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TOPIC: Rowing Machine vs. Elliptical vs Treadmill vs Stair Climber

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April 26, 2011 10:59 AM
I've been doing multiple types of cardio for quite some time now and I've always had the question of which is the most accurate at total calories burned?

All exercises are done for 50 minutes continuous with no break. I have been rotating the cardio exercise daily so I don't get used to them. These number have been consistent for at least 8 months.

Traditional Treadmill
Running at 6.5 mph, no incline the treadmill readout is just over 800. I'm not drenched, but the upper half of my shirt is definitely soaked

Cybex Elliptical Arc Trainer w/o arm movement
Incline is at 10, resistance is 40, the elliptical readout is just over 1000. I'm soaked, I'm breathing very heavy but I'm not drained

Concept 2 Rowing Machine
Level 10, Approx 700 calories. I'm panting, clothes are dripping with sweat, every part of my body feels engaged I'm gasping for air, my heart rate feels very high

StairMaster Step Mill
Level 8, Approx 700 calories. I'm panting, legs are tired, struggle to walk and breathe at the same time afterwards, shirt is soaked

So after all this in order of rank as to how tired/worked out I feel after each exercise

1. Rowing
2. StairMaster
3. Treadmill
4. Elliptical

Why are the hardest exercises the ones that burn the least amount of calories and the easiest the ones that claim they burn the most. I don't want to buy a body bug to test this theory out. I was wondering if anyone else feels the same way I do?
April 26, 2011 11:07 AM
I am a rower, and I use the rowing machine 6 days a week, an hour at a time. I know how painful it can be. Rowing is often an anaerobic exercise, which can be extremely painful and tiring. More info here:

Also the calorie counts on machines are often wrong or inaccurate :/ You should probably go by how you personally feel after you each work out.
April 26, 2011 11:10 AM
I would suggest you invest in a Heart Rate Monitor.
April 26, 2011 11:12 AM
do you use a HRM? I was shocked how many calories I thought I was burning before wearing one just based on the machine's output.

BTW, I'm obsessed with my gym's arc trainer. I like to do between 60-90 minutes at incline of 10 with resistance at 100. sometime's i'll do a lower incline (about 6) with still 100 resistance. it acts more like a stepper and helps get my HR jump started
April 26, 2011 11:49 AM
I was thinking about a HRM. The Treadmill and the elliptical both have HRM's. I can get a good idea of what the average is. The Stairmaster and rowing don't have it. I found a pretty decent site that give me an idea of how many calories I burned based on my sustained HR.
Edited by rippedin12 On April 26, 2011 11:50 AM

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