Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Today I did another test, my HRM vs Gym Equipment. First of all I need to explain that I have set-up my monitor with all my personal statistics, age, weight....etc. My BMR is 2073 calories/day.
My first test was, 70 minutes, on the recumbent bike. I am doing interval training, where my fat burning range is at 60% 116 bpm to 80% 136 bpm. My maximum bpm is 140. For the entire workout I would not let my bpm go below 120 with a high of 155 bpm. The bike HRM and my personal HRM were generally at or near the same reading of bpm's.
The results: Recumbent bike showed 442 calories burned and my HRM showed 1112 calories burned. That is a difference of 670 calories! This is a major difference.
I decided to discuss the problem with the Manager/Master Trainer of my 24 Hour fitness. I ask him, should I believe the gym machine calories or my HRM? He immediately said "Do not trust the equipment reading". I told him that there is a reading difference of 620 calories. He, being the salesmen he is, as me if I was wearing the BodyBugg? I told him I was wearing a multi-function HRM "The Sharper Image All-In-One" along with a chest strap and wrist band that shows I burned 1112 calories in 70 minutes of interval training on the recumbent bike. He quickly indicated my HRM was wrong. He said he runs the "Bootcamp" at my 24Hour fitness where he works the members hard for 60 minutes. He said they barely reach a 500 calorie burn. My reply to him, from my research on SparkPeople, that the strength exercises he includes in the workout does not reflect an accurate calorie burn. The main calorie burn is from aerobic exercise. He somewhat agreed with me but then He proceeded to tell me that the BodyBugg calculates it readings from body stats, body heat, moisture, heart rate...etc and plugs it all in a formula that is 92% accurate. I indicated to him that I worked out continuously on cardio for 70 minutes from moderate to vigorous. It would be understandable that my 70 minute workout should show higher calorie burn than his bootcamp program had a mix of strength and cardio. Basically the conversation ended there with nothing resolved about my situation. I told him I would check further into the BodyBugg or similar brands that purport to do the same.
My quandary is, do I take my HRM back for a refund and get a more expensive one such as the BodyBugg, Polar, Gamin....etc. I would hope that my current HRM is calibrated properly as compared to other brands on the market.
I would like to hear from anyone if they have tried to do a similar test as I have preformed. If you have worked out on a piece of equipment with a readout of BPM and Calorie counter and compared them to your HRM.