Heart Rate Tracking for Accelerated Fitness & Wellness

 

Fitness results and specifically fat loss or muscle gain is not about calories in vs calories out. Just as calorie intake is irrelevant in nutrition, calorie expenditure during training is obsolete in exercise and doesn’t equate to physical results. It's the hormone response to training (and eating) that will give you the positive or negative change. The quality of what you eat, and how you train determines your success.

We use Polar Heart Rate technology to accurately track our client’s training, and recovery. Heart rate training clearly demonstrates that there is no real split between cardio or resistance training, and that any movement can result in a high or low heart rate intensity. For example we can simply lift weight faster or heavier to generate an interval response. This approach lends itself to selecting movements that clients need or most enjoy to attain maximum results. In addition, tracking heart rate stress live means we can be more specific about the gains we want to achieve, and watch out for over training, or adding too much catabolic stress to a clients body.

 

Our members love training with our heart rate system as it allows them permission to honor the priceless feedback from their own body. More importantly, it helps them understand their bodies needs much better, and consequently they get faster results. When people first start using heart rate monitors in their training we notice two main trends. We see people either spending too much of their workout in the ‘peak’ zones of 85%+ OR they struggle to hit zones over 80% max heart rate.

 

Less IS More!

We find that with most clients, increasing recovery and decreasing intensity equates to faster results. Many people come to us with a high stress load, have over trained and under recovered, or are experiencing a general lack of wellness. In these situations, smart movement and great recovery is the factor that determines there success, not training harder and longer. (see daily readiness for more about this topic)

It’s interesting to see that initially new clients tell us how good they feel, but their heart rate during training indicates otherwise. Over time we see people begin to honor their body much more, and appreciate how lifestyle factors are influencing their heart rate. Heart rates do not lie, and an elevated heart rate, or poor ability to recover is a powerful message. Many find this hard to accept as they find it hard to stop, and go against the grain of the old 'go hard or go home mentality,' often at a cost to their wellness. 

Live Feedback

During our sessions we use this system to provide real time feedback about how our clients are responding. Each heart rate zone is colour coded for quick identification. Our members love the feedback and satisfaction form training with this system. It helps them know when to push, and when to back off and honor what their body is telling them.

Can't Recover

For those participants who live in the ‘intense’ side of the spectrum and struggle with recovery, their chart often looks flatter, with less dramatic spikes. When they finally do get a chance to recover and stop exercise, it usually takes these people a long time to get their heart rate down below 65%, indicating that their system is probably overly taxed. At the end of a workout, they have often spent too long in this 80%+ heart rate zone which isn’t ideal as it results in too much stress in a system that is already failing to cope.

Initially some people who come from a traditional fitness background find it very tough mentally, to be told to stop and recover after hitting a peak. Results come from a responsive system that can adapt quickly to stress (exercise) and bounce back.

Can't Peak

The other end of the spectrum is the people who can’t hit peak zones, This has nothing to do with being too fit, in fact it’s usually the opposite. The person who can’t get their heart rate up is usually showing us that they are not particularly ready to go to the high zones and probably shouldn't. This might happen depending on the type of movement chosen, but more often it's indicating a lack of readiness whether it's from high stress levels, poor hydration, emotional stress, or pain. This is powerful information about the wellness of their system, and in most cases we can positively influence a clients heart rate instantly within their session by honoring this feedback. For example in the initial phases of a workout, a clients efficiency might be decreased but as they move, hydrate, de-stress and generally increase system wide efficiency, their heart rate efficiency increases.

OPTIMAL - Great peaks, and great recovery

After training with us for awhile, most clients graduate to textbook perfect interval training HR charts that look like a roller coaster. They become more efficient to both peak higher and recover lower, and more empowered to interpret the stress in their body and adjust to it as needed. A chart like this equates to a resilient and efficient system, faster results, without too much stress in the body. It really is about training smarter, not harder.


 

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