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  1. #1
    Registered User GettingInShape2's Avatar
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    I cycled for 30 minutes and burned 200 calories. How the heck did that happen?

    In order to lose weight for my cardio, I run 3 miles per day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday were my "off days" but I decided to do some light (real light) cardio by doing some cycling on the stationary bike.

    I was on it for about 30 minutes and was SHOCKED to see that I burned 200 calories. Keep in mind that the cycle level was really low and I didn't break a sweat. In fact, my breathing hardly changed. My heartbeat was about a 120.

    The reason why I am skeptical is because when I do my 3 mile jogs, I usually burn 250 calories in 30 minutes of running but during the run I am breathing pretty heavily and my legs are fatigued at the end of the run.

    Was it the machine's scales that were wrong? How did I lose 200 calories by cycling while breathing normal (as if I were sitting on a couch watching TV) yet I lose a little more than 200 calories by practically killing myself with sweat when running?

    Is low-intensity really that effective or was it the machine that was wrong?
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  2. #2
    Registered User TheNormalMan's Avatar
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    Those numbers on the machine aren't entirely accurate. In terms of dropping fat, running is much more effective overall than cycling is. I only alternate cycling in with my program because I'm still too heavy to run for any real length of time. And with running, unless you weight like 100 pounds, if you're doing a decent pace, you should be burning more than 250 calories in a 30 minute session.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Swaggydoo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GettingInShape2 View Post
    In order to lose weight for my cardio, I run 3 miles per day on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tuesday and Thursday were my "off days" but I decided to do some light (real light) cardio by doing some cycling on the stationary bike.

    I was on it for about 30 minutes and was SHOCKED to see that I burned 200 calories. Keep in mind that the cycle level was really low and I didn't break a sweat. In fact, my breathing hardly changed. My heartbeat was about a 120.

    The reason why I am skeptical is because when I do my 3 mile jogs, I usually burn 250 calories in 30 minutes of running but during the run I am breathing pretty heavily and my legs are fatigued at the end of the run.

    Was it the machine's scales that were wrong? How did I lose 200 calories by cycling while breathing normal (as if I were sitting on a couch watching TV) yet I lose a little more than 200 calories by practically killing myself with sweat when running?

    Is low-intensity really that effective or was it the machine that was wrong?

    I think the real question is, how the heck do you only burn 250 cals jogging for 30 mins.
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  4. #4
    Registered User Jules Verne's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swaggydoo View Post
    I think the real question is, how the heck do you only burn 250 cals jogging for 30 mins.
    Yea, how much do you weigh? It also depends on resting and max HR. 120 for me is not that low, for others it would be getting out of bed.

    200kcal, even for quite low intensity could be very reasonable, it might be a bit more even.

    usually for me low/med intensity burns about 10-13 kcal/minute.
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  5. #5
    Cutting Hotmoltenlava's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swaggydoo View Post
    I think the real question is, how the heck do you only burn 250 cals jogging for 30 mins.
    X2

    I burn in the realm of 600 cals, but that is at a medium-high pace. Are you getting that reading from a treadmill or a calculator?
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  6. #6
    Registered User Buggy166's Avatar
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    i run on ellipticals for 60 minutes on a medium pace at level 8/20(just came back from 6 months off and xmas food..gotta take it slow)

    for me that burns, on the marchine, something just over 900 cals. and itll continue burning more than likely for a bit more totalling 1000 cals.

    point is machines give you approximations, never the actual numbers because we all have different body types.

    i prefer for example long distance running due to the way im built, im not a sprinter and i also lose less mucle by avoiding hiit...but at the same time i put in 3x the time required to run.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Librarygorilla's Avatar
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    Those things on machines are, generally, wildly inaccurate. They are useful for gauging progress over time. If you burned 200 calories in half an hour when you used to do 150, you've made good progress.
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