While I was training a client today, we got to play with a new gadget that she received for Christmas – we all love gadgets right! She received the Polar H7 Heart Rate Sensor – it is a Bluetooth heart rate strap that sends the information to her iPhone so no more clunky watches are needed. She received the strap and then downloaded the free app onto her phone. What I really liked about this gadget was that I could easily see her heart rate and calories burned on her phone while she was exercising. The strap also had a great range, we used the entire fitness floor and it never lost signal.
Heart rate monitors are a device which tracks your heart rate as you exercise and should be used to gauge your training. They are no longer just for the hardcore athlete or runner but can benefit everyone.
Benefits of wearing a heart rate monitor:
- Lose weight effectively – weight loss cannot be done without proper nutrition and exercise. To lose weight you need to raise your heart rate as much as 80% of your maximum heart rate for at least 30 minutes. Using a monitor can track your progress.
- Measure your effort and make sure you are really working as hard as you THINK you are – you can make sure you are getting into the appropriate heart rate zones. They could help put the fire back into your program if you see your heart rate doesn’t really get that high or your workouts weren’t as long as you thought!
- Track progress and recovery – the more fit you become the quicker you can recover and longer you can maintain a higher working heart rate.
- Look for signs of overtraining – higher resting heart rate and not recovering as quickly might be a sign that you need to take an extra day off.
- Keep track of actual calories burned and your workouts – the apps you download keep track of it all – I am a numbers girl so I like to see the information.
- Great way to link the mind and the heart!
To help you calculate what your heart rates should be, I’ve included a sample of Cardio Guidelines that I give to my new clients.
Keep in mind – you do NOT have to be on a piece of cardio equipment to achieve these goals. Today my client did strength work like squats, pull-ups, etc. It was fun to watch the heart rate climb during squats!! She was able to get into all 3 of the targeted heart rate zones and burned close to 500 calories during our session. Plus strength training builds muscle which burns more fat even while at rest. I could go on and on but that is for another post.
Your target heart rate
(220-age) x 65% (220-age) x 80% (220-age) x 86%
(220-age) x 75% (220-age) x 85% (220-age) x 90%
Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3
ZONE 1 – 65%-75% Max. Heart Rate
Conditioning Phase: 30 – 45 minutes per session.
This includes a 5 min. warm-up before reaching target heart rate each workout.
Once you’ve achieved this conditioning phase then ZONE 1 should always be used as warm up zone.
ZONE 2 – 80%-85% Max. Heart Rate
Training in anaerobic ZONE 3 – 86%-90% Max. Heart Rate
5 min. warm-up
5 min. @ ZONE 2
60 – 90 seconds @ ZONE 3
REPEAT UNTIL REACHED 30 – 45 minutes
After you’ve been conditioned thru these phases you can alternate between zone 2 and zone 3 training.