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  1. #1
    StevePJC's Avatar
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    Accuracy of Cardio Machines

    I'm just wondering if anyone knows the accuracy of the calorie counters on cardio machines. I've been back at it a month now, and do 45-60 minutes on the eliptical cross trainer and it constantly tells me I've burned anywhere from 600-850 calories a workout. I'm wondering if this is even close to accurate.

  2. #2
    Aboot's Avatar
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    They're not great. There are too many variables that are not considered when it is determining the number of calories you burn. Your bodyfat, amount of muscle, metabolism, etc. are not taken into account and these are all important factors.

    At best it is a VERY general estimate, but one that shouldn't be relied upon if looking for great accuracy.

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    You will have to use a metabolic equation to get a caloric expenditure~

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    I talked to one of the gym attendants today about this. This guy claims the machines are accurate within 10% of the correct body weight is entered in. So in my case if I was vain and entered 275 instead of my actual weight of 290 it would completely screw me on the count. I very much appreciate the answers here though. The weight has been flying off of me though so I'm burning enough. That's what's important.

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    Kärnfysikern is offline Retired: AR-Hall of Famer
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    I dont know about them. 15 minutes hardcore on a bike claims I burned 80kcal. If I do the same time on the stairmaster it claims I burned 250-300kcal. The stairmaster is more exhausting. But can there be a 200+ kcal burned difference betwen the 2

  6. #6
    Hypertrophy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StevePJC
    I talked to one of the gym attendants today about this. This guy claims the machines are accurate within 10% of the correct body weight is entered in. So in my case if I was vain and entered 275 instead of my actual weight of 290 it would completely screw me on the count. I very much appreciate the answers here though. The weight has been flying off of me though so I'm burning enough. That's what's important.
    Those are false claimes he is making. Here is proof: The machine doesn't know your height or aerobic capacity. Let's take a marathon runner who is 5'8" and weighs 165 lbs. Then we can take an average "Joe" who is the same height and weight, or lets go furhter and say he is only 5'5", because the machine doesn't know this. Basically, your trainer said (based on the machine readings) that these two individuals will burn the same amount of calories working at equal intensities (i.e, Walking @ 3 mph, 10% incline). Totally false, the average "Joe" is going to expend a significant higher amount of calories/energy because it is simply going to he harder for him and his heartrate will be alot higher also. Whereas the Marathon runner isn't going to burn very many calories and have a significantly lower submaximal heartrate due to increased mitochondria, capillary density, stroke volume, venous return, etc. . . . But, like you said, as long as you are meeting your goals, it doesn't matter. Just wanted to clear that up for your trainer~

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