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TOPIC: Fitbit and exercise DVDs

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February 16, 2012 9:05 PM
Has anyone tried doing DVDs like Jillian's 30 Day Shred while wearing the Fitbit? What kind of calorie accuracy is it giving, when compared with general aerobic class calories from MFP, or even HRM calorie estimates? I'm ambivalent about whether to get another toy (a HRM). Right now, I just walk and use a stationary bike for exercise, so it's easy to block those in, but HRM might be a better option for exercise classes. OTOH, if the difference is minimal, I don't want to spend the money.
February 16, 2012 9:15 PM
I take a lot of classes or follow dvds, that is actually why I first bought an hrm as they can be so variable it is hard to compare workouts. I find that certain activities my hrm and fitbit estimate the same but that is mainly for cardio that is easy to translate into steps like some kick boxing, jump roping, some dance, etc. For 30 Day Shred, I think it would track the cardio part okay, but underestimate on the strength and ab sections. I will say that my heart rate doesn't tend to get very high so that may be a factor in why the two often match or close to match for me. I do tend to use my fitbit for daily activity and walking, and log my workouts using data from my heart rate monitor.
February 17, 2012 7:55 AM
I just got my fitbit Monday and I'm still learning..... I am a bit confused by it, but I'm sure through all the message boards and all the advise from Kimsied, I'll figure it out (You know SO MUCH about this!! Thanks for all your info!!).

BUT, last night, I wore my HRM (polar F4= love it) AND my FB while I did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, level 2. The HRM said I burned 319 calories, while the FB said I only burned 149. Judging by all the sweat and huffing and puffing and muscle twitching, I'm gonna have to agree with the HRM on this one.......

Don't get me wrong, I am NOT sorry I bought the FB, I just need to work with it more. I do love my HRM dearly though......
February 17, 2012 11:25 AM

BUT, last night, I wore my HRM (polar F4= love it) AND my FB while I did the Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred, level 2. The HRM said I burned 319 calories, while the FB said I only burned 149. Judging by all the sweat and huffing and puffing and muscle twitching, I'm gonna have to agree with the HRM on this one.......

Probably because it wasn't giving you enough credit for the work you were doing during the strength and ab work intervals as the intensity from those comes from your resistance not how fast you are taking steps. Not to pick on one dvd, but it is a good example as it is one a lot of people have. If you look at your activity record on fitbit sometime after you do this workout (and before you log it on mfp), you may find that during some of the cardio portions you till see red spikes (i.e. during the jumping jacks, kick butts, etc), during the strength training portion it may depend on the exercises but some of them would not look like very much in terms of steps and other movement a fitbit would recognize (i.e. the push-ups, any of the weight work, etc) and the ab work would be even worse. This dvd is a good example of the difference between the type of activities the fitbit is better at tracking and the kind it isn't so great at tracking. I think my burns numbers were more similar (between hrm and fitbit) with Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. Those are the only JM dvds I have, though I once borrowed yoga meltdown from the library (and I think it tracked that worse than 30DS if I recall as it is a lot of held poses). I think an hrm is great for people who do a lot of video and class type workouts though, as it is so hard to choose an accurate activity from a database as each class may be different and some classes translate fine to steps and some do not.

Babs, since you have both, why not use both? Both are estimates, but your hrm is probably more accurate with this workout as it is at least half made of exercises the fitbit isn't as good at tracking. I like to see my activity graph on fitbit match the intensity of the workout so using data from my heart rate monitor helps in cases like this. I find it discouraging to see a workout that left me tired, sweaty and huffing and puffing rated as a lower activity level than a comfortable brisk walk. But using the burn from my hrm, it is usually (for me) less than the database suggests but more than the fitbit estimate (unless it matches) and it usually gets me the right activity level/color on my fitbit activity graph. But we don't have to as we have the option to log those workouts either using hrm data or by choosing the appropriate activity from the database. (Though from a strictly weight loss point of view under-estimating calorie burn by a little does not usually hurt progress.)
February 17, 2012 11:43 AM
Keep in mind that an activity keyed in FB or an imported exercise from MFP will override the FB motion detected (i.e. accelerometer) calorie burn. Key activities/exercises ONLY in MFP (the MFP recommendation) or FB (what I do). NOT a mix of both or duplications might occur.

Kimsied made a very important point: underestimating calorie burn will help with weight loss.

Keep in mind all these numbers we are looking at (calories consumed, calories burned) are just estimates. I guess that any one of my day's worth of keying could be off by 200-500 calories in either direction (more or less net calories) relative to reality. Consider the numbers you get as just ball park estimates and manage net calories to be more or less (weight gain or weight loss) than the goals set by either site (FB/MFP) and your results will accrue faster. the final analysis....its what you see in the mirror that confirms your progress or not. Even your scale will vary on you.

OH....almost forgot.....if your clothes fall off you.......that is also PROOF that you are loosing weight. I used to think my clothes were shrinking, until my wife and my mirror told me otherwise.

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