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Moderators: melkor

Elliptical Calorie Count - Is it Real?

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I'm a 185lb female. I (try) to do the Elliptical for 45 minutes a day, at a moderate-high level. 

At the end of my workout, the machine says I burned 750 cal. Here on Calorie Count, it says I burned around 650 cal. From what I've heard from others, these numbers are generally higher than the actual burn amount.

Does anyone have an idea if these are right? Or if not, how to find out how many cals I actually burned? 

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i'm wondering the same thing and i've heard their inflated too.

when i do 60 mins on the elliptical, w/ the ramp at level 10 and resistance changing from levels 6-13, it says i've burned ~600 cals.
Dang, Level 10?? You're good. I do the hill interval - low of 4, high of 8-9. I guess I would call my workouts a bit more 'moderate' Smile
Calorie-count is roughly accurate if you judge the intensity of your workout correctly; while most cardio machines will over-estimate your burn by someplace between 25-34% or so.

 A heart rate monitor will be the most accurate, but short of that the CC burn estimates is close enough for most people.
either way, i'm sure it's somewhere w/in the average of it, and that would be at least 500 if not 600 per hour.  i'm not gonna worry about how exact as long as i know it's at least 500 cals. 

Joanne, just work your way up to 10, it'll be a piece of cake. =)
I just got a heart rate monitor, and according to it, I'm really burning 100 calories less in 30 minutes than what the elliptical tells me I've burned.  Cry
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Take the amount that it says you've burned and subtract the amount of calories that would've burned if you were just sitting.  The only calories that count are the ones that are above and beyond your basic metabolic rate.  That is different for everyone. 
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No way, the elliptical is wrong... I do the elliptical then the stairmaster, and work way harder on the stairmaster, feeling more tired and swaety.  The stairmaster syas I burned way less (comparing a 15 minute session to a 15 minute session) than the elliptical.

Running burns about 100 cals permile, no way elliptical matches that. 


For me, I round down, if it says I burned 140, I estimate I burned 100 or 90.

For me, it's the opposite.  If I do vigorous effort for 60 minutes, the elliptical at they gym gives me between 1050 and 1150 calories; Calorie-Count gives me 1328 burned.  I wonder why it's backwards for me.  My heart rate is always at least 80% or higher for 50+ minutes of the workout, and goes over 90% occasionally, so I'm definitely doing a vigorous workout!

 How about the calories burned through sexual activity?  Apparently if I drive a car or take a shower for 1 hour, I would burn 226 calories; Vigorous sexual activity only gets me 166... ?  Something is wrong with this picture.  Stuff like that makes me doubt any of CC's numbers.  I asked them about it in two emails and they've never replied.

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I have to say I don't go off CC numbers too much, they say horse riding is onl like..I can't remember exactly how much per hour, but maybe about 200calories burnt per hour, and I'm sure in an hours lesson on my harder horses I burn more than that - I always end up really hot, sweaty and achy.

Last summer I was a slave to the elliptical and I would burn tons of calories according to it. I cut back some on my eating however I didn't lose a pound.....and if I was burning 1000 and more calories per day you would think I would have melted. I am skeptical!


The elliptical machines usually show about 150% of what Polar F11 tells me, as in 450 vs the real 300. I trust my HRM. CC figures are usually higher than Polar too (except for low impact aerobics, but I guess it all depend on the definition of "low impact").


Totally with melkor on this one...

Invest in a heart monitor.  They are the most accurate way to get your readings :)

I love mine~


I just got back from 55-60 minutes on teh elliptical! Check out these number differences: Averaging 5.5-6.5 speed, level 13 resistance

Elliptical: 860 calories burned

Carloie count: 771

Heart Rate Moniter: 604

You can't really trust the machines, my heart rate stayed between 160-168 throughout the majority of the work out.

So I vote either subtract 100 or so calories from what the elliptical gives you, or better yet; get a heart rate moniter!


Or Check out these numbers:


Elliptical: 60 minutes, averaging 68-75 RPM level 6 with 10 HITT sessions of 30 seconds averaging 110 RPM -- for a 245#er:

 Elliptical: 1181 cal.

 Calorie Count: 1390.

 Heart Rate Monitor: 1217. 

So I vote add 100 calories to what elliptical gives you...  I guess it depends on the individual AND the brand of elliptical. 

i agree with mezzo... i found that even when i entered my age and weight, the elliptical machines at the gym were almost DOUBLING what i actually burned once i got a heart rate monitor!! kinda depressing.. but i'd def recommend getting one

So do you guys use the heart rate monitors on the handles of the elliptical? I use the ellipticals with the handles that move and keep my hands on the whole time (unless I have to pick my wedgie because my butt eats my shorts when I work out) or wipe off sweat.

Are the HR monitors on the machines accurate?

What qualifies as "Light," "Moderate," and "Vigorous" for you guys? I always put in Moderate, even if I'm at 85% of my Max Heart Rate, because I don't want to overestimate calories burnt. What do you guys do?

I always put in what the machine says, which is still less than CC says if I report moderate.  I don't know why it's the opposite for everyone else -- maybe it's cause I'm fat... I don't know. 

The machine says less for me than CC, so don't worry. I thought maybe I was so out of shape my elliptical didn't realize that even at the speed I was going, I was still burning a lot since my heart rate is elevated. >.< Doh.
I have a heart rate watch, with a chest strap thingie. It's amazing and useful. It has all my information saved, height, weight, age and I think it has a feature for body fat % too. I have never actual read the manual to know. But I read a few posts on here that recommended it. It cost me about $100, and I think it was defently worth it. AR/F6-black-coal.html

Thats the one I use. It comes with a strap that I wrap around, it's not uncomfortable so I have no complaints. They have heart rate moniters without the straps. But those are not as accurate.

Does the elliptical account for age and weight, because CC does. Maybe that's the difference?
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