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MSDEE7679 SparkPoints: (7,218)
Fitness Minutes: (8,316)
Posts: 95
3/1/12 6:33 P

Thanks to all who responded. I'm still trying to hatch out all of the details for the journey. emoticon

LENKA763 Posts: 2,395
3/1/12 3:43 P

I don't rely on the machine calorie count, and I don't think the SparkPeople estimate is accurate.
I guess the best way to find out is to use your own heartmonitor.

SERGEANTMAJOR Posts: 6,418
3/1/12 3:43 P



Calorie guesstimates for cardio are normally based on time not distance with the exception of cycling where it is time X speed. Hone of the values are accurate since they are based on averages unadjusted for the multiple variables.

DMJAKES Posts: 1,596
3/1/12 3:21 P

I have to agree with Sarge on this one.....it's great that you're loving the cardio right now, but can you maintain this level forever? If you can, do you want to? At some point, the risk of burnout and overtraining will increase.

Steady state cardio is great when you're first starting out and trying to build your endurance to exercise, but there comes a point in your fitness journey when you need to shift the focus away from cardio and toward diet (#1) and strength training (#2). Cardio is still important, but it should be higher in intensity and less in duration. Interval training will give you a lot of bang for the time you spend, and you'll be finished quicker (bonus).

As far as calorie burn, a heart rate monitor would be your best bet. If you don't have one, definitely go with the lower number.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,056)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,646
3/1/12 3:17 P

They are both estimates, and unless the machine you use includes your age, weight, and gender, the SP one is likely more accurate, but may still be off. The best way to *estimate* your calorie burn is with a heart rate monitor, preferably one with a chest strap, as that will be the most accurate way to guess what you're really burning without heading to a lab and having it measured more scientifically.

With that said, if that's the only two you have, I would either opt for the lower of the two, or split the difference and take the average of the two numbers. It's better to underestimate than overestimate!

MSDEE7679 SparkPoints: (7,218)
Fitness Minutes: (8,316)
Posts: 95
3/1/12 2:50 P

No, the miles are for the 6 done on weekends. I don't count the miles for the eliptical. Oh another thing, when I see the number of calories burned on the equipment, it's a lot lower than calculated on SP. For instance, 60 min eliptical machines shows 600 calories burned. When I put the 60 mins in SP, it comes out to 1250 or so...double the number of calories.

MPLANE37 SparkPoints: (65,226)
Fitness Minutes: (35,097)
Posts: 2,167
3/1/12 2:36 P

Too much exercise will not make you lose fat faster. There is a maximum rate at which your body can lose fat, any faster is not possible. You should first eat the right foods (stay away from empty calories), and do exercise that you can sustain over the long term. Meanwhile, you should avoid alarming your body by overexercising, which can stop your fat loss. It happened to me, so it is not a theoretical or abstract idea. Generally speaking, you don't need to exercise more than one hour every day. If you can easily hit one hour of exercise, then it is time that you increase the intensity. HIIT would be the right training option then. Also it is important that you do at least basic strength training so that you at least conserve your muscle mass while running a caloric deficiency.

Edited by: MPLANE37 at: 3/1/2012 (14:37)
SERGEANTMAJOR Posts: 6,418
3/1/12 2:21 P


Please excuse me if this sounds harsh, it is not my intent but based on my experience as a personal trainer you are not getting the benefits from your cardio on the elliptical you think you are getting. Long slow, steady state cardio will increase your endurance however when it comes to fast loss quality interval training of shorter duration produces better results. Doing 450 minutes of cardio a week unless you are training for an endurance event is unnecessary and may be counter productive. Some studies are indicating that excessive steady state cardio causes stress which increases the body's production of the hormone cortisol which is a fat treating hormone. In addition excess cardio can cause muscle wasting if it is not mitigated by a strength training programme.

In the hierarchy for exercise related to fat loss strength training is more important than cardio for a multitude of reasons, one being it increases your basal metabolic rate and another being that it has a carryover or after burn effect called excess post exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC. Steady state cardio provides neither benefit.

The answer to your question is not your question but a different question, why add them. They have no relevance to your programme or nutritional requirements.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/1/12 1:14 P

Yes and no - hang on, what exactly are you asking here?

You ask about including the "miles". No, your nutritional needs aren't connected to your mileage in any way. So including the miles from the elliptical is not required. As long as you include the calorie burn.

You should ensure that the Fitness Goals for "how many calories to burn per week" is set to about how many calories you actually get for what you track. If you actually track around 1400-1500 or so, and your goal is 900, you could be under-eating. Change the goal to be 1450 instead.

Your nutritional range may or may not change.

BEE4357 SparkPoints: (7,254)
Fitness Minutes: (3,503)
Posts: 96
3/1/12 12:22 P

Definitely include it. I would be a little cautious if SP is warning against the amount of exercise you're doing. Not that you should necessarily cut back, but you might want to talk to your doctor or a trainer and make sure you aren't damaging your body. If you get a green light, I envy you: I don't have that love of the elliptical yet... emoticon emoticon

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (57,056)
Fitness Minutes: (14,252)
Posts: 9,646
3/1/12 11:59 A

Yes. If you're doing any cardio, it needs to be included in your goals so that you don't end up undereating and sabotaging your efforts.

MSDEE7679 SparkPoints: (7,218)
Fitness Minutes: (8,316)
Posts: 95
3/1/12 11:57 A

Hi,

I do cardio for 90 minutes (eliptical) 5 days per week at the gym, I walk 6 miles on the weekend (3 on Sat and 3 on Sun), and I do strength training for 20-30 min x3 days per week. Since my nutritional range is based on the exercise as well, should I include the eliptical miles in the walking miles? The more exercise I do, the larger the food range. I know you probably say, "Just don't do as much exercise." The issue is...I really like the feeling (high) I get from exercising. I really want to shed the lbs, but I don't want to be hindered by toooo much exercise.....The system keeps warning about the amount of exercise.

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