WHY IS HEART RATE MONITORING IMPORTANT?
Heart rate training is one of the most convenient and effective methods of training, with scientific studies supporting the reliability of their use during steady state exercise.
Using a reliable monitor, a scientific and individualised programme can be designed. Which will help to accelerate your conditioning results.
A wonderful aspect of heart rate monitoring is the ability to utilise the information all day everyday. For example, tracking/reading resting heart rate at a fully sedentary state or taking accurate readings from light exercise to maximal efforts. Being able to monitor heart rate outside of the gym is an important aspect to keeping on top of workload.
The main benefit to HR (Heart Rate) monitoring is the body does not lie. HR is a physiological indicator of changes in the body. Increase in HR can be due to many things, such as lack of sleep, overtraining or dehydration to name a few. Many of these factors will be personal to the individual, understanding what is “normal” for that individual makes picking up on any changes much easier.
One issue with many training programmes is that the sessions are designed for “everyone” not based around individual body shape, size, physiological responses and current fitness levels. Using this information and having live feedback from HR allows a coach to adapt the training for individuals at that point of time.
Monitoring HR to get individual maximum and resting heart rates can accelerate training, giving specific zones unique to the person. Depending on fitness goals these can be utilised in training, for example an endurance goal would see someone working in the lower zones to work longer, in comparison to someone with an explosive goal they would work in short bursts in higher zones.
These work zones line-up with the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), this is a scale 1-10 on how difficult the exercise feels, as you can see below the way each exercise feels matches with a zone. The RPE scale alone is not as effective in predicting performance as it is purely subjective; the objective metrics of HR monitoring allow for a much more accurate output across a training session.
WHAT HEART RATE MEANS TO INDIVIDUAL FITNESS?
Heart rate is a great indicator of fitness, as cardiovascular fitness increases the resting HR decreases along with the submaximal HR. Recovery periods also decrease when fitness levels increase meaning HR falls much faster as the body adapts to exercise.
These physiological changes are a great marker for the individual and a coach to keep track of changing fitness levels and spotting inconsistencies within training. Allowing for adaptations to training to be made in the moment to prevent early fatigue, leading to a steady progression of fitness.