Fitness
Moderators: melkor


20 minutes on the treadmill vs 20 on the elliptical, huge discrepency in cals burned..


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OK so, I've been running on the treadmill lately, im doing intervals 1-2 minutes walking 1-2 running and it is quite the work out for me.. Alot more strenuous (sp) than when I do the elliptical but according to the estimated calories burned, if I do 20 minutes on the treadmill I burn around 80 calories but if I do 20 (intervals, the same as treadmill) on the elliptical it says I burn around 200..

I understand that its just an estimate but that is a big difference, especially since the lower estimate is the WAY harder excersize..?? 

Even here on CC when I log the excersizes its the same diff..

Does anyone have an explanation for this? So confusing..lol

6 Replies (last)
#1  
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This is one of those things that all depends on how high the machines are set.

When you run on the elliptical what level is it set too? Not only the speed at which you are turning the wheels of the elliptical matters, but the level you are running at matters as well.

Ellipticals make running 'feel' easier because there is no shock on the body, no heelstrike, no shock on your ankle, knee's and hips.

While running extra weight causes extra hardship, it means you have to push up alot more with every step, on an elliptical you dont have to do this. You can go faster with less effort.

As for the difference in calories, my guess is you are going faster at a higher level on the elliptical than on the treadmill, if you want to even it out try increasing the incline on the treadmill to make it a bit harder ;)

Another thing that could be lacking is do both machines ask you for your weight/age/sex before you hop on them? If one does and one doesnt that can also effect the calories burned monitor.
If  you are going by the machine's burn it probably isn't nearly what you are burning unless you are an "average male at 175 lbs"  I think is the machines calculations. 

I use my heart rate monitor and sometimes depending on the program I use on my elliptical it will be within a 100 cals of each other sometimes it will be a diference of several hundred. 

Try to find an average and use that number.
Well if I turn the speed/incline up further on the treadmill I would probably get to tired and not be able to finish the full 20, I have  a hard enough time finishing at the rate I go now which is pretty much
Walking between 3.5-4.5 (which for me is a fast paced walk as my legs are short) for 1 or 2 minutes, then running @ 6.0-7.0 for a minute..
On the elliptical it's 2 minutes @ the highest incline and 2 minutes at the lowest incline..

I just don't get how the difference is so much between the 2.. I barely break a sweat on the elliptical but the treadmill does that in the first 2 minutes..lol

When begininng both prompt me to enter my age and that is it...
It looks like I am going to have to get a HRM with the calorie burning option...
It's weird because for me, the elliptical is way harder and burns the calories much faster than the treadmill.  I can go a long time on the treadmill and barely make it on the elliptical - I use a HRM and I am always working harder on the elliptical - I didn't know there was a level on them - gonna have to check that out!
#5  
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Hm, couple of things - elliptical trainers are known for overestimating calories burnt, so that is probably where some of the discrepency lies.   The other thing is simply what the others said - entering weight and sex makes a big difference too :-)

i always wear my heart rate monitor. the machines ARE NOT accurate. i know this from experience. i bought a polar watch and it came with a heart rate monitor i wear around my waist. www.polar-watches.com      good luck!!!

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