The machine and a heart rate monitor will be using different methods to estimate calorie burn even with the same heart rate. Calorie burn isn't directly about heart rate, it is a common myth that it is. In a lab, oxygen use is a more common/more accurate way to measure calorie burn. During aerobic exercise, the heart beats faster with exertion in order to supply the muscles with the oxygen they need, but there are other reasons the heart can beat faster that are unrelated.
HRM manufacturers came up with formulas to estimate oxygen use from heart rate and to estimate calorie burn as a result. A HRM usually is factoring in your average heart rate compared to your "maximum" and factoring in your profile stats. I'd probably just use the HRM if correctly set up and you are doing aerobic exercise.
Machines will each use a different formula usually based on distance, WATTS, resistance and maybe your weight/profile stats. It will vary by machine, and some don't actually use heart rate even if they display it. The estimates may be quite different and both are just educated guesses and may be guessing high or low for you.
If you have a good HRM, I would suggest just using it for all your cardio because you will have a consistent means of comparison. If you wore your hrm and used the elliptical one day and did the same on this other machine another day--you might likely find that your HRM credits the more difficult workout higher. And you would be using a consistent method to compare the effect each machine has on your heart. It will be less useful with non-aerobic activity though.
By the way, your calorie burn doesn't sound low to me though--if the elliptical credited more it may have been overestimating. If I work as hard as I can for an hour--I will see about 500 calories burned on my heart rate monitor (the machines often much higher, but my HRM seems more accurate when I eat those calories and compare to my progress). This is so variable by the person as it depends on your size ad a lot of individual factors. It is possibly impossible to have a perfectly accurate estimate, so I think it can help just to use one method of estimation consistently for a while and see how it compares with your results.
Edited by: SLYSAM at: 6/24/2014 (16:42)
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