HRM Training and the Science of Optimal Fitness Training
I remember when the first Pollar devices came out back in the 1990s. Back then, the idea of monitoring heart rates as a critical metric to optimize one's training sounded exciting. Still, the technology was so expensive, especially back in Brazil, that few of us could afford it or really knew how to use it.
A few decades later, HRMs have gained popularity amongst elite athletes and the broader fitness community.
During the years leading into the opening of our first BarraFIT Studio, we developed a unique set of classes fundamentally based on High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
Each training session is carefully designed to progressively elevate athletes' Heart Rate's encouraging them to spend the most time in higher zones. The more time spent on these higher zones, the greater the metabolic effect of each workout.
The real-time availability of HR Zones for each athlete during training gives athletes and coaches excellent insight. The data provides triggers and benchmarks, allowing athletes to increase or decrease exertion to achieve the desired outcome.
If you're looking to take your fitness training to the next level, heart rate monitored training (HRM training) may be a game-changer for you. By tracking your heart rate during exercise, you can ensure that you're working hard enough to see results, but not so hard that you're putting your health at risk.
In addition, HRM training can help you achieve better endurance and improve your overall fitness. By tracking your heart rate during different activities, you can personalize your workouts to ensure that you're performing the maximum benefit from each session.
But what exactly is the science of HRM Training? We will break it down for you without getting too technical on this post. By the end of it, you'll understand why this type of training is so beneficial and why we have incorporated it into every workout at BarraFIT.
What Is Heart Rate Monitored Training?
The terms "target heart rate training" and "heart rate monitored training" are often used interchangeably. However, it is more accurate to say that target heart rate training is a specific heart rate monitored training.
In general, heart rate monitor training means exercising within a specified range of your maximum heart rate. In this case, for healthy individuals, that would mean maintaining an average of between 55 - 75% of your maximum heart rate through the workout.
The monitor will show you exercising at different zones while keeping track of how many beats per minute your body is working at in relation to the intensity of the exercise being performed. The monitor will also give you a number representing how many calories you are burning during each workout.
Exercise recommendations are based on numerous variables, including age, weight, and fitness level. Still, for most types of activity, it is suggested that you aim to work in your "Target" HR zone for 30 minutes at least three times per week. This provides cardiovascular health benefits and increases fat-burning potential while maintaining lean muscle mass.
How To Find Your Target Heart Rate Zone
Being familiar with your target heart rate zone is essential in designing a fitness regimen. It is suggested that most adults should train at between 50 percent and 85 percent of their maximum heart rate.
A formula can help determine what range works best for you by taking your age and subtracting it from 220. Subtract that number from the maximum beats per minute for your age group to determine the upper limit of your target heart rate zone.
What Are the Benefits of Heart Rate Monitored Training?
Here are ten benefits of heart rate monitored training.
1) Promotes Healthy Lifestyle Changes
One of the primary reasons many people engage in any activity or exercise routine is that they want to improve their overall lifestyle and health by improving their cardiovascular condition. By monitoring one's heart rate, an individual can accurately assess how hard they work during any exercise session.
2) Increases Metabolic Efficiency
The body is much more efficient at performing cardiovascular exercises at high intensities than at low intensities. This means that an individual will burn more calories during a workout when their heart rate is monitored and working at maximum intensity rather than resting or working out at a lower intensity.
For those who want to lose weight, this makes High-Intensity Interval Training such as BarraFIT far superior to alternatives such as lifting weights, as the former has been proven over time as effective for rapid weight loss.
3) Promotes Muscle Endurance and Improved Stamina
When an individual works out at a higher intensity for a more extended period, the body will become much more fatigued due to oxygen deprivation. By working out with a heart rate monitor, individuals can track their overall endurance level when performing cardiovascular exercises such as running or jogging.
Over time, this leads to improved stamina, which means that the muscles will have been conditioned enough to overcome obstacles such as fatigue or lactic acid buildup.
4) Improves Cardiovascular Conditioning and Lung Capacity
As mentioned previously in this article, by keeping one's rate within a specific range while exercising, an individual will train their cardiovascular system into developing increased capacity.
This means that the person's heart, lungs, and other organs will work more efficiently at providing oxygenated blood throughout the body while performing the exercise.
5) Improves Mental Health
As exercise can be very demanding for our bodies, it is essential to take regular breaks to stay mentally healthy while engaging in any type of fitness training program.
By wearing a heart rate monitor while exercising, vitals such as pulse will be tracked constantly. This allows an individual to know when to take a small break or drink some water during the workout session.
6) Aids in Weight Loss
As mentioned previously, cardiovascular exercises such as running or jogging are highly effective for weight loss because they require a lot of energy and can burn many calories over time. When performed regularly with some consistency, this will lead to rapid weight loss if combined with healthy eating habits.
7) Offers Real-Time Feedback About Exercise Effectiveness
An essential benefit of using a heart rate monitor while engaging in any fitness training program is that it provides real-time information about an individual's performance.
For instance, monitoring the heart rate during a workout session can immediately see if they need to take things up a notch or slow down the pace just a bit. This will also help measure progress and ensure that one meets their fitness goal.
8) Easily Tracks Performance Improvement Over Time
Heart rate monitors effectively measure an individual's overall performance level and various stats such as calories burned, average heart rate per minute, etc.
Keeping records of these metrics over time and comparing them with previous measurements taken on a different day will be easy to see improvement in both fitness and overall health.
9) Makes It Easier for Individuals with Disabilities To Engage in Fitness Activities
While taking part in some fitness training programs is highly beneficial for everybody, some people have disabilities which make it more challenging to exercise. Heart rate monitors allow these individuals to measure their pulse while engaging in physical activity to know when to rest or take things more manageable during the workout session.
While this may not impact their overall performance levels daily, it will help them stay within a recommended heart rate range, further enhancing their health while overcoming a disability.
10) Can Be Done by Individuals of All Ages
Heart rate monitors are highly beneficial for everybody as they can be used during cardiovascular exercise and other fitness activities. While it may be more difficult for seniors to engage in high-intensity physical activity, they can still monitor their heart rates while walking or performing low-impact cardio exercises.
Additionally, children and younger adults with health conditions such as asthma will also benefit from wearing a heart rate monitor because they will know when to reduce the intensity of their workouts so that their condition is not exacerbated.
To wrap this all up…
When choosing a fitness training method, it's essential to consider what works for you as an individual. For those who like to push themselves, monitor their progress, and measure the results of their hard work, heart rate observed training is an excellent way to achieve this.
If you are looking for a class where heart rate monitored training is incorporated, BarraFit is the way to go. BarraFit types are HR monitored and structured in such a way to help athletes progress through different HR zones healthily and safely.
In addition, BarraFit classes help create the best type of metabolic effect while helping maximize calories burned at the same time.
Professor Vivi Almeida | Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt
Co-Founder & Head Coach of the BarraFIT Studio of Scottsdale
BarraFIT in Scottsdale Arizona
BarraFIT, a top-ranked fitness studio in Scottsdale, Arizona offers programs inspired by martial arts and driven by science to help you achieve your fitness goals while feeling great.
Fitness should not be a chore. By emphasizing the progress that occurs when we are outside of our comfort zones, we teach our athletes to discover comfort in discomfort. It's rewarding since you can derive pride and confidence from daily practice.
If you are curious about our unique approach to fitness, book a class with us below.