Why I don't treadmill :)

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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby bismarck » 05 May 2012, 09:20

Formosa Fitness wrote:
finley wrote:To earn a crust, I design the electronics that go into treadmills, and I can confirm that a small amount of evil is carefully packaged inside. However, it is less than it used to be because of global resource shortages, especially since China is now stockpiling evil to meet domestic demand.


Can I ask you a question then? A lot of people just hit "start" and start walking or running and then figure they burned off the amount of calories the machine says. But without individual stats like weight, age, etc. being plugged in, it seems that amount must be off for many people. How is the calorie count approximated in basic mode?

Thanks!

Yeah, I've wondered (and doubted the results) about that. As an actual road runner in my youth, I never really believed the distance either.
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby finley » 05 May 2012, 12:37

bismarck wrote:
Formosa Fitness wrote:A lot of people just hit "start" and start walking or running and then figure they burned off the amount of calories the machine says. But without individual stats like weight, age, etc. being plugged in, it seems that amount must be off for many people. How is the calorie count approximated in basic mode?
Thanks!

Yeah, I've wondered (and doubted the results) about that. As an actual road runner in my youth, I never really believed the distance either.


There are two different accepted calorie calculations, one for walking and one for running. We have to guess where the switchover is, and personally I calculate both values and then "fade" from one to the other either side of 6kph. The calculation gives a burn rate in ml per kg per minute; millilitres being oxygen and kg being bodyweight. Divide that value by 3.5 and you've got METs. This estimate is surprisingly accurate, especially for grade running; it's about +/-10%. To estimate calories, you can assume 1 litre of oxygen represents 5kcal burned, but that's only true for aerobic respiration. The metabolic reactions change throughout a long workout, so although the METs estimate is good, the final calorie value probably isn't. And of course if the machine doesn't know the user's weight, then it's even less accurate; in that case, I just use 70kg if the actual weight is unknown.

Distance is just measured as speed x time, which must (when you think about it) be completely accurate as long as speed is accurate. Speed is always slightly off though (a couple of %), especially with AC motors, but it will be a constant error, so you can compare distances with confidence.
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby tommy525 » 05 May 2012, 12:39

Thats all good brother man, but the thing I don't like is that you actually still gotta walk on em :)

Or run on em.

I still feel its very artificial tho.

but if you have to run indoors, its way better then nothing.
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby superking » 05 May 2012, 12:42

finley wrote:To earn a crust, I design the electronics that go into treadmills, and I can confirm that a small amount of evil is carefully packaged inside. However, it is less than it used to be because of global resource shortages, especially since China is now stockpiling evil to meet domestic demand.


I know TWO other guys who made a mint off of doing this sort of stuff. They BOTH lived in Taiwan. Co inky dink? Maybe..... Following the logic... you are destined to get divorced. Sorry. I can see how it pans out for you. Best advice is that you will need to learn how to weld.
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby finley » 05 May 2012, 12:43

superking wrote:
finley wrote:To earn a crust, I design the electronics that go into treadmills, and I can confirm that a small amount of evil is carefully packaged inside. However, it is less than it used to be because of global resource shortages, especially since China is now stockpiling evil to meet domestic demand.


I know TWO other guys who made a mint off of doing this sort of stuff. They BOTH lived in Taiwan. Co inky dink? Maybe..... Following the logic... you are destined to get divorced. Sorry. I can see how it pans out for you. Best advice is that you will need to learn how to weld.


haha ... very weird. I thought it was a pretty small industry. And yeah, you're probably right about the other stuff.

Fortunately I can already weld ... although that was a long time ago.
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Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby headhonchoII » 05 May 2012, 12:58

When the evil piles up enough does the treadmill break the speed control and shoot people off randomly around the gym?

Do your treadmills come with drinks holders? How about sweat absorption properties?
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby superking » 05 May 2012, 12:59

finley wrote:
superking wrote:
finley wrote:To earn a crust, I design the electronics that go into treadmills, and I can confirm that a small amount of evil is carefully packaged inside. However, it is less than it used to be because of global resource shortages, especially since China is now stockpiling evil to meet domestic demand.


I know TWO other guys who made a mint off of doing this sort of stuff. They BOTH lived in Taiwan. Co inky dink? Maybe..... Following the logic... you are destined to get divorced. Sorry. I can see how it pans out for you. Best advice is that you will need to learn how to weld.


haha ... very weird. I thought it was a pretty small industry. And yeah, you're probably right about the other stuff.

Fortunately I can already weld ... although that was a long time ago.



Chances are that you already know one of them, and maybe the other. Hellishly nice chaps. Good stuff with the welding. From what I read, you are going to need it! :D
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby finley » 05 May 2012, 14:55

headhonchoII wrote:When the evil piles up enough does the treadmill break the speed control and shoot people off randomly around the gym?

Do your treadmills come with drinks holders? How about sweat absorption properties?


Well, the evil is normally included as the hydrochloride, which is somewhat hygroscopic. So the throwing-off-randomly tends to happen when the evil becomes saturated with sweat. This is why savvy trainers will advise you to always bring a towel to the gym.

Drinks holders are a very recent technological innovation and it'll take some time to work out the bugs in that particular feature. It's all highly technical.

Chances are that you already know one of them, and maybe the other. Hellishly nice chaps.

I do know one hellishly nice chap here who's doing quite well for himself in the industry. Most of us are just scraping by and planning our welding career.
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Re: Why I don't treadmill :)

Postby Formosa Fitness » 05 May 2012, 16:19

finley wrote:There are two different accepted calorie calculations, one for walking and one for running. We have to guess where the switchover is, and personally I calculate both values and then "fade" from one to the other either side of 6kph. The calculation gives a burn rate in ml per kg per minute; millilitres being oxygen and kg being bodyweight. Divide that value by 3.5 and you've got METs. This estimate is surprisingly accurate, especially for grade running; it's about +/-10%. To estimate calories, you can assume 1 litre of oxygen represents 5kcal burned, but that's only true for aerobic respiration. The way you 'burn' calories changes throughout a long workout, so although the METs estimate is good, the final calorie calculation probably isn't. And of course if the machine doesn't know the user's weight, then it's even less accurate; in that case, I just use 70kg if the actual weight is unknown.

Distance is just measured as speed x time, which must (when you think about it) be completely accurate as long as speed is accurate. Speed is always slightly off though (a couple of %), especially with AC motors, but it will be a constant error, so you can compare distances with confidence.


Excellent. Thanks so much for talking to me about this stuff. I've wondered about it for so long.
So 70kg is the guess of the average weight, meaning women under that weight are way off. So a 45kg women would be burning significantly less calories than a 70kg man.

I noticed we're talking about body weight but METs don't take into account body composition. So someone with higher than average lean body mass would also find their calorie count off, yes?

You're point about it measuring aerobic respiration is well taken. I've long noticed that cardio machines don't appear calibrated for anaerobic conditioning like Tabatas. This type of conditioning burns calories pretty well but the machines don't reflect that fact. Naturally though, they can't account for EPOC, etc. It's just that clients are used to seeing a number and having that reflect everything when it actually doesn't.

Finally, (and this is a more general comment) I've long noticed that "350 calories" burned for a beginner doesn't seem to equal "350 calories" for someone fitter for the same length workout. Most machines don't take into account efficiency and adaptation, which the body acquires as you do it more often. Most people don't think about what they're doing and use the exact same setting at the exact same speed for the same length of time and take the calorie count they get as a fact, even though they've been doing that same workout for a year. The 350 calories they might have burned the first few times seems to be much lower in reality even though the numbers are the same a year later.
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