Exercise! - Heart rate training and HR Monitors..does it work?

03-17-2007, 02:05 PM
Hi all,

I've been reading a lot about HRM's and training within my optimum heart rate bracket for burning fat etc.

I wanted to know does HR training make a marked difference... i.e. could I be exercising more efficiently and losing fat more efficiently?

And secondly, if HR training is workable, can anyone recommend a good heart rate monitor? So far it would seem Polar are the best brand to go for - I've found a pink one for 60 (F6 model) that calculates calories expended, programs in height, weight etc, - but I don't really want to pay that unless it's going to work efficiently.

Thanks for any advice!


03-17-2007, 03:10 PM
I have a cheaper Polar that doesn't do calories, etc that I bought from WalMart a year ago. It works great and I have had no issues with it. I couldn't work out without it. I use it to guage my "high intensity" days and "low intensity" days as the talk test and perceived exertion are too vague for me. As you get more fit, it takes more to stay in your heart rate range and a monitor is a great way to make sure you are doing just that. I would highly suggest one.

03-18-2007, 07:24 PM
I love my HR. I have a cheaper Acumen model that just "estimates" my calories burned but it does show my heart rate, target zone, zone count down timer, has an alarm clock, and a zone alarm that sounds if I go above my zone. I think I paid around $40? for it.

The Polar models do sound better, but I didn't like the fact that if the battery dies, you have to send it back to them to have it replaced. The accumen I could do on my own.

03-19-2007, 12:02 AM
Hi all,

I wanted to know does HR training make a marked difference... i.e. could I be exercising more efficiently and losing fat more efficiently?

I've been working with a personal trainer and she stresses that doing cardio in the proper zone makes a big difference. My gym uses this chart: Heart Rate Chart (http://www.lifetimefitness.com/modules/heart_rate/heart_rate_training_chart.pdf)

Zone 3 is where you want to spend most of your time in order to burn fat, but 30-90 second spikes up into zone 4 have big benefits too (see question 12 on page two.) To spike into 4, I do sprints. (Which is not much of a sprint at this point - more like a jog!) :p You should never spend longer than 2 minutes in zones 4 or 5, and if you're a beginner, 30-45 seconds is plenty.

Here's what I do:

One the bike:
1 minute at moderate resistance on the bike (level 8 on my bike), 75-80 rpm
30-45 second sprints at level 10 (95 rpm or higher)
Recover for 60-90 seconds at level 8 (75-80 rpm)
Increase to 10 and sprint again.
Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

On the treadmill:
Starting at incline 3:
Walk for 60 seconds, run for 30, increase incline. (May need longer than 60 seconds to recover, and that's okay.)
Repeat up to incline 8, then start over again. I do it for 20-30 minutes.

03-19-2007, 11:47 AM
I have a polar monitor that monitors my calories (I have to input my weight, height, and gender). I don´t use it for heart training, rather as a way to make sure that I am exercising hard enough. I´m a numbers freak, and my HRM keeps me motivated.