By now you know that the HIIT classes you attend at FIT36 are unlike any other you’ve experienced. There’s the fact that you’re here for under 45 minutes. There are the trainers who work you really, really hard. And, of course, there are those heart rate monitors that everyone straps around their chest. Have you ever wondered if those little devices are truly necessary? Because really, if you’re going through the workout and getting a good sweat, do you also need to monitor your heart rate all that carefully? We do actually feel strongly that the heart rate monitors we use, even though they can feel a little weird at first, are crucial to an effective and successful workout. We’ve got plenty of reasons for this, but have narrowed it down to our top 4:
Working out too little = selling yourself short
Your mind, your willpower, and your tired muscles might be telling you you’re working at your utmost hardest. The heart rate monitor? It rats you out and can tell a different story. Like a camera, the monitor doesn’t lie. It doesn’t care that you were up too late or that you ate too much cheesecake at lunch. All it knows is that you’ve got some more oomph in there, somewhere.
Working out too hard = not what you bargained for
Overdoing it can actually cause you to become slower and weaker, rather than stronger and toned. It can also cause you to be more susceptible to injury or accidents. One way to tell that you’re overdoing it? You guessed it - by a telltale too-elevated heart rate during your workout.
Your anaerobic zone = your happy place
It takes some exact measuring to know when you’ve reached the magical, and, we admit, a little unpleasant, anaerobic zone. Sure, you can guess at the number by how you feel, or you can rely on the monitor that will tell you when you’ve reached your maximum capacity, which is around and above 84% of your maximum heart rate. It’s when you get to this point that your trainer will make you hold that activity for a short amount of time, before allowing you to ease up on the effort for a blessed several seconds.
Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption = a mouthful that means you’re getting major results
EPOC for short, this beautiful consequence of working with a heart rate monitor is what allows you to enjoy a killer calorie after-burn. For up to 38 hours, your metabolism will be revved higher than normal, meaning your brief 36 minutes of work have benefits that can last much, much longer.
Sound complicated? It can be. Which is why you’ll find yourself super grateful that you’ve got trainers around to monitor your progress, and keep an eagle eye on that heart rate monitor. All you have to do is come to class, strap it on, and go to work. Follow the lead of your trainer, and before long you’ll find yourself getting faster and stronger. So are heart rate monitors actually necessary? Well, not every athlete uses them, but the ones who do can enjoy great results in a shorter amount of time.