So, what’s the big deal with this heart rate tracking and why is it a tool that NAKOA has so strongly backed for 2018?
If you’ve been around NAKOA within the last month and a half, you have no doubt seen the new TV on the wall with the fancy color changing tiles and leaderboard. You have also probably heard us coaches mention MyZone and heart rate straps numerous times, but do you really know why? Whether you have already purchased your MyZone belt or are still on the fence, keeping reading as I break down why we feel so strongly about its integration in our programming.
Heart rate monitoring has been around for years, but the newer technology allows users a more complete picture of their training, a social and team building component to keep you engaged and most importantly, has become more affordable and accurate at the same time.
A person’s heart rate is a very dynamic measurement that can be greatly affected by even the smallest of influences. Quality and duration of sleep, stress, illness, and diet, are just some of the daily factors that can cause a person’s heart rate to fluctuate daily. This is important to know; because training based on heart rate will take these variables into account and will help dial in your training programs so that goals can be more closely targeted.
So why did NAKOA choose MyZone? Well, the simple answer is that we are a performance and science-based training facility and this technology provides some complex information in an easily understood format that doesn’t take away from the actual training experience; in fact we feel it enhances it! Anyone can tell you to do 3 sets of 10 goblet squats, but what effort should you put out in that exercise? Having the television display your heart rate, percentage of max heart rate and the color-coded “zone” tiles based on which percentage zone you are currently in provides quick feedback to see if you are working at the desired intensity or not.
In training, there is a scale called the Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) and it can be used to tell people that they should feel as if they are working at a certain intensity on a 1-10 scale. For instance, a 1 on this scale would be equivalent to laying in bed after you wake up, or lounging on the couch as you binge Netflix. A 10 on this scale would be 100% effort and intensity (ie the 60-second sprint on Versa trying to attain maximum feet). But do you really know what those different intensity scales feel like? Can you tell the difference between when you are a 7 out of 10 as opposed to an 8 out of 10 on the RPE scale? Most people will think they can, but utilizing MyZone we can truly hone in on the exact intensity level we are looking for. If I want my client to work at an 8 out of 10 on the RPE scale, they can simply look at the television on the wall and they can work until they are in the yellow zone on MyZone, which equates to 80-89% of their max heart rate.
So how does this new technology help with our programs at Nakoa? The easiest way to demonstrate this is to view it from a group class perspective. We have fitness levels at all ranges of the spectrum in our group classes, and trying to accommodate everyone and still provide a quality workout for all can be challenging. Some people will feel completely wrecked, while others feel they didn’t get a hard enough workout. Instead of arbitrarily saying perform 10 reps or work for thirty seconds and rest for thirty seconds, we can now personalize a workout for each member. By utilizing the MyZone technology, I can now program based on the intensity I want each member to work towards. So if I want people to work on muscular endurance for strength or on their aerobic conditioning, I can program based on color zones. For this example, it would be green (70-79% of max heart rate). For one member this may mean lifting a certain weight for 15 reps, another member might have to lift the same weight for 20 reps in order to get into the desired zone. Both are working at the same intensity even though there was a 5 rep difference between the two. On the conditioning side, this may mean one person only needs: 20 seconds of rest after the first 2 sets, but as they continue to work, their rest periods may slowly increase in order to stay in the prescribed zones. This type of training can be fine-tuned much more, resulting in personalized programming and will hopefully lead to many more goals being reached.
One word of warning when using the MyZone technology is that more is not always better. With the color-coded zones and seeing the percentage of your max heart rate, some people will want to try and push to get to the yellow and red zones every single workout or get competitive with another Nakoa member. It is imperative to zone diversity in your weekly workouts!! Not every day should be a maximal effort day, some days will need to be in the green (aerobic) zone, some days will need to just be recovery and you will be in the blue zone mostly. Going hard every day is the surest way to end up overtrained, fatigued and possibly injured, the last thing you want when trying to achieve your 2018 goals!
Feel free to reach out if you have any further questions regarding our MyZone partnership and make sure to get your heart rate straps before the end of the month so you can start working effectively to your goals for 2018.