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Old 04-01-2011, 01:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HRM says vs. Machine says

Before I begin -- let me say that I know that the "calorie" total on gym machines aren't usually accurate. I'm just shocked at the discrepancy, and I'm wondering if it's not me doing something wrong.

So today was one of my "hard cardio" workout days. I typically do 60 minutes HIIT on the elliptical machine; today was no exception. Normally after 60 minutes HIIT the machine says I burn something like 650 cals, +/- 5%

Let me say also that I normally push my heart rate to 170-172ish during the hard intervals of the HIIT; I do 1 minute high-intensity (heart rate 172ish), one minute low-intensity (heart rate 156-ish). I was a bit annoyed at my HRM because it believes that for my age and height (see signature) that 170 is WAY TOO HIGH and OUT OF THE ZONE (actually, it thinks 156 is "out of the zone" too, and it was beeping at me like every 20 seconds, though I ignored it), but I feel fine pushing that high with my heart rate. When I hit 180, I usually get a little woozy, so I don't push it there.

I wore the HRM both to and from my 5-minute walk to the gym, so I was expecting maybe another 50 cals or so on my total, to make it maybe 700-ish when I got home.

Imagine my surprise when I looked down at my wrist and the HRM proclaimed that I had burned 1,201 calories in one hour and twenty minutes (ten minutes of stretching is in there somewhere).



Personally, I would LOVE to believe that I blast through 1200 cals on my cardio days (including my little walks), but a very large part of me is skeptical. Is the machine THAT far off? Or am I just THAT much of a beast? Or perhaps my HRM is set wrong, though I set it myself not three days ago and entered my weight and height as accurately as I could.

I'm just wondering if anyone else has had such vastly different things said by machines vs. HRM, or if anyone can tell me whether or not, given my type of cardio, 1200 cals seems at all feasible? I'm happy to give more details. I do consider my workout to be very hard - I'm breathing hard through it, my face is lobster-esque when I'm done, and my whole body is nice and sore (though not painful) and I keep that heart rate up. Again, though, it's not like I'm making myself sick -- just pushing.

Thanks very much!

~Terri
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Female, 31 years old, 5'4 1/2" tall
Starting weight 1/4/11 = 215.2 lbs.
Weight 10/22/14 = 175.0 (net: -40.2)
Last mini-goal: 175 lbs. REACHED 10/22/14 --REWARD: New wallet
Current min-goal: 170 lbs.
Next large goal: 165 lbs. by 12/25/2014
Lowest weight: 156.7 lbs.
150.2 lbs. <--- Official "Healthy BMI" weight
Estimated final goal: 130-140 lbs.
"You don't have to change your life today. You only need to change your day today."
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Terri,

does the machine measure your HR? If so is it accurate with your HRM? I get a high HR and probably burn more than most people, that may be accurate. BTW I've read that max HR should be 220-age. I'm 39 so my max HR should be 181bpm (220-39). I get it to 180+ easily and have registered it as high at 236bpm.

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Old 04-01-2011, 03:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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First mine is spot on for my target rate. Next there is other equations out there. If you think yours is wrong, check one using resting heart rate [check heart rate FIRST in morning to get that before you move from the bed to get resting]

However the numbers you have? That's hitting my HRM for HIIT 25 minutes at 80% to 89% of my HR with HI at 90% to 99%. Followed by 35 to 90 minutes of Weights, Heavy [80 pound rows/110 lb ab crunches] with less than a minute rest between sets and no more than 2 minutes between exercises to keep HR at around 85%. No HI during this time. Monday it was 1266.

I can hit 1500 to 1600 if I do the full workout HIIT 25 minute and then weights [85%] for a total of 90 minutes. HOWEVER, My max by the 220 - age number is 168, I am fat over 300 but have lost 20 lbs so far since Jan, and am in condition for WEIGHTS only. I was lifting close to these numbers before I added in the HR and the HIIT. I started in 2009 lifting so I had some conditioning. I do 6 Intervals per HIIT.

So I don't know if that helps. I do know for just walking when I am not at race speed levels? The HRM I have gets screwy and tells me I have burned beau coup calories that I really wish I had.
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Typically the machine is using an average for an average person and well I dont know what average is so I would go by your HRM it will be more accurate for the most part. With that said I have used mostly polar with my VO2 max in it so its very spot on other HRM might not be as right and there is always room for slight error but not that much so still go with your HRM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01gt4.6 View Post
Terri,

does the machine measure your HR? If so is it accurate with your HRM? I get a high HR and probably burn more than most people, that may be accurate. BTW I've read that max HR should be 220-age. I'm 39 so my max HR should be 181bpm (220-39). I get it to 180+ easily and have registered it as high at 236bpm.
Hi Mike,

The machine does register heart rate on the grips, so I'm touching them pretty constantly. It's one of the reasons I use that machine.

I did check how they compared a few times during my workout- the HRM was consistently about 1-2 BPM higher than the machine, but not too far off.

My max heart rate, by that math, should be 193-ish. I have clinically low blood pressure (I usually read at 85/55 or 85/60, it runs in the family), and it doesn't surprise me that I get woozy before I hit that max rate. I have pushed it above 180 before but I usually regret it - there's like immediate consequences. So, that means my HIIT hi-intensity intervals are about 90% of max, while the low-intensity are about 80%

I'm just surprised at the huge discrepancy, really. I may try re-setting the thing next time I work out and double-checking the stats I've entered. I'm also wondering if it has something to do with being OUT OF THE ZONE or what have you, though I really have no idea.

pjh -- That's a good idea, I'll get my resting tomorrow morning (already out of bed this morning ) and it's good to know you can hit similar numbers in about an hour with your HRM, though your workout sounds more intense than mine! I'm about 194 right now in weight -- and I don't know if my low blood pressure means anything. I will ask my doctor next time I see him.
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Terri
Female, 31 years old, 5'4 1/2" tall
Starting weight 1/4/11 = 215.2 lbs.
Weight 10/22/14 = 175.0 (net: -40.2)
Last mini-goal: 175 lbs. REACHED 10/22/14 --REWARD: New wallet
Current min-goal: 170 lbs.
Next large goal: 165 lbs. by 12/25/2014
Lowest weight: 156.7 lbs.
150.2 lbs. <--- Official "Healthy BMI" weight
Estimated final goal: 130-140 lbs.
"You don't have to change your life today. You only need to change your day today."
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