Whether you’re an avid gym rat or you just signed up for a gym membership, investing in a heart rate monitor can help you reach your health and fitness goals quickly and efficiently. A heart rate monitor acts as your pacer, letting you know when to speed up or slow down intensity to achieve the workout results you want. At Gozone Fitness in Lewiston, we offer our fitness members prescription targeted technology so they can monitor their heart rate and VO2 results in real-time for a safe and effective workout. Shopping for a heart rate monitor can be intimidating, especially if you’re not well-versed in the variety of models available. In this article, our fitness gurus will break down the different types of heart rate monitors so you know exactly what you want when the time comes to purchase.
Types of Heart Rate Monitors
The two most popular types of heart rate monitors among weightlifters and marathon runners alike are chest strap monitors and wristwatches.
Chest Strap Heart Rate Monitors
A chest strap heart rate monitor has a wireless sensor on the chest strap which can detect your pulse. Once your pulse has been detected, the chest strap electronically sends that information to a wristwatch-style receiver where you can view your current heart rate. This type of monitor provides continuous heart-rate readings and allows you to move freely, regardless of the type of physical activity you partake in.
At Gozone Fitness, we offer chest strap heart rate monitors to our fitness members so they can track their progress in real-time during our workout classes. We also send our gym members a follow up email after their workout so they can view the details of their fitness journey in the comfort of their own home. Browse our membership options online today!
Wristwatch Heart Rate Monitor
A wristwatch heart rate monitor has an optical sensor that is built into the watch’s unit or wristband. The wristwatch must be placed above your wrist for accurate and continuous readings throughout your workout.
Heart Rate Monitor Features
The most basic heart rate monitors will time your workout and give you heart rate data during your fitness class. Some models can even be paired with a foot pod that you attach to your shoelace to track speed, distance and cadence. Other more pricey heart rate monitors have GPS receiver capabilities, perfect for tracking speed, distance, elevation and navigation, should you get lost on your evening run. Some of the most popular features you’ll find in a heart rate monitor may include:
Your Target Zones
While basic heart rate monitors may offer three target zones, more advanced models can have up to six zones. When you invest in a heart rate monitor with multiple zones, you have the ability to preprogram your heart rate monitor for a variety of workouts. Whether you love taking group aerobic classes or cycling classes, knowing your target zones will help you reach your fitness goals even quicker.
Stopwatch and Lap/Split Times
Some heart rate monitors offer a stopwatch features that allows you to track each lap or mile by simply hitting a button. This is a great way to see how your pace has changed throughout marathon training.
Time Spent In Target Zones
If you’re really looking to hone in on your target zones, look for a heart rate monitor that tracks the time you spend exercising within your target zone. This will give you a much better idea of the number of calories burned during your workout, so you can accurately track and record your fitness progress.
At Gozone Fitness in Lewiston, we monitor all of our fitness members’ target zones to ensure they’re getting the most out of their workout. Book a class at our state-of-the-art fitness center today!
Recovery Heart Rate Mode
Some advanced heart rate monitors can track the time it takes your heart to return to its normal, resting heart rate. This can be an excellent indicator of your cardiovascular fitness levels, especially if your workouts include activities like sprints and interval training.
If your heart rate monitor has a calorie counter integrated into it, you’ll be able to see how many calories you’re burning before, during and after your workout. This can be very helpful if your workouts are a part of a weight-loss program.
Speed & Distance Monitor
A speed and distance monitor will calculate the speed and measure the distance covered in a particular workout. This can be done with a GPS receiver or a foot pod for indoor use.
Heart Rate Target Zones
A major benefit of using a heart rate monitor during your workouts is that it will help you maintain the optimal heart rate target zone for your specific weight loss goals and fitness needs. The target zone is a percentage that is based on your maximum heart rate (HRmax). While there are numerous algorithms that have been developed to calculate your maximum heart rate zone, the most commonly used formula is:
HRmax = 220 – Your Age
Your maximum heart rate at different aerobic zones can help you achieve specific workout results. The four most common types of aerobic zones are:
Your endurance aerobic zone is considered ideal for those looking to improve their cardiovascular and muscular efficiency. In this zone, your body learns to use already stored fat as fuel and energy, which can trim inches off of your waist, fast! If you’re enrolled in a weight-loss program, this is the zone you’ll want to be in most often.
Aerobic (70-80 percent)
If you want to improve your overall cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and weight loss goals, this is the aerobic zone to stay in during your workouts. In this particular zone, the body burns fat and carbohydrates.
Anaerobic (80-90 percent)
The anaerobic zone is often used for interval training and can encourage an increase in lung capacity and lactate tolerance. When you workout in this zone, you’ll be breathing very heavy and your muscles will feel tired.
VO2 Max (90-100 percent)
For athletes who are looking to enhance their speed in short bursts, VO2 Max is the best zone to workout in. Since VO2 is the measure of the maximum volume of oxygen that an athlete can use, you should only workout in this zone for short periods of time.
Gozone Fitness in Lewiston offers evolutionary science-based workouts for elite and novice athletes alike. Utilizing the latest in VO2 diagnostics and technology, our members are taught how to maximize their fitness results by working out in their appropriate target zones. Browse our success stories online or sign up for a fitness class today!