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The joy (and frustration) of heart rate monitors

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ok, so I finally figured out how to use the heart rate monitor I got. (whoo hoo! I'm not dumb anymore!)

Anyway, so I was really excited to see exactly how many calories I'm burning and what heart rate I'm reaching when I'm out strolling around outside, or jogging.

I am disappointed that at the gym I'm not burning as many calories as I thought I was! I think mostly because I stick to my favorite machines. My body has gotten really used to two in particular, the elliptical and the arctrainer. They are similar in design, but work different variations and inclines.

Well apparently on the elliptical I'm really only burning about 80% of what the machine says I am. So that sorta stinks, but isn't too bad. My FAVORITE machine? The arctrainer. According to my heart rate monitor I'm only burning 60% of the calories the machine says I am. Basically, I need to work out TWICE as long in order to burn what I want.

That'll teach me for using the arctrainer as my main sorce of fitness. I do switch up my routine. I also utilize the treadmill, stationary bike, stair climber, stair stepper, arm machine....and I think that's all of the cardio machines I do. But I didn't really do them that often because I couldn't torch the calories on them, like I (thought I) could on the arctrainer!

The one I dislike the most (the treadmill) seems about 95% accurate according to my heart rate monitor, probably because I don't do it very often!

So again, I think it's cool to see the calories I'm burning. But I'm super bummed that I'm either going to have to work out longer or eat even less than I am eating now!

No wonder I've been stuck for awhile!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I love the sound of that heart monitor. I must put it on the list! :) Sorry you aren't burning as many calories as you thought. :( It sucks that you aren't burning like you thought. Keep up the good work!
    3740 days ago
  • DNJEN471
    That is cool and an excellent point. Are we really burning as much as we think we are? Hmmmm.....
    3740 days ago
    Hey! Which HRM do you have? I have the Polar F6 and I love it!! I too realized that the calorie counts on the machines were way off from what I was actually burning (and NOT in my favor, but hey, I think I'd rather know the truth). That's because the HRM is specific to you and reads your HR more accurately because of the chest strap, while the machine is just guessing based on the age and weight you type into it. Like you, I too find that the treadmill's calorie count is the most accurate of the machines. I noticed that the treadmill actually says "Polar ready" on it so maybe somehow it reads the signal from my chest strap since I have a Polar HRM? That is my best guess as to why.
    Does your gym offer fitness classes? I get bored on the machines sometimes so I switch it up by taking a few classes a week too. Sooooo much fun, and with an HRM you can see how many calories you burned in class too. I usually burn WAY more calories in cycle and combat than I burn on any machine, unless I am running on the treadmill.
    3741 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/25/2008 7:50:32 PM
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