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Moderators: melkor

After about a month break, I've finally started going back to the gym at my university. I used to go before my first class, but I haven't been able to pry myself out of bed at 6. I'm going during the time when previously I had taken naps in the afternoon. Usually I'll use either a stationary bike (so I can multitask by reading an assignment) or a Cybex Arc Trainer.

Now, the arc trainers say I'm burning huge numbers of calories. Like 900 and more an hour. That would be nice, but I don't think I buy it. As it is, I've started entering in my weight at about 10 pounds less than what it actually is.

My question is: does anyone have any idea how accurate those numbers are? I don't want to overestimate how much I'm burning. I know some people wear heart rate monitors when they're exercising to see if the machine is close. Anyone done that with an arc trainer?



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I really don't think those machines read accurately at all.  I think you're going to only get an accurate measure of your calorie burn buy using a heart rate monitor. 

Keep skipping the nap for the gym... much better for you!  :)

FYI, I love the arc trainer, but yeah, it definitely waaaay over-estimates the number of calories burned, compared to what my HRM tells me.  You really should just invest in a heart rate monitor -- I got my Polar F6 for like, $110?  It's wonderful!  Unfortunately, it had to be sent in for repairs (the clasp broke) and I miss it so much.


Anywho, I'm 5'3"ish, 118lbs, and I was on the arc trainer for 20 minutes last night and it said I burnt nearly 300 calories.  Sure, I was pushing myself, but I don't think I was pushing myself THAT much.  When I'd do the same workout with my HRM on, I believe it said I burned around 180 calories.   For my size and my level of aerobic activity, I guesstimate (until my HRM comes back) that I burn about 8-10 calories a minute.

my heart rate monitor always measures about 30% fewer calories burned than the arc trainer says (so if the machine read 900, my monitor would tell me just under 600).

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The Cybex has you burning 30% more calories than you really do.   I am a petite female 5 '2 and 110 and during a run I burn about 85 calories per mile at 9 min pace.  On the Cybex, I am figured I burn about 100 calories per 10 minutes at a level 5, so I compare it to running since you are moving your arms but not with resistance, so you burn a little more on the Cybex.  

Cybex calorie counter had me burning 130 calories per 10 minutes which is innaccurate for my height and weight.


4 Replies