A 45-year-old fat man trying to find his inner skinny dude.

Friday, August 12, 2011

I'm not the only one

So, I just got a heart rate monitor.  I didn't want one that had a chest band thingy because, honestly, I wasn't sure it fit.  I read a list of reviews of a promising one, however, and a big guy said it fit him, so I tumbled.

What I thought was this--a gadget might make working out more interesting.  I don't mind working out.  Really.  I love having worked out.  What I hate is getting off the couch to go.  The promise of a toy might help.  It really might.

So I have used it twice.  I like that it talks to the machine I'm on, and I like that it gives me numbers consistent with what the exercise machines themselves have given me over the last few years.  It also confirms that it's easy for me to be complacent.  I'd like to get my heart rate between, say 137 and 158.  But the elliptical is pretty easy for me to do for a long time at 125.  I mean, I'd have to go faster to get my heart going harder, and I don't wanna.  (Four years ago, I did the elliptical for five minutes and had to get off.  I thought it might kill me.)

Yesterday I did 15 on an elliptical to warm up.  Then I got on the rotating staircase thing.  For six minutes.  Then I had to change.  I could barely breathe.  My heart rate was up to 151.  I believed it.  I tried to make a note of what that felt like.

I did another 9 minutes on a different elliptical, and that was it.  My heart rate, once over 140 never dropped below it until I went to stretch and do abs.

Now, here is the question.  My monitor calculates calories spent based on "total body stress" and the weight I entered when I set it up.  For a total of 43 minutes (including stretching), it said I burned 937 calories.  And I don't believe it.  I don't.  I mean, I am a big guy and all, and I was working hard.  But that's a lot of calories. 

I googled the topic and it seems that a lot of people think the monitors give too high a calculation.  I'm going to figure on half the number being true, and use whatever it gives me as a kind of benchmark.  But I don't think 937 is accurate.  Anyone else?