About 4 months ago I purchased the Polar FT60 Heart Rate Monitor. I honestly have no idea how I worked out for so long without it!
I hands down HAVE TO HAVE this on me when I’m working out and I’ll tell ya why…
- It pushes me to go harder. What’s that? My heart rate is back down to 80BPM? Maybe I should throw in 5 burpees before I start my plank. When I know I want to do my High Intensity Interval Training it tells me when I’m truly working in Zone III or 90% of my heart rate max. It tells me when to step my game up and do an extra sprint. And it’s just fun to play with to see what and how much it takes to actually get my heart rate to get up to my max (220 – age.)
- It shows me how good of shape I’m in. When I can see that my heart rate is rapidly declining from 170 to 130 then to 95 within moments I know I’m very well conditioned!
- It teaches me how many calories I’ve burned. When I know I need a hardcore cardio day I watch my calories burned to make sure I get to 400 or 500 calories – whatever I need that particular day. It also taught me how few I burn. For example on arm day, a 40 minute arm workout will only burn about 200 calories, including the warm up and cool down. Or for example when I do an hour of power heated yoga, I only burn about 180 calories. That stat blows peoples’ minds because you drip sweat in yoga, but the calorie burn just isn’t that significant.
- It helps you determine how many calories you need to lose weight, maintain weight or gain weight. When I first got my Polar FT60 I wore it all day and all night. Based on my calculations my BMR is around 1300. Based on my calculations including my activity my BMR is around 1800. (Figure out your calculations here.) When wearing the HR monitor I found this to be true. So as someone who wanted to maintain her weight over the fall, I made sure to eat 1800 calories a day, or more on days I trained. Now, as someone who wants to lose, I know I need to eat less and workout more to create a deficit.
So in addition to burning 1800 calories each day I know my workouts consume about 500 calories a day, 6 days a week, so I can average that out to 430 calories, 7 days a week (I do not workout on Sundays.) To maintain I need 2200 calories/ day. But to lose 1 pound a week (3500 cals = 1 pound) I need to reduce my caloric intake by 500. So now when I track my food I know the number of calories to aim for each day is 1730.
1800 cals/ day BMR + 430 cals/ day workout = 2230 cals burned each day – 500 cal deficit =
1730 calories consumed each day to lose 1 pound/ week
Do you have a heart rate monitor?
Do you love it and can’t workout without it?
Feel a little lost about how you should be burning your calories?
Want me to write your workouts for you?