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Old 05-17-09, 10:46 AM   #1
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Burned calories from Garmin and Polar is a joke

Don't base your diet on what these say. It's a joke. Yesterday I did an easy 2.5 hour ride on flat ground. My Garmin said I burned 1600 calories! There's no way I worked that hard. My guess is I actually went through 1000 calories. I've had similar results from a Polar.

I've read here others say to reduce the displayed amount by 40%. That's probably good advice.
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Old 05-17-09, 11:53 AM   #2
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Perhaps it's just "feel good" marketing?
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Old 05-17-09, 01:35 PM   #3
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Depends on how you set up the unit- but I have had both over the years.

I reckon that when working very hard- I will burn about 600 calories an hour and this has also been reckoned out by the Gym where I go. This is what both the Garmin and Polar have told me I have used. Mind you- I did get annoyed when I did a 2 hour hilly ride- only to find that I had not worked as hard as I thought I had. Must have been more down hill than up.
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Old 05-18-09, 05:10 AM   #4
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I wondered about this too. I thought about if I started my workout on top of a hill and just coasted down for miles it would not be nearly as many calories burned as coming up the other way. I know after a 2 hour ride I cannot eat as many calories that day as it (fitlinxx and polar) says I burned. OTH I am slowly losing weight.
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Old 05-18-09, 07:47 AM   #5
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I don't know about the polar, but the Garmin figures it entirely on avg. speed. And it's always off. It overestimates by 40 to 50%.
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Old 05-18-09, 08:21 AM   #6
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Unless you're using a powermeter, dismiss the figures given and move on. There are too many variables not being measured.

Joel, I'm not sure about your average speed idea. I use my 705 on the motorcycle too and it gives some interesting numbers.
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Old 05-18-09, 06:03 PM   #7
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Garmin bases calories only on speed, or at least it did until the latest firmware update.
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Old 05-18-09, 07:04 PM   #8
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are you 300 pounds? The numbers are probably right on.
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Old 05-19-09, 12:08 AM   #9
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I use my 705 on the motorcycle too and it gives some interesting numbers.


I'm going to have to try that. I'll be skinny in no time!
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Old 05-19-09, 08:52 AM   #10
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Garmin bases calories only on speed, or at least it did until the latest firmware update.
What changed in that regard?
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Old 05-19-09, 12:57 PM   #11
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a 150lbs rider riding at a 15mph avg. burns about 500 cal/per/hr
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Old 05-19-09, 12:58 PM   #12
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a 150lbs rider riding at a 15mph avg. burns about 500 cal/per/hr
What if there's a 15mph wind? Or it's an hour long mountain grade?
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Old 05-19-09, 02:00 PM   #13
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What changed in that regard?
I don't know... I've heard that it's "better now", but I have no information regarding what has changed, if anything, therefore I included the caveat.
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Old 05-19-09, 07:37 PM   #14
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I'm looking at purchasing the garmin 405 for running, do you all find that it works reasonably well for cycling too (aside from the CX feature)?
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