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TOPIC: HRM vs Concept II cal burn discrepancy

 
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April 25, 2012 9:12 AM
Wed 04/25/12 06:34 AM
I don't know which calorie counter to believe. I tested the difference between my Polar Heart Rate Monitor (with the thingy around the chest) and the readout on my Concept II rowing machine (also with a thingy around the chest). Yes, I wore both belts. Yes it was NOT comfy but, here are the results:

On Concept II rowing machine, 1/2 hour moderate rowing burned 256 cal for about 5000 meters (didn't write it down but it was somewhere over 5000).
According to my Polar monitor I burned only 120 cal.

Then, 1/2 hour on elliptical machine moderate (an out of date Kettler with no fancy stuff) It read1327 kilojoules which I converted to around 317 cal.... (don't know how far I went in distance, never look at it anyway)
My Polar told me I burned 167 cal

Both Concept and Polar are programmed for my weight age etc but there's quite a discrepancy. I don't know what to write now for calories burned. Wish I could be sure of the cal burn. So confusing.
WHO SHOULD I BELIEVE
Edited by pedraz on Wed 04/25/12 06:42 AM
  19713871
April 25, 2012 9:16 AM
I'm planning on purchasing a Polar FT4, so I'm interested to hear what the thoughts are on this.
April 25, 2012 9:16 AM
Make sure all the setting are correct in the HRM and use those numbers. Machines are too generic.

What model polar do you have?
  18046892
April 25, 2012 9:16 AM
What was your average heart rate for the workout?
  18046892
April 25, 2012 9:19 AM
I would use the reading from your HRM b/c it takes into account your gender, height, age, and weight.. Where as machines for the most part only take into account height, weight and age...
April 25, 2012 9:25 AM
The Polar is a pretty old model. All signs of a name to it are rubbed off. On the back of the watch part is written Polar Electro Oy... Oy is right! Sorry. After all that writing down info I forgot to turn the dang thing off so it says I've been exercising all afternoon. I can tell you that I was at about 130 average. Definitely higher on the elliptical even though it was a " moderate" day for me.
The rowing machine has a Suunto belt and monitor. It is much newer than my Polar. It blessed me with lots more calories. Wish I could believe it.
  19713871
April 25, 2012 9:34 AM
Well wait, perhaps it's correct? It says average heart rate 115. I didn't wear the belt all afternoon so, the average heart rate is probably correct, no? So forget the 130. Let's say 115 is correct from my Polar monitor. I feel really dumb....
Ave HR 115
KCAL/ FAT 287/50%
  19713871
April 25, 2012 10:06 AM
I use the MFP number instead -- mostly because it's lower -- on all the machines I use (Nordic Track elliptical, Concept II rowing machine, FitDesk stationary bike). In the case of the elliptical, it cut my calorie credit almost in half!
  11507109
April 25, 2012 10:21 AM
QUOTE:

Well wait, perhaps it's correct? It says average heart rate 115. I didn't wear the belt all afternoon so, the average heart rate is probably correct, no? So forget the 130. Let's say 115 is correct from my Polar monitor. I feel really dumb....
Ave HR 115
KCAL/ FAT 287/50%


I entered an average rate of 115 and 30 minutes into polarpersonaltrainer.com, which takes into account my body stats (6'3", 208, 32 yrs, male, 47 V02max) and got 287 calories, so the machine may be closer, but your numbers will definitely be different than mine.

If you want to stick with the old model, average it with the machine. Otherwise, if you're calorie anal like me, spend the $80 to get an FT7 (will still work with the rowing machine) and be done with it.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Polar is either outdated or even slightly broken. My calorie reading from my FT80 is usually pretty close to the various machines I use. 10 - 15% probably.
Edited by lincolnpalmer On April 25, 2012 10:23 AM
  18046892
April 25, 2012 10:30 AM
Thanks everone! I think perhaps it IS time to invest in a new HRM. Suunto or Polar or other? I'd love one that does intervals. Or should I start a new topic?
  19713871
April 25, 2012 4:32 PM
QUOTE:

Thanks everone! I think perhaps it IS time to invest in a new HRM. Suunto or Polar or other? I'd love one that does intervals. Or should I start a new topic?


My initial quest was for an HRM that would talk to both my machine and my iPhone, but I don't have a 4s and there aren't any real slick solutions for it yet. I would rather use my phone than a watch to record the information, but I caved and got the FT80. I have warmed up to the watch, and love the Polar. I know people that love the Garmin, and you might want to check out Wahoo Fitness if you are a techy geek like me.

Wahoo and Garmin will NOT talk to most gym equipment.
  18046892
April 26, 2012 12:52 AM
I've been internetting about this since last night. It's really hard to know the best one and boy they can be expensive. I have really skinny teensy baby wrists (unlike the rest of me). I am a petite person and most of these watches are humongous. I need kiddie size! ; ) Hard to buy via the web for this reason but, I'll be researching them.

Thanks so much for all the help.
  19713871
April 26, 2012 3:04 AM
The important point is not that you burned so many calories on the machine. The point is that your metabolism was increased and your body is burning calories to repair from a workout. That can last up to 48 hours after a session.

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