I do a buddy training session for two women (same age), and both women wear heart rate monitors during the session. Both clients have their age, height, weight, gender, and resting heart rate entered in to their HR monitors. At the end of a 30-minute session, Client “A” has burned 475 calories while Client “B” has burned only 320 calories. Client “B” is frustrated because she did the exact same work out as Client “A” and did not burn nearly as many calories. Based on the HR monitor readings, Client “A’s” max HR during the session was higher than Client “B’s.” Does this mean that Client “B” is more fit than Client “A” and that it is going to take more exertion for Client “B” to achieve the same calorie burn as Client “A?” Is Client “B” not working as hard as Client “A,” even though Client “B” feels like she worked as hard as she could during the workout? Could it be possible that both clients are equally fit and one just has a physically bigger heart than the other?
Nope. You have to integrate their body types as well.
Fat works like insurance. The more you have the less you burn. Individuals with high percentages of muscle can eat massive amounts for dinner and still weigh less in the morning. Overweight individuals can work incredibly hard but still lose very little, because their muscles do not burn as much.
“Burning calories” is based more on how someone is able to consistently workout.
Actually, Client B could be better conditioned if the heart rate is lower. Therefore, Client A would be making the greater gains. Both clients have positive results that they should be pleased with. Everyone is different, which can even cause varied results on monitors.
I do not encourage clients to compare themselves; although, it is very difficult to avoid that competition bug. Use it as an entertainment tool with the emphasis on each client’s personal improvements.
Gosh, how could I answer any more than has already been given. Different levels of fitness and different modalities of exercise are always variables that effect the total caloric expenditure during an exercise session. But the more important question, to me, is who cares? Gosh, you got them both up and working out. Without sophisticated lab equipment, how could you ever measure true caloric expenditure? They both worked hard and that is the key.