HR Monitor vs. Trackers: Round 2

28 Nov

My workouts for the week aren’t done just yet, so I am back to update my HR monitor vs. internet tracker. I’m a nerd, so this stuff totally interests me.

Wednesdays are my last morning workout days, so it’s usually pretty easy to wake up and go. However, I ended up getting sick yesterday morning/afternoon and spent much of the night not wanting to do anything but sleep. I woke up this morning feeling better, but still very off. Getting to the gym was a workout in itself when you are fighting an upset stomach and an aching body.

But I got there. Accomplishment #1 for the day. After some light stretching and an attempt to roll out the aches and pains on the foam roller, I started the morning with “Free Weight Sculpting.” This class is intense! Basically, it’s like kettlebell where you do :45 second intervals alternating between arms, core, legs, and cardio using free and body weight. I stayed on the heavier set with 15lb dumbells, 22lb kettlebells (for swings), and did a full round of legit pushups (accomplishment #2).

Class got out early, so here’s what the 25 minutes looked like with the burn from an online perspective and my new heart rate monitor:

  • Sparkpeople reading (group weight lifting class): 230 calories
  • Myfitnesspal reading (circuit training): 292 calories
  • WW activity points: 1
  • POLAR READING: 240 calories

Interesting… so Sparkpeople, queen/king of overestimating and inflation of cardio, underestimated my weight lifting effort. Now, I will give them that this class is more cardio. You get as much done as you can in that short :45 second effort with no rest between moves. My heart rate was extremely high the entire time and I was sweating up a storm. This class is no joke. It isn’t traditional weight lifting in any sense.

After free weights, I go straight in to one of my least favorite classes: 22 Intervals. The name says it all. Basically, for 22 seconds, you do a high intensity cardio/strength exercise like mountain climbers, squats with a medicine ball, burpees, etc. You do each interval 8 (!!) times with about 10 seconds rest between. Then there is a minute rest between each exercise. It is pure torture, especially with the random mix of music that comes on at 6am at this gym (This morning was Nelly. Yesterday, was Enya).  But, how effective was it?

  • Sparkpeople reading (interval training): 230
  • Myfitnesspal reading (aerobics): 285
  • WW points (estimated): 2
  • POLAR READING: 209

This class will be hard to track. There is none like it, that I have found, on either website’s trackers. Any cardio/strength class like both of the ones I took today are going to be very hard to estimate. And believe me, sweat and heavy breathing are not indicators that you are actually burning what those estimators say.

Moral of today’s comparison: Trackers cannot actually be with you in a fitness class. Sure, if I sat down and tracked every single exercise, the number may be more accurate, but when you are in a class and you are struggling to do the move, you are not going to whip out your phone to put the data in. Breaking it down makes the numbers game even more complicated and could deter you from looking at the big picture of your workout.

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