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elliptical trainer calories burned?

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I am SO confused.  We have an elliptical runner and I have been dilligently on it for three weeks now- for about 30-50 minutes at a time.  The most it says I have burned is 267 calories!  Could this be right?  According to the activity thing on this site- it says 600-700 calories an hour..Today, I was on it for 51 minutes and it was 267 calories!  what should I believe?  Could my trainer be callibrated wrong?

Thanks for the help!  Sharon
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i think it has to do with how fast you are going.  I thought that I was doing "vigorous"  and it said I should burn over 1200 calories in 55 minutes but the machine said 1000 after I worked out for 55 minutes.  I think I was just not doing"vigorous" enough.
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I agree.  The intensity to which you do the exercise has a lot to do with it.  You want to target your heart rate at about 85 to 90 beats per minute in order to loose weight.  You really have to sweat, if you're not sweating that is not good. Sometimes workingout indoors is bad because of the AC.  Try running, I'm sure the results will be better.  Remember to stretch and hold it for 30 to 60 sec. (acording to Arnold's bible of exercise)  Good Luck!
1) it might be calibrated wrong

2) you might not be going fast enough

3) dont worry about what it says, just go by what a weight chart says

and mpicolo...that heart rate is just ridiculous.  it depends on the individuals weight and age.  for me, a rate between 120-140 is my perfect weight loss measure.  im at 85-90 almost RESTING heart rate.

Don't worry about what the machine says, cause it doesnt take into account a lot of factors.  usually i burn around 600 cals/hour on an elliptical set up on my weight...but who knows if thats right or not?  all I know is that I'm losing weight, so I must be doing something right!!
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I agree with finewine as far as heart rate. I have been using a lower haert rate program which is supposed to burn a higher percentage of fat than a very high heart rate. It is called a metabolic workout. For me, the ideal range is also between 128 - 142 bpm. I was working out at 155 - 170, and the trainer I am using said that I was burning more carbs at that rate and less fat. Resting heart rate is around 85 - 100 depending on what shape you are in. Your individual optimal heart rate depends on your age, weight and individual goals.
Hi Sharon

I think the resistance has to do with the issue. If your machine has different resistance levels, the higher you go the more calories you will burn going with the same speed. I also notice that different brands will calculate your calorie expenditure differently. So, when entering the activity information, I would suggest you rely on the numbers your machine shows as either way it is more accurate.

Hope this helps.
I've just started the eliptical and I burn around 10-12 calories per minute, and that is at about 4-5mph.
It also depends greatly on how much you weigh. The more you weigh, the more you will burn.  My boyfriend weighs only about 20 or 30 lbs more than I do, but the difference in calories burned in a 30-minute period is around 100 or 150, I believe. In addition, I don't work out as hard as he does, which also makes a huge difference.
Weight is a big factor in calories burned per hour.  Also is gender (which the ones at the gym dont consider).  Men burn more calories then women...sad for you girls out there, but very very true.  So remember there are a lot of factors that deal with calories burned (age, weight, gender, not to mention individual metabolisms!), and just go by what the machine says...if you start doubting it and calculating it differently, you could be grossly OVERestimating how much you burn.  If you think you burned 600 and you only really burned 350, you're going to get frustrated at the rate of your weight loss and maybe even make the mistake of "I burned 600 calories, I can have that piece of cake!"

Also, yeah..resistance has a lot to do with it.  If it's on 1 resistance, you're barely doing anything.  Crank that puppy up to around 10 for a good workout.  Has anyone ever done FULL resistance (my machine is around 24 on full I think).  Man...that's a leg destroyer there!
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You should believe not the calories burned on the machine.  Normaly you would burn around or up to 750 calories per hour.  The treadmill is the same way.  Although the less you weight the less calories you burn so I'm guessing around 130 lbs you still burn close to 600 calories per hour.  So you burn per 300 which is pertty close to what the display reads.  Also don't just stick with one machine variety burns more calories, your body can get to use to it and stop burning fat.

Have A Blessed Day!

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Wgile I agree 90 bpm is too low for normal target heart rate during exercise, I disagree that 85-100bpm is "normal" reating heart rate.  The link below says 60-80 bpm resting (changes with age).  Studies also show an increase in morbidity with rates in excess of 85 bpm.  Remember, though, these rates are to be taken while truly resting.  Sitting here studying fo the past few hours, I have a rate 0f 64 bpm.  If I walk to the other side of the building (0.25 mile) my rate will increase to ~90bpm.

Edit: I just found a National Institute of Health page that says 60-100bpm is normal, so my previous statement is suspect

Edit #2: I just took a test in patient assessment and it, too, verified 60-100bpm is in the normal range, so what do I know? identifier=4701
I'm a 21 year old female, and work out on my elliptical 4 days a week for 30 minutes.  each 30 minutes is 2 miles, and 800 calories burned.  that's what i've been basing my calorie intake on, and my weightloss goals.  am i wrong to do that, or am i on the right track?

I too, use ellipticals on a regular basis. I think the machine's  estimate of burning 800 calories in half an hour is quite on the high side to be honest. Based on personal experience (I have my degree in exercise physiology) and current research, even when using such a machine at a high resistance and a higher RPM (about 3 miles in 30 mins) a female of average body weight could expect to burn around 400 cals in half an hour- and that's still on the generous side. For 30 mins of moderate work for a female of average weight, I think it would be reasonable to expect to burn between 300-400 cals in half an hour and base everything off of that.  This link sums it up pretty well- I just found it and its close to what I have learned from past research (though I am not really familiar with the source, so take it with a grain of salt): s_10_22/ai_101678964

"They can be anywhere from right on the money to 50 percent off," says John Porcari, Ph.D., a cardio-machine researcher and professor in the department of exercise and sports science at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse......
"Ellipticals can be off 20-30 percent, and tend to be off on the high side," Porcari says. Most women burn 500-650 calories after an hour of exercise on cardio machines, says Porcari. To burn 850-950 calories, he adds, "you'd have to be a fairly large woman going full-bore."

Glad to hear you are working out so much, whether you are burning as much or less than what you thought! Your body will thank you now and later!

Here is my calories burned on an elliptical in case anyone wants to compare.  I think it is pretty accurate...

I burn 500 cals for a 50 minute workout on the brand spanking new elliptical at my gym.  It says I travel 6 miles.  This seems about right to me given that I can run 5 miles in 50 minutes, which also equates to around 500 cals (I weigh 135 lbs).   Incidentally, this is about what the calorie expenditure says on this site for elliptical trainer.  I do feel less tired after and during a workout on the elliptical vs. a run, so perhaps the machine calories burned is a slight overestimate, but I would guess that it is in the right ballpark.
Yeah, 800 cals in 30 minutes at 4mph is virtually impossible.  I crank that elliptical for 50 minutes and go approximately 6.5 miles, and I get up to 650-700 calories.  
When I set my elliptical to a resistance of 10, I can usually burn about 700 cals in a half-hour. This morning I burned almost 1350 cals in an hour. I try to ride it for 45 min. to an hour at least 4 days a week to stay in shape. I wanted to make sure I worked off a lot today though because of memorial day.
I think maybe the comment on BPM was suppose to be % - you should shoot for 60- 90% of your max heart rate for cardio workout  the lower end being fat burn higher for aerobic workout. 

My resting heart rate is only 48 my minimum heart rate before my heart rate monitor even measures me as "working out" is 88.

I think the best thing is to invest in a heart rate monitor that measures calories burned.  All the machines I've ever used have never been even close to what my hRM registers.  some are more  some are less and sometimes it depends on the program I might be doing.
Yep, I agree. Every machine is different so if you really want an accurate count of what your burning, get a heart rate monitor! I got mine for around $80 and I use it everytime I work out, so I've definitely gotten my money's worth.

I usually burn about 400-450 calories in 45 min on the elliptical, going around 4mph.

I work out on the trainer in six sets of 20 minutes each. I increase the # of calories from 247 (default) to about 350 for the 20 minute workout. I do that about thrice a week and I am sure that I run 24 miles for eadh day and I am losing about 1.5 lbs after 2 sessions.

Good Luck for all of you out there..
When I was doing my workouts last year in a gym, I would do 40 minutes on the elliptical, weights, then 20 more.  I remembering rounding up my ENTIRE workout at 800 calories.

And I was 270 pounds then, which means I burn more calories exercising than a normal weight person.

You have to be careful with the elliptical, there are so many factors that can change how many calories you burn, like how hard you're working at it and the incline, etc.  I always feel like Ive worked out harder and burned more calories running, and I always seem to lose more weight.  I try to do a combination of both now.
i usually use the elliptical for 50-55 minutes

today, for example, i was on it for 54 minutes and burned 675 calories. that was with my weight and age put in. however, it does not take into account that i am not a man. haha.  so that probably puts the count off a bit.

i usually maintain 155-175 heart rate (175 being on the higher end... i usually try not to get it past 165 but i get carried away)

i think the elliptical i use (some sort of precor) goes to 24 resistance. i go up to 8.  i probably could go higher but i dont want my legs to be muscle-tastic quiiiiiiiite yet.

i was using the incline at the default level but recently i just decided to up it a little bit.

i've never paid attention to how fast i go but i usually lost 11-12.5 calories a minute.

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