When you work out, are you working hard or hardly working? Exercising at the correct intensity can help you get the most out of your physical activity…and of course make you even more AMAZING than you already are!
Knowing your intensity is the secret weapon to achieving your goals quicker, tackling fitness plateaus and burning more calories during your workout (& after!)
Intensity is quite often the issue with any fitness program being ineffective – the workout intensity is simply too low. This of course is not always the case…but after personal training hundreds of clients over the years and teaching thousands of group fitness classes, I would say it is MANY more times than not.
The BEST way to monitor your intensity and work level during PSF class is through a heart rate monitor. Your heart rate during your workout offers a objective look at exercise intensity. In general, the higher your heart rate during physical activity, the higher the exercise intensity. The higher the intensity, typically the more calories you burn! In addition, you can compare your heart rate and calorie results from class to class of similar formats to see which sessions work best for you!
Interested in making your workouts way more efficient than they already are? Join the MANY PSFers who currently use our Performance System that seamlessly records your heart rate during class AND sends you an email summary right after your workout! Read on for all the secrets….
I WANT TO BURN MORE CALORIES! WHERE DO I START?
At PSF we sell extremely inexpensive ANT+/Bluetooth heart rate chest straps. Each strap comes with a unique, removable transmitter.
The strap is worn on the skin just below your chest and the transmitter picks up electric signals from your heart beat through your skin and sends that information to our Performance System and/or your iPhone/Apple Watch or other device.
CLICK HERE to read why heart rate monitors that pick up your pulse at your wrist are not considered to be very accurate during high-intensity workouts.
After you have open your heart rate strap, inserted the battery and fitted the strap to your body size, let your instructor know before class! They will help you create an account (usually takes a minute) and then you will be set to go – every time our Performance System you workout in either studio, your heart rate will be tracked and you will get a performance summary email after your workout!
I ALREADY HAVE A HEART RATE STRAP, WILL IT WORK?
Maybe. If it is ANT+/Bluetooth enabled then it should (i.e. most Garmin models). Keep in mind many Polar models do not work have this advanced technology. No matter what you have, we can try…ask Heather!
WHAT DOES THIS ‘PERFORMANCE SYSTEM’ ENTAIL?
Before class, registered heart rate straps are automatically ‘checked in’ right before class – this entails walking close to one of the sensors for a second. You have probably heard your instructor mention this before each session. During your workout your strap transmits your heart rate to the system and is recorded.
After class you will receive an email indicating the date, length of class, average and maximum heart rate during your workout and estimated calories burned.
WHICH CLASSES WILL RECORD MY DATA AND SEND IT TO ME?
All PSF classes besides yoga utilize this awesome, complimentary technology!
*Remember: you MUST register your heart rate strap within our system by creating an account before your first class using it in order to be tracked
WHAT IF FOR SOME REASON THE SYSTEM ISN’T BEING USED IN MY CLASS OR I WANT TO USE MY HEART RATE MONITOR FOR A DIFFERENT WORKOUT?
Our system works great – but it is technology, so if we ever experience a hiccup in transmitting data, or you want to use your heart rate outside of PSF, don’t worry because there are many other ways to view your valuable heart rate data! You can always view your heart rate on your bike console at PSF as well as via your iPhone/Apple Watch/other device using our favorite app MotiFIT! Many of us love MotiFIT so much that we enjoy using it in addition to the Performance System. Other apps include Strava, Wahoo, Digifit and MapMyFitness.
GREAT…BUT WHAT SHOULD MY HEART RATE EVEN BE?
Glad you asked! Our Performance System, as well as most all heart rate training apps, will calculate your target heart rate zones automatically for you based on your age and sometimes your resting heart rate.
It’s easy to calculate on your own though – try it!
- Find your Maximum Heart Rate = 220-age (i.e. 40 year old = 220-40=180)
- Your workout should be for the majority of the time 70-90% of your Maximum Heart Rate (i.e. for the above 40 year old…180 x .7 = 126 & 180 x .9 = 162 so 126-162 is the heart rate zone at 70-90%)
CLICK HERE to find out more about your target heart rate zones!
NOW TELL ME HOW THIS WILL HELP ME UNDERSTAND CALORIES BURNED!
Based on algorithms within our system and/or your devices that take into account your average heart rate during your workout, weight, gender and age, the estimated total number of calories burned during your workout can be calculated.
There are a few different equations to get to estimated calories burned, so it is important to remember although typically considered to be accurate, your ‘calories burned’ will always be designated as an estimate. Without extensive, technical and complicated testing, a “perfect” calculation cannot be guaranteed.
- Our Performance System uses: http://fitnowtraining.com/2012/01/formula-for-calories-burned/
- The MotiFIT app uses: http://www.shapesense.com/fitness-exercise/calculators/heart-rate-based-calorie-burn-calculator.shtml
I HAVE HEARD OF HEART RATE TRAINING & CONTINUING TO BURN CALORIES EVEN AFTER MY WORKOUT IS FINISHED?
This is TRUE! “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption,” or EPOC is an up-and-coming fitness buzz phrase and it means by training for a portion of your workout in your 80-90% heart rate zone, you can achieve an “afterburn” effect. This EPOC elicits an increased metabolic rate for 24 to 36 hours after your workout has concluded! You probably already achieve this at PSF, but you can be sure (& amp it up even further!) by monitoring your heart rate results graph.
Most studios that use heart rate training are similar to small (or large) group training where you are coached through long stations (aka pretty boring). At PSF we keep our classes fast-paced, beat-driven and instructor-led to guarantee you not only achieve the EPOC effect but that you stay engaged with the workout the entire session!
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE LEARNED FROM WEARING A HEART RATE MONITOR AT PSF?
- Most of the time, I’m not really trying as hard as I thought! The heart rate monitor makes it easier for me to be honest with myself about how much effort I’m actually putting into my workout, instead of overestimating how hard I worked.
- It’s the intervals that burn the most calories. When I jog steadily I never burn near the same amount of calories I do in the same amount of time during a PSF workout. So thankful that interval training is what every PSF class is based upon!
- The more weight I lose, the fewer calories I burn. The stronger I get, the fewer calories I burn.
- Why? For one, your heart simply becomes more efficient at pumping blood to the rest of your body after practicing any high-stress activity over a long period of time. Secondly, losing weight also means there’s less physical body to move around — which means your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to keep things running smoothly. Not adjusting for these realities results in that dreaded plateau so be sure to always update weight changes with us – your heart rate will adjust to getting stronger (i.e. it will be more challenging to elevate it high enough).
- Just because I’m sweating, that doesn’t mean I’m doing a really tough workout! Before I got my heart rate monitor, I just assumed that if a workout left me dripping in sweat, I must have worked really hard. But sweat isn’t a good way to tell if you got a good workout. Instead, it’s about whether or not you challenged your heart rate — and how often.
FINALLY, HOW MUCH DOES USE OF THIS AWESOME TECHNOLOGY COST ME?
Besides having a compatible heart rate chest strap, unbelievably it doesn’t cost you anything. If you have been a PSF devotee for a while, you know that we love servicing our clients! Our challenges, events, special classes and technology integration is truly to give you a better experience, strengthen our amazing community and help you stick to your fitness routine. Our unparalleled focus on YOU is what has always set us apart! Please keep that in mind if you experience any issues with this complimentary service. We love feedback and will work to solve any issues, but we ask that you please be patient, appreciative and stick with it! Now…let’s WORKOUT!