Workout Showdown Halfway Point: What Burns More Calories?

I’m halfway through my simple experiment to see what burns more calories: One 30 minute session of intense cardio or two 15-minute sessions, one first thing in the morning and one in the late afternoon/early evening. I’ve kept it very straightforward and basic. I don’t even know if I will see much of a difference but that’s the point of the experiment!

Looking back over the past week, I think it’s beneficial to see that I’m quite consistent. I did 30 minutes of cardio on a stair stepper/climber with a heart rate strap to make sure I was keeping the intensity high and consistent. The BodyBugg recorded the steps. I also got out and walked to bring my total step count for each day up to about 10,000. One day I got in a bit more but mostly I stayed around the 10K per day. From a low day of 2150 total calories to a high day of 2190 total calories, I’m within a very narrow range. I actually think that’s rather amazing. I’m assuming it speaks to my days being very similar. I will attempt to keep things the same for the next week. Only one day did I go higher to a calorie burn total of 2270 but I walked over 11,000 steps that day.

Consistent as well was the calorie burn for the cardio session itself. Each session I did 2000 steps which I tend to hit right around 31 minutes or so. I wanted to do a particular step count within the same time period so I’d know I was keeping the intensity about the same. The numbers would indicate I did that well! From a low of 228 calories burned to a high of 247 calories, I’m working about the same day to day.

I’m recording my calorie usage with the BodyBugg version 3. This was licensed at the time by Apex but it is the BodyMedia device.


Now we’ll see how I do for the next 7 days! I will do 15 minutes fairly soon after getting up each morning. Now that I’ve been doing 30 minutes, I feel like half that will be easy to pound out. I want to see if I have a natural sense to work harder. I will get on the stepper knowing that I don’t have to pace myself for a whole half hour. One odd thing I’ve noticed. I begin to feel it if the pedals hit bottom too hard. I switched out the rather thin old towel I was using to add extra padding under the bumpers. I dug out a huge beach towel so there’s plenty of cushion now!

My primary thought on the findings so far—My body sure likes 2100-ish calories a day! OK we’ll see if I’m going to be able to break out of that and try to go a bit higher.