Heartrate Monitor Product Review
I wanted to share with you a great piece of training equipment that I have used for years along with a little about how it works! It is my Timex IronMan Road Trainer Digital Grey Dial Watch. Talk about a great motivator for your training.
Heart rate monitors are great training tools when combined with other training tools such as; excel, beginnertriathlete.com and other apps. on the ipad or iphone. I have used excel sheets to track day/date, activity, kcals burned (when you reach 3,500 kcals burned you have burned a pound of fat off. What I prefer is beginnertriathlete. com, it’s a free site with some pay features. In the free part of the site you are able to log in a good amount of personal information from your heart rate monitor and workout. The site graphs your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly training workouts. This is great for the visual learner as you can see right away where you are lacking in your training plan or where you are over training.
Timex IronMan Road Trainer Digital Grey Dial Watch is a mid level heart rate monitor priced between $60 and $110. I bought mine about 2 or 3 years ago at REI (REI.com) and used both my REI membership dividend discount that pays me back 10% of my total purchases for the previous year and 20% off coupon. The retail price was $60 and with both of my discounts I think that I paid a total of $5.00 out of pocket! Something to look into!
The features that I use the most are, kcal count, low, median and high heart rate, heart rate % zones and chrono.
The kcal counter is my favorite feature. You can set a personal goal of how many kcals you want to burn before so that you can check through out your workout to get to 1, 000, 1, 500 or 2, 000..etc… per workout just by pushing harder or going longer. Many of my clients use their heart rate monitors during our personal trainings sessions and A.C.T classes and give me updates on where they are in their kcal count. You can see them really going for it by the end of their workouts to reach their goals. Its fun for them and a badge of honor for me to get their kcal count up by the end of a session!
You can also set your heart rate zones for high and low. The goal is to keep you heart rate in between the zones. so if your heart rate drops below your minimum it beeps. It is basically saying hurry up and I will stop beeping. If you are pushing too hard it will beep again and basically you need to back off your intensity. Staying in your pre described zones for your training plan will allow you to feel better in each workout and make sure that you are not over trained through the course of your training plan. The best part of the training zones is that it will tell you how long you were in your zone! This is great information for someone who is training hard and doesn’t want to over train. Heart rate training is really catching on and I hope to write about that in more detail in another post.
The chrono timing feature is a stop watch that counts time up so you know how long your workout is or when to stop your workout as you have reached the end of your timed workout.
I think that heart rate monitors are great for keeping my clients and myself motivated for those sometimes daunting cardio workouts. Just be sure to track your results from each workout in an excel sheet or on software that graphs your results to track your progress. As always, it is essential to use a good training plan and stick with it! I just bought a Garmin so look for a product review on that heart rate monitor in the future.