As part of their training, our Team PB members have been using Myzone Heart Rate Monitors (HRM), making heart rate training part of their fitness regime. Claiming to help users train smarter and increasing in popularity, we spoke to David Lloyd PT Ambassador and Team PB Coach Jack Claxton to find out more:
“Training with a heart rate monitor will hands down improve your performance and fitness levels. You might think you’re working hard, but with a heart rate monitor you can see exactly how hard you’re working.
“During a workout your brain will often try to tell our body to stop or take it easier. Pushing through this is a mental barrier to overcome, but it’s important to do if you want to reach your goals. With a heart rate device your brain can’t fool you because you can see exactly how hard you’re working, and this can give you the confidence to push through.
“But perhaps the biggest thing to point out, is that training with a heart rate monitor is so personal and really levels the playing field as they adjust to your maximum heart rate the more you wear it. As an individual this will increase the accuracy for you to see how hard you are working. It may be that walking for somebody may achieve the same desired heart rate “zone” as running for someone else – and that’s ok! It’s a great way to tailor workouts to ensure you are working to your potential.”
What do I need?
To start heart rate training, you need to get yourself a device. At David Lloyd Clubs we partner with Myzone, selling both the belts (worn across the chest area) and the newer Switch, worn on either the wrist or chest the Switch is also waterproof; swimmers no longer miss out!
But having a Myzone and knowing how to use one isn’t the same thing. To get the most out of it, you need to be able to understand the data and understand what this means for you and your own personal goals.
Jack explains: “What looks quite complicated at first glance, is actually really simple. The device measures in “Zones”, which in Myzone are colour coded. Zones are determined by the heart rate level during sustained exercise. Each zone serves a different purpose and training in every zone contributes to your overall health and wellbeing.
“For time spent within each zone you receive points – Myzone Effort Points (MEPs). As the saying goes, points make prizes and, in this instance, the points accumulate towards a monthly target. Consistently hit your monthly target and not only will you be meeting the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended requirements for exercise, you’ll also progress up the Myzone status ranking. Fail to hit your monthly target and your status drops – if you’ve spent a year trying to reach Gold, there’s a strong motivation to not let that slip!
Heart Rate Zones
Grey, 50–59% of your max heart rate.
Low intensity, a warm-up or gentle flow session. You’d be able to maintain this for a couple of hours without any fatigue.
Blue, 60–69% of your max heart rate.
Working at around a 3 or 4 out of 10. You’ll be working lower in effort than your brain will tell you! You’d be lightly out of breath, but certainly still able to hold a conversation.
Green, 70–79% of your max heart rate.
Things are ramping up in the green zone. You’d most likely be getting breathless this zone is optimal for active recovery.
Yellow – 80–89% of your max heart rate.
Breathless and not able to sustain a conversation past a one-word answer, this is out of your comfort zone and a place to mentally focus. A typical zone of HIIT workouts and cardio training, this is the space to improve endurance.
Red – 90–100% of your max heart rate.
All systems will be working at their maximal capacity, and you’ll probably be questioning your choices! This zone will test and improve your speed, respiratory system and cardiovascular health.
What zone when?
“There’s a real temptation to go out all guns blazing and get into the red zone as quickly as you can. Please, don’t do that! If you get into the red zone too quickly, you’ll wipe yourself out for rest of the workout,” commented Jack.
“The goal isn’t to remain in the red, but to allow your heart to fluctuate, to recover and go again. This will help strengthen it and make it more adaptable. Consistently pushing yourself in the red will result in your body becoming fatigued and you run the risk of over training and becoming more susceptible to injury.
“If you’re pretty new to fitness you’ll find that as you exercise more it will become harder and harder to reach the yellow and red zones. In addition, you’ll recover quicker too, so you’ll drop out the hard zones quicker. This takes us back to the mental barrier – trust yourself, you’ve got more to give so push more
Don’t forget your HRM during a strength session too. You won’t be hitting the red zone, but your heart rate will increase as you’re performing short bursts, increasing your muscle mass and also strengthening your heart.
“Again, don’t feel every session must feature yellow and red,” added Jack. “Training in ALL zones builds a stronger body and mind, those MEPs come from a variety of exercises and each session is a step towards your goal.”
Want to know more?
Come and speak to the personal training team! Whether you’re a runner looking to improve your speed, a swimmer wanting to build endurance or someone at the start of their journey struggling with self-belief, the team at David Lloyd Clubs will be able to work with you to educate you on the data and develop a programme to work towards.
The Myzone Switch is available through the David Lloyd App at £79.99 (RP £139.99.) Head to Member Privileges to purchase.