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Heart Rate Monitors
Q: What's your take on heart rate monitors; are they valuable to weekend warriors or other people who aren't necessarily competitive athletes?
A: Definitely! Heart rate monitors are perhaps the single most important tool for measuring intensity of workouts. There are a wide variety available, and many of them are inexpensive (depending on features you'd like), easy to use, and accurate.
Now available: Sigma Sport monitors, complete with on-line usage information! Learn more
They also offer the following additional benefits:
1) They allow you to systematically go about your workouts and gradually see improvement. You'll notice a gradual decrease in working heart rate on comparable effort as you get stronger; you'll also discover that you'll have the ability to work for longer and longer periods of time at higher heart rates as your cardiovascular system gets stronger.
2) They allow you to work at a given intensity and know that you're at that intensity, thus taking the guess work out of cardiovascular programming. When your trainer suggests you work out at 75%-80% of MHR and tells you that number is about 150, you'll have a way to tell when you're at that intensity.
3) They can help provide feedback that you may be verging on the edge of overtraining.
4) During interval training, they allow you to get a really good feeling for when you're verging on the anaerobic threshold, so that when you're participating in other activities without your heart rate monitor handy, you will know your limits and understand how much harder you're capable of working.
5) During circuit training, they can help you know when to begin the next station by giving you a visual read on when your heart rate has dropped to a certain level.
6) They actually encourage you to push your limits a little more -- making workouts more interesting, fun, and challenging.
7) Use a monitor while doing an exercise video or DVD and pay close attention to what your heart rate does as you increase your fitness. You’ll be able to recovery more quickly not only from the workout itself, but also between each timed interval.
In short, if you're curious about heart rate monitors and how they might work for you, or it you are feeling like you're in a rut and would like some immediate feedback on your workouts, whether strength training, intervals, or cardiovascular, we highly recommend use of a heart rate monitor. In fact, if you'd like to try one out, the next time you're at the Body Results studio, ask to do a workout with the one we have. Very informative tool!