Heart rate monitor

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by JCORN, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. JCORN

    JCORN Double-Digit Post Count

    Did some searching on the forum and haven't found anything fully covering the topic. Those of you that use a heart rate monitor, what do you like about it? Do you think it helps? I'm curious about getting one myself to help keep swings in the maffetone range, and maybe more applicable for mountain biking, but also thinking I can get away with the talk test and this is just a new shiny piece of equipment that isn't really necessary. Thanks for the input!
  2. Neal Sivula

    Neal Sivula More than 500 posts

    I've been using one for about 3 years during training. I have the Polar H10 strap with the Polar M400 watch. It was excellent when I first started using it for monitoring HR recovery during KB training, but after a while you get a sense of when your HR is down where it needs to be. I still use it every session to keep track of recovery time, Max HR, etc so I find it really useful. I also use it during my aerobic sessions rucking or riding to make sure I'm in my Maffetone zone- it is too easy for me to get amped up sometimes and let my HR get a little out of the preferred zone.

    TLDR- get one, I don't think that you'll be sorry.
    WxHerk likes this.
  3. offwidth

    offwidth More than 5000 posts

    It may depend upon what your training goals are. How important is it for you to be exactly dialed in with your HR. If you are really in tune with your body, and are a seasoned endurance athlete you can probably go by feel for the most part. I wear my HRM on occasion to validate my perception, and I'm always pretty spot on.

    Remember if you are serious about HR training, you probably want to be using zones based upon HRMax, in which case you will need to figure out what that is.
    Martin Joe likes this.
  4. Oscar

    Oscar Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    +1 to the H10, I use it with my phone. I don't use it every session, maybe twice a week. Other sessions I prefer longer rest or to go by feel. It's also great for tracking progress. If you do the exact same routine and have a lower average HR, you have improved.
    Sauli likes this.
  5. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    I have an H10 and an OH1. I don't like the H10 chest strap at all and it always gets pushed down by my lats and feels like it's going to slide down to my waist, never does but the feeling is annoying.

    The OH1 is awesome as I wear it on my forearm and it doesn't bother me at all.

    They both function well, as I understand it the OH1 is the first reliable LED HR monitor but don't quote me on that. It does the same thing as the H10 with more comfort.

    I use mine for the VWC protocol and also for strength sessions as I like to cluster train and do A+A type work as well. It's also nice to have a record of training sessions. I can look at the HR graphs and pretty easily figure out what I was doing, it comes in handy as my journal is wayyyy.. behind. I'm starting some walking sessions too. You can record sessions in the device and download later as well. The H10 is waterproof too, not sure on the OH1.

    Hope this helps..
  6. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    I've used and abused a bunch of HRMs over the years. I go for the cheapest Polar model, because all that matters is current HR and total time when doing Maffetone Method training. I only wear it for endurance training, never for strength work. I don't think the HR response to short bursts of KB work is relevant, and I'm pretty sure Maffetone would agree.

    Bonus, the easier it is to change the batteries, the better. They chew up batteries.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    Michael Scott likes this.
  7. miked

    miked Double-Digit Post Count

    We sometimes use them at the gym. Usually it's just a way to correlate how people feel with a number. That way they can learn what "recovered" means. I always recommend the cheapest you can find on Amazon that will connect to your phone. All you need is a number - we don't care about fancy stuff.

    It really has a good use when we're doing a long program that you need to wait until you're recovered before you start the next round. Sometimes guys will get a little competitive and go too early. If we have a clear objective metric for "recovery" then no one cheats/gets impatient.
    Jim Lauerman and Michael Scott like this.
  8. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    Have you had the chance to have both on at the same time and compare the data?
  9. Karl

    Karl Double-Digit Post Count

    Like others have said it is a tool to help you learn your body and training methodology. Once I had a HRM I was able to check my ego and be objective about my training. I had spent all of my physical training up to that point going as hard as could all the time. That all out mentality worked in my 20's, kind of in my 30's, and was a failure in my 40's.

    I use the HRM to slow down while running, giving me feedback to help me adhere to my MAF number during my off season. In my swing pursuits I dont really use it other than tracking my progress and when I am recovered enough to swing another round. When working towards simple and now solid I have used heart rate to tell me when to change my rep scheme.
    Michael Scott and vegpedlr like this.
  10. Sean M

    Sean M Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I don’t use one, but recently started crudely checking via neck pulse and a clock (count for 10-20 seconds times 6 or 3 respectively).

    Don’t know what to make of it. 10:00 into sets of 10 snatches on the minute I counted 29 in :10 immediately after the set (=174bpm). It was the same when I stopped at 15:00 (5 more sets of 10). As I’m 32 and they say 100% is 220 minus age (188), I was at 92%, 116% of Zone 3 (80% of 220-age), and 113% of MAF (180-32+5 = 153).

    I can’t carry on a conversation during a session like that, but I could still talk in short bursts. So if 90-100% means “can barely talk”, I don’t get there. But HR would indicate I am 90%+

    What do I make of a discrepancy between heart rate (high) and lungs (medium-high)? I sweat profusely but quickly return to baseline HR and breathing when the final set is done. And I’m not sore the next day, or only very moderate soreness.
  11. Bret S.

    Bret S. Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    They both connect to my phone thru bluetooth so I can only connect one at a time. However I've done enough VWC sessions to have comparable data points on both devices and there is no difference as far as I can tell.
    Antti likes this.
  12. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides More Than 10k Posts, Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @JCORN, I got one for the first time a couple of months ago. My primary interest, since I've had it, has been seeing how high I can take my maximum heart rate, since even without trying, it went over the predicted maximum.

    Other than that, I've just kind of looked at the numbers and gone, "Oooh, look at those numbers" but haven't really attempted to train with it.

    My vote is that you try it.

  13. North Coast Miller

    North Coast Miller Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I've borrowed my wife's a few times just to get a feel for max HR and near max compared to my RPE.

    Not essential, but a handy piece of gear to have - if it were more comfortable I'd probably use it more often.
  14. Bro Mo

    Bro Mo More than 500 posts

    Polar M400 + H7. I use it for daily activity, running, circuits, and intervals. I was surprised to see just how sedentary I had become outside of training. It helps me with acquiring walking. Also, I've always felt like my perceived effort is the same regardless of actual effort so being able to see how the body is actually responding is really helpful for knowing when the stove is warm, hot, or burn me hot.

    Waiting 6 weeks to see if the program you're doing is successful is a poor performance monitor compared to using leading indicators of doing the right thing each day. The accumulation of good days leads to success and I like to know if today was a good day today, when I can still effect it, rather than find out it was a bad day 6 weeks from now.

    The polar web tool along with HRV helps me know when my body is lying to me. Sometimes I feel crappy but am well recovered and able to have a great training session. Other times, I feel great but am not recovered and have terrible training or worse - injury. I consider mine a primary contributor to changing the course my training was/is on.
    Jim Lauerman likes this.
  15. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    In addition to using it for MAF training, I've found it helpful for pacing in long races. With some trial and error, I learn what sort of range I can sustain for different durations, and it acts as a useful second opinion to keep me in check.
  16. thegoldengod

    thegoldengod Double-Digit Post Count

    I use an Apple Watch Series 3. It's not as accurate as a chest strap, but I use it for my workouts (worn inside the wrist when doing KB training to prevent the screen from getting banged). Since it tracks my sleep and all day heart rate, it is an easy way to get data since you're always wearing it and is pretty much mindless. You can go about your day without dealing with the minutia of tracking everything since it is automatic.
  17. JCORN

    JCORN Double-Digit Post Count

    Thanks everyone, you have piqued my interest, I think I'll give it a shot.

    @vegpedlr , do you do anything other staying in your aerobic zone for biking? I'm still trying to figure out how to do that with some of the climbs on my local trails.
  18. vegpedlr

    vegpedlr More than 500 posts

    WhenI road ride or run I'm strict about staying within MAF. For MTB, it depends on season, goals and timing. If I want to do a real MAF base building phase, I stick to trails that allow me to go easy, or road ride. When the season gets under way, I let my HR respond to the trail, but try to keep my overall effort relaxed and within MAF as much as possible. Strict Maffetone training with MTB is tricky.
    kurt perham and offwidth like this.
  19. bencrush

    bencrush Triple-Digit Post Count

    I have been using a Mio since my birthday (late May) and absolutely love it! No cumbersome heart rate strap. Just a heart rate monitor watch to wear on my wrist. The only con I can think of is that the watch BARELY fits my wrist. It is a bit uncomfortable, but not so much that I can't do whatever exercise I am using it to track. I gave away my Polar heart rate monitor watch and the strap after getting the Mio.

    Setting an upper limit alarm (beep) keeps me from running too hard to be considered aerobic. Nose-breathing alone does not do this for me because I have only one working nostril.
  20. Marlon Leon

    Marlon Leon Triple-Digit Post Count

    When you lift you want to know the amount of weight as the measure of intensity. Similarly when doing cardio the heart rate gives you the intensity. It also allows to compare different modes such as running, walking, cycling etc. For intervals it tells you when you arr ready depending on your current state instead of using arbitrary time intervals.
    When having a weak day it will take less effort to get the heart rate up to the target number thus protecting the trainee from over exerting himself. And vice versa on a strong day.
    Personally I use a simple polsrpolar model with average and max heart rate values. A calorie counter would be also useful. The calorie counter won't give precise absolut values, but it is accurate onto itself. Thys, one can compare one session to the next, for instance how long does it take to burn 500 calories.

Share This Page