By Coach Chris Collins, CPT
Well, we’re halfway through this year’s New Year, New Y’all MYZone challenge, and I believe we still have everyone.
Gang, the Myzone heart rate monitor can be a useful tool in the gym, but don’t let it be the final arbiter of your workout. I know telling people here to decrease their effort in this challenge is similar to handing out speeding tickets at the Daytona 500, but you don’t want to “work through” any unnatural pain. Just be smart. Listen to your body. Something I think we are continually emphasizing in here is awareness.
The MyZone heart rate monitor measures your heartrate while you exercise. There are color-coded tiles that tell you which percentage of your maximum heart rate you are in during your workout, but we’ll get to that later. The end result of MyZone, and really any heart rate monitor, is to increase your cardiac effeciency, meaning your muscles get more blood in a shorter time.
That means improved runs, tennis matches, golf scores. Things of which we’re all big fans.
Here’s a real basic overview of how it breaks down physiologically. Your blood carries oxygen, hormones, and nutrients to tissues for them to function. Blood also regulates your body’s temperature. The usage of oxygen by your body, your body’s ability to use that oxygen, is called oxygen consumption.
The more workouts you have near maximal heart rate levels, the more blood your heart can pump to your body, improving not only recreational activities, but also lowering your resting heart rate.
The typical heart rate is between 70 and 80 beats per minute. All things being equal, heart rate variances can usually be attributed to genetics. Some people will have a higher heart rate, tachycardia, others have a lower heart rate, or, bradycardia.
For MyZone wearers, the percentage of your max heart rate is broken up into tens, with tiles being color-coded depending on the percentage of your max heart rate you are working in. Once you have registered your heart rate monitor, your specific tile will appear on LiveWELL’s television screen. As you workout and your heart rate increases, your tile will switch colors- gray if you’e working in the 50-60% of your max heart rate, blue if you’re in 60-70%, green, 70-80%, yellow, 80-90%, and red signifies 90% and above.
Heart rate training is nothing new, it’s just more easily monitored now due to technological developments.
And as technology gets more sophisticated, the more we can shed light on those flaws in past ideas that had significant traction at one point in time.
Fat-Burning Zone, anyone? You will still see this on tons of cardio equipment. A while back, the notion of doing slow, steady-state aerobic activity was popularly advocated. The idea was sound, which was/is you burn a higher percentage of fat calories at a lower heart rate.
However, the reality is that while you burn a higher percentage of fat calories, you burn more- much more total calories the higher your heart rate gets during exercise.
And I know you didn’t think you got something for nothing!
For such a key biomarker, Myzone gives you information that is objective, instantaneous, and measurable.
In strength and conditioning circles, we call that a unicorn, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. May you find your pot of gold at the end of this year’s Challenge. Good luck these next few weeks!