in Just Stuff

★ Training with a heart rate monitor

When you’re trying to lose weight and getting regular exercise a lot of people get disheartened by their lack of progress. I’ll admit I’ve suffered from this as well. You work out, work out, work out, you’re eating healthily, drinking loads of water, you should be losing weight!

So where’s it all going wrong?

Ever heard of ‘heart rate zones’ ?

When you’re working out your heart rate increases, and the harder you work out, the higher the heart rate. However there’s a point where you stop burning fat and start increasing your aerobic capacity. Now that’s not normally a problem, unless you’ve only just started trying to lose weight.

If you’re working out 3-4 times a week and you’ve actually gone above your fat burning zone then you’re going to start getting disheartened with your workout regime as you’re not losing any weight, so what do you do….you work out 5-6 days a week and end up either burning yourself out or getting the shits to the point where you quit the whole thing.

And that’s why you need a heart rate monitor.

Before you actually buy, or at least start using, a heart rate monitor you need to work out your fat burning heart rate zone. So how do you do that? Well it’s actually quite simple, here’s how you do it;

220 (max hr*) – 33 (age) = 187

187 – 70 (resting hr) = 117

117 x 65% = 76 bpm (low end of fat burning heart rate zone) and 85% = 100 bpm (high end of fat burning heart rate zone)

So my fat burning heart rate zone is between 76 bpm and 100 bpm.

*hr is heart rate

This formula is some times referred to as the Karvoven formula, or at least a derivative of it.

Now you need a heart rate monitor!

Now that you know you’re fat burning heart rate zone you need to get a heart rate monitor. Looking at the various heart rate monitors on Amazon, there’s a huge variety with a multitude of features. My preference is to stick with Polar, they’ve been around for a long time and are probably the best known brand of heart rate monitor on the market.

I ended up choosing the Polar FS3. It has some nice features like automatic and manual heart rate zones, average and total number of heart beats, audible alarms for target heart rates, big numbers on the lcd, and water resistant to 50m.

Hopefully my new Polar FS3 heart rate monitor should arrive some time in the next week. I’ll keep you posted on how it performs.