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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 01-06-14, 12:47 PM   #1
Roadrash3
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Strava versus Garmin calories burned

Questions for everyone, i am looking to lose some excess weight, i don't run a heart monitor as i have large pecs and i can't get the strap to lay right to record anything. When i use my Garmin for a 1.5 hour workout, it shows something like 1400 calories burned. When i upload the same file from the garmin to strava, it will show like 700-800 calories. I am assuming the Strava reading is more accurate. Why the difference, which one is really more accurate.
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Old 01-06-14, 01:08 PM   #2
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I put it just under my pecs...you may want to try that. No matter how big the man boobies (be it muscle or fat)...most of use have a flat spot just underneath them.

As for the calories burned...I don't know. I've seen some goofy stuff with May My Ride and Strava...even with a HR monitor.

I look at it this way, if my target HR is 150-180 and know (with proof from a HR monitor) that I'm staying in the zone giver or take the duration of my ride...I'm cool with that and I'm pretty darn sure I'm burning the calories...
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Old 01-06-14, 02:11 PM   #3
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Strava's number is probably a better guess.
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Old 01-06-14, 02:31 PM   #4
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None of them are going to be correct; calorie burn is totally individual according to your genetics, metabolism, level of rest, etc. This is one of the metrics I wish fitness software wouldn't even try to calculate.

What's important is consistency. Pick one (doesn't matter which), and stay with it. As long as you stay with the same source you can compare workouts against each other and track progress. If you want to be most accurate, pick the lowest one; most software grossly over-exaggerates calorie burn. What better way to convince people that they are burning lots of fat and get them to keep using your gadgets?
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Old 01-06-14, 06:30 PM   #5
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((Strava calories) - ((Garmin calories) - (Strava calories))) / (((Strava calories) + (Garmin calories)) /2)
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Old 01-06-14, 06:42 PM   #6
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Ignore the Garmin calorie estimate but do look at the "Work" kJ number and assume 1-to-1 ratio for calories burned if you want to be conservative. Strava's calorie burn estimate is about 5-10% higher than this number IME.
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Old 01-06-14, 08:03 PM   #7
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You assume that the OP is a man? Maybe we should have some pics of her and her large "pecs" that prohibit a heart rate monitor. Just for the sake of assisting to get the heart rate monitor working.
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Old 01-06-14, 08:11 PM   #8
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neither, they are near useless.
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Old 01-06-14, 08:32 PM   #9
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Whichever says I burned the most has to be the most accurate, especially if I done been drope the hammer reel hard that ride...
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Old 01-06-14, 11:23 PM   #10
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If you have a heartrate monitor the Garmin numbers are pretty good as they license a pretty nice algorithm for the calculation. When I got a powermeter, my reported calories for my workouts stayed nearly the same...that is, the HR based estimation nearly matched the actual work calculation from power meter data.

If you don't have a HR strap, then I'd go with strava's numbers. They seem better at calculating work done, and thus, calorie burn.
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Old 01-06-14, 11:59 PM   #11
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garmin alone will give me 1300 calories for my afterwork loop. garmin +hrm about 1100. garmin +hrm +quarq 900.
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Old 01-07-14, 03:38 AM   #12
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I wouldn't trust either one. The only real way to know is with a power meter. HRM is better than nothing, but has its own downfalls.

If you can't afford a PM and want to lose weight I'd just slowly reduce your calories over time. You'll know when you've cut too far.
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Old 01-07-14, 08:16 AM   #13
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I usually figure between 30 to 35 calories a mile, depending on hard I'm riding.
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Old 01-07-14, 10:35 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by JasonCarp View Post
You assume that the OP is a man? Maybe we should have some pics of her and her large "pecs" that prohibit a heart rate monitor. Just for the sake of assisting to get the heart rate monitor working.
I can get you pictures of my pecs, but they will be hairy and gross, I am for sure a man. Thanks for the advice guys, i downloaded the lose it app, to really get my weight down for racing. I put all my workouts in at 10-11mph under bike ride even though i am always towards the higher end, it gives me the lowest calorie rating, and it seems to always come around where starva is. We will see over the next month. Maybe a power meter next year if they come down in price.
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