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Thread: Calories per hour?

  1. #1

    Default Calories per hour?

    My fitness center just got some AC performance bikes. We worked with the supplier to calibrate the monitors, & I contend that they are not set up right. I’m basing this on the fact that I burned 1265 calories in an hour. I work *hard* for the entire hour, and I finish spent, but I don’t think it is possible for a 50 year-old who is ‘somewhat-above-average-fitness-level’ to burn that many calories.
    Has anyone seen similar calorie usage levels that appear to be accurate?

  2. #2

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    That sounds crazy. I'm curious what kind of watts the monitor was reading.

  3. #3
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    If that value is true, you averaged about 350 watts for the hour you worked. And if that is true, you are missing out on a chance to be a top level age grouper.

  4. #4

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    Well, I think it is crazy too, & I'd like to be able to give some examples of what is more reasonable. On flat tempo drills, the wattage readout was around 375 - I'm not sure what that means yet. I suggested tht we get some training, but haven't heard anything back yet. I've always heard that the strongest riders *might* knock out up to 1000 calories in an hour. While I'd like to think I was in that category...

  5. Default

    I am not an expert in the power (wattage) reading on those bikes. As for calories, I find very little equipment gives an accurate reading of what you burn. Most seem very high.

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cycle*punk View Post
    Well, I think it is crazy too, & I'd like to be able to give some examples of what is more reasonable. On flat tempo drills, the wattage readout was around 375 - I'm not sure what that means yet. I suggested tht we get some training, but haven't heard anything back yet. I've always heard that the strongest riders *might* knock out up to 1000 calories in an hour. While I'd like to think I was in that category...
    Cyclepunk, 375 wattage is pretty good number but lot depends on your fitness level, weight, muscle mass etc... I always tell my riders if you are pushing the power (wattage number) you will naturally burn more calories and not to be so fixed on what the machine tells you on a bike or treadmill.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Well, one way to test the veracity of this reading......scarf down 1265 calories of whatever (that's a fair bit easier to calculate than the *calorie burn* on a piece of exercise equipment) Do it consistently to match the calorie readout on the bike and see whether your weight stays the same. FWIW.....one reason I tell my class members to avoid taking notice of anything with a *calorie burn* attached to it.

    Vivienne

  8. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cycle*punk View Post
    Well, I think it is crazy too, & I'd like to be able to give some examples of what is more reasonable. On flat tempo drills, the wattage readout was around 375 - I'm not sure what that means yet. I suggested tht we get some training, but haven't heard anything back yet. I've always heard that the strongest riders *might* knock out up to 1000 calories in an hour. While I'd like to think I was in that category...
    I'm not sure exactly what "flat tempo drill" means to you - i.e., how long an effort, how hard, etc., so it's hard to base any judgement off of a 375 watt reading for that particular effort.

    This blog post might help. I don't know your size, background, fitness, etc... Compare your watts/lb to the chart in this post, and see if the numbers you're getting on the spin bike makes sense in that context. Keep in mind that the Schwinn bikes are ESTIMATING power output. I don't know the specifics of how the power estimate is made - maybe someone who knows the Shwinn bikes better than me can comment on that... As for estimating calories burned, I am assuming the bike is taking that estimated power, then estimating calories burned based on that. So that's two places where error can (and likely does) creep into the total calorie estimate. It also, of course, does not take into account individual differences in metabolism, etc... I would take that number with a very large grain of salt....
    Inner Drive Cycling|Fitness Studio
    Indoor Cycling|Functional Fitness|Multisport Coaching & Club
    www.innerdrivestudio.com

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cycle*punk View Post
    Well, I think it is crazy too, & I'd like to be able to give some examples of what is more reasonable. On flat tempo drills, the wattage readout was around 375 - I'm not sure what that means yet. I suggested tht we get some training, but haven't heard anything back yet. I've always heard that the strongest riders *might* knock out up to 1000 calories in an hour. While I'd like to think I was in that category...
    hmmm... thought I had replied to this post, but it seems to have vanished....

    I'm not sure exactly what your "flat tempo drill" consisted of (i.e., duration, your perceived level of effort, etc.), and I also have no idea of your size, level of fitness, etc., so it's hard to say whether 375 watts for the drill sounds reasonable for you or not...

    Take a look at this blog post, and see if you think the power you're producing on the indoor bike you're riding seems reasonable in the context provided there.

    As far as calorie burn estimates go... My assumption is that the Schwinn bikes are converting Watts to KCal to provide that calorie estimate. Here's another post about making that conversion. This calculation itself is a general estimate, as your personal cycling efficiency, metabolism, etc. is going to be different from anyone else's... But the big problem with the estimate is that the POWER number the Schwinn bike is using to make the calculation is itself based on an ESTIMATED power. Schwinn bikes do not measure power, but estimate power using some sort of algorithm based on cadence and resistance. If the estimated power is off, then your calorie number will be off too. So if your power doesn't seem realistic based on the first blog post above, then your calorie estimate won't be accurate (it probably isn't accurate anyway, but it may be closer if your power is near accurate).

    Hope that helps!
    Inner Drive Cycling|Fitness Studio
    Indoor Cycling|Functional Fitness|Multisport Coaching & Club
    www.innerdrivestudio.com

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vivienne View Post
    Well, one way to test the veracity of this reading......scarf down 1265 calories of whatever (that's a fair bit easier to calculate than the *calorie burn* on a piece of exercise equipment) Do it consistently to match the calorie readout on the bike and see whether your weight stays the same. FWIW.....one reason I tell my class members to avoid taking notice of anything with a *calorie burn* attached to it.

    Vivienne
    Over the past several years, I frequently use an "objective" measure of physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) to determine my nutrient requirements and then very closely monitor my weight. I've noticed that when I consume the number of calories estimated by a device directly measuring PAEE that I tend to lose weight, but when I subjectively measure PAEE and caloric intake I remain relatively weight stable.

    Objective PAEE measurement devices were created using a standard participant performing standardized tasks; ie. runners for pedometers, triathletes for accelerometers, cyclists for power meters. A characteristic pattern can be observed when examining athletes for each of these events; predominately male, sport specific athletes, young, educated, highly self motivated, ect. These subject characteristics produce bias when researchers develop algorithms for certain devices to convert digital acceleration signals of physical activity into energy expenditure.

    Most of the power meters were developed using professional cyclists whose characteristics include young males, ~173 cm tall, and weigh ~68kg. Predictive equations to estimate PAEE are typically developed using multi-variate linear regression analysis of BMI, fat mass, fat free mass and VCO2. However, the body composition and VCO2 of these participants is not representative of the population. Because the researchers attempt to account for this bias by creating linear regression models to estimate PAEE most power meters overestimate PAEE for larger, stronger people and underestimate PAEE for smaller, weaker people. This is the main reason why the best fit line models used by most objective PAEE devices do not perfectly correlate with inter-individual variation.
    Last edited by melboney; 06-19-2013 at 10:44 AM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Truth be told, I don't have a problem with folk glomming onto any metric that works for them.....for whatever their goals may be. I can't say I've noticed a resounding success rate with the calorie burn feature and weight loss. In fact, I've had folk get fatter on my watch because they believed their HRM and not me.

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