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Are Heart Rate Monitors Really and FitBit’s accurate?

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I see a lot of people come to the gym wearing heart rate monitors and FitBits. I have both myself. BUT, Are they really a true testament to your weight loss/ calorie burn? How accurate are they?



While cardio is great for your heart, it doesn’t necessarily help you lose weight as fast as lifting weights may. I know, you have to get in those 10, 000 steps a day and hit that 300 mark calorie burn on your HRM but in all honestly, it isn’t telling you much as far as your progress.

You’ll actually get more calorie burn from a 30 minute weight lifting session than you will in walking on that treadmill for 30 minutes, even 60 minutes. The calorie burn just happens AFTER the lifting routine and continues for up to 48 hours.

If you jump on a cardio machine for a half hour workout, you’ll notice a spike in calorie burn. If you spend the same amount of time doing a lifting routine, you’ll notice you don’t burn as many calories as you did in your cardio session. So cardio is the obvious winner, right?

Not so much.

When it comes to lifting weights, the bulk of the calorie burn comes in the EPOC (afterburn).  Afterburn, as the name suggests, is the period of time after your workout concludes in which your body’s metabolic rate is much higher than normal. So while you may burn fewer calories during the initial lift, you burn more overall in the hours/days following due to boosted metabolism. On the flip side, when it comes to cardio, what you see is what you get. This means is that when your cardio workout is finished, so is your calorie burn. 🙁

The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the more calories you’ll burn. This means, you will even be burning calories while watching TV or driving your car.


Don’t get crazy with those steps thinking you’re walking your way to a great calorie burn, when it’s over, it’s over. There’s nothing wrong with that but just don’t get caught up in all the numbers AND don’t be afraid to lift heavy weights!!

If you’re attached to your heart rate monitor, have no fear. The key is to make your heart rate monitor work for you – use it during cardio to gauge effectiveness and adaptability and keep in mind that wearing it during lifting isn’t going to give you an accurate result.

As far as the FitBit goes..I just try to get a certain amount of steps daily and if I don’t, well then, I don’t. No big deal. I mix up my cardio with my weights. This will give you an even better burn.

  Seek true balance, rather than constantly fighting the uphill battle of going overboard with cardio, and zero weights, to the detriment of your fat loss goals.

I always go with cardio as a fun exercise and count my weights as what will truly transform my body composition.

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Hey there, I'm Melanie. I help women DITCH THE DIET MENTALITY and reclaim their health through mindful eating, hormone balancing, stress management, and digestive healing.

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