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TOPIC: Treadmill calorie count

 
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December 11, 2012 2:02 AM
I just got a heartrate monitor watch yesterday and tested it for the first time today. ( I just did 10minutes of HIIT on the treadmill as a test.) The treadmill said I had burnt 115 cals..watch only 89!! I'm guessing the watch is way more accurate? This is such a bummer because now I'm scared that I've been eating too many calories for what I've been burning off (Thinking I am burning way more than I am)..also I used it on my bodyattack class. I've read that the minium you'll burn is 300 in a bodyattack class and most people burn from 400-600..my watch reado nly 317!! I pushed SO hard today (not to sound arrogant but I definitely feel I was pushing harder than most people in the class) I built up such a sweat and was so tired by the end... my weight is 126pounds and I' 5ft5 in case thats relevent... so yeah...thought I'd love the watch but so far its my enemy!! haha
December 11, 2012 2:24 AM
I find it hard to trust anything that tells you how many calories you've burned because they all say different things, especially exercise equipment, but it looks to me that the watch is your best bet. The people that burn 400-600 calories probably have a lot of extra fat to burn so that's why they burn all those calories and your a very decent weight so 317 calories does sound about right to me.

Just keep doing what your doing, your obviously doing something right! Good luck :)
December 11, 2012 2:24 AM
you are tiney the lighter you are the harder you have to work to burn calories
Im 197 at 5 foot 1 I would burn on the high end
hmmm maybe I should get one of those happy
  19659471
December 11, 2012 2:26 AM
The count on the machines is going to be based on an 'average' person and does not distinguish between heights / weights / gender / etc. You have a fairly low weight so it is likely your burns will be a bit lower than the 'average' person. Your HRM will likely be more accurate because (depending on the model) it will be set up according to your personal stats so calorie burn estimation should be truer to you.
December 11, 2012 2:46 AM
HRMs tend to be more accurate than the machines, though I've heard that the watch models are less accurate than the chest straps.
  21619196
December 11, 2012 2:52 AM
I have a polar FT40 with the chest strap. I am always 100-150 burned calories under what my elliptical says. I always go with the smallest number just to be safe! I actually really love it because I feel like now I know exactly what i'm burning and not just guessing all the time.
December 11, 2012 2:54 AM
I have one with a chest strap and definitely burn less on there than what the machines say. I trust the HRM more as it is set up to my gender, age weight etc. bigsmile A bummer, but you'd rather know than not, right?
December 11, 2012 4:57 AM
For your size 89 calories in 10 minutes sounds about right. I burn approx 175 calories when I do 20 minutes of HIIT (I'm 111 pounds).

If you're super concerned about the calories burned, focus more on the diet, which is much easier to figure a calorie deficit.
December 11, 2012 5:30 AM
Go with your HRM. Machines are always set high especially if you are a smaller person and would you do a class if they didn't tell you that you'd have a super burn? The HRM knows what you really did.

This is the reason that you shouldn't eat back all your exercise calories. It's such a guessing game on what you've really burned that eating them all back is often eating more than you need.
December 11, 2012 6:04 AM
To be on the safe side, when I enter it into MFP, I take out 15 minutes. I figure I work out for an hour, but probably don't go hard all 60 minutes. So, I take 15 minutes out of my tracking
  14269247
December 11, 2012 7:51 AM
You can't draw any conclusions from such a limited and distorted "comparison test". Neither the treadmill nor the HRM actually measure calories. They are programmed with formulas that assume certain conditions are present in order for the numbers to be even remotely accurate.

Doing a short burst of HIIT is not going to give you much meaningful information--either about the treadmill or the HRM. Energy-prediction equations all assume the user is performing aerobic exercise at steady-state.

Treadmills estimate calories differently than HRMs, so it is unlikely you will have complete agreement. Treadmills measure your actual workload and use running or walking-specific equations to estimate calorie expenditure. Those equations have been well-validated and are reasonably accurate. If actual workload is measured, and the activity uses a valid prediction equation, then body weight is the only other factor needed to estimate calorie expenditure with reasonable accuracy.

HRMs do NOT measure anything directly except heart rate. The calorie estimates are based are regression equations. Therefore, they need to include other factors such as age, height, gender, etc. The fact that an HRM uses those different factors DOES NOT mean it is more "accurate". It just means that the methodology is so indirect that it requires more information to approach even a basic level of accuracy.

In order to get the most accurate number out of any HRM, you have to have accurate set up information. At the very least, this means knowing your actual HR max and some idea of max fitness level (or an accurate activity profile).

You also have to have an HRM that has the most accurate algorithms. Since the energy-prediction equations for walking and running are simple and in the public domain, any commercial treadmill will likely use the same ones. However HRM algorithms are closely-guarded proprietary formulas, so, even if all the setup data IS accurate, your HRM is only as accurate as the scientific commitment of the manufacturer and that can range from very good to nonexistent. HRM manufacturers know that calorie count is an extremely important feature, so they will include it no matter what. And since there is absolutely no way for the average person to evaluate the accuracy of those calorie counts, there is no incentive for a low-level brand to invest any time or $$ into improving the accuracy of the device.

If you really want to compare the two, do some steady-state workouts--15 to 20 min running at a constant speed, or 15-20 minutes walking at a variety of speed/incline combinations (do not hold on to the handrails). That will give you a better idea.

But even if the numbers are way off, don't assume that the HRM is more accurate that the treadmill. If there is a big difference, it is much more likely that your HRM set up is off, or that you have a lower-quality device, than it is that the treadmill is way off.
December 11, 2012 7:56 AM
QUOTE:

You can't draw any conclusions from such a limited and distorted "comparison test". Neither the treadmill nor the HRM actually measure calories. They are programmed with formulas that assume certain conditions are present in order for the numbers to be even remotely accurate.


^^^^This, a lot of people feel that because they've spent money on a device that the device is automatically accurate...that is not always the case. But the main thing is to ensure your diet is in a deficit to continue losing weight.
  4953781
December 11, 2012 7:58 AM
Yes, beware of machines counting what you burn...they Lie!!!! LOL
Mine tells me 350 when my bodybugg says 200...I ignore the machines
December 11, 2012 7:59 AM
QUOTE:

HRMs tend to be more accurate than the machines, though I've heard that the watch models are less accurate than the chest straps.
this! If your hrm does not have a chest strap, it doesn't update your heart rate constantly, therefore, will not record an accurate burn. Also, a treadmill that doesn't calculate your weight, age, heart rate, etc. is probably based on an average sized person. We all know most of us are not average! A 300lb person will burn a LOT more than a tiny person like yourself.
Edited by TrailRunner61 On December 11, 2012 8:01 AM
  15245486
December 11, 2012 8:11 AM
Treadmills and elipiticals tend to, on average, overestimate calories burned by up to 40%, they're also usually calibrated for men.
December 11, 2012 8:25 AM
QUOTE:

Treadmills and elipiticals tend to, on average, overestimate calories burned by up to 40%, they're also usually calibrated for men.



I have direct experience with how this information is determined in commercial fitness machines, and you couldn't be more wrong.
December 11, 2012 8:44 AM
Yeah I have a polar and its ALWAYS less than the machine, and I have the chest strap
Edited by ericarae33 On December 11, 2012 8:45 AM

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