# Heart Rate Monitor, Calories Burned?

how accurate is the reading of a heart rate monitor when it comes to total calories burned per session? i wear mine during my training sessions like conditioning and sprinting and i was wondering if the reading was accurate or even close to it…

how accurate is the reading of a heart rate monitor when it comes to total calories burned per session?[/quote]

HR is not a good indicator of calories burned.

Each heart rate monitor uses a different formula/algorithm in order to obtain the calories burned based on the heart rate. We test the formulas at my university comparing them to indirect calorimetry (reliable indicator of calories burned) and there is a wide range of reliability across different brands and models of heart rate monitor. So I guess the answer to your question is it depends on your model of heart rate monitor!

[quote]jablan wrote:
Each heart rate monitor uses a different formula/algorithm in order to obtain the calories burned based on the heart rate. We test the formulas at my university comparing them to indirect calorimetry (reliable indicator of calories burned) and there is a wide range of reliability across different brands and models of heart rate monitor. So I guess the answer to your question is it depends on your model of heart rate monitor! [/quote]

thanks for the info… i use a polar ft40. have you guys ever tested this version in your university?

[quote]jablan wrote:
Each heart rate monitor uses a different formula/algorithm in order to obtain the calories burned based on the heart rate. We test the formulas at my university comparing them to indirect calorimetry (reliable indicator of calories burned) and there is a wide range of reliability across different brands and models of heart rate monitor. So I guess the answer to your question is it depends on your model of heart rate monitor! [/quote]

thanks for the info… i use a polar ft40. have you guys ever tested this version in your university?[/quote]

I’m afraid we haven’t, however I can say that HR monitors usually overestimate energy expenditure. If you’re really interested in how many calories you burn during activity it may be worth going to a university near you and asking them to perform indirect calorimetry on you for your chosen activity. They do this by measuring the differences of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the air you breathe in and out and then estimating the heat produced from this, and voila, you have an estimation of calories burned. Or if you want a less invasive procedure just give “METS calculator” a quick google search. It is also worth remembering that all of these methods of obtaining energy expenditure have their limitations, so no method is 100% accurate.

why are you after calories burned? just curious?

[quote]jskrabac wrote:
why are you after calories burned? just curious?[/quote]

just curious… just got a HR monitor to guide me through my sprints and conditioning, making sure i keep the intensity up and not slack. was just curious when i saw that my watch had a calorie burned option and wondered how accurate it could be…

2 people at my gym swear by this, and sort of got me interested in buying one. I’m looking at the FT80 (expensive fucker too btw) So I can also monitor my intensity and HR, just for kicks. Anybody else use something like what Polar offers but cheaper? Even if it just measures my heart rate/calories burned, I don’t need a watch to outline my training programs for me.

has anyone had issues with the HR monitor not keeping their intensity up? i’ve tried it a little, and my preceved rate of exeretion is much lower than what my HR actually wants me to do…

I use the Polar FT80, its awesome i think its a great training tool…especially for my sprinting/cardio/running days…it sounds retarted, but it motivates me a bit to do more…also, it does these Fitness Test things, and i mean i dont know how accurate they are, or how great they really work, BUT!! i can say, that i have been knocking down my mile pace, and dropped a few pounds, and the Fitness Test does pick up on that and it seems to reflect your fitness pretty well…it will calculate how much time you need to spend in each zone during the week to help get you to the next “level” of fitness…like i said, how much of it is BS and how much of it is the truth, i dont know, but i love it and like i said, its a great training TOOL!! its a supplemen so to speak, in the end its up to you to bust your ass in the gym and throughout all your workouts, whether its on a track or whatever…