simply don't sweat. Others sweat like a faucet got turned on. I don't sweat if it's cool outside when I run - even if I do on other days when I'm running. Neither day has "burned more calories" than the other - even though one I sweat and one I don't.

There is zero relationship between sweat and calories burned. There is a connection, but not a relationship.



LEAHFELICITY
Posts: 638
1/2/11 12:05 P

I have the same problem on the treadmill/elliptical. I think it's different muscles used, though I could be completely wrong about that. It's an entirely different experience. The treadmill's rougher on my legs, and uses muscles I rarely use, so I try to mix it up and use both. Back when I was only using the elliptical, I found that running in real-life situations (trying to help a neighbor chase down their dog for example) was really, really difficult. I'd say just cross-train: do some elliptical, some treadmill, some bike, some rowing machine. That way, you're working all sorts of muscle groups and getting a firmer body all over the place.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 14,043
1/2/11 7:16 A

Gunna - the impact of the treadmill (especially if running) can make it 'feel' tougher, even if the actual intensity of your workout is the same.

M@L



SILVERJUDI
Posts: 1,803
1/2/11 6:25 A

It's the inches you lose, that indicate how well you're doing, IMHO



GUNNARUN
Posts: 187
1/2/11 2:47 A

I have found that the HR pads on the machines are off and really inconsistent. Maybe that is just at my gym :(. Basically I'm figuring out that I really going to need to invest in a heart rate monitor eventually. For now I will just have to figure my heart rate myself. I just wish I had a more accurate way of figuring calories like I would if I had a good heart rate monitor.

Also, I wanted to just say that I shouldn't have emphasized the sweat thing so much. What I meant is that I have to put a ton more effort in when working out on the treadmill vs. the elliptical. I really have to push myself on the treadmill. I just thought this was interesting when the base calories spark gives for each of these for the same amount of time seems backwards in my experience.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
1/2/11 12:07 A

Heart rate is a good suggestion. Both of those machines would normally have HR pads on them, so even if you don't have an HRM, you can test what your HR is now and then by holding the pads, and find out the average HR for each exercise.

I really don't think, unless there's a fan placed right by one of them, that air currents in the room will have that strong an influence. :)



SKYWATCHERRS
Posts: 6,315
1/1/11 10:05 P

I agree with M@L - sweating is not necessarily an indictor of work performed. Think about it - in the heat of summer you can lie by the pool and sweat a puddle even though you're just lying there.

Sweating is the body's cooling mechanism, not an indicator of work performed or energy spent.

I agree with the suggestion of going by heart rate or even rate of perceived exertion for a measurement of workload or energy output. Also take into consideration the mode of exercise - elliptical machines operate on momentum, so that's a consideration in work performance. You're getting propelled forward just as much by momentum of the pedals of the machine as your own personal exertion on them, so think about that.

Doing level 4 on the elliptical, level 4 on a treadmill (speed and incline), level 4 on a recumbent or stationary bike, level 4 on the StairMAster and level 4 on the rowing machine are each going to be completely different experiences, guaranteed.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 14,043
1/1/11 5:39 P

While Unident is right in theory, in practice there is another major factor in 'environment' and that is air movement - two machines might be right next to each other, but because one is closer to the fan or under an airconditioning vent, or closer to the door, have significantly different air movement. Even a slight movement in air can increase the rate of evaporation of sweat, and cool you down significantly faster.

The best guide to the intensity of your workout is your heart rate. Even if you don't have a heart rate monitor, you can stop and check your pulse for 10 seconds.

M@L



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
1/1/11 3:29 P

I'm going to assume that both machines are in the same gym, cooled to the same temperature. This means the same environment every time. So if you're sweating more with one than another, I'm going to disagree with the previous poster and say that one is more work.

Sweat is NOT an indicator of calories burned or work done. BUT ... in exactly the same environment, the reason a person would sweat more on one type of equipment than another (consistently) is that they are performing more work on that one - there is more energy being transferred to the muscles, creating more of the by-product of that transfer which is heat, requiring more cooling.

So in general sweat is not an indicator, but in this specific case, I would go with it. Do the sweaty one. It's burning more calories.

The elliptical ... note that Spark doesn't ask you what resistance setting you used. The elliptical doesn't work on your body weight resistance, like walking/running on the treadmill does, so it's very difficult for any online site to provide an estimate. Given there's no resistance setting, I think it's actually very irresponsible of Spark to give a figure - it's virtually useless. There is no indication whatsoever of "how hard you did that". Do 10 minutes on your elliptical on level 1, dawdling along. Then do 10 minutes on a very high level, going fast and breaking a big sweat. Spark will give each of those the SAME calorie burn.

So it's unreliable. Go with what you know - in the same temperate environment, a regular pattern of sweating more on one machine than another means you're converting more ATP into energy on that machine (burning more calories).



ARCHIMEDESII
SparkPoints: (138,011)
Fitness Minutes: (207,260)
Posts: 20,477
1/1/11 2:28 P

The amount you sweat during exercise has nothing to do with the amount of calories you burn. Sweating is how our bodies cool its internal organs. It's how our skin cleanses itself. Some people sweat. Some people don't.

How many calories a person burns during exercise depends on how much they weigh and how intense they worked out.

You have to be careful with the calorie read out from treadmills and ellipticals. They are can be higher than the amount you're really burning. In short, just because the readout on the elliptical says you're burning more does it mean that you are.

Like I said, read outs on the elliptical can be notoriously inaccurate.

What to do for now ? Don't worry about what the readouts say. Instead, get a tape measure and watch your measurements. You'll notice the inches drop off long before the scale ever budges and that's perfectly normal.

Basically, if you start to lose inches, that means you're losing body fat even though the scale might not be moving. This way, you don't have to worry about how many calories you're burning when exercising.



GUNNARUN
Posts: 187
1/1/11 2:17 P

Some days I do 45 minutes on the elliptical and some days I do 45 minutes on the treadmill. When I do my cardio on the treadmill I sweat SOO much more but the Spark Fitness tracker says there is a difference of about 120 calories more when I do the elliptical. It seems like my body has to work a lot harder when I'm on the treadmill but since the elliptical is easier for me and supposedly burns more calories I feel like I'm wasting my time on the treadmill. Just confused about that. I know getting a heart rate monitor would clear that up but that isn't in my budget right now. Any ideas or thoughts?



 
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