So, you have decided to buy a heart rate monitor. For weight loss purposes, for better performance at your cycling, or just for fun? It doesn’t matter really, any reason is a good one! However, deciding which heart rate monitor you should buy isn’t an easy choice and will be determined by the question: “what are you going to use the monitor for?”.
Goals If your goal is weight loss, you should definitely have a heart rate monitor who provides info about the total number of calories burned. If you’re an athlete in competition, you might want to have some more options on your monitor than if you’re just getting started. Eg. memorising earlier workouts, time zones, lap times…
Think about the future While you may think you only need something to measure your heart rate now, you can completely change your mind within 6 months! What if you decide to lose weight, but don’t know how many calories you’ve burnt on your 30 minute ride from this morning? Or what if you decide to enter a race?
So while you may think you don’t need many features, just to be sure, take some extra’s that you might use later. A good rule is: if you think to yourself “hmm, that’s a cool feature that might come in handy”, then buy a monitor with that feature.
Budget The price of a heart rate monitor is usually what determines what kind of heart rate monitor that you’ll buy. If you don’t want or don’t need all the gadgets, then don’t spend thousands of Rands on the watch. Don’t be too stingy either though, the cheap models might be of a lot worse quality.
A simple entrylevel model might cost you as little as R 500.
Ease of Use This is something you should also consider when buying a heart rate monitor, especially if you’re not gifted with a talent to work with computers, microwaves, and other electrical machines. Heart rate monitors can work in a very complicated way, depending on the number of buttons and menus.
This can be very annoying. If you’re in the middle of riding, you would have to stand still and hope you can solve it with just 1 button, but you can make it even worse by pressing the wrong button!
Getting the most out of your training doesn’t always mean working faster or harder. The best way to improving your fitness and seeing results is to train at the right intensity.
So with a heart rate monitor, you can make sure you’re not over or under training, and make each session count. Use your heart rate monitor as your training partner and you’ll have evidence of your progress – motivating you each and every time you train.
ZONES below :
Training based on the percentage of Maximum heart rate, helps monitor your intensity of workout.
- Very light: 50 – 60% – Helps with recovery
- Light: 60 – 70% – Improves basic performance and fat burning
- Moderate 70 – 80% – Improves aerobic fitness
- Hard: 80 – 90% – Increases maximum performance capacity for shorter sessions.
- Very Hard: 90 – 100% – Helps fit athletes develop speed