Exercise! - HRM - Wow! Anyone else surprised when using a HRM?




2Fat4myJeans
05-29-2007, 04:14 PM
Hi everyone!

I recently purchased a Polar F4 HRM. I love it, but wow, I was shocked when I first used it. It beeps at me when I'm above my target HRM which is like 50% of the time. It's never by much - I'm usually around 86-88% target heart rate. But when I slow down to get back in the zone, I feel like I'm not working hard enough. I double and triple checked my settings to make sure I didn't screw anything up and everything looks right.

I'm also kind of shocked at the calories burned. For 30 minutes of exercise it said I burned 300 calories. I checked this on the calorie burning site I use (self.com fitness calculator) and the fitness calculator said 307, so at least it's consistent and leads me to believe it's accurate.

Anyway, my main question is, did you find yourself working too hard and slowing down made you feel like you weren't working hard enough? Just for kicks, I left my HRM on after I left the gym, made lunch and ate it. In an hour and 15 minutes I had burned 630 calories (including the 30 minutes at the gym). It's just interesting to see, but I guess I'm just having a hard time trusting the calorie counter.


baffled111
05-29-2007, 05:09 PM
The calorie counter *has* to be more accurate than the ones on the machines, or the on-line calculators. I trust it.

I have turned off the beep on mine (don't want everyone else at the gym to know what I'm up to!), but I generally shoot for about 80% of my max. It gets harder and harder to stay at that level the fitter I get--the same will no doubt happen to you. Which "zone" are you referring to?

The thing to remember, also, is that the harder you are working, the more calories you are burning. If you're only working at 70%, you're not burning as many calories as would be at 80%.

I actually posed a similar question a couple of weeks ago and got some very helpful responses.

http://www.3fatchicks.com/forum/showthread.php?t=111794

2Fat4myJeans
05-29-2007, 05:23 PM
Hey thanks for replying! By "zone" I meant between 65-85% of my target heart rate. I find that I am usually hovering around 88% according to my HRM. So you are saying, the fitter I get, the harder it will be to acheive the higher heart rate? That's good to know... I was surprised that it seems like I can get it up there fairly quickly and with not much effort.

Thanks for the link!


baffled111
05-29-2007, 06:32 PM
So you are saying, the fitter I get, the harder it will be to acheive the higher heart rate?

That's exactly what I'm saying :) I used to have no trouble at all getting up to 155-65 really quickly and staying there. Now, just a few weeks later, I'm having to run faster and harder and with an incline to stay at that level. One of the things I love about my HRM is that I can really, tangibly see the improvement in my fitness, even in the month I've owned the F4. It's really cool.

Also, if you use a treadmill or other cardio machine at the gym, you might enjoy my new favorite thing--the Heart Rate Control setting. You set your target heart rate (I choose 155, which is right at 80% for me) and then the machine adjusts the speed and incline to adapt to your heart rate and keep you at the right level. I've been doing this for about 2 weeks now and I love it because a. I don't have to be messing with the speed and incline myself while I'm trying to run, and b. I can see that I'm having to run much faster to stay in my zone than I did just last week. It's great.

VeggieGirl1
05-29-2007, 06:46 PM
Thank you baffled! I always wondered what that Heart Rate control setting was for, and now, thanks to you I know:)

I have another question for you...when your heart rate monitor summary says "X% Fat" under the calories burned total, what does that mean...what is the other 100-x% burned?

baffled111
05-29-2007, 07:29 PM
I have another question for you...when your heart rate monitor summary says "X% Fat" under the calories burned total, what does that mean...what is the other 100-x% burned?

Mine actually doesn't report that info, but my guess is that it is because of the "zone" thing. Meg posted some links about that in the thread I linked to above. The idea is that when you exercise at 60-70%, most of the calories you're burning come from fat and when you exercise at 70-80% most of them come from carbs. It doesn't really matter though--the more calories you're burning, the more fat calories and carb calories you're burning total. If I were you, I'd ignore the percentage and just shoot for max calories burned.

VeggieGirl1
05-29-2007, 09:35 PM
Thanks baffled...I took a look at the link you provided and it was really informative...