I have two HRM (one for working out at work and the other for home). I'd take the numbers from the HRM over anything else. The numbers from any work out equipment will always be off. The HRM will not be totally accurate but will be a lot close to what you really burn.
If anyone wears a monitor I would like to know your experiences. I wear a heart-rate & calorie burn monitor when I workout. The brand is The Sharper Image with a chest strap. I use it mainly for my cardio workouts; bicycle, C25K training, treadmill and rowing machine. The heart-rate (HR) monitor is very close as the treadmill or recumbent bike readings, but where the huge difference is the calories burned readings. For example: During my last treadmill workout, C25K training W1D2, my monitor shows I burned 1007 calories in 61 min. where the treadmill shows I burned only 295 calories. That is a difference of 712 calories! I realize, at my age and out-of-shape condition, I am pushing my HR higher than I should causing my system to work harder. I also realize the treadmill does not realize my body condition and can only consider my HR and take an average. The 1st 10 min. my monitor and the machine calories burned are close, about 15 calories difference. My HR is generally around 145 bpm at recovery pace and spikes out at 175 bpm. (much higher than it should be at my age). My average is around 155 bpm for the workout.
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