Today a client came to train with me wearing a new Fitbit, and it was the version with the built in continuous heart rate monitor… The conversation turned to how useful these were during a workout.
As most of you know, I’m not a fitness fad sort of a person. We don’t use treadmills at the shed… We use our bodies; and to be honest, I feel a bit like that with heart rate monitors, why wear something you need to be looking at? When you could just be listening to your body?
You know if you’re working hard, it doesn’t always pay to get hung up on statistics!
Now I can almost hear you… “But, I want to make sure I’m in the fat burning zone when I’m working out…”
Newsflash! The mythical fat burning zone is exactly that! All those cardio machines you see in other “gyms” (not at The Shed) have stickers and stats for your viewing pleasure, that will tell you if you’re in the fat burning zone, supposedly around 55% to 65% of your maximum heart rate; but here’s the truth, that same fat burning zone, doesn’t have the all important “after-burn”.
To achieve the “after-burn” effect (continuing to burn calories after your workout is completed), rather than long sessions on the treadmill at 55% to 65% of your max heart rate, think about interval training. Work hard at your max for short bursts, and then take some active-recovery. Just like we do in SynrgyX. If you’re taking a walk or run outside, rather than slogging on at a continuous pace, throw in a set of burpees or go hard out at maximum pace for a couple of minutes, then pedal back to recover, before doing it again. This type of interval training causes a metabolic disturbance that continues to burn calories after the workout is completed. Much more effective than the mythical fat burning zone!