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Benefits of Using A Heart Rate Monitor

HR Monitor StrapFor the past few months, I have been really wanting a heart rate monitor, and have asked Melinda to get me one for Christmas! I have never used one before, but always see Tony Horton using one on each of his workout videos. You always see them on treadmills and ellipticals, so why are they becoming an essential part of your workout?

There are many benefits of using a heart rate monitor. The most important being that you can control and keep track of your heart rate during your workouts. Why is this important? For one, by constantly knowing your heart rate, you will always know if you’re pushing yourself hard enough. It’s too tough to tell by just “feeling” it. For example, one day you might be really giving it your all with your heart rate being in the mid 150’s, and from that workout on you know to either stay in that zone or push yourself beyond it, trying to improve from week to week. This is the main reason I want a heart rate monitor: to push myself as much as possible with my P90X workouts! That’s where the most gains are made.

Also, if you didn’t know, there are many different training zones. A heart rate monitor will allow you to stay within the zone that you desire, according to your goals. Below is a list and description of the training zones. (Information found here).

  1. Healthy Heart Zone– 50-60% of maximum heart rate. This zone is for people who are just beginning to work out, and is close to a slow jog or fast walk. 85% of calories burned are fat calories.
  2. Fitness Zone– 60-70% of maximum heart rate. This is a little more intense than the Healthy Heart Zone, and about 85% of calories burned are fat calories again.
  3. Aerobic Zone– 70-80% of maximum heart rate. Improves your cardiovascular endurance and increases the strength and size of the heart. Most marathon runners and endurance competitors train in this zone. You will burn more calories in this zone, and 50% of those calories burned will be fat calories.
  4. Anerobic Zone– 80-90% of maximum heart rate. Improves cardiorespiratory system and increases endurance. This is the high-intensity training zone that includes workouts like Kenpo Cardio plus, Interval X Plus, and Cardio Intervals. This zone burns a greater number of calories, and 15% of those calories burned are fat calories.
  5. Red Line– 90-100% of maximum heart rate. You will burn the highest number of calories in this zone and is very intense!

If you are going to get a heart rate monitor, it’s important that you get a good one. I recommend the Reebok Heart Rate Monitor w/Strap, which is the one that I will be getting soon. The strap wraps around your chest and transfers the readings to the wrist monitor. You can actually purchase it from this site. Click here to find out more information about this heart rate monitor.

6 comments

  1. Hey man I have a question in regards to training zones.

    I jog 3 miles on the treadmill about 4 times a week. For about 2 miles, I keep the same speed (6.0) and my heart rate is usually around 170ish. Once I get to the 2nd mile, I increase the speed by .5 every quarter mile until I get to the 3rd mile.

    I check my heart rate immediately afterward and my heart rate is around 185ish. I’m 21 years old and my maximum heart rate is 199. The question is, how could I improve my training zones so I can burn the most calories and still feel worn out when I get done with my run? I would run more but I get bored running on the treadmill. Lol.

    Thanks for the help.

  2. I used to run on the treadmill like you and was never really exhausted afterwards. When I started P90X Plus, I understood how hard interval training can be. During the workouts, I’m constantly increasing and decreasing my heart rate from about 155 to 185. Intervals are said to burn more calories than regular steady cardio.

  3. Okay so would you say increasing and decreasing the speed on the treadmill periodically throughout the course of my run would burn the most calories as opposed to keeping the same pace most of the time?

    For example, throughout each mile, I sprint and then jog and sprint and then jog and so on?

  4. Yes, that’s correct. Interval training has been shown to burn more calories than just regular steady cardio. I usually go three speeds: slow jog, run, sprint, and then repeat the cycle.

  5. David /

    What heart rate monitor will best suit me? I am just looking for a heart rate monitor that tells me how many calories I’m burning. I’m not looking to buy an expensive one. Thanks

  6. Josh /

    @David. There is a great heart rate monitor that I have available on this site.

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