Does Using A Heart Rate Monitor Help Your Fitness?
You often here me talk about the Four Pillars of Fitness:
Everything we do at Breakthrough Fitness revolves around these pillars. We started using the MyZone Heart Rate Monitoring System two years ago, because I felt that it would enhance the four pillars. After two years in use, I feel that a heart rate monitor like MyZone, can definitely help you improve your fitness and health.
Before I go further, I’ll mention that I only have experience with MyZone heart monitors.
Here is what I like about hear rate monitors.
Helps you become familiar with different intensity levels
We are all at different levels of fitness. What gets my heart rate at 85% of it’s maximum will be completely different than someone who hasn’t done anything in two decades. For the person just starting out, everything can seem like the same intensity. The scientific term for this is, “OMG, I am going to die”. As they improve, a heart rate monitor can provide instant feedback to dig a little deeper or back off if the intensity is too high.
Same goes for the fit person. A heart rate monitor will tell you the truth instead of going by “feeling”. Let’s say we prescribe a 40 minute low intensity conditioning session where you keep your heart rate around 65% of your maximum heart rate. Instead of guessing, you can actually see it.
Myzone belts track:
- Heart rate – color coated by zones – 60-69% blue, 70-79% green, etc.
- Calories burned.
- MEPS – MyZone effort points. As you workout, you earn points based off of your efforts, which are gauged by your heart rate.
- The entire training session, which is saved in a calendar.
“It keeps me honest during my workout. I’m able to get instant feedback, which keeps me from slacking. I might do a training session on Monday and then repeat the same workout on Thursday, trying to improve my effort.” – Annette L.
“I like that all my workouts are saved. I really like that I can take notes about each session. I feel that I have a better mindy/body connection.” – Dominique D.
I like the idea that you “earn” points for your efforts. It makes my workouts like a game, which is more fun.” – Lindsay D.
There is only one person you are competing with when it comes to your fitness and health – YOU!
Some people are competitive and some aren’t. As a coach, if I can create personal competition in someone, they will improve and see results.
Pleasant competition is always welcomed as well. Training with others is fun, but it also breeds a little drive. More drive and determination means, more effort being put forth. There is no substitute for effort.
“I’m a competitive person. When I’m at the gym, I like to try and keep up with people I know are in better shape than me. I like that I can look up at the monitor and see how I’m doing. It’s funny, the people I’m competing against don’t even know we are competing, but it drives me to work harder.” – Sarah S.
A valuable tool for the toolbox
If a simple, inexpensive piece of technology enhances your training, then it’s valuable. You must remember that it is just a tool. Don’t over analyze the data and don’t let it create unwanted stress.
For instance, I’ve had clients who panicked when their heart rate was up in the 90 percentile range of their maximum heart rate.They haven’t felt that kind of work in a very longtime. I reassured them that the heart is allowed to work at that capacity as we watched it come down during rest periods.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have witnessed an elevated heart rate that should have come down after an exercise, but didn’t. This feedback ended the session and allowed the client to see their doctor. After tests, the conclusion was to a simple change in blood pressure medicine. This wasn’t the planned use of having the heart rate monitor, but it helped.
In my opinion, heart rate monitors get a thumbs up.
If you are interested in purchasing a MyZone monitor or want to learn more, feel free to reach out – 407-542-5910. Until then, Keep moving!