Fitness Elevated : Follow Your Heart...Rate
Written by Jen Jones, 15/07/2018
Heart-rate training isn't just for the hardcore runner or the cardiac rehab patient. Learning and following your zones can maximize calorie burn, boost aerobic capacity, and strengthen your heart and lungs.Because your heart is a muscle, it becomes stronger as you exercise it. During an aerobic workout, large groups of your body's muscles are used over an extended period of time in a consistent, rhythmic manner.
When being worked this way, your muscles demand oxygen. The harder you work your muscles, the more oxygen they require. This oxygen is supplied to your muscles from your lungs via the bloodstream. As a result, your heart pumps faster during a workout in an effort to deliver the additional oxygen that your muscles are demanding.
By having specific, modifiable feedback during your workouts, you can hit that sweet spot of efficient training. If you train too lightly, you’re not getting the max benefits; train too hard, and you risk injuries and making less progress toward weight-loss and fitness goals. Rather than simply guessing about what kind of intensity is going to be best for a fat burning, cardiovascular, or fitness-boosting effect, you can instead have your physical activity guided with laser precision by simply knowing which heart rates are perfect for your specific goals and training at those specific heart rates.
9Round uses the 9Round PULSE heart rate monitor to guide you through every workout based on heart rate zones. Upon registering a PULSE device and inputting personal information, your estimated maximum heart rate (MHR) is calculated for you, and your optimum training zones are determined. The PULSE then broadcasts your stats for the duration of your workout on a giant screen in the gym. Using color-coded zones, you can easily determine whether you need to work harder, or ease up in order to train in your optimal zone (green & yellow, as it relates to the 9Round PULSE system)and get the best results from your workout.
As with anything that gains popularity and reaches more and more people, there are some misconceptions and misunderstandings about HR training. Many people assume that they should push themselves in order to get their heart rate as high as possible. This isn’t only unsafe, it will not help you achieve your goals. Here are a few tips that 9Round trainers employ to help bring a client out of the RED Zone (MHR) and back into their optimal YELLOW training zone:
- Controlled breathing – long, steady breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth
- Try a less cardio-intensive exercise, such as a wall-sit and punch or plank
- Take a break! Sometimes, your heart just needs a moment to catch up.
By following your heart (rate) when you train, instead of progressively hitting higher heart rates, you will start to see your heart rate go down on the whole over the course of several months. The more physically fit you are, the more effort it takes to get your heart rate up. Keeping your heart rate in the optimal heart rate zone, helps you get the results you want from your workout. There are, however, a few things that can affect your heart rate and cause you to spike more easily into the red zone, that aren’t related to a general lack of conditioning. If it is uncharacteristic for you to be in the red, it could be one of the following – we recommend consulting a physician if the problem persists.
- Lack of sleep
- Sickness coming on
Measuring your heart rate using a heart rate monitor is a good way to gauge the effectiveness of your workout because as you strengthen your body through exercise, you also strengthen your heart. Measuring the rate of your heart during exercise can help you determine when you're pushing your body too hard or need to push it harder to achieve the level of fitness you are seeking, and 9Round gives you all the tools you need. Questions about the PULSE heart rate monitor and how it can help you reach your fitness goals? Stop by your local 9Round location and speak to a trainer.