Friday, 31 July 2015

Fitness Myths: Comparing fixed calories per hour across various sports

How many times have you seen this kind of info? Whilst there is some truth in it, it is rather inaccurate and perhaps misleading. for example why is cycling mid-table. Would Chris Hoy agree that cycling is fairly moderate activity, akin to a brisk walk? Nonsense!

The idea of a fixed number of calories per hour (ie energy used) from complex sports is a myth. The amount of energy used / time reflects the intensity of that activity. In order words the amount of and intensity of the muscular and cardiovascular strain.

A slightly better way would be to break it down like this in categories of low / medium and high intensity bands. For example see this nice infographic. 

However a more precise way is to measure intensity more accurately. This has been perfected in cycling....because power (effort / energy use) increases with speed / resistance gradient

Similarly in rowing for example on the concept 2 rower

A new start up has also created the worlds first powermeter for running (more on this another time) see

Conclusion. Effort in a number of sports varies enormously. You can go for a gentle swim cycle jog or a really intense one. A really intense effort probably has a lot of hidden benefits in terms of HIIT after effect. More on that another time.

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