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Calculate Calories Burned


If this is your first visit, please see important notes underneath the fill-in form. Bottom line is that this is just a rough estimate! I recommend putting in 35 for VO2 max if you don’t know it. Leaving VO2 max blank gives a high estimate!

Age:
Weight:
Pounds
Kilos
Gender: Male or
 
Female
Average HR: bpm
Duration:
Hours: Minutes
:
VO2 Max: (ml/kg/min, optional)

Notes: I searched google for a way to calculate calories burned during my workouts based on average heart rate. It took some digging, but I finally found some formulas posted in a cycling forum. So, I created this nifty calculator. The numbers are sometimes quite different than what you get using caloriesperhour.com.

After a comment from a reader, I made the following change for Women without VO2max: changed “- 0.1263 x weight” to “+ 0.1263 x weight”. The reader noticed that calories burned went down with increasing weight. But that doesn’t make sense. So I compared the numbers to the men’s formula, and I think that should be a plus. The original page I got the formula from is here. Now it seems like it’s calculating too many calories for me, but oh well…

Quite a few folks are telling me that this gives a much higher number than their heart rate monitors say for calories burned. One guy pointed out that he thinks the formula uses 60 for VO2 max if you don’t input anything in for that, and that’s a super high V02 max, like what Lance Armstrong has! I recommend putting in 35 for V02 max if you don’t know it.
See this site for more info: http://www.brianmac...co.uk/vo2max.htm#vo2


Based on the following formulas:
Using VO2max
   Men: C/min = (-59.3954 + (-36.3781 + 0.271 x age + 0.394 x weight + 0.404 x VO2max + 0.634 x HR))/4.184
   Women: C/min = (-59.3954 + (0.274 x age + 0.103 x weight + 0.380 x VO2max + 0.450 x HR)) / 4.184

Without VO2max
   Men: C/min = (-55.0969 + 0.6309 x HR + 0.1988 x weight + 0.2017 x age) / 4.184
   Women: C/min = (-20.4022 + 0.4472 x HR + 0.1263 x weight + 0.074 x age) / 4.184
weight is in kg

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48 comments

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  1. robin

    i checked this out because i didn’t feel the livestrong calculator was accurate. this one is so not accurate. according to this in a step aerobics class work my a** off, i only burned 200 calories. obviously that is wrong.

  2. Trista

    According to Wikipedia…

    The average young untrained male will have a VO2 max of approximately 45 ml/kg/min. The average young untrained female will score a VO2 max of approximately 38 ml/kg/min.

    World class male athletes, cyclists and cross-country skiers typically exceed 75 ml/kg/min and a rare few may exceed 85 ml/kg/min for men and 70 ml/kg/min for women.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VO2_max

  3. Dr. Elexsor

    Oh I forgot. Here is a link to the research paper. Figures are omitted.
    http://www.braydenwm.com/cal_vs_hr_ref_paper.pdf

  4. Dr. Elexsor

    The reason you all are having issues is because you don’t understand the equations you are using.
    1: The relationship between heart rate and energy expenditure is linearly proportional ~between 90-150 bpm. During light activity or no activity for the purpose of energy expenditure you assume BMR (basal metabolic rate).

    2: The group they used to develop and test the equations is important. You need to keep in mind that the equations are most accurate for those that fall in those same ranges of the test group. The with VO2max equation has an R-value (correlation coefficient) of 0.913 and the without VO2max has an R-value of 0.857.

    Group Characteristics for most accurate results (this is based on the ranges of the participants of the study):
    Men: Age 21-37; Weight 147-210lbs; MHR 190-199bpm; %fat 9.7-20; VO2max 42.9-73.6
    Women: Age 24-44; Weight 117-157lbs; MHR 163-193bpm; %fat 21.6-32; VO2max 37-58.7

    Their heart rate testing range was from 57%-90% of MHR.
    Therefore for (approx):
    Men: 108.3-179.1 bpm
    Women: 92.91-173.7 bpm

    You can effectively round this and say that you would be able to get relatively accurate data using 100-180 bpm for the average person. Non-average people have max heart rates above 200.

    YES there is a problem with w/o VO2 max equation for women. Yes it can be fixed and the accuracy of the w/o equations in general can be increased. I was able to increase the w/o VO2 max equation to R=~0.913 with little effort. But my equations are under lock and key currently. :P

  5. Austin

    Wow thanks for putting this together, I’ve been trying to calculate the energy burn from my Crossfit workouts and this helps a ton.

  6. Aldo

    Sounds like me and Emily are experiencing the same frustration.

    I have an abnormally low resting heart rate of about 38 – 41 bpm. If I use this formula with or without my measured VO2 max, I get negative calories burned. I am still searching for the calculator that takes into consideration the entire dynamic range of a person’s heart rate.

    Maybe the formula is more useful if instead of using the actual average HR, it might be more appropriate to change it to a percentage of maximum heart rate. For instance, if your resting HR is 40 and max is 190, then an average rate of 150 is 73% of maximum (AVE – REST)/(MAX – REST).

    Still searching.

  7. Seth

    You can even get negative numbers!

  8. Seth

    Similar to Mark’s comment, something is fishy about this method. I get very high numbers for calorie burn over a 24 hours. I get more reasonable numbers for 1 hour.
    27 years old
    male
    275 lbs
    83 avg.
    24 hours,
    42 VO2max (wikipedia) = 10421! I’m eating tonight!

  9. tara

    thank you soooooooooooo much!!!!!!!!

  10. Tim

    Gr8 calculator

  11. Olin Hyde

    Great calculator Carol! I have shared this with many people. Consider making it an iPhone app! All the best to you, Olin

  12. Emily

    My VO2 is somewhere around 40 and my resting heart rate is ~40. If I sat on the couch for an hour, I would burn -120 calories. This explains my inability to lose weight.

  13. Ellen

    Thank you so much for publishing this calculator!! Just what I was looking for.

  14. Nicole

    Hey — this calculator has been such a blessing…but now it’s not working!! WHY?!! Maybe it’s operator error…but I’ve been using it for several weeks now, and then nada…

  15. jose

    thanks for setting this up. I use it almost every day

  16. mark

    Exactly what i’ve been looking for!!! THANKS!!! i’ve been using it every day

  17. L to da Boogie

    Okay. If you put in your average heart rate for an 8 hour day you get some outlandish numbers 250lbs at 110 BPM gives a burn of 4804. Am I to understand that I need close to 6000 cals per day? Me thinks that there may be a limit to either weight of time limit.

  18. Mario

    According to Wikipedia you can estimate your VO2Max by diving your max heart rate with your resting heart rate all multiplied by 15. So in my case that’s 15 * 182 / 48 = 56 (roughly). And yes for people like Armstrong this formula gives VO2Max of 91 ml/kg/min (which sounds realistic).

    Also, according to Wikipedia, average untrained male has VO2Max of 42 ml/kg/min.

  19. Catherine

    This was very useful to me, and I will continue to use it… This page has been bookmarked.
    I always wear my monitor but if I’m not on a machine I have no clue what I am burning. Thank you so much.

  20. phil

    I came across this site thinking about normal-activity cal burning. Consider my thoughts.

    m-57 162lb. Good shape est 35 vo2 68 HR

    At 24 hours cal ~ 2000+. Some say wt x 10 equals the cal per day to maintain wt. So that kind of matches up with minor tweaking. Tweaking with what you think you avg in HR throughout 24 hours sleeping and all, and playing with vo2max you can see the cal per day are pretty close to verifying the wt x 10 theory.

    But also playing with the figures shows couch potatoes probably have low vo2 because the hr isn’t hard to keep up at cal burning state, even low level activity.

  21. Cezar

    Thank you SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much for sharing!! This calculator is amazing!!! :)

  22. Stephen

    Thanks, very helpful. Even if not perfect, it is a good guide and very helpful. :)

  23. Bob

    A wonderfully accurate calculator…I visit here after every workout!

  24. Alex

    Great, accurate calculator. Thank you!

  25. mbales

    The following site contains the same formula used here and the link to the paper that shows the research on it referenced in comment above.
    http://www.braydenwm.com/calburn.htm

    The adjustment for the woman’s version was correct as originally used above. The fact that the values went the wrong way for weight means the calculation is being done incorrectly.

    For all the comments wondering about accuracy, or assumptions of VO2max, or imputing a bogus value, reading the research will show it actually takes into account those things and has a very high statistical accuracy when used correctly. Don’t put in unknown VO2max, use 0 if you don’t know. Don’t adjust the age because you think it’s doing a calculation of Max HR, it’s not.

    And this research was sponsored by Polar of Finland, so some of those with Polar HRM’s may actually get the same figures. Their later research using just Max HR and resting HR with age and weight had less accuracy then these formulas.

    Actually, I notice the above calculator doesn’t come up with manually done calculation, for the males with known VO2max, so I think part of the calc is still off.

    For those wanting to measure your VO2max, there are some great self done tests that don’t require max exertion, if you are concerned about hitting max. There are others that do get to max. Also some for cycling, some for running, to be more accurate for your sport.

    Under the section for Aerobic Testing, http://www.exrx.net/Testing.html
    They cycle test is very good if confusing, as is the treadmill test if you have one that does enough grade change. High level of accuracy.

  26. Howy61

    I went back the original paper:
    “Prediction of energy expenditure from heart rate monitoring during submaximal exercise”, Publication: Journal of Sports Sciences, 01-MAR-05
    and found email addresses for 3 of the researchers.

    Hopefully, one of them will take a few minutes out to help us out with our quesitons since these equations are popping up on a number of sites.

  27. Howy

    I do mostly SPIN classes now and I suspected the nonVO2 calulation was a little high. can some one indicate which portion of the Men’s version should be adjusted down? I am guessing 0.6309 x HR.

  28. Al

    Great calculator. Now I need to figure out my Max VO2 for a more accurate calculation. Without it, the number tends to be very high. Keep up the good work. Thanks! Al

  29. Joel

    You are a super-genius, my friend. Thank you for taking the time to put this together. I am a bodybuilder. I am currently going through a “cut” phase. The program that I do is much more intense that P90X. The standard calorie burner out there states that I burn 250 calories per 30 minutes as a “weightlifter.” I know this is not the case because I always maintain 80 to 85 percent of my THR, and once in a while I literally come close to vomiting. At any rate, your calculator states that I burn roughly 450 calories every 30 minutes, which is a heck of a lot more realistic. You should patent this program and make some money. Again, thanks! I added your site to my favorites.

  30. Bruce

    Thanks Jerry,

    It took me awhile to figure that out. I missed that last line. Now it works perfectly.

  31. David

    Hi,

    I noticed my heart rate watch gives considerebly higher calorie burning after I update my REST Heart Rate in the settings (my heart rate when I just sit). It makes sense – if my heart rate at rest is 50, I burn much more calories when my heart rate is 90, rather than if my heart rate at rest is 80. So this is another factor that has to get attension.
    Take a look here :
    http://www.netfit.co.uk/ty13.htm

  32. Liz

    LOVE IT!! Here I thought I was only burning enough calories to eat a box of Dots … but now I can have the ice cream cone!!

  33. Rob Lorenzini

    Great calculator. I used this and have compared it to my Garmin 305, this calculator comes out consistently 5-10% LOWER than my Garmin 305 calculates. For example my 4.25 run today came out as 599 calories on the Garmin 305, I get 572 from your calculator.

  34. Jerry

    Bruce, if you put this into excel, you need to convert your weight to kg.

  35. Jerry

    This is great. This has long been a debate with many people I know. Most people think that the exercise makes a big difference in how many calories you burn. But I have always looked at the body as a machine or an engine. If it is being stoked at a certain rate then it is burning a certain amount of fuel regardless of how the body got there.

    Thanks. I was going to buy you a cup of coffee. But I was thinking WaWa or 7-11 not Starbucks. Thanks for the calculator.

  36. Amanda

    very cool. thanks a lot!

  37. lea

    hahaha… I like the calculator better before the VO2 Max mishap was discovered! hahaha… thanks for the tool though – it is great!

  38. Skinz

    Thanks.

    This ties in with cross comparison against the calorie ‘guesstimated’ on a variety of cross trainers, gym ‘bikes’ and my ‘cheapo’ HRM and using the ‘perceived exertion level scale’ type of comparison too. So, as far as I can see it is ‘good enough’ and gets my vote and a link.

    So thanks very much.

  39. Mnmomof3

    i used this calculator to calculate my calories burned for my walk today…i used my heart rate monitor watch for it as well. my watch said i burned a total of 401 calories.i walked 3.81 miles in 1 hour and 5 mins. Im 33 years old and i weigh 85.5 kgs and my average heart rate was 130 bpm. without using the VO2MAX…..since i have no idea what it is……this calculator said i burned 791 calories…which seems WAY too high.

  40. Darren S

    Thanks for this calculator. It is very helpful. I have been using it for the last4 weeks.
    It has helped me calculate how many calories I have burnt/have to burn on each workout.
    So far I have managed to lose 15lbs by workin in my target heart rate(which your calculator inspires me to do).
    Thanks

    D

  41. Eder

    Your calculator is great. Gives me a reason to put on my non calorie counting heart rate monitor. Thanks for developing it!!

  42. David

    Hi, another thing.
    I’ve just bought a new pulse watch (polar) and I noticed the calorie count in the wath gives EXACTLY the same result like your calculator, and that’s great. The only weird thing is that when sitting, with HR of 60 bpm, the polar watch shows 1 calorie burned per minute, and the calc here gives a minus (-) calorie burning :) Any reason for that ?
    Also I suggest putting a link on this site to self-tests of VO2MAX, like here
    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/treadmill.htm

    above all, thank you for this great calculator.

  43. Bruce

    Thank you very much for your work.

    When I added the formula into excel 2007, I end up getting quite a different answer. As far as I can tell, I’ve got the formula right. However, I get way more C/min in excel than on this calculator. The weird thing is that my excel calc is very similar to what the machine gives me, even though the machine doesn’t measure any of these factors.

    Has anyone else had this issue? I really just want to be accurate.

  44. david

    here check this out

    http://www.brianmac.co.uk/vo2max.htm#vo2

  45. david

    the formula without VO2MAX gives a too high result, because it assumes VO2MAX value of 63 which is very, very high

  46. Amber

    I use this calculator every time I work out. Thanks!

  47. Darren S

    Hey, is this very accurate? Thanx for putting it on here.
    If I’m in my target heart rate(for fat burning) do you know what percentage of the calories burnt would be fat?
    I saw on another website that 1g of fat is 8 calories.
    But I guess it would be too good to be true that if I burnt 800calories that that would be 100g of fat???
    D

  48. Account_user

    Wow!

    great calculator! it is well tought, thank you for uploading it

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