Principle No. 3 of Heart Zones Training: You manage best what you can measure and monitor.
This simple statement has become a mantra for American business over the last few years, and it needs to be a personal mantra for every one of us. Why? Think about it; many of our so-called “failures” in diets and exercise programs stem from our inability to accurately monitor the changes we hope are taking place. The classic example, of course, is starting a training program to build muscle and using only our bathroom scales as the yardstick of success or failure. Muscle mass weighs more than fat, so even though the program may be succeeding – our clothing getting looser and looser, our bodies feeling stronger and stronger – our monitoring device tells us to “forget it”!
Given the number of things in our lives that are neither controllable nor measurable, it’s surprising that Heart Zones Training is both. You control it and you measure it.
The preferred tool for measuring and monitoring progress in Heart Zones Training is the heart rate monitor. With the use of this wireless device, you can continuously and instantaneously have information about your performance and your results. With this information and the intelligent interpretation of the information (which we will quickly teach you here), you can have a level of control that just a few years ago was available to only the most elite athletes. A heart rate monitor-based program measures and monitors your ongoing exercise experiences. A heart rate monitor is, quite simply, the most powerful fitness and health tool availableon the market today. It’s your personal power tool.
Can you do Heart Zones Training without a heart rate monitor? Yes, you can, although it will be considerably more difficult – and subject to more error. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, watch closely for the hints and directions on manual monitoring and on other forms of heart rate testing we’ve included to guide you along the way.
The heart rate data that you’re monitoring and measuring are the contractions of your heart muscle, measured in beats per minute. There are several important heart rate numbers, such as resting heart rate, ambient heart rate (also known as sitting heart rate) and maximum heart rate.
And, unlike the pronouncements of those old-fashioned heart rate charts, your maximum heart rate point does not necessarily decrease with age. This myth and other discredited beliefs are coming up – hold on because HZT is a new way to cardio-train.
More to come ..
Keep your eyes peeled as we continue to release excerpts throughout upcoming weeks. If you want to read the entire book, make sure to swing by our online store and grab a copy: The Heart Rate Monitor Guidebook.