?

Log in

No account? Create an account
calorie inflation - blue dog blog™
links

my professional page :: my linkedin page :: my facebook page

ipblogs :: jape :: patently-o :: phosita
photoblogs :: chromasia :: topleftpixel
comics and fun :: pennyarcade :: sinfest :: onion :: drunkmen
LJ :: read :: write
March 2012
 
 
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 09:38 am
calorie inflation

I'm changing gyms because of cost ... originally I joined mine (Lloyd Athletic) because I wanted to play racquetball, but that hasn't happened. Nicole's a member of 24 Hour, so I got a free week pass and have visited a couple locations. I might do the same for the other gym chains in town, not sure.

My cardio workout is pretty invariable. I go for an hour on an elliptical, adjusting the difficulty so my heartrate stays in a target zone. I go often enough so that if I jump on a machine and adjust the settings to stay in my zone, I'll get roughly the same calorie output (about 720) for an hour's effort. So I can tell variations among machines. For example, of the five ellipticals at Lloyd, I know which outputs the most, and least, calories per workout--but they're all within about 20 calories of each other (for my settings)--or about a 3% variation.

I've visited the Hollywood 24 Hour twice. Not only can I set the same model of elliptical there to a higher degree of resistance, but the output is about 80 calories above what I average for an hour of effort (about an 11% variation).

The other day I visited the 24 Hour in Mall 205, and found an older model of elliptical, so I couldn't compare degrees of resistance, but the readout was 300 calories above what I average for an hour of effort--as in, about 1,000 calories per hour. It didn't seem to be restricted to my machine, either: dude next to me was moving slower than I was, at lower difficulty settings, and his machine was telling him he was burning 800 calories per hour.

Obviously the result is what you see happening to your body, but I wonder what the adjustability limits are, or whether/when people are actually clueing in that gyms may be, essentially, trying to deceive them.

6CommentReply

circumambulate
circumambulate
Circumambulate
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 05:40 pm (UTC)

you're being bamboozled by a shiny number - those numbers are purely estimates based on an average body model and the amount of work performed. They don't take into account gender, size, body composition, etc., that all drastically impact actually calorie burn.

Hopefully the number obtained on the same machine over time should be a good indicator of whether you've worked more or less, but those probably aren't particularly comparable between different machines, or even different versions of the same machine if they've changed their algorithm. I wouldn't be at all surprised, as you suggest, that machine manufacturers tweak that algorithm towards a postitive outcome for the user so that they're drawn to that machine.


ReplyThread
littlebluedog
littlebluedog
Tim
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 06:00 pm (UTC)

Sure they're estimates, but achieving the same output consistently with the same work input gives you scientific precision even if that output value range is not scientifically accurate. This is what I'm basing the aberrations on.

I'm sure the machine manufacturers make the number tweakable, but I'm guessing they don't necessarily tweak it themselves--rather, I think the gyms do it, like you said, to give a user a positive outcome.


ReplyThread Parent
circumambulate
circumambulate
Circumambulate
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC)

But you can only get scientific precision if the inputs are processed the same way every time - my point was that you can probably only build trends based on the output of a single machine - not really across multiple machines, and maybe not even from the same machine over time if these things are updated during field service.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if manufacturers did some playing of the numbers on their own - I would imagine that competition for gym floor space is quite intense, so anything that pulls customers to a specific machine over another would ultimtately result in higher sales to the manufacturer.


ReplyThread Parent
solteronita
solteronita
see the moon? it hates us.
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 07:34 pm (UTC)

That's funny. And a great idea for a marketing campaign. "You burn more calories at 24 Hour Fitness!"

I'm not a calorie counter, so I tend to ignore those numbers. Nor can I stand exercising indoors. But some of the running sites I use give pretty outrageous calorie burning estimates -- and they too are different on every site. I laugh.


ReplyThread
ellettra
ellettra
Na zdraví
Thursday, May 5th, 2011 01:21 am (UTC)

We are joining Loprenzi's!!


ReplyThread
sistermaryeris
sistermaryeris
Bake, Love, Kickbox.
Thursday, May 5th, 2011 02:54 am (UTC)

From my experience, I'd say 700 calories an hour is on the pretty high end of what you can burn unless you're really sweating it out.

I think you MIGHT burn that at an hour of non-stop running and ellipticalizing is close to that, if you're really into it and not zoning out on Celebrity Apprentice on the TV.

But 1,000 calories does sound inflated, yes. Although I WISH.


ReplyThread