🚴🏼‍♀️ Spin class aficionados- how many cals burned?

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Safari_Gal_
Safari_Gal_ Posts: 1,461 Member
edited October 2019 in Fitness and Exercise
Hi All!


I take a SoulCycle class 3-4 times a week. Over the years - I’ve logged 300 calories burned for a 45 min session or 400 for an hour long “survivor” session.. I don’t have a Fitbit. I’ll

Just wondering - how many calories burned do you log for spin class? Fitbit users? Non Fitbit users? I’ve read a bunch or articles and seen estimations between 400-800 calories for spinning... I tend to log low in case they are inaccurate.. I really just estimate..

Looking forward to your input! Thanks! 🤗

Replies

  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
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    Hi All!


    I take a SoulCycle class 3-4 times a week. Over the years - I’ve logged 300 calories burned for a 45 min session or 400 for an hour long “survivor” session.. I don’t have a Fitbit. I’ll

    Just wondering - how many calories burned do you log for spin class? Fitbit users? Non Fitbit users? I’ve read a bunch or articles and seen estimations between 400-800 calories for spinning... I tend to log low in case they are inaccurate.. I really just estimate..

    Looking forward to your input! Thanks! 🤗

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.
  • sarko15
    sarko15 Posts: 330 Member
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    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.
  • Safari_Gal_
    Safari_Gal_ Posts: 1,461 Member
    edited October 2019
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    aokoye wrote: »

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.

    @aokoye - thank you- this was such a great help! I never knew that equation! Math for the win.
    Yep/ 2 studios I frequent have the digital Watts from bike sent to my phone app- I used the equation and wow! Now I have the equation burned into memory! 🙌🏻

    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.

    @sarko15 - agree! The only real way is with a heart monitor....after doing the equation
    Watts x duration x 3.6 as a guide- I’m so glad I’ve been underestimating my exercise calories instead of plugging in the typical numbers I see either on MFP or from magazine articles, etc. when I went back over my classes that sends the watts to my phone app - on days I rode kinda slow when I was tired/ I burned about 400 exercise cals - on vigorous warrior days - I burned about 670. But no where near the 800-900 that some people say are burned. Or maybe I just need to cycle harder lol. The max wattage on the bike is 256 ... so maybe i do need to pick it up!! :)

    When I lift weights or go rowing - it’s hard to estimate— so I do something similar to you- I only eat back half my exercise cals just in case I’m overestimating my work!
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,809 Member
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    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.
    @sarko15
    You are only missing the knowledge of what your heart beats are by not having a HRM.
    They are heart beat counters not calorie counters - there is no direct correlation between the two things. And for interval style training like a Spinning class their calorie guesstimates have every chance of being hopeless and exaggerated.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,809 Member
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    @Safari_Gal_

    Is your rowing indoors on a Concept2?
    They have a good calorie estimator on their website.
  • Safari_Gal_
    Safari_Gal_ Posts: 1,461 Member
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    sijomial wrote: »
    @Safari_Gal_

    Is your rowing indoors on a Concept2?
    They have a good calorie estimator on their website.

    Hi @sijomial ! When I row it’s typically outdoors every other weekend weather permitting. But - I’ve been hearing a lot about the concept2– I’m going to have to check that out. I believe they have them at my gym! Thanks! :)
  • aokoye
    aokoye Posts: 3,495 Member
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    aokoye wrote: »

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.

    @aokoye - thank you- this was such a great help! I never knew that equation! Math for the win.
    Yep/ 2 studios I frequent have the digital Watts from bike sent to my phone app- I used the equation and wow! Now I have the equation burned into memory! 🙌🏻

    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.

    @sarko15 - agree! The only real way is with a heart monitor....after doing the equation
    Watts x duration x 3.6 as a guide- I’m so glad I’ve been underestimating my exercise calories instead of plugging in the typical numbers I see either on MFP or from magazine articles, etc. when I went back over my classes that sends the watts to my phone app - on days I rode kinda slow when I was tired/ I burned about 400 exercise cals - on vigorous warrior days - I burned about 670. But no where near the 800-900 that some people say are burned. Or maybe I just need to cycle harder lol. The max wattage on the bike is 256 ... so maybe i do need to pick it up!! :)

    When I lift weights or go rowing - it’s hard to estimate— so I do something similar to you- I only eat back half my exercise cals just in case I’m overestimating my work!
    Glad I could be helpful. It's a very useful formula and there are a number of reputable companies aimed at cyclists and triathletes that use it (TrainingPeaks for example). And yeah, I track most of my outdoor rows on my Garmin and it isn't reliable for me in terms of calories burned, at least not with sweep. I suspect it's closer when I'm sculling (on the basis of RPE). I think @AnnPT77 has found the estimated calorie count to be close for her but I could be misremembering.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 33,072 Member
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    aokoye wrote: »
    aokoye wrote: »

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.

    @aokoye - thank you- this was such a great help! I never knew that equation! Math for the win.
    Yep/ 2 studios I frequent have the digital Watts from bike sent to my phone app- I used the equation and wow! Now I have the equation burned into memory! 🙌🏻

    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.

    @sarko15 - agree! The only real way is with a heart monitor....after doing the equation
    Watts x duration x 3.6 as a guide- I’m so glad I’ve been underestimating my exercise calories instead of plugging in the typical numbers I see either on MFP or from magazine articles, etc. when I went back over my classes that sends the watts to my phone app - on days I rode kinda slow when I was tired/ I burned about 400 exercise cals - on vigorous warrior days - I burned about 670. But no where near the 800-900 that some people say are burned. Or maybe I just need to cycle harder lol. The max wattage on the bike is 256 ... so maybe i do need to pick it up!! :)

    When I lift weights or go rowing - it’s hard to estimate— so I do something similar to you- I only eat back half my exercise cals just in case I’m overestimating my work!
    Glad I could be helpful. It's a very useful formula and there are a number of reputable companies aimed at cyclists and triathletes that use it (TrainingPeaks for example). And yeah, I track most of my outdoor rows on my Garmin and it isn't reliable for me in terms of calories burned, at least not with sweep. I suspect it's closer when I'm sculling (on the basis of RPE). I think @AnnPT77 has found the estimated calorie count to be close for her but I could be misremembering.

    Close enough to be useable in a "monitor for 4-6 weeks and adjust" context. :lol:

    Sijomial is right about HRM. But I use my Garmin's estimates when I don't have a better alternative, or a reason to think their estimate is crazy wrong. (The other common alternative - zero - is clearly wrong.)
  • HilTri
    HilTri Posts: 378 Member
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    I wear a Polar strap that syncs to my spin bike. I wear a Garmin Fenix. My average watts are between 225 and 275. Yesterday I did a spin class and rode for 68 min and burned 900 kcal. To record exercise calories, I usually take an average from the bike, my watch, and MPF under very vigorous cycling.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    aokoye wrote: »

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.

    @aokoye - thank you- this was such a great help! I never knew that equation! Math for the win.
    Yep/ 2 studios I frequent have the digital Watts from bike sent to my phone app- I used the equation and wow! Now I have the equation burned into memory! 🙌🏻

    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.

    @sarko15 - agree! The only real way is with a heart monitor....after doing the equation
    Watts x duration x 3.6 as a guide- I’m so glad I’ve been underestimating my exercise calories instead of plugging in the typical numbers I see either on MFP or from magazine articles, etc. when I went back over my classes that sends the watts to my phone app - on days I rode kinda slow when I was tired/ I burned about 400 exercise cals - on vigorous warrior days - I burned about 670. But no where near the 800-900 that some people say are burned. Or maybe I just need to cycle harder lol. The max wattage on the bike is 256 ... so maybe i do need to pick it up!! :)

    When I lift weights or go rowing - it’s hard to estimate— so I do something similar to you- I only eat back half my exercise cals just in case I’m overestimating my work!

    To the above bolded - actually no that is not the only real way. Nor the best for a whole slew of workouts.

    It can be a best estimate for specific type of cardio workouts (steady-state same HR for 2-4 min in aerobic zone) with known caveats regarding increased stress (dehydrated, already worked out, tired, sore, long workout, ect) will increase the HR beyond what's needed for the workout - so not actually extra calorie burn as a HRM would give you.

    For bikes, and rowing mentioned - watt's is the way to go.

    For the lifting - just log as the Weights it is, which is correctly small, and enjoy them all.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    HilTri wrote: »
    I wear a Polar strap that syncs to my spin bike. I wear a Garmin Fenix. My average watts are between 225 and 275. Yesterday I did a spin class and rode for 68 min and burned 900 kcal. To record exercise calories, I usually take an average from the bike, my watch, and MPF under very vigorous cycling.

    If you are getting a Watts figure, read the prior replies and discover you don't need all the extra values.
    You have best accuracy one.
  • Safari_Gal_
    Safari_Gal_ Posts: 1,461 Member
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    Thanks everyone!! 🙌🏻🎉
  • jhanleybrown
    jhanleybrown Posts: 240 Member
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    HilTri wrote: »
    I wear a Polar strap that syncs to my spin bike. I wear a Garmin Fenix. My average watts are between 225 and 275. Yesterday I did a spin class and rode for 68 min and burned 900 kcal. To record exercise calories, I usually take an average from the bike, my watch, and MPF under very vigorous cycling.

    Respect.

    That's pretty good wattage.

    To original poster and per others best estimate is 3.6 x ave watts = one hour.
  • Usman70lbs
    Usman70lbs Posts: 24 Member
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    Hi All! 084rouf8oqhg.png
    a01opago75rj.png



    I take a SoulCycle class 3-4 times a week. Over the years - I’ve logged 300 calories burned for a 45 min session or 400 for an hour long “survivor” session.. I don’t have a Fitbit. I’ll

    Just wondering - how many calories burned do you log for spin class? Fitbit users? Non Fitbit users? I’ve read a bunch or articles and seen estimations between 400-800 calories for spinning... I tend to log low in case they are inaccurate.. I really just estimate..

    Looking forward to your input! Thanks! 🤗

  • Usman70lbs
    Usman70lbs Posts: 24 Member
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    I wear a Huawei watch that has a heart rate monitor. This is from a recent 45 minute spin class I did.

    I'm unsure if weight has an impact on calories burnt whilst cycling on a static bike
  • BrianSharpe
    BrianSharpe Posts: 9,248 Member
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    Usman70lbs wrote: »
    I wear a Huawei watch that has a heart rate monitor. This is from a recent 45 minute spin class I did.

    I'm unsure if weight has an impact on calories burnt whilst cycling on a static bike

    I would take that calorie expenditure with a grain of salt. There is not a linear correlation between heart rate and calories expended. To give you a basis for comparison on a recent 45 min trainer ride averaging 32.4 km/hr (roughly 20 mph) based on watts (I used power based training) my estimated expenditure was 333cal.

    Even when riding on the road your weight has little impact (bikes are insanely efficient) unless you're riding a lot of hills.
  • Inspirationalwaterjug
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    svsyrhl0uowd.jpeg


    That’s a relaxing Sunday ride with Power Tap p2 pedals but I went to a spin class with a friend and for like an hour ride it said like 900 calories based on HR but I wasn’t even remotely gassed or tired. . So I mean accurate power meter is really the only way to really be sure for calorie tracking and even then it’s kind of a wash.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 41,865 Member
    edited October 2019
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    aokoye wrote: »

    Do you know if the spin bike you're using has an output for average watts and do you have any indication as to whether or not the power meter on the bike (assuming it has one) is calibrated correctly (I'm assuming it would be given it's soulcycle but I could be wrong)? If so find out your average watts for the workout that you did and use the formula found here.

    @aokoye - thank you- this was such a great help! I never knew that equation! Math for the win.
    Yep/ 2 studios I frequent have the digital Watts from bike sent to my phone app- I used the equation and wow! Now I have the equation burned into memory! 🙌🏻

    sarko15 wrote: »
    I don't trust my Fitbit or MFP to be particularly accurate tbh. The only thing I trust to be accurate is a HR monitor, and I don't have one of those.

    However, I log them anyway and eat back half on normal days because I can be reasonably certain I burned half to three quarters of the amount it says. If it's a special occasion or I'm out to dinner the other half are what I call my "what the hell" calories. They're calories I may have or may not have, I can't be certain, so I only eat them back fully on special nights when I want to have the freedom of another beer or taco with no regrets. :)

    It's more for my sanity than science. Kind of like a cheat day/meal, if I believed in those. Only I get to have them every day if I felt like it.

    @sarko15 - agree! The only real way is with a heart monitor....after doing the equation
    Watts x duration x 3.6 as a guide
    - I’m so glad I’ve been underestimating my exercise calories instead of plugging in the typical numbers I see either on MFP or from magazine articles, etc. when I went back over my classes that sends the watts to my phone app - on days I rode kinda slow when I was tired/ I burned about 400 exercise cals - on vigorous warrior days - I burned about 670. But no where near the 800-900 that some people say are burned. Or maybe I just need to cycle harder lol. The max wattage on the bike is 256 ... so maybe i do need to pick it up!! :)

    When I lift weights or go rowing - it’s hard to estimate— so I do something similar to you- I only eat back half my exercise cals just in case I’m overestimating my work!

    Actually the watts formula is the only "real way"...a HRM might give you a relatively decent estimate, but using watts is far more accurate. Your HR doesn't directly correlate with energy expenditure...it's only used as a proxy for effort in the algorithm a HRM uses to estimate your energy expenditure.

    Also, if someone is putting out more watts, they are going to burn more calories...so it's not automatic that someone else might or might not be burning 800 calories...it's going to be an individual thing and come down to how many watts they're throwing down.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,809 Member
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    Usman70lbs wrote: »
    I wear a Huawei watch that has a heart rate monitor. This is from a recent 45 minute spin class I did.

    I'm unsure if weight has an impact on calories burnt whilst cycling on a static bike

    Stationary biking is a non-weight bearing exercise (unless you do a significant portion standing cycling).
    Your weight will make a difference to gross calories but not net calories which is the number you want to estimate.
    First thing to understand is what kind of estimate you are getting - net or gross?

    And then the estimate is based on what metrics?
    If it's based on METS (does the machine ask your weight?) if could be badly skewed - being heavy doesn't necessarily translate to having the cardio fitness to sustain a high power output.
    Those lightweight and skinny pro cyclists put out astronomical amounts of power for hours that ordinary but heavy people can only sustain for minutes.

    Energy expenditure is about power produced not how fast your heart beats. For example I've been part of a training session where all three of us were pedalling at an output of 200 watts and so all burning calories at rate of 720 net cals/hour. My HR was in the middle at 150, another guy was cycling comfortably at 180bpm (beyond my max HR) and a super fit guy was just ticking over at 120bpm.

    BTW - HR zones can be very misleading unless your max HR has actually been tested. Anaerobic for 18 minutes sounds unlikely.

    Many gyms have exercise bikes with power meters now the cost has come down enormously - suggest you find one and "calibrate yourself". Look for a display in watts.

  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
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    The reasons everybody keeps taking about power are:

    * You can think of it as energy. It's not, but for our purposes it works.

    * It's pretty easy to measure. Unlike calories directly, you don't have to live in a metabolic chamber or anything.

    * There is a very narrow range of efficiency among humans at turning fats and carbs into power. Take a TDF winner and a fat kid who rides a few times per year, and 200 watts from each of them will be very close to 720 kCal per hour.

    * A watt is a Joule per second, and Garmins typically record one data point every second. So you can just total up the numbers and you'll be within +/- 2.5% of god's honest truth for calories. (To be clear that's a maximum range between humans of 5% but the way people typically do it puts you in the middle of that range.)

    On the other hand, heart rate doesn't have this concrete relationship to calories. All sorts of things affect your HR other than exercise intensity, it varies wildly between individuals, and it's just not correlated with physical work.