What is Heart Rate Based Training?
In simple terms, heart rate based training is working out within a targeted level of intensity. By using a heart rate based training tool, you’re able to get real time feedback on the level of intensity being exerted at that time. This feedback then serves as a guide to work at the level that best supports specific goals you may have.
So what does this look like in real life? In the image below, are results of a Stamina class I participated in. Since our Stamina classes are intended as a higher intensity workout, the goal was to be in the ‘green’ zone (i.e. zone 3) as much as possible. By wearing my Polar heart rate transmitter, which was linked to Polar software, my information was displayed on screen at all times. Throughout the workout, I was able to monitor my heart rate in real time, which fell within a specific zone, which in turn indicated my level of intensity at that time. I would then either increase or decrease my intensity (e.g. move faster or slower) to keep it in the target zone.
The post workout data is also priceless. With this information, I can further define and outline where I need to workout in more so that I’m always working towards achieving my personal goals; whether it be weight loss, endurance, strength, etc. I’m also able to plan my workouts for the upcoming week/month knowing which zones I’ve neglected and/or are spending too much time in. In many cases, I’ve even been able to tell why a specific workout felt harder than anticipated based on how much time I had spent in a particular zone in the days prior. Another advantage is having all my workout information synced to my personal Polar account online, which is not only a great tool to track my progress, but is accessible from anywhere with internet connection.
At the end of the day, there are many resources and tools out there to help you along your fitness and health journey. Using heart rate based training is just one of those that can help you reach goals in a quicker and more efficient way. And if you’re a graph and statistic junkie like I am, this particular resource feeds that addiction frequently! 😉