We often hear questions about tracking and estimating calorie burn for various different DVDs and workout classes. Here's some info about how it all works.
Tracking Cardio Classes and DVDs
There are always new DVDs coming on the market and various forms of indoor walking, group cycling, step aerobics, aerobic dance, or kickboxing. Although they might not be listed when you search for an activity in the tracker, workouts like these can still be tracked to estimate calories burned.
All of the cardio activities currently listed in our Fitness Tracker come from documented studies about exercise intensity for those particular activities. We pull information from large databases, but we also add new workouts when studies come out that calculate their calorie burn. Recently we added Wii Fit exercises and kettlebell exercises based on calorie burn studies conducted by the American Council on Exercise, for example, but many popular DVDs and fitness classes (like the ones listed above) have never been specifically studied for calorie burn, which means they are not listed on our Fitness Tracker. If you see other sites that offer this information without proof of scientific study, be wary of their accuracy. The best you can do in these cases is to estimate your calorie burn using one of two options:
Neither of these methods of estimating calorie burn is perfect, but really, no mode of tracking calories burned is (whether it's from our database, a cardio machine at the gym, or with a heart rate monitor). No matter what, they are all estimates, so don't rely on them too much or feel like you're missing out because a certain exercise isn't in the database. Consider all calories burned estimates to be general guides for tracking your fitness program.
Tracking Strength, Toning and "Other" Workout Classes and DVDs
Examples of popular toning and strength-training programs includeTRX, certain P90X DVDs (Chest & Back, Shoulders & Arms, Legs & Back, Core Synergistics, Chest, Shoulders & Triceps, Back & Biceps, Ab Ripper X), many Biggest Loser and Jillian Michaels workout DVDs, Malibu Pilates, Winsor Pilates, Fit, Firm and Fired Up with Coach Nicole, and any other class or program in which you tone and strengthen your muscles by performing several repetitions using weights, resistance bands or body weight.
If you search for "strength training" in your Fitness Tracker, you'll see a number of different options. Select one of those to add the workout to your tracker (which will also give you an estimate of calories burned). For more information on how to use the Fitness Tracker, click here.
Tracking Hybrid (Cardio/Strength Combo) Workout Classes and DVDs
Sometimes, it can be hard to tell whether a workout counts as strength training or cardio, especially when a DVD or class actually contains a hybrid of both workout options. Many of the Jillian Michaels, Biggest Loser, The Firm, Jazzercise, and "Boot Camp" workout programs combine cardio and toning into a single workout. So how do you track that?
If your heart rate stays elevated and you're not taking resting breaks, you could use the "circuit training" option in the tracker. For better accuracy, estimate how much of the workout was spent doing cardio and how much was spent doing strength training and then split up the workout on your tracker using the tracking suggestions for cardio and strength training above.