Help Wanted Calories burnt exercising calculation.

Can anybody point me to the calculation that works out how many calories you burn while exercising. The Garmin products do a time /distance calculation but that is no use in the gym where you are essentially static.
I know my weight and average heartrate for a session. The Aldi HRM counts the calories so the formula must be out there.

7 thoughts on “Help Wanted Calories burnt exercising calculation.”

  1. Any calorie consumptions calculations can only ever be an estimate. The only way to get an accurate reading is in a lab, even then, it will only be a more accurate estimation. Once you’ve accepted that, it’s simply a matter of treating all calculations as a relative comparison. They’re just numbers, more is better.
    As an example, if I go out on the bike with my Garmin Edge 305HR, it will tell me I’ve used X calories, if I go out again next week and that value of ‘X’ is higher, then I’ve used more but I don’t truly know the value of ‘X’, only its relative value (ie it was more or less).
    Don’t forget, Heart Rate does not necessarily have a direct bearing on calories used (though obviously higher hear rate will generally mean you consume more calories), it depends on your condition (fitness).
    As a rule of thumb, I’ve come to conclude that an hour of vigorous cycling (and I mean not being able to hold a conversation easily) will consume roughly 1000 calories. But really, who knows if that’s accurate!?
    There are web-sites that will attempt to estimate calorie usage if you input your weight, age, Heart Rate (HR), exercise intensity and time.

    Good luck!


  2. I’ve seen the websites and they only give a rough guess too. The most I have ever done was 850 in 45 minutes and I was flat out for all of it. If Crane Sports HRM can count them for £13 I’m sure the algorithem isn’t a trade secret. I know what my Basal Metabolic rate is from the charts and just want to fill in the gaps in the Training Centre Log. Otherwise it is back to the Aldi HRM.

  3. Frank,

    Honestly, it’s a lot more difficult than a simple algorithm. What about wind direction, bike setup, friction by badly adjusted brakes/under inflated tyres. There are so many variables.

    I think it’s best to work on roughly 1000 calories per hour at roughly 19mph on an average day with no wind. (note I’ve used roughly twice in one sentence) 😉


  4. Dave,
    it’s not the bike burnt calories that I want. It is when I am spinning or running on the treadmill that I want. The Edge or Forerunner 50 just can’t do spinning and I didn’t buy a footpod for the Forerunner 50 when perhaps I should. Footpod doesn’t work on a spinning bike as it uses an accelerometer to measure strides.
    I don’t know if they have corrected the flaw in the Edge calorie counter in which it counts more calories when you are freewheeling down a steep hill.

  5. Richard,
    I\’ve just followed your link and although there is no spinning category I did input \”Calories burnt during moderate sex\”, 6 calories burnt for 3 minutes worth. Great link. Correction there is a section for stationary cycling and the figures do tie in with the whst I have measured on the Aldi HRM.
    On my reckoning you would have to be at it for 142 minutes to burn off a Mars Bar. 2 hours 22 minutes, even Sting is is only burning a Mar\’s Bar\’s effort\’s worth.

  6. Had a usefull email from Garmin guru Ray. I’ll post it later but will allow the previous comment to run as there is one hell of a lot of mileage in it.

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