FitnessJournal  
welcome take a tour prices join testimonials FAQs discussions corporate wellness contact us
Discussions > Gear > Heart Rate Monitors

    Topic: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Alan
NJ
Member Since:
08/24/2005

Total Posts: 8
4.5 Years Ago

I use a polar heart rate monitor. I programmed the watch with my logistics. I find that my watch says that I have burned a large amount of calories, for example in 60 minutes of cardio I could burn 800-900 kcals. The machines (treadmill, cycle, stairclimber) readings of kcal's burned is much less 1/2 to 1/3 of what the watch says. Anybody have any ideas on which reading is accurate!

Thanks Alan

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Chris
CA
Member Since:
01/19/2004

Total Posts: 788
4.5 Years Ago

Your polar HR monitor is going to have a better reporting of your calories based on your heart rate and data. Remember that gym equipment does not have the ability to make measurements based on your age, sex, height, heart rate, etc. While both the polar and the gym equipment are providing calorie values, they are BOTH estimates. I would always take the data from a heart rate monitor over a generic calculation from gym equipment.

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Alan
NJ
Member Since:
08/24/2005

Total Posts: 8
4.5 Years Ago

Thanks Chris

By the way hell of a job on this site!

Alan

     Re: Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Nicole
MN
Member Since:
12/27/2005

Total Posts: 2
4.0 Years Ago

Hi guys,

I am observing the complete opposite: 45min on the LifeFitness Elliptical tells me I burned 520 kcal (I entered my weight but not the age), but the Polar F11 indicates that I burned just 354.

I understand that both methods will give only estimates, but if there is such a huge difference that's very disappointing and one may flip a coin instead.

If I find that I made a mistake in programming it I will let you know. But taken together I think HRM (w/o kcal burned) is really good.

Greetings from snowy Minnesota

Nicole

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
TheSwordsman
IL
Member Since:
08/20/2005

Total Posts: 218
4.0 Years Ago

Hi Nicole. I've been using my Polar F11 for ten months now, and I love it. I've got something else for you to consider.

If I work out at say 138 beats per minute for 45 minutes, the monitor will give me an amount for calories burned without regard to the type of exercise that I do.

But when I enter calories burned figures at nutridiary or a hundred other sites, it shows that when I'm on the stationary bike I burn way more calories than I do walking 3 MPH on the treadmill, even though my heart rate is roughly the same. I'm a very big guy right now, and the difference in a 45 minute workout can amount to several hundred calories.

I never bother to enter my weight on the bike, but the Lifestep treadmill always gives me a lower calorie count than the F11.

Sorry I gave you another question instead of an answer. Take care. John

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Nicole
MN
Member Since:
12/27/2005

Total Posts: 2
4.0 Years Ago

Hi,

I try to figure this out now. I have a family member who teaches PE at the U in Germany. He should know :-).

It's probably multifactorial - what you are doing (bike, treadmill, Squash), and how much you weigh, even male and female will tip it, let alone age and resting HR.

Best wishes - and it's snowing again....

Nicole

     Re: Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Terry
LA
Member Since:
11/22/2004

Total Posts: 168
4.0 Years Ago

Nicole,

There are a lot of factors, and age and weight are certainly part of the equation, but so is your fitness level. If you are an athlete then most gym equipment doesn't take that into account. I got really frustrated earlier in the year with my workouts and amount of calories my HRM said I burned. I got one that took into account VO2Max and that dramtically changed my readings on my HRM. But yeah- At 5'2 most guys burn way more calories than I ever will.

Terry

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
TheSwordsman
IL
Member Since:
08/20/2005

Total Posts: 218
4.0 Years Ago

Nicole, Terry raised a good point. The F11 does have a feature that computes your VO2 Max as well. If you use the monitor to design the Keeps U Fit program for you, it takes the VO2 Max reading into consideration as well. Cheers. John

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Janet D.
ON
Member Since:
01/10/2006

Total Posts: 384
4.0 Years Ago

I use a Polar s610i in love it. It also calculates VO2 max which I think, along with personal info, is far more accurate. I can't explain why machines show less than the watch might. However, I have read that some equipment manufacturers artificially inflate their calories burned readings to encourage people to use their equipment over others. In any event, I would always rely on the heart rate monitor data over a gym machine.

     Re: Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Antonia
NY
Member Since:
07/30/2005

Total Posts: 400
4.0 Years Ago

Janet, TJ here, if you don't mind me asking what is the price of the monitor you purchased, I am thinking about getting one. Thanks, tj

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Janet D.
ON
Member Since:
01/10/2006

Total Posts: 384
4.0 Years Ago

Uhhh. I'm kinda embarrassed to tell you. See, when I was at 235 pounds, the doc told me that I couldn't exercise without using a hr monitor. So I bought a basic Polar model. Then, it went to hr monitor heaven about 2 months back. Being about 90 pounds lighter now (hovering around 145) and much more active ... ballroom dancing, martial arts, weight training, cardio classes, yoga, etc ... I dove into the deep end and bought one of the upper-end models. It cost about $390 Canadian (including taxes) plus I paid an additional $70 for the infrared cable to upload the data to my pc. I have to admit, it's a luxury, but it was a reward for all of my hard work to get where I am now, as well as an inspiration to keep working out and making healthy food choices. Sorry for the long song and dance here, but I had to put this in perspective. For me, it was worth every single penny. Hope that helps.

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Janet D.
ON
Member Since:
01/10/2006

Total Posts: 384
4.0 Years Ago

I think one of the most exciting things for me was when I tested my VO2 max and got a reading of 53. Looked it up in the Polar booklet and it said that I was in the "elite" category. Honestly, I redid the test about 10 times over as many days before I believed it. Now I know what my "real" hr maximum is so can accurately calculate my heart rate zones for training. I'm also reading heart rate zone training books and learning more every day. The only thing I'm disappointed about is that I can't really, practically speaking, wear it for my martial arts classes :-(. It'd be beaten to a pulp in about 30 seconds. Since you are a black belt, TJ (I'm pretty sure, right?), you'd understand that.

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Janet D.
ON
Member Since:
01/10/2006

Total Posts: 384
4.0 Years Ago

Sorry TJ. It's Tammie who's the black belt. I'm still getting to know everyone on this board.

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Chansonette
CA
Member Since:
01/05/2006

Total Posts: 315
3.9 Years Ago

Dumb question -- but what is V02 max? and why does it matter?

Chansonette

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
lillypadrose
MO
Member Since:
08/10/2006

Total Posts: 129
1.9 Years Ago

I just started using a HR monitor: Garmin 301. I was curious why my calories burned are so much higher than what FJ enters for me. Being overly obsessive about making sure it is right, I am curious if everyone still agrees that the HR monitor would be most accurate. On a 2 mile walk today, the difference was 200 calories. It was a hard uphill climb and my HR was pretty high for quite a bit of it, but it seems like a big difference between the 2.

     Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Beverly
MO
Member Since:
05/31/2005

Total Posts: 1310
1.9 Years Ago

Hi Terry! I'd still go with the hrm, like Chris stated earlier. It, by far, has more info about you (like activity level, weight, age, and actual heart rate to name a few). You've gotta let me know how you like your 301 please! I keep toying with getting one but then...I don't know. Glad to see you back m'dear! Beverly

     Re: Re: Accuracy on kcal's burned
Melyssa
QC
Member Since:
05/07/2008

Total Posts: 1
1.8 Years Ago

$70 for the data cable. Honey, you got ripped off. I ordered mine from a website called www.dealextreme.com and it cost me under $5 CANADIAN!!!!!

Just thought I would let you know.... :-)

join fitness journal

corporate wellness

quicktime tour

contact us privacy statement terms of service sitemap recent press   © 2010 FitnessJournal, all rights reserved.
FitnessJournal and the FitnessJournal logo are among the trademarks or registered trademarks owned or licensed to FitnessJournal.
All other brand and product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or service of, their respective owners.