Calorie consumption- Wahoo with power meter

Hi all

I’ve been using MyFitnessPal to track calories - mainly from the point of view of eating enough to fuel my training while not overdoing it. I’ve just got a power meter but the calories being uploaded by my Wahoo Elemnt into Strava (and therefore iOS health) are much higher than the calories shown when the workout is imported into TR. I assume TR is using the power data and Wahoo uses heart rate. Is there any way to get the TR calorie data into iOS automatically or somehow change the Wahoo settings To do something different? Thanks.

I have my training peaks account linked to my fitness pal, think you can link strava as well which is generally closer than the wahoo.

Thanks. I’ve linked Strava but it seems to be picking up calories from Wahoo’s algorithm rather than the more accurate power meter measurement.

Might be worth creating a dummy training peaks account in that case if you don’t have one already, purely to link to my fitness pal.

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Thanks. Just tried and it’s still picking up the Wahoo calories. Stupid algorithms :triumph:

Really, is picking the wahoo calories on my fitness pal or trainingpeaks itself?

This is what was uploaded into Training Peaks this morning directly from the Elemnt. It has the power in kJ but is taking Wahoo’s own calorie count (which is obviously wrong here).

Yep I don’t know how wahoo is calculating calories, but seems a little high, unless the wahoo number includes calories consumed just when resting.

Lets say that’s 200 per hour, the 1553 would include 323 calories that you would have consumed lying on the couch. That would leave 1230 calories consumed by work.

The 1173kJ of work performed from TR is 282 kCals.

This would imply wahoos estimate of your body’s mechanical efficiency is 23%, which is a reasonable number.

If this is the methodology wahoo is using, the all in calorie count seems about right (work plus resting metabolism).

My BMR is 1850, which is 77 calories per hour for being alive. The 1 hour 37 min workout above is only 128 calories for being alive.

Something seems wrong with Wahoo algorithm

Yeah, you’re right. I messed up not only this, but also mixed up gross and net efficiency.

The wahoo numbers imply a gross efficiency of 18% - which is on the lower end of the range - but not outside the realm of possibility - and could be right depending on intensity of the workout.

Cycling efficiency is talked about much less than other measures like VO2max and FTP/MLSS, so it’s harder to find good info on.

This is an interesting series of slides from Andy Coggan

Why not sync the ride to TrainingPeaks from TR, rather than directly from the Wahoo? I do that, and it seems to give an accurate calorie figure.


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@martinheadon @janerney you are geniuses. Spot on. Thanks for your help. Works a treat.

Don’t think you’ve solved this problem:

If we are talking about getting accurate calories into iOS Health app.

The only way with to do that AFAIK is via Strava app, or maybe Wahoo app, but both of those apps have the wrong calorie data.

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More concerned about MFP for the time being so that will do. But yes, it would be good if TR could link with Apple health.

Just realised that this only solves your problem for TR rides.

When I upload outdoor rides to TrainingPeaks through the Wahoo, I still get big discrepancies between Kj and Kcal.

This is pretty interesting. I got a wahoo update this morning for the main fitness app. I hope this means an elemnt and firmware updates are coming shortly as well.

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Nice spot. Let’s hope they finally sort out his irritation.

Firmware updated last week and finally working! And one fewer post ride beer for me in future :slight_smile:

Yeah I also saw quite the difference in calories now that it uses the work done from a power meter as it’s calorie metric.

Pretty sure that is correct…or at least has always been my impression. In fact, IIRC, on days when I forgot to put on my HR strap, the Wahoo does not calculate calories. Would be easy enough for you to check that…