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Well, that explains a lot....

Friday, May 24, 2013

Wore my HRM swimming today.

I'm sure it's not 100% accurate, as the watch does lose the wireless signal during some strokes, or depending how far under water you are, or position in the water.


I swam for almost an hour today & the watch gives me calories burned = 360.
I was pushing myself today, trying to do many of my laps as sprints, and watching the HR to try and get it higher. What feels like I'm working medium hard, to me, effort-wise, is only 125-135 bpm, which is low compared to running/biking/weight lifting/anything else. So that was interesting. My highest heart rate was much lower than it is for Beast Mode class.

To compare, last week I did a swim that I would characterize as "lazy" - I was swimming pretty slow and stopped to stretch a lot because I was sore. I'd guess, based on today's numbers, I was probably around 120bpm or lower for most of it!

Using the SP tracker, and tracking most of my time as "Swimming - general" (I've been using this entry for a while, because the calories burned are lower. If I track all my swim time as "crawl" SP tells me I burn something like 1200 calories and hour, which... I KNOW I am not swimming that hard!) I still get over 400 calories burned for JUST 30 MINUTES.


I have a discrepancy where SP tells me I burn more than twice as many calories as my HRM.

I'm sure they're both off, but I'm going to pick something closer to the HRM numbers and see how it goes.

I think this could explain my plateau, at least a little.

Since January, my exercise has gone up, but so has my calories eaten. My calorie deficit is smaller than it was in December, but not so small that my weight loss should be sitting still.

Until you account for this - divide all my exercise burned calorie bars in half, and my deficit is pretty small. Which would perfectly explain why I'm losing very slowly, if at all.

I've gotten healthier and more... shapely, since January, but I have not been losing at my previous rate (I was averaging ~1.3-1.5 pounds per week, if you averaged 6-8 weeks or so!). Well there you go - not only can you not out exercise a bad diet, but I have not been getting as much out of the exercise as I think.

From now on the HRM is my new 2nd BFF, and getting my calories back down is my most important BFF. That's been going a little better this week, so hopefully I'm on my way again.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    According to the SP tracker I am burning 7,000 calories a week!! I therefore should be stick thin by now. (I'm definitely not) It also gives me a calorie food allowance of over 2,200 calories a day, I don't take any notice of that either! My fitbit gives me an allowance of about 1300-1500 calories a day, and says I burn about 3,000 a week! A slight discrepancy. emoticon
    1848 days ago
    More confusing tools. You are better and braver than I am! I've got to drag myself out more. I started out doing good last week...then had "girl issues" and a teen son's birthday to deal with. Life just keeps getting in my way!
    1848 days ago
    I used to have a Polar HRM a while back. It was giving me counts generally higher than SP. Now I have a Garmin (GPS+HRM) that gives me numbers generally lower than SP (and that is probably more accurate). Still, once in a while, SP gives me a ridiculously high (resp. low) estimation compared to what my HRM gives me. When SP gives me 1000 Cal for an hour of anything, I know it can't be. I'm a 35 yo women, even if I give it all and work at a very high intensity, I don't burn over 1000 Cal in an hour. Can't be. An intense workout, I peak slightly over 600 Cal an hour (cf. new HRM). Anything higher seems suspicious to me :)

    I don't think SP weighs the calories expense with your weight/age/sex... and I don't know for what profile it's estimated.
    1850 days ago

    Comment edited on: 5/26/2013 3:07:00 AM
    I know spark isn't that accurate all the time. I wear my Fitbit when I walk so it is closer to my calories burned and such. You can do it.
    1852 days ago
  • ADZY86
    I cannot live without my HRM now! I used to either go by Spark or the reading on the machine at the gym: they are nowhere near even close! We have to try and track out numbers as accurately as possible if we're going to make this work and find trends. It's annoying that we can't rely on Spark calories burned, but my HRM was the best investment I ever made
    1852 days ago
  • MINEA999
    I don't have a HRM and although I know SP is probably out to lunch, I'll still take the 700 calories burned for 40 minutes of swimming, whether it's true or not. haha.

    I haven't hit a plateau yet, I'm sure I'll be more concerned when I do.

    Definitely watch the calories in - I swear even though I track and measure everything that sometimes it feels like it's more calories.

    1852 days ago
    Yea, Spark is kind of bad. I thought it was funny how they go on and on about being accurate... but once you get a second opinion with a personal monitor -- you see just how bad they are!
    1852 days ago
  • HFAYE81
    I have often felt that the spark tracker was over estimating...I try and look at what the machines (treadmill etc) say and what sparkpeople says, and try and coordinate. I have also started choosing whichever exercise gives me the lowest calories burned, trying to concentrate on minutes per week rather than calories burned. This has helped me get off my most recent plateau.
    I want a heart rate monitor, that sounds like a VERY helpful tool! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1852 days ago
    I had that same eye opening experience with my HRM this week. I am burning only 2/3 of what SP is telling me and am also only losing about a pound a week. Time to step it up and tighten up! emoticon
    1852 days ago
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