FS exercise calculator vs. what machine tells me?

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Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 54

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 10:51
Yesterday I "ran" 3.5 miles on a LifeFitness elliptical machine, with an average pace of about a 9 minute mile, so I finished in about 32 mins. I entered my weight and age into the machine, and at the end it told me I had burned (only) 211 calories. FS says running at this pace for that long burns 407 calories-- almost double. If I categorize it as exercise machine (moderate), it's like 325 calories. So which is right?? I don't have a heart rate monitor. Thanks.

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 10:54
If you really want to be accurate, use the machine's calculation in the "other" catagory. Otherwise, use walking (moderate) 3 miles per hour. That should be close
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).

Joined: Feb 11
Posts: 793

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 11:26
I always use the machine's calculation under the "other" category.
Start weight 245# 1st goal: 220#-met 04/07/11 2nd goal: 210#-met 05/21/2011
Start over: 221# 11/08/11 Start over: 233.2# 10/2012 Start over goal met: 220# 11/14/2012
Mini goal 212's by Dec -met 12/31/2012 Mini goal: 207's end of Jan- met 01/31/2013 Mini goal: 197's by end of Feb - met 02/27/2013
re-start grrr Mini goal: 197's by 09/19/2013
I have to restart again as I slipped. I am leaving the above so I can keep track. It happens and I have to keep learning. restart at 229 on 07/22/14. 213.4 on 09/09/2014

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 27

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 11:53
using an elliptical is nothing like running as far as calories burned. i also enter as "other" so that I can be more specific.

Joined: Dec 10
Posts: 60

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 11:58
If I can enter my age and weight into a machine then I will use the "other" category and enter exactly what the machine said. If the machine doesn't allow me enter age/weight then I use the "exercise machine" option. But katielynn is right, running and using an elliptical are very different exercises.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 12:42
I'd probably enter the amount the machine told me, although that seems really low for 30 mins on the elliptical. Do you have any incline or resistance? I find that when I have a moderate amount of both, the number on the machine tends to be pretty close to what FS would estimate for that exercise. You might also want to see what FS tells you for light intensity on an exercise machine.

And yes, running for real is significantly different.

As a general question, do we think that the value the machine reads is fairly accurate, as long as you enter age and weight? I assume it is(since the machine clearly knows exactly what you did! but I sometimes wonder.
- Natalie

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 378

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 12:56
One assumption I made was that the elliptical monitors heart rate. That is going to be your most accurate measure: Height, weight and heart rate.
If it doesn't, then you might be able to use the higher burn rate. On a low inclination and resisitance, 3 - 4 miles an hour won't get your heart rate up as much as the higher settings will and I believe that this is the basis for the moderate levels that FatSecret uses.
God made man before women because you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece (stolen from Coach's journal).

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 54

Posted: 19 Apr 2011, 16:23
Thanks everyone-- i've been using FS for a year and a half and didn't even know about the "other" option! i will use that from now on. Pretty depressing that i'm burning so few calories on that machine-- my heartrate is at 163 average which is about as high as i, personally, like to go (over-exertion can trigger a migraine for me). i really feel like i'm working hard, but burning so little. bah...

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