Exercise with a heart rate monitor to improve your physical fitness and performance efficiently. A heart rate monitor is a device that measures and records a person’s heart rate, and can be worn as a wristband or a chest strap. This device gives you insight into how hard your heart is working during exercise, which helps you make your workout more efficient and optimizes your performance. It is a useful tool for both beginners and advanced athletes, and can be used for a wide range of sports, from running to cycling and fitness to swimming.
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Benefits of exercise with a heart rate monitor
Exercise with a heart rate monitor is an efficient way to achieve your fitness goals. By measuring your heart rate during exercise, you can better tailor your efforts to your body and ensure that you do not over- or under-exert yourself. This reduces your risk of injury and increases your performance. In addition, you can use your heart rate data to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. In short, with a heart rate monitor, you can train better, train more purposefully and track your progress better. We explain more about the benefits of using a heart rate monitor here.
How do you measure your heart rate on a monitor during a workout?
A heart rate belt or chest strap is a specially designed band that you wear around your chest. This band contains an electronic sensor that measures your heart rate through electrodes that make contact with your skin. This technology is known as electronic heart rate measurement. This is the most accurate way to measure your heart rate and is often used during sports or fitness activities. However, some people complain about uncomfortable wearing the band.
A smartwatch or activity tracker is a smartwatch or bracelet that can also measure your heart rate. This technology uses optical sensors that measure your heart rate via altered blood flow in the skin. This is also called optical heart rate measurement. This method of measurement is less accurate than electronic heart rate measurement, but is more comfortable to wear.
In summary, a heart rate strap or chest strap is the most accurate way to measure your heart rate, but can be uncomfortable to wear. A smartwatch or activity tracker is more comfortable to wear, but measures heart rate less accurately.
What are heart rate zones?
Heart rate zones are specific ranges of heart rate within which you can train with specific goals. If you want to exercise with a heart rate monitor, there are five different heart rate zones, which range from quiet to very intense. These zones are:
- Zone 1: quiet zone (50-60% of maximum heart rate) – Here you train mainly for endurance and keep your heart rate low. This is the zone in which you can do long endurance training, such as a walk or a bike ride.
- Zone 2: light zone (60-70% of maximum heart rate) – Here you train mainly for endurance and still keep your heart rate low. This is the zone in which you can do long endurance training, such as a walk or a bike ride.
- Zone 3: moderate zone (70-80% of maximum heart rate) – Here you train mainly for endurance and keep the heart rate slightly higher. This is the zone in which you can do long endurance training, such as a walk or a bike ride.
- Zone 4: heavy zone (80-90% of maximum heart rate) – Here you train mainly for strength and speed and keep the heart rate higher. This is the zone where you can do intense short endurance training, such as interval training or sprints.
- Zone 5: maximum zone (90-100% of maximum heart rate) – Here you train mainly for strength and speed and keep your heart rate very high. This is the zone where you can do very intense short endurance training, such as interval training or sprints.
To exercise with a heart rate monitor, it is important to know your maximum heart rate. You can determine this by doing a maximum exercise test or by making a calculation based on your age. After this, you can measure your heart rate during your workout and compare it with the different heart rate zones to see in which zone you are. This allows you to adapt your training to your goals and make sure you are training the right way.
Calculation of own heart rate zones
A maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate a person can achieve during physical exertion. It depends on several factors, such as age, gender, fitness and health.
There are different ways to measure one’s maximum heart rate:
- Age Formula: This formula uses a person’s age to calculate maximum heart rate. The formula is: 220 – age = maximum heart rate. This is a very rough estimate and may vary
- At CycleMasters we use the following formula, which is a bit more targeted: 208 – (0.7 x age).
- VO2 max test: This is a test performed by a physician or sports physiologist. It involves measuring heart rate during intense physical exertion, such as running or cycling. The highest heart rate during the test is considered the maximum heart rate.
Keep in mind that maximum heart rate can vary from person to person and can change over time. It is important to measure heart rate regularly and keep track of maximum heart rate.
What is a healthy heart rate?
A healthy heart rate varies depending on a person’s age and fitness level. For novice athletes, the normal heart rate during exercise is about 60-70% of the maximum heart rate. For advanced athletes, it is between 70-80%.
There are a number of reasons why you should pay attention to your heart rate during exercise:
- If your heart rate remains high after exercise, it may indicate overtraining. This can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, and even injury.
- Als je hartslag in rust boven de 100 slagen per minuut ligt, kan dit duiden op stress of een onderliggend gezondheidsprobleem. Dit is iets om met een arts te bespreken.
The tipping point of the heart rate
The tipping point is the heart rate at which the body begins to burn fat rather than carbohydrates. This is important because burning fat is a more efficient way to produce energy and can lead to weight loss and improve cardiovascular health.
The tipping point is usually between 60-70% of the maximum heart rate in percentage terms.
Measurement of heart rate during indoor cycling
Indoor Cycling is an effective way to improve your fitness and burn calories. During an Indoor Cycling workout, you can use several factors to tailor your workout to your goals. RPM (revolutions per minute) indicates how fast you cycle, power indicates the amount of force you deliver, and heart rate indicates how hard your heart is working.
Power levels correspond to heart rate zones, where you can choose different forms of training that address different zones. For example, you can select a Cardio interval where you keep your heart rate in the 65%-90% zone, or a Condition workout where you keep your heart rate in the 80%-92% zone. For Fat burning, you can select a constant workout with a heart rate in the 65%-75% zone, and for Recovery / recovery, you can select a workout with a heart rate in the 50%-65% zone. It is important to note that this last form of training is NOT COOLING DOWN.
Do you really need a heart rate monitor when working out?
No, you can also just train and listen to your body. Exercise with a heart rate monitor isn’t necessary. But if you want to train effectively and stay in the right heart rate zones when indoor cycling? Then, Exercise with a heart rate monitor is a good idea. It will also tell you more about whether you’re getting the most out of your workout, or if you might be training too light or too hard without realizing it.
Find out more about a few of the best heart rate sensors for Indoor Cycling here. If you want to know more about the sport watches and heart rate sensors our instructors are using, visit polar.com.