We have all seen the catchy headlines claiming you'll, "burn 1,000 calories an hour with this simple workout!" But is it true? How many calories do you actually burn in those trendy boutique fitness classes?
I decided to put some group fitness classes in the DMV and my Fitbit Blaze to the test and see what kind of results I would see. And let me tell you, I am now questioning the accuracy of Fitbit. The calories burned seemed a bit low across the board, and while I'm no calorie expert, I do know my heart was racing during the workouts and I was super sweaty!
I reached out to Fitbit to see how accurate they say the heart rate monitor on the Fitbit Blaze is and they said, "Fitbit is committed to making the best activity trackers on the market for consumers who want information to make informed decisions about their health and fitness, and we stand behind our heart tracking technology." And with regard to calorie burn, "Fitbit trackers show an estimated number of calories burned based on users’ BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate), which we calculate using the height, weight, age, and gender information that the user provided when they set up their Fitbit account."
I wore my Fitbit on my left wrist a little above my wrist bone, and very tight so my sweat wouldn't cause it to shift during my workouts. I started the Fitbit workout feature as soon as the workout began and ended it right when the workout was over.
I have included calories the internet said I would burn, calories my Fitbit said I burned, and my time in each heart rate zone.
The three heart rate zones are:
- Fat burn: This moderate intensity zone boosts basic endurance and teaches the body to use fat as fuel.
- Cardio: This medium intensity zone is great for increasing cardio fitness and muscle strength.
- Peak: The maximum intensity zone is meant for short, intense training bursts aimed at improving performance.
I've also included a "fun vs difficult" meter (because we all want to have fun while working out), ranging 1 to 10, with 1 being super boring/super easy to 10 being extremely fun/extremely difficult.
How many calories the internet said I would burn: 400 - 500
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 205
Time in heart rate zones: 8 minutes in cardio and 51 minutes in fat burn.
Fun vs difficult meter: 9/7
Overall take: I have actually been back multiple times since I tried it out with my Fitbit. I love the environment PureBarre offers and the classes are actually challenging! You truly do lift, tone, and burn.
How many calories the internet said I would burn: Around 400 calories
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 389
Time in heart rate zones: 24 minutes in peak, 28 minutes in cardio, and 6 minutes in fat burn.
Fun vs. difficult meter: 10/8
Overall take: This class is not what I was expecting, but in the best way possible! I can now say I am Platform obsessed. You work until your muscles are shaking with little to no breaks. Also, bring your coordination with you because it is not easy for the uncoordinated. (cough cough...me)
How many calories my bike said I burned: 405
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 270
Time in heart rate zones: 14 minutes peak, 25 minutes cardio, and 9 minutes fat burn.
Fun vs. difficult meter: 6/5
Overall take: Ascend was not as difficult as other cycling classes I have taken, but still a good workout with an excellent staff.
How many calories the internet said I would burn: 400 - 600
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 287
Time in heart rate zones: 2 minutes peak, 34 minutes cardio, and 14 minutes fat burn.
Fun vs. difficult meter: 9/6
Overall take: Zengo Cycle played some good tunes to get your mind off how hard you are working. I liked that they incorporated weights in with the cardio. My arms were burning after class.
How many calories the internet said I would burn: 400-500
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 218
Time in heart rate zones: 2 minutes peak, 27 minutes cardio, 13 minutes fat burn.
Fun vs. difficult meter: 5/5
Overall take: Personally, I would not go back to SweatDC. It was a little chaotic for me. Think kettlebells swinging everywhere and people with bad form.
Recommend: Most likely not
Just the elliptical in my apartment gym
How many calories the elliptical said I burned: 320
Calories burned according to Fitbit: 211
Time in heart rate zones: 11 minutes peak, 17 minutes cardio, and 1 minute fat burn.
Overall take: BORING
Recommend: Whatever floats your boat!
I would love to hear what results you guys have seen wearing Fitbits or any type of heart rate tracker. Good experience or bad? Let me know! Email firstname.lastname@example.org.