The Truth About The Accuracy Of The Calorie Count on Gym Machines

June 10, 2011

Exercise & Fitness

I remember using to love seeing big numbers on my treadmill. It was the sign of a great fat burning workout. Or was it?

Recently I’ve become very interested in the accuracy of the calorie count on the various gym machines. How effective is it? Does the number of calories burned boldly displayed by the machine really match the number of calories burned while working out?

Those questions kept bugging me.

gym-exercise-machine.jpgSo I decided to investigate. It seems that all gym machines calculate the amount of calories you supposedly burn during a workout using various formulas. There isn’t a standard formula used by all gym machines … and … the variables taken into consideration fail to supply a complete picture of the person using the machine.

This makes it impossible to establish with 100% accuracy how many calories you really burn while working out. It fails to calculate exactly the energy expenditure of each user.

For example, the majority of gym machines don’t take into consideration your body fat to lean muscle ratio. It takes special equipment to establish correctly a person’s body fat percentage. And this is crucial information when it comes to calculating how many calories you burn while exercising.

You see, a person with more body fat will burn less calories while exercising than a person with more muscles. Why?… Because muscles are the ones that burn the calories, they are the ones that force your body to burn more fat. If you don’t have toned muscles, you can’t expect to burn lots of calories during your workouts.

But you don’t have to fret. By exercising you will build your muscle mass (quite quickly if you follow a few good muscle gaining rules) and you will start burning more and more calories with each exercise…but…

You must make sure you don’t let your muscles get used to only one type of exercising. By working out your muscles the same way each time you exercise, you force them to get used to your workout routine. This in turn will minimize the calories you burn while working out.

Think about it: Construction workers should have massive muscles. But they do the same work day in day out, so their muscles and body got used to the work. They use up the minimum amount of energy required to do a task.

What does this mean to you?

If you want to burn the maximum amount of calories each time you exercise, make sure you change your workout routine frequently. This also explains why you burn more calories when you begin exercising – your body isn’t used to it – than after one year or constantly working out.

Since not all machines use the same formula to establish how many calories you burn … and … because the formulas used aren’t accurate to begin with, here is a simple way to judge for yourself what gym machine helps you burn more calories:

After you use any gym machine – or while using it – asses your exertion/fatigue level. The more an exercise machine gets your heart pumping and your muscles grinding the more calories you are burning. Simple.

Try and use only exercise machines that make you sweat (if you want to lose weight). If a machine doesn’t make you break a sweat while exercising, but is telling you that you are burning a massive amount of calories, know this: THAT MACHINE IS LYING TO YOU. Increase the intensity or go work out using another machine that forces your body to get a good workout. If you don’t do it you risk wasting your time while not burning any calories.

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