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DANIELM69
05-25-2011, 09:33 AM
I'm new to Garmin. I've had my FR610 for a week now and I like it. However, the one thing that I did notice is the difference in calorie count between a Garmin and a Polar. I know that this has been discussed in other forums (FR410). I read those posts when I was researching going to Garmin and was concerned with the big difference noted. So when I got my 610 last week I did some side by side tests. Here's what I saw.

Relatively easy training wearing both HRM's. Polar at the top and Garmin below and I kept this is the same for all tests.
Test 1:
Time: 26:49. Distance: 2.91m
FR610 Cals: 343
FT 60 Cals: 458
Diff: 115

Test 2:
Time: 45:02. Distance: 4.00m
FR610 Cals: 485
FT 60 Cals: 626
Diff: 141

Test 3:
Time: 56:20. Distance: 4.52m
FR610 Cals: 573
FT 60 Cals: 751
Diff: 178

Test 4:
Time: 60:00. Distance: 4.36m
FR610 Cals: 401
FT 60 Cals: 604
Diff: 203

Some questions that I ask when I have two measuring instruments measuring the same thing under the same conditions with different results are:
1) Which measuring instrument is correct?
2) Is either of them correct?

As shown, the difference becomes larger with time. I noted during the runs that my heart rate was within 1 beat on both the garmin and Polar. So that's good. I believe what this shows is that the calculations (Algorithms) that First Beat Technologies and Polar use seem to be vastly different.

With all of that being said, a 200cal difference on a 1 hour "brisk walk" is huge. How much will it be when I run a half marathon?

So my solution is I'll be the geek wearing 2 watches. The Polar for HRM and the Garmin for everything else. My goal was to combine both into the Garmin, but it doesn't appear that will work out!

:)

BIT101
05-25-2011, 09:47 AM
I've noticed that the 610 reports quite a bit lower on calories than my Garmin FR 305 did.

This might help:

http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2010/11/how-calorie-measurement-works-on-garmin.html

I assume the 610 uses the First Beat 2nd Generation Algorithm, about which the site says, "The Firstbeat algorithm is the most accurate Garmin device calorie measurement that can be done without external testing."

No idea what algorithm the Polar uses.

BIT101
05-25-2011, 09:53 AM
But I will say that 600-700 calories for a one hour brisk walk seems mighty high. A quick web search gives a bunch of results that would indicate 200-400 in general. More in line with what the Garmin is saying.

DCV2002
05-25-2011, 09:54 AM
To me, I think the lower numbers look correct. For me, I always think that for every mile I run I burn 120 calories. Those seem to line up with your numbers for the FR610 versus the FT60. The calorie burn also highly depend on weight also.

HAYLEY_MULTER@YAHOO.COM
05-26-2011, 12:17 PM
I too have this problem and have been using various Polar watches for the last four years during strength and cardio workouts indoors. I have had my 610 watch for 1 week and have noticed that every workout is 100-150 calories less than what my Polar would usually be. Today I did a very strenuous workout for 1 hour with my trainer doing a mix of cardio (stairs, jump rope, running) and strength (heavy free weights and 20 pound medicine ball, cable machine). I usually burn between 550 and 620 during these workouts on my Polar.

I wore both watches and both heart rate monitors. The heart rates were within a beat of each other the entire time. Here is the info I got from both watches...

Time on Polar: 1 hour 2 minutes
Average heart rate on Polar: 155
Max heart rate on Polar: 185
Calories burned on Polar: 613

Time on Garmin: 1 hour 2 minutes
Average heart rate on Garmin: 155
Max heart rate on Garmin: 185
Calories burned on Garmin: 479

The weights, age and max/resting heart rates are set the same in both watches. It is very disheartening to work out and see your calories so low compared to what you are used to seeing. I read in this forum below that it may help to raise your calorie count if you set your fitness level setting to a 10 (I had mine at a 4).

https://forums.garmin.com/showthread.php?t=3975&page=3

I am going to try this and see if it works.

MEGAN.BLEESS@GMAIL.COM
05-26-2011, 05:46 PM
I've just posted my similar frustrations in the 405CX forums (I got a new Garmin 405cx about a month ago. I really like how it sends everything to the Dashboard including a map, and breaks down HR, laps, pace, etc. Prior to this Garmin, I had a Polar F11 for about 4 years. With the Polar it seemed that it used more of your personal attributes in it's calorie calculation. It also sent monthly reminders to test if anything should be updated to give you accurate analysis. So I grew accustom to the typical calorie read out for my different workouts. The Garmin doesn't seem to take into account any other profile settings. If there is something I'm missing, maybe that would clear up my calorie confusion. So, for example, I go for an hour and some run. My Polar would say that I burned 800-1100 calories. The same run on my Garmin would say 500-600 calories. It seems that all the forums I've read would cry just the opposite that the Polar reads lower than Garmin. If it helps anyone decipher what the correct calorie read out should be: Female, age 33, 5'5", 145lbs 18% body fat. I generally run a comfortable 9min mile with my ave HR about 155ish. Help! What am I missing??). I just got the 405CX about a month ago. Prior to that I used a Polar F11 for about 4 years. I loved my Polar, but it was so beat up I had to replace it.

The calorie consumption count is drastically different. For a typical run around 7+ miles which take a little over an hour, my 405CX records maybe around 600calories. My Polar F11 would have recorded closer to 1000 calories.

I've looked at different calculators that consistently tell me the results I see from the 405CX are too low and my Polar was more on track. I've tried changing the setting of my activity level as mentioned in the previous post and didn't notice any improvement. This is really disappointing. For the most part, I like my new Garmin, but these calorie counts are just depressing!

DCRAINMAKER
05-26-2011, 11:26 PM
I've just posted my similar frustrations in the 405CX forums (I got a new Garmin 405cx about a month ago. I really like how it sends everything to the Dashboard including a map, and breaks down HR, laps, pace, etc. Prior to this Garmin, I had a Polar F11 for about 4 years. With the Polar it seemed that it used more of your personal attributes in it's calorie calculation. It also sent monthly reminders to test if anything should be updated to give you accurate analysis. So I grew accustom to the typical calorie read out for my different workouts. The Garmin doesn't seem to take into account any other profile settings. If there is something I'm missing, maybe that would clear up my calorie confusion. So, for example, I go for an hour and some run. My Polar would say that I burned 800-1100 calories. The same run on my Garmin would say 500-600 calories. It seems that all the forums I've read would cry just the opposite that the Polar reads lower than Garmin. If it helps anyone decipher what the correct calorie read out should be: Female, age 33, 5'5", 145lbs 18% body fat. I generally run a comfortable 9min mile with my ave HR about 155ish. Help! What am I missing??). I just got the 405CX about a month ago. Prior to that I used a Polar F11 for about 4 years. I loved my Polar, but it was so beat up I had to replace it.

The calorie consumption count is drastically different. For a typical run around 7+ miles which take a little over an hour, my 405CX records maybe around 600calories. My Polar F11 would have recorded closer to 1000 calories.

I've looked at different calculators that consistently tell me the results I see from the 405CX are too low and my Polar was more on track. I've tried changing the setting of my activity level as mentioned in the previous post and didn't notice any improvement. This is really disappointing. For the most part, I like my new Garmin, but these calorie counts are just depressing!

Depends on your weight. Using some very rough calculators, 7 miles would be about 180 pounds for 1,000 calories. 600ish seems more realistic if you're under that a fair bit.

That said, much of the calculations depend on HR driven math (assuming HRM is on), so it may really come down to Firstbeat calculations vs Polar Calculations - again, based on HR. I often just use simple weight based calculators as a quick reality check against either vendors numbers.

T_SMIT
05-27-2011, 09:52 AM
@megan: A rough rule of thumb is 100 calories per mile if you weigh 150 lbs, or (if you measure distance in km) 60 - 65 calories per km, again if you weigh 150 pounds. For weights greater or smaller, you can apply a proportional reduction, eg. if you weigh 100 pounds then you could expect to burn only about 66 calories per mile.

It should be noted that, like many other rules of thumb, they're rough approximations and individual values can be different, but you should not expect to magically burn double or triple what these rules of thumb tell you, since they're based on experimental data gathered from a wide cross section of runners.

Check out this article from Runner's world:
http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-304-311-8402-0,00.html

Of particular note is the distinction between 'net calorie burn' and 'total calorie burn'. The net calorie burn is more directly correlated with the distance you cover (regardless of how quickly you do it, other than whether you're running or walking), but the total calorie burn depends on your base metabolic rate, which can vary widely from person to person, and neither your Polar nor Garmin watch and HRMs can tell you what that is.

BIT101
05-27-2011, 10:56 AM
Great article from Runners World. Thanks!

Using the formula: .75 x your weight (in lbs.) = calories per mile, and analyzing the runs I've done over the past week with my 610, the 610 consistently reports just about 90% of the figure calculated from that formula.

The Garmin 305 runs generally scored a bit higher, maybe 5% more than that calculation.

Interestingly, one really slow run I did on the 610 actually reported more calories than the formula. I was running with my daughter, so going much slower, with lots of breaks.

DANIELM69
05-27-2011, 02:08 PM
I found that the numbers here are closer to Polar. I used Heart Rate Based Calculator.
Input Test 4 Data:
Age: 42
Weight: 173
Duration: 60:00
Average Heart Rate: 115bpm
Result: 596
Polar had 604
Garmin had 401

On a side note. I haven't been wearing my Garmin HRM. Just Polar these past couple of runs. Yet the FR610 data in Garmin Connect is giving me a calorie count. Is the 610 sensing the Polar HRM or is it just a calculation?

http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise

DW152
05-27-2011, 02:57 PM
I

On a side note. I haven't been wearing my Garmin HRM. Just Polar these past couple of runs. Yet the FR610 data in Garmin Connect is giving me a calorie count. Is the 610 sensing the Polar HRM or is it just a calculation?



Are you getting a HR reading when you run with the Polar HRM strap?

Even if you are not, some of the Forerunners will revert to a distance-based calorie calculation if you do not have a HRM. Maybe the 610 does this also.

BIT101
05-27-2011, 03:08 PM
Yes, the 610 will calculate calories even without a HRM.

DANIELM69
05-28-2011, 09:17 PM
DW152,
No heart rate signal, so the 610 is calculating. Based on the number of calories that it's telling me that I'm burning, I don't see much of a difference from when I do where the Garmin HRM and without. Looks very similiar.

I'm starting to think that garmin calorie count is based more on distance and duration rather than HR and duration. I could be wrong.

I think I'll run 2 or 3 miles at around 11:15 per mile avg and try to average in the 120's on HR. Then do the same around an 8:00 avg or faster and try to average in the 160's on HR and see what the calorie difference is in the 610.

TWSSAS
06-05-2011, 03:40 PM
This calorie burn calculation is certainly strange.

Similar runs, course, distance, and duration

Timex Iron Man Road Trainer
2 Hrs. 10 minutes 138 avg. heart rate = 1,993 calories.

Forerunner 610
2 Hrs. 17 minutes 143 avg. heart rate= 1,154 calories.

Hugely different and both watches set up with same weight parameters.

The Garmin heart rate was dead on with the Timex, but obviously the
algorithm is different.

I have been reading for some time the Garmin's are a little on the lean side as far as calorie calculations. Perhaps Timex was a little on the fat side..........
Any suggestions for me as far as the watch set up? Anything else I can do?

Thanks

ANTEGAHLIN
12-27-2011, 07:46 PM
Any new opinions on this topic?

I have recently bought a 610 device and has nothing to compare with.


How accurate ist the 610 (FirstBeat 2nd) in counting calories?

How accurate is the Polar watches? Do they use their own or a 3rd party algorithm?

Has there been any laborathory testing of the newer heart rate-devices as the 610 and the Polars?

PMVLIET
01-03-2012, 02:17 AM
When I first got my 610, the calorie count was really off. I knew my calorie count for a 5 mile bike ride from my polar unit. I talked to my trainer and we sat down with everything. We found out that you have to set your heartrate zones in garmin connect (web), for it to work correctly. Seems that both the watch and website have to have the same settings.

We updated things and it seems to be accurate now. AS far as I know, things are ok now.

Pieter