A heart rate monitor (hrm), as the name suggests, is a device that measures your heart rate. The type that we use, the most effective kind, consists of a transmitter attached to an adjustable chest strap, and a receiver. It detects electrical activity like an electrocardiogram (ECG). The heart’s electrical activity can be detected through the skin, so the transmitter pod of the hrm is placed on the skin around the heart, and picks up this signal. The electrical signal with the heart rate data is then sent to the receiver (tablet), which is connected to a TV monitor.
The group fitness application that we use, gives real-time feedback of your cardiovascular work in a group setting. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, and is compatible with any chest strap that uses this technology. During your workout, you will be able to see your heart rate, the calories burned, the time elapsed and the percentage of your max heart rate. You will be sent an email with a summary of this information after the workout.
A heart rate zone is calculated based on maximum heart rate (upper limit of beats per minute during activity). This is calculated by the group fitness application, according to your age. Each zone is a percentage range of your max heart rate and has a different training effect on your body. There is some debate among professionals as to the range of each zone. The following heart zone break down is based on the group fitness application that we use.
Heart rate monitoring provides you with real-time feedback on how much effort you are putting into your workout. This allows you to make adjustments to get the maximum benefit from your exercise routine. Ultimately, you want your workouts to be efficient, delivering results in accordance with your goals in a quick and safe way. Being able to measure your cardiovascular work during exercise is highly effective in achieving this.
If you are looking to rid excess weight then burning calories would be your focus. It is said that exercising in the anaerobic or orange zone for at least 12 minutes during a one hour period creates the “afterburn effect” or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). This keeps the body burning calories after the workout. The effects will vary based on the length and intensity of your training session.
Another great benefit is that you will be able to monitor the efficiency of your cardiovascular system during your exercise routine. The stronger your heart is, the more blood it pumps into your system per beat and therefore requires less beats per minute. Your heart is a muscle, so it will become stronger as you exercise it. You don’t want to push your heart too hard too fast, or work at too slow a pace. The heart rate monitor is a great way to measure this and therefore enhances workout safety and efficacy. Also, keep in mind that this device will show your ability to recover between exercise intervals, providing you with further information about the condition of your cardiovascular system. People in better cardiovascular condition tend to have a faster recovery rate.