Heart rate monitored workouts are nothing new, but why are they important to our workouts and how can we benefit from the information they give us?
Heart rate monitors give the user an immediate look at their HR (heart rate) response to exercise intensity and measure, heart rate and calories burned and gives you an ideal window to maximize your workout. The information heart rate monitors provide is your most powerful tool in maximizing results in fitness and performance!
The ability to monitor and manipulate exercise intensity is essential to creating precision heart rate training zones, which are the base of all affective training programs.
What is heart rate?Your HR is the number per minute the heart beats (BPM) beats per minute. Each time your heartbeats oxygen is delivered through the blood and the rate (in BPM) increases or decreases depending on the activity level and the amount of oxygen required by the body at that time.
Monitoring your HR while exercising gives us insight into three key things:
1.) Knowing your body: HR is the most reliable method of tracking your body’s responses to workout intensity.
2.) Maximizing your workout: HR provides real-time feedback on how hard your body is working during exercise.
3.) Measuring your results: As you train over time your heart will become stronger. Tracking your HR allows you to see your progression; stay motivated and set achievable goals.
At studio south fitness we’ve partnered with wahoo fitness, using their heart rate monitors and software to provide you with this valuable information.
The Wahoo approach
There are two parts to the Wahoo approach, Burn Rate and Burst Rate.
The Wahoo Burn Rate is the recommended HR that should be maintained (within a range of minus 10 BPM, plus 3 BPM) during exercise and or training to ensure maximum fat burn. This is the window mentioned earlier that you want to stay in during workouts to get the maximum results.
The Wahoo Burst Rate is the recommended HR that should be achieved and maintained (within 5 BPM, without going over) for short durations to improve speed and performance. This is for more intense training or workouts that require you to push yourself more, (causing the heart to work harder) and ensures you’re not over working your body and still getting the results you want.
The science behind Wahoo Burn and Burst
The focus with Burn Rate is on aerobic workouts. As you exercise your heart gets stronger and pumps more blood, (larger stroke volume). Conditioned hearts are also larger; the heart is a muscle too and gets bigger when you train it. Larger hearts beat less and pump more blood, = larger stroke volume. Meaning the heart doesn’t have to pump as fast to meet the demands of exercise. This is what heart monitors help us achieve, a healthy and efficient heart! As your heart is getting stronger and more efficient so are your muscles, which are consuming oxygen at a greater rate. This happens because of an increase in the activity and number of enzymes that transport oxygen molecules circulating past a muscle. Imagine a hundred oxygen molecules circulating past a muscle. You’re twice as fit if the muscle can consume all hundred as opposed to only fifty. Put another way, this is your level of endurance.
Monitoring your HR while exercising keeps you within a small window of your burn rate and this will teach your body to become more aerobically efficient and optimize fat as the primary fuel source during exercise. Burn rate workouts will not only assist you in losing weight, but can also be used as ideal recovery for days after hard workouts.