Posts tagged bb
I’ve been working out with a personal trainer (I haven’t gotten permission to use her name, yet). We had a debate about whether the Body Bugg (BB) or a heart rate monitor (HRM) is a better judge of calorie burn.
If you’re not familiar with the BB, it’s a unit that you wear strapped to your upper left arm all day long. At the end of the day you plug it into your computer, upload your data, and the website will present a graph with your calories burned throughout the day. A HRM is more straightforward – you wear a strap around your chest just under your pecs and it transmits your heart rate to a wrist watch (or other device).
My Polar FT7 came in the mail today. I read the manual, configured it for my weight, height, age, and gender and it dutifully reported that my max heart rate was 188 beats per minute (BPM). You can find yours by subtracting your age from 220. I ran the center portion under water, attached the WearLink® unit, and headed to Zumba. The results are in a letter to my trainer; Jason Tucker; and of course; my Zumba instructor, Kelly Emerson of Vancouver Zumba.
Today I wore a Polar FT7 during an hour of Zumba and came up with the following: 619 cals burned, 59:53 duration, 146 average bpm, 161 max bpm, 10:36 spent in fat burn range, 49:17 spent in fitness range. I uploaded my Body Bugg data and selected the same ~1 hour period and it reports 784 calories burned.
The Body Bugg site says the skew is due to having multiple data points instead of a single data point “which is what other calorie estimation devices such as pedometers and heart rate monitors rely on.” So, is an HRM inferior technology for measuring calorie burn? Maybe, but it’s possible it’s marketing hype. For me, it’s all relative. Whether it’s the scale, Body Bugg, HRM, or Omron body fat tester – their efficacy isn’t in question because as long as you’re using the same device to measure each data point you can tell when it’s going up and down.
I’ll continue to wear the Body Bugg to collect the waking-hours data and the HRM for workouts where intensity is something I’m interested in maintaining. That would be anything other than kickboxing and Zumba since I don’t have much control over the routines. I always squat a little bit lower and squeeze the abs a little bit tighter because I know that’s what is going to get me the most bang for the buck, but I don’t need an HRM to tell me that.
I’m looking forward to hitting the elliptical and seeing how consistently I can keep my heart rate in the fat burn zone. From what I’m seeing from the Zumba data my cardio fitness time is already covered.