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Calories burned on arm bike?

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    Calories burned on arm bike?

    Anyone know how much calories using an arm bike burns? Or what typical exercise you'de enter it under in a fitness tracker program?
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

    Hi Emi, Not sure what type of bike you are asking about, handcycle or table top arm type bike. There are so many variables when calculating calories. Heartrate, endurance time, intensity etc..

    To burn calories a person needs to get their heartrate up to a certain level for a certain length of time. Having a heartrate monitor is really beneficial for that. They a fairly cheap. And of course, input vs output of calories(food).

    We need more info to get an idea of what you are trying to do and what type and make of armbike you are talking about.

    I can tell you though, you'll burn more calories and gain more by getting on it and burning some time crankin' it out than not using it at all lol.


      Just a saratoga arm ergometer. I want to enter it as cardio in sparkpeople tracker... I should get a heart rate monitor I guess. THE one on my saratoga doesn't work.

      <-- my daughter insisted on a sticker lol
      Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.


        Did you buy the Saratoga alread Emi? If not, there are some other alternatives that cost less out there. Whatever you use it will help.

        A Sticker back for your daughter.
        Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 3 Jan 2010, 3:57 PM.


          I've got a cheaper unit with readout that suggest (WAG method I'm sure) that I burn about 600 calories per hr at the rpm and resistance I use. It's in the ballpark I would guess.


            My insurace bought it for me years ago, and it's been gathering dust ever since lol.
            I used it for half an hour today at very little resistance but felt my heart rate rise - I'm going to buy a heart rate monitor for sure.
            Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.


              Way to go girl! Congrats, 1/2hr is great. I agree with the heart monitor, it will make a big difference.

              I suggest starting out with a warmup for around ten minutes and start getting the h/r up, increase the resistance a bit and do 10 or more min. with the h/r elevated and then a gradual cool down. Concentrate on your breathing and the position of your shoulders when cranking.

              The Saratoga site may have some suggestions. Have you got any stretch bands or cords? They're great for stretches and resistance. I tie one to a door knob or anchor it on the floor and work various upper body routines.

              Won't be long before you're in a spin class at the gym lol.


                I use an arm bike at the gym I vgo to with quite a bit of resistence and I burn about 10 calories a minute over a 15 minute cardi session. I hope this helps.
                Never Give Up!


                  Depends on how high a heart rate you are going. To burn calories/fat a person must be in their anarobic zone or zone 1 I think it is. It is the zone in which you are exercizing at 60-70% of your maximum heartrate, this is the zone that builds the cardiovascular system and uses fat calories for fuel.

                  If you go into the next zone,zone 2, it is called anaerobic zone. It is using 70-80% of your max. heartrate. this zone doesn't build the heart so much and the fat burning ability is greatly reduced as latic acid is built up by using muscle fo fuel. A person normally goes into this zone fairly quickly if not training correctly.

                  the object is to build the engine(heart) by using fat as a fuel.Or the anarobic zone. Here's a good site for explanation:

                  I am in fairly good shape and just started using a heart rate monitor to see if I was working out correctly. I wasn't. I was in Zone 1 way to short a time before my heartrate quickend and I ws in Zone2. Which means I wasn't building the heart right nor burning as many fat calories.

                  To build up one 1, I plan on riding my handcycle and vitaglide staying in my zone 1 range. To do this I may have to crank slower or in different gears to stay in that zone. Eventually, the length of time in Z1 will increase and I'll be able to go further and faster using fat calories for fuel and putting off the zone 2 latic acid buildup longer. I am 61 yrs old so my Zone 1 limits are 107lower to 123 higher.

                  For some, their bp ,lood pressure, is so low that they have to workout harder just to get into the Zone 1.

                  To figure out your Zone numbers go to: This gives a basic rate for a person

                  Buy a cheap heartrate monitor,polar for example, or measure your rate manually. It all goes by the heartrate in how much calories we are burning. Just spinning the wheels really fast is not the most efficient way to go, though a person will still burn calories, just not as many nor as efficient. If I'm spending hours on the bike, I want it to be efficient and puposeful not just spinning my wheels and getting out of breath.

                  This is a really fun way to train. Hope this helps Emi.
                  Last edited by Patrick Madsen; 25 Jan 2010, 3:39 AM.


                    Thanks that does help. I really should buy a monitor - do any of them monitor without a chest strap though? The strap looks uncomfortablew and not quad friendly.
                    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.


                      Here ya go Emi,


                        Here is a calorie burn calculator that will at least give you a ballpark figure. It shows different activities that you can choose from.

                        Stupidity ain't illegal, but it sure is inconvenient.

                        Help me support the 2010 Bike MS.


                          Great chart, thanks Mike.


                            I have a question...does putting your legs in a machine that moves them burn calories? Even tho you aren't using muscles or doing any work.

                            Or what about a arm bike that moves your legs..even though your legs are only moving because of your arms..are your legs still benefiting from that in gaining muscle and or burning calories?!

                            I really should start working out more. I have one of those arm bikes that you put ur feet in & those move too. Its a dust collector in my spare bedroom I just get bored to easy using it & would rather go roll around the mall or some store! But if I used it would my legs get any benefit besides the moving/stretching it would get?
                            Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get.


                              Anytime we can raise the heartrate, we're burning calories. I kinda question those arm/leg bikes in that if the motion and position of the hips is not right, they coiuld do some damage. I don't know for sure but it's a feeling I get from them. I do like that crankcycle that was posted earlier. Expensive but sure looks efficient.

                              I hear ya on getting bored, I have my stuff in front of a TV with video and watch movies or will put on a training tape of roads with hills etc. and push the Vita glide acording to the terrain. It helps changing the tedium of crankin' and goes more quickly.

                              What's great is that once you're done with the workout,you feel good and know you've accomplished another step in staying fit.