# Does this calorie burn seem high?

Posts: 863 Member
I wear a Polar FT4 that I've had for a while (with chest strap). I've been doing 50-60 minutes at 3.5-3.9 miles per hour on the treadmill. My height and weight are programmed into the Polar, 5'6 and 211. I'm getting 500 plus calorie burns. Does this seem possible? I don't eat at least an hour before going to make sure digestion doesn't spike my heart rate. Thanks.

## Replies

• Posts: 770 Member
. I have the exact same HRM, I would have to be on a 10-15 incline at that speed to post that kind of burn. I am 50lbs lighter tho so maybe?... That's consistantly burning apprx. 10cals per min
• Posts: 19,811 Member
Fast walk or slow run? Makes quite a difference to your calorie burn.....

Are your HRM numbers similar to these formulae?

Net Running calories Spent = (Body weight in pounds) x (0.63) x (Distance in miles)
Net Walking calories Spent = (Body weight in pounds) x (0.30) x (Distance in miles)
• Posts: 1,048 Member
edited February 2016
According to Scooby's workshop, you'd burn between 385-462 calories for 50-60 minutes from the exercise itself. I had to take a stab at your age, but that doesn't affect the numbers much.

If you count the calories burned by the exercise + how much you burned just existing during that time, it's 444-533.

So, that's two sources that confirm fairly high burns. Of course, any incline you add would also create additional burn.

Source: http://scoobysworkshop.com/calories-burned/#results
• Posts: 863 Member
I did fail to mention I keep it at a 1 to 1.5 incline. It is always fast walk, not running yet. Thanks! I generally take 35 cals off whatever it tells me.
• Posts: 19,811 Member
edited February 2016
3.5 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 222 cals
3.9 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 247 cals

Add a bit for incline, take a lot off if you are holding on to the rails.

Shows what a poor choice a HRM is for walking calorie estimates.
• Posts: 863 Member
Steady state cardio is what an HRM is for. No rail holding, arms are kept above waist. Conflicting responses here
• Posts: 1,181 Member
I wear a Polar FT4 that I've had for a while (with chest strap). I've been doing 50-60 minutes at 3.5-3.9 miles per hour on the treadmill. My height and weight are programmed into the Polar, 5'6 and 211. I'm getting 500 plus calorie burns. Does this seem possible? I don't eat at least an hour before going to make sure digestion doesn't spike my heart rate. Thanks.
sijomial wrote: »
3.5 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 222 cals
3.9 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 247 cals

Add a bit for incline, take a lot off if you are holding on to the rails.

Shows what a poor choice a HRM is for walking calorie estimates.

How do we know that the formula is accurate?

• Posts: 1,048 Member
Scooby's is a reputable site, but it still has its flaws. Both sijomial's calculation and Scooby show a slightly lower burn, so regardless, I'd probably only eat back a fraction of those calories (just in case).
• Posts: 15,488 Member
I wear a Polar FT4 that I've had for a while (with chest strap). I've been doing 50-60 minutes at 3.5-3.9 miles per hour on the treadmill. My height and weight are programmed into the Polar, 5'6 and 211. I'm getting 500 plus calorie burns. Does this seem possible? I don't eat at least an hour before going to make sure digestion doesn't spike my heart rate. Thanks.
sijomial wrote: »
3.5 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 222 cals
3.9 miles x 211 lbs x 0.3 = 247 cals

Add a bit for incline, take a lot off if you are holding on to the rails.

Shows what a poor choice a HRM is for walking calorie estimates.

How do we know that the formula is accurate?

Based on MET calculations. They are right.
• Posts: 19,811 Member
Steady state cardio is what an HRM is for. No rail holding, arms are kept above waist. Conflicting responses here

A very basic HRM such as a FT4 may give a calorie reasonable estimate if you happen to be average fitness, have average exercise heart rate AND exercise at a suitable intensity - which regular speed walking isn't.

Walking is simple physics. Distance x mass x efficiency rating (which doesn't vary much at all for walking between individuals).
Imagine the person next to you on another treadmill weighed the same but was super fit and a steady walk hardly raised their HR. They would still burn the same calories for the same distance but would do it with far fewer heartbeats.
• Posts: 8,281 Member
There are two factors that will affect calorie burn accuracy with an FT4 (that I know of). One is exercise heart rate response. HRM calorie burns are sensitive to what percentage of max effort they think you are working at. They use an age-based predication formula to estimate max HR. However, a fairly large number of people have an actual max HR that is 20-30 beats/min higher than their age-predicted max HR. That means their exercise HR is higher than "average" as well. (That is not anything wrong--it just means that their 70% max heart rate might be 160 for example, when the predicted number is 140).
The HRM interprets that higher number to mean you are working at a much higher intensity level that you are actually doing, and gives back an inflated figure.

The other factor is your current aerobic fitness level. I have no idea how an FT4 keeps track of that.

So you are going to see more variability and likely less accuracy with an FT4.

Actually, if you are on a commercial treadmill and can enter your weight, the treadmill number will likely be as accurate as any other method. In any case, at your current weight and the workload you mentioned, your gross calorie burn will be about 6 calories per minute.

• Posts: 7,866 Member
Steady state cardio is what an HRM is for. No rail holding, arms are kept above waist. Conflicting responses here