How accurate are calories burned using avg heart rate?

My heart rate monitor doesn't seem to accurately calculate calories burned for stationary exercises (ie: p90x videos done at home). I tried using an online calculator to calculate calories burned based on average heart rate. According to my HRM, my average heart rate for 60 minutes of plyometrics was 147bpm. Using the formula on livestrong.com I calculated 577 calories burned. Does anyone know how accurate this formula is and if I should trust it?

Replies

  • NjTex
    NjTex Posts: 14 Member
    I am 139-142 lbs and 5'7", I avg approximatley 100 calories a mile at a heart rate of 143-149. There are so many variables I don't think they can be too accurate.
  • ArchyJill
    ArchyJill Posts: 548 Member
    I don't understand why your HR monitor wouldn't "work" for stationary exercises...does nothing show on the screen or does your heart rate just not increase?
  • Rinny_D
    Rinny_D Posts: 80 Member
    what comes up on your HRM?

    it should be reading your HR and thus calculating calories burned based on that.

    It is true, there are A LOT of variables which is why its never 100% accurate but a HRM that you program your variables into (ie: Age, Gender, Height, Weight, Body Type- ie: athlete / normal, Activity level ie: mostly sedentary, lightly / moderately / highly active etc) will give you a more true value (number of calories burned) than one that doesn't.

    The more variables it asks you to program in, the more accurate it is bound to be, also do some research to find a decent brand that you can trust- My partner has a Polar, I have a Garmin- very expensive but very good.

    Your cals burned are based upon your heart rate in conjunction with your other variables, but it will never be 100% unless you have a whiz bang one meant for Olympic training at Sports Institutes etc.
  • sara_m83
    sara_m83 Posts: 545 Member
    My HRM is a Garmin Forerunner 305 and will take my heart rate and show an accurate reading, but when it calculates calories burned for exercises I do at home, it comes up really low. For some reason I think this affected either by the settings (selecting "other" for workout instead of running) or that the GPS isn't getting a reading.

    To give you an example: the 60 minutes of P90X plyometrics I did this morning, my HRM read 149 calories burned. Had I been out running and maintained my heart rate at the same level for 60 minutes, my HRM would have told me 500 calories +. The formulas online for calculating calories burned using average heart rate take into account gender, age, and weight as well as average heart rate and so I imagine are more accurate than the estimates given on MFP. I just don't think it's true I only burned 149 calories today, or only 67 yesterday doing 45 minutes of 30 Day Shred.
  • Rinny_D
    Rinny_D Posts: 80 Member
    hrmmmm Well I have the Garmin Forerunner 405CX-

    On the Garmin site the product descriptions are:

    Forerunner® 305
    GPS-enabled personal trainer
    wireless heart rate monitor, multisport, high-sensitivity receiver, courses feature, advanced workouts, rechargeable lithium-ion battery

    Forerunner® 405CX
    GPS-enabled sport watch
    heart rate-based calorie computation, automatic sync, wireless data sharing, high-sensitivity receiver, courses feature, advanced workouts, rechargeable lithium-ion battery.

    I know on mine I have all my variables- Say if i do my 30 min Yoga Buns DVD- I will burn between 170-230 calories each time. I just have it set to the "running" setting, and don't bother with the GPS for that one, GPS is only useful for logging where you went on your computer and the distance etc, doesn't have a lot to do with calories at all.

    I am not sure why its not saying you are burning much.

    how heavy and tall are you? Last night my partner and I went for a ride, he burned 600 cals and I only burned 254! He only did about an extra 3km more than me- so maybe an extra 5 minutes worth but burned double what I did in total. Basically the bigger you are (both in height and weight) the harder your body has to work to do the same thing, thus the extra calories burned. also the more you lose weight and get fitter, the lighter and fitter you are which means that the easier exercises won't burn as much as they used to or as much as your harder exercises do now.

    Or maybe you are right, maybe it isn't reading it accurately, maybe try just setting it to the running setting, that's what I do and I think it reads/ works accurately.

    ps: I have never done it and don't know what it is even though SO many people on MFP talk about it, What exactly does p90x entail?
  • Ishipop
    Ishipop Posts: 4 Member
    I have the Garmin 305, too, and am having the same issues. I did P90X- Core Synergistics this morning and it said I burned 38 calories! Haha! So I calculated my calorie burn using my average heart rate and this online calculator:

    http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm

    I'm 5'5", 135 lbs, 33 yrs old and my average heart rate was 112. It says I burned 350 calories and that was about what I expected. I'd say it's close enough. :)
  • mlb929
    mlb929 Posts: 1,974 Member
    I have the Garmin 305, too, and am having the same issues. I did P90X- Core Synergistics this morning and it said I burned 38 calories! Haha! So I calculated my calorie burn using my average heart rate and this online calculator:

    http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm

    I'm 5'5", 135 lbs, 33 yrs old and my average heart rate was 112. It says I burned 350 calories and that was about what I expected. I'd say it's close enough. :)

    Ditto!!! I have the Garmin 305 and it say 23 calories on plyo for me :) I use the same website listed here at braydenwm and it seems to be accurate. I compared it to my Garmin when I ran and my calories did calculate, and they were within 5 calories based on Average heart rate.
  • gshort76
    gshort76 Posts: 2 Member
    The problem witht he Garmin 305 is that it uses distance to figure out the calorie burn. I alway turn off my GPS before working out and then use a calculator to get my calories burned.