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TOPIC: How many calories are you REALLY burning on the treadmill? 


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Joined Jun 2011 Posts: 45 
July 21, 2012 1:28 AM
Have you ever wondered how accurate that treadmill is when it tells you how many calories you have burned? We are all have different amounts of weight to carry so how can it be one standard number. The rule of thumb is approximately 100 calories per a mile ran or walked. However I have the formula to figure out the exact number of calories burned.
I am 116 pounds and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a 6mph speed with 0 grade. Calculate how many calories that is? The beginning equation Vo2=(0.2S)+(0.9SG)+3.5 To solve for the unknown variables: S= speed in meters per minute. MPH x 26.8 6mph x 26.8=160.8 m/min G= grade 0% If it were 4% incline you would convert that to 0.04 Convert pounds to kilograms= lbs/2.2 116lbs/2.2= 52.72kg Fill in the unknown variables in the equation above V02= (0.2 x 160.8)+ (0.9 x 160.8 x 0)+3.5 = 32.16+0+3.5 V02= 35.66 To convert VO2 in calories per minute Multiply V02 x wt in kg Then divide that number by 1000. Multiply that number by 5 To figure out my calories burned on the treadmill looks like this: 35.66 x 52.72kg= 1879.99 1879.99/1000= 1.87 1.87x5=9.39 I ran for 20 minutes so 9.39 x 20 minutes= 188 calories. There are 3500 calories in a pound. If you are going at a speed less than 5mph then there is a different equation for that. V02=(0.1s)+(1.8SG)+3.5. Then solve for calories the same way. If you want more equations on how to calculate eclipitical, or stationary bike then inbox me. 
Joined Jan 2010 Posts: 24 
July 21, 2012 4:47 PM
Orrrr you can buy a heart rate monitor :) Haha. I got mine a few weeks ago and worship it. That's too much math for me O_o

Joined Apr 2012 Posts: 879 
July 21, 2012 4:49 PM
Or...you could use a Fitbit also. I start the timer of my Fitbit when I start my workout and stop it when I'm done. The calories burned are always about 100 less than what the treadmill says.

Joined Jun 2011 Posts: 45 
July 21, 2012 7:51 PM
This equation takes in account a person's weight and the speed they are going. Heart rate monitors and treadmill counters I have found to be extremely inaccurate. Over estimating my calories at times by 300 calories.

Joined Jul 2011 Posts: 1,715 
July 21, 2012 7:54 PM
QUOTE: This equation takes in account a person's weight and the speed they are going. Heart rate monitors and treadmill counters I have found to be extremely inaccurate. Over estimating my calories at times by 300 calories. But a short person and a tall person can have the same speed but different exertion rates since one person can take bigger steps. My heart rate monitor takes my weight into consideration and I have the option to buy the footpod accessory but I don't bother. 
Joined Jun 2012 Posts: 24 
July 21, 2012 9:06 PM
I use the "fat burn" setting on the treadmill. I assumed it was fairly accurate with calories burned because I have to plug in my info (age/weight) prior to starting.
Edited by irish9229 On July 21, 2012 9:07 PM

Joined Dec 2011 Posts: 6,846 
July 28, 2012 9:59 PM
QUOTE: Have you ever wondered how accurate that treadmill is when it tells you how many calories you have burned? We are all have different amounts of weight to carry so how can it be one standard number. The rule of thumb is approximately 100 calories per a mile ran or walked. However I have the formula to figure out the exact number of calories burned. I am 116 pounds and ran on the treadmill for 20 minutes at a 6mph speed with 0 grade. Calculate how many calories that is? The beginning equation Vo2=(0.2S)+(0.9SG)+3.5 To solve for the unknown variables: S= speed in meters per minute. MPH x 26.8 6mph x 26.8=160.8 m/min G= grade 0% If it were 4% incline you would convert that to 0.04 Convert pounds to kilograms= lbs/2.2 116lbs/2.2= 52.72kg Fill in the unknown variables in the equation above V02= (0.2 x 160.8)+ (0.9 x 160.8 x 0)+3.5 = 32.16+0+3.5 V02= 35.66 To convert VO2 in calories per minute Multiply V02 x wt in kg Then divide that number by 1000. Multiply that number by 5 To figure out my calories burned on the treadmill looks like this: 35.66 x 52.72kg= 1879.99 1879.99/1000= 1.87 1.87x5=9.39 I ran for 20 minutes so 9.39 x 20 minutes= 188 calories. There are 3500 calories in a pound. If you are going at a speed less than 5mph then there is a different equation for that. V02=(0.1s)+(1.8SG)+3.5. Then solve for calories the same way. If you want more equations on how to calculate eclipitical, or stationary bike then inbox me. Orrr...you could share it with everyone? What are you hiding in that little inbox of yours? Every single post you make is some random information with be my friend or inbox me...Are you selling drugs? Shakes? :P I'm impressed though, this is the first post of yours I've seen that wasn't about quoting yourself about the gluten topic
Edited by CoderGal On July 28, 2012 10:10 PM

Joined Apr 2012 Posts: 164 
July 28, 2012 10:06 PM
QUOTE: I use the "fat burn" setting on the treadmill. I assumed it was fairly accurate with calories burned because I have to plug in my info (age/weight) prior to starting. ^^^^THIS^^^^ Don't need the equation if you put in your age and wt. The treadmill does it for you. 
Joined Jul 2012 Posts: 25 
July 29, 2012 6:14 AM
I think my HR monitor hits right on your numbers (though I'm not going to take the time to do the math). I had to do a resting HR assessment where I didn't move for 7 or 8 minutes, plus added my weight, height and age. If I keep my heart rate between 171 and 185 for most of my run (which is usually around 6.7 to 7.0 mph), I can burn 9 to 10 calories per minute; so 2 miles is usually around 200 calories (I only weigh a few pounds more than you do). The treadmill calculations give me 12 calories per 10th of a mile...or 120 per mile...no matter what my speed; obviously, that is an over estimate.

Joined May 2012 Posts: 160 
July 29, 2012 6:24 AM
I have major trust issues with "calories burned."
Yesterday I did sprints on the treadmill for 30 minutes. I worked my butt off. My HRM synched up with the treadmill and it STILL varied by a couple beats per minute. Additionally, despite the treadmill keeping track of my heart rate, it still showed that I burned 86 calories more than I actually did. In my mind, I think "86!?! That's almost 100 calories more!!" So from now on, even if I enter my age/weight into a treadmill or if I use the heart rate monitor handles, I still won't believe what it says. 
Joined Apr 2012 Posts: 105 
July 29, 2012 6:27 AM
I thing you're just showing off your math skills ;) MFP always way over estimates my calories burned so I just go by what my garmin says since I have to put in my sex, age, and weight. When I run on the treadmill I will usually just enter what my last outdoor run of the same distance was from my watch.
Edited by cwelch2677 On July 29, 2012 6:28 AM

Joined Nov 2011 Posts: 88 
July 29, 2012 6:35 AM
I can't drive me crazy with formulas and I believe in "make it as easier as possible", anyway
 modern treadmills in gym let you set details before your training according to your weight  otherwise use a HRM  NO HRM, NO MODERN TREADMILL (LIKE ME..)? I rely on this website, it calculates according to weight! http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calories_burned_list.asp Good post anyway to raise awareness about the importance of our weight to estimate kcals burned. Ignoring this simple fact, lot of people eat back more than their work out kcals! So MFP: burned kcals are mostly overestimated. I notice it when my friends upload their work outs and they seem huge compared with mine! 
Joined Feb 2011 Posts: 201 
July 29, 2012 6:38 AM
There are MANY calculators online  why would I want to sit and do all that math? Here's a few examples:
The first one is from Shapesense.com and it calculates using the V02max (known or unknown): http://www.shapesense.com/fitnessexercise/calculators/heartratebasedcalorieburncalculator.aspx http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm http://www.easycalculation.com/health/heartratecalorieburn.php I would love to have an HRM, but it's not in the budget. So, I rely on the machine I'm using, the calculators online and occasionally will look up numbers here on MFP (which don't always seem so accurate). 
Joined Mar 2009 Posts: 5,369 
July 29, 2012 8:04 AM
QUOTE: This equation takes in account a person's weight and the speed they are going. Heart rate monitors and treadmill counters I have found to be extremely inaccurate. Over estimating my calories at times by 300 calories. Most commercial treadmills use the same equation. It is very good for walkinglikely more accurate than an HRM, as long as you don't hold on to the handrails. However, it might lose some accuracy when running. There are studies that suggest that, at speeds greater than 6 mph, it can overestimate calories burned on a TM by 15%20%. Overall, however, it's still the most accurate estimate of treadmill calories. 
Joined Jun 2011 Posts: 219 
July 29, 2012 8:07 AM
I have to agree with the motive of "inbox me" so I can sell you some Beachbody products. Lately I have seen a bunch of those type "friend me so you can listen to my ideas" type things, and invariably if I look at their profiles, they are company reps.

Joined Mar 2009 Posts: 5,369 
July 29, 2012 8:09 AM
QUOTE: QUOTE: This equation takes in account a person's weight and the speed they are going. Heart rate monitors and treadmill counters I have found to be extremely inaccurate. Over estimating my calories at times by 300 calories. But a short person and a tall person can have the same speed but different exertion rates since one person can take bigger steps. My heart rate monitor takes my weight into consideration and I have the option to buy the footpod accessory but I don't bother. Biomechanically, it doesn't make that much difference. Everything balances out so that taller or shorter people will expend equal amounts of energy, if speed and weight are the same. 
Joined May 2012 Posts: 125 
July 29, 2012 9:28 AM
how can the general rule be "100 cals pr mile ran/walked"? i burn about 130 pr kilometre i walk

Joined Jan 2012 Posts: 1,078 
July 29, 2012 9:30 AM
QUOTE: Orrrr you can buy a heart rate monitor :) Haha. I got mine a few weeks ago and worship it. That's too much math for me O_o /\/\/\ THIS!!! /\/\/\ Seriously, well worth the $50100 if you're serious about your fitness. 
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