Question about Run versus Zumba

kenyonhaff
kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
edited March 2017 in Fitness and Exercise
OK, I know the whole CICO... I understand that if you do a workout you burn a calculable amount of calories.

But I'm wondering... I've been doing Zumba a lot which burns for me about 500 calories for a 45 minute session. I started doing running a little (admittedly rather slowly) this weekend and the calculations came out to about 250 for about a 40 minute run. But I was a LOT more tired after running than the usual Zumba workout.

Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

Replies

  • fannyfrost
    fannyfrost Posts: 756 Member
    I can't speak to the calories, but I can tell you that different exercises that you are not used to doing can feel harder. My daughter was a dancer most of her life, We are talking dancing like 2 hours 5 days a week, some days more. No issue with tired, but if she had to run for school or did it on her own, it was hard. Your body gets used to certain exercises and can do them easier.

    I personally get energized after Zumba, but other things might drain me. It could be the music, the upbeat feel in the class, not sure. My friend, not so much, she gets energized from running and not into Zumba at all. Part of it could be also just what we like, I don't know.
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    Yeah but I rather enjoyed the run, so I don't think it's quite that. I really think the difference was I haven't run in a long time but I've done a lot of Zumba.

    But wouldn't more fatigue reflect more calories burned? That's the core here.
  • RuNaRoUnDaFiEld
    RuNaRoUnDaFiEld Posts: 5,864 Member
    That burn seems very low for the run. How did you calculate it?
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    That burn seems very low for the run. How did you calculate it?

    I used the Zombies, Run app cross-checked by my phone pedometer and applying some math calculations. I came up with a 5 mph rate. I did walk and run intervals. It's entirely possible there's some inaccuracy.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    I seriously doubt it. How did you come up with the numbers for both exercises?
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    But wouldn't more fatigue reflect more calories burned? That's the core here.

    This is a bit of a gray area. The short answer is not really. I can lift weights for a few minutes, isolate just one muscle group, and stop when part of my arm is painful with fatigue. Or, I could walk for an hour. The walk won't really take much out of me but will burn a lot more calories. The run might feel more fatiguing for a number of reasons, not least of which is the type of impact running creates.
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,298 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    Yeah but I rather enjoyed the run, so I don't think it's quite that. I really think the difference was I haven't run in a long time but I've done a lot of Zumba.

    But wouldn't more fatigue reflect more calories burned? That's the core here.

    This is a definite no. Perceived effort does not necessarily reflect the work done.
  • Ready2Rock206
    Ready2Rock206 Posts: 9,488 Member
    I would seriously question logging that high of calories for Zumba. The running seems reasonable.
  • RuNaRoUnDaFiEld
    RuNaRoUnDaFiEld Posts: 5,864 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    That burn seems very low for the run. How did you calculate it?

    I used the Zombies, Run app cross-checked by my phone pedometer and applying some math calculations. I came up with a 5 mph rate. I did walk and run intervals. It's entirely possible there's some inaccuracy.

    Then it's possibly close then. Your opening post sounded like you ran non stop for 40 minutes.
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    I seriously doubt it. How did you come up with the numbers for both exercises?
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    But wouldn't more fatigue reflect more calories burned? That's the core here.

    This is a bit of a gray area. The short answer is not really. I can lift weights for a few minutes, isolate just one muscle group, and stop when part of my arm is painful with fatigue. Or, I could walk for an hour. The walk won't really take much out of me but will burn a lot more calories. The run might feel more fatiguing for a number of reasons, not least of which is the type of impact running creates.

    OK, sure...Zumba doesn't use the exact same muscles as running. But aerobically they aren't all that different.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,970 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    I seriously doubt it. How did you come up with the numbers for both exercises?
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    But wouldn't more fatigue reflect more calories burned? That's the core here.

    This is a bit of a gray area. The short answer is not really. I can lift weights for a few minutes, isolate just one muscle group, and stop when part of my arm is painful with fatigue. Or, I could walk for an hour. The walk won't really take much out of me but will burn a lot more calories. The run might feel more fatiguing for a number of reasons, not least of which is the type of impact running creates.

    OK, sure...Zumba doesn't use the exact same muscles as running. But aerobically they aren't all that different.

    Do you lift your body weight up off the ground with every step you take in Zumba?

    Where does 666 calories per hour for Zumba come from?
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    I would seriously question logging that high of calories for Zumba. The running seems reasonable.

    I'm not entirely sure how accurate that Zumba calculation is either (and I'm not giving a precise number, just a rough estimate) ...my Wii and the MFP site are both quite different.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    OK, I know the whole CICO... I understand that if you do a workout you burn a calculable amount of calories.

    But I'm wondering... I've been doing Zumba a lot which burns for me about 500 calories for a 45 minute session. I started doing running a little (admittedly rather slowly) this weekend and the calculations came out to about 250 for about a 40 minute run. But I was a LOT more tired after running than the usual Zumba workout.

    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    There is no reliable, and accessible, way to measure calories expended in something like Zumba.

    Measuring calories expended running is extremely easy.

    Make of that what you will.
  • rpachigo
    rpachigo Posts: 96 Member
    Cannot measure Zumba calories. Impossible. Running has formulas we can all use: http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/4/4_1/94.shtml
    http://www.runnersworld.com/tools/calories-burned-calculator

    Plus the afterburn (make of this what you will) after a run:
    http://www.runnersworld.com/peak-performance/march-14-the-afterburn-exists-and-it-can-be-very-significant
  • kenyonhaff
    kenyonhaff Posts: 1,377 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    OK, I know the whole CICO... I understand that if you do a workout you burn a calculable amount of calories.

    But I'm wondering... I've been doing Zumba a lot which burns for me about 500 calories for a 45 minute session. I started doing running a little (admittedly rather slowly) this weekend and the calculations came out to about 250 for about a 40 minute run. But I was a LOT more tired after running than the usual Zumba workout.

    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    There is no reliable, and accessible, way to measure calories expended in something like Zumba.

    Measuring calories expended running is extremely easy.

    Make of that what you will.

    That explains a lot actually. But then how do I estimate for logging purposes?
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    kenyonhaff wrote: »
    OK, I know the whole CICO... I understand that if you do a workout you burn a calculable amount of calories.

    But I'm wondering... I've been doing Zumba a lot which burns for me about 500 calories for a 45 minute session. I started doing running a little (admittedly rather slowly) this weekend and the calculations came out to about 250 for about a 40 minute run. But I was a LOT more tired after running than the usual Zumba workout.

    Am I really burning that many more calories with Zumba than with the run?

    There is no reliable, and accessible, way to measure calories expended in something like Zumba.

    Measuring calories expended running is extremely easy.

    Make of that what you will.

    That explains a lot actually. But then how do I estimate for logging purposes?

    One of the problems with any group exercise class is that, while you may think you are doing a lot of activity, but it is not continuous; there are always starts and stops and ebbs and flows. That lowers the overall average burn. For something like Zumba, you can probably get a decent estimate by multiplying your body wt in kilograms times 6. That would give you calories per hour. Divide that number by 60 for cals per minute and multiply cals/min by number of minutes exercised.
  • BeeerRunner
    BeeerRunner Posts: 728 Member
    When I was overweight, I had very high calorie burns for zumba. Now that I'm 40 lbs lighter...not so much. According to my HRM, I burned 375 calories last week doing 56 minutes of zumba. 2 days before that zumba class, I ran 6.2 miles, which took me about 58 minutes to complete, and I burned 538 calories.

    Running should burn more calories. I am a long distance runner now so that's what I do most, but I danced growing up and love me some Zumba.
  • natruallycurious
    natruallycurious Posts: 359 Member
    Unfortunately, I would say that the running calculation is probably more accurate than the Zumba calculation. I've wondered the same thing though. I try not to use the MFP estimated calories burned anymore because I don't think they are always very accurate. For me personally, it thinks I should burn 500 or more calories doing Zumba, but my guess is it's more like 250-300. I have a Fitbit that does heart rate, so I've started putting it in exercise mode for exercising to keep track of calories burned. I know it isn't 100%, but since it can use my heart rate in it's calculation, I trust its numbers a little more.
  • MeanderingMammal
    MeanderingMammal Posts: 7,866 Member
    khenik6064 wrote: »
    ....but since it can use my heart rate in it's calculation, I trust its numbers a little more.

    Your problem is, with something like Zumba HR doesn't give you any meaningful data. You might as well roll a couple of dice.