I often get asked how accurate the calorie count is on the machines at the gym. And I often have to give people an epic side eye like the FLOTUS does so well to this question because it really is a no brainer. They typically will give you a count way too high or way too low. Depends on the machine you use.
The cardio machines at the gym typically ask a few questions…. 1. Weight, 2. Age and 3. What program you want to do on the machine. Notice that it does not ask for your height at all. The problem with not having all the components is that it inaccurately calculates the number of calories you burn. For example as a 32 year old female who is around 205 lbs and 5’7, my calorie burn is going to be drastically different from a 22 year old male who is 175 lbs and 6’1. The math simply won’t add up correctly and you will get a false reading on the machines.
In the beginning of my journey I went solely on the machine count for calories since I didn’t own a heart rate monitor (HRM). As I hit plateau after plateau, I figured something was off. I had started to use the ARC trainer during my workouts and after some googling I found that those machines grossly exaggerate the number of calories that you burn. For 30 minutes on the Arc Trainer, the machine would say I burned about 450 calories! Woohoo right? WRONG. After getting my Polar HRM , I realized that I was only burning 320-340 calories in 30 minutes. HUGE difference. So what’s the problem? Well if you are going by the machine only, then think you are burning way more than you are, it will throw your caloric burn way off and can lead to to stalling in your journey. Which is exactly what happened to me.
My advice is save a little bit and buy you an HRM. From all the reviews I have read, Polar makes the most accurate of the ones out there. I purchased mine from Amazon for about $55 a few months ago. Solid and sound investment.
Now off to put mine to use…..Melissa Bender is calling my name 🙂