I use a Polar S610i. It comes with software that you can install into your computer and then using IR intrared transmitter (extra expense) download your workout info into the computer and checkout what you were actually doing heartrate wise. You can also edit the particular session and say what you were doing to get those results. Runs between $149 - $169.Originally Posted by mandmmom2;3733657;
The reason I recommend using a HR monitor is to accurately monitor what you are doing. If you want to do a steady state program and keep within a range you can do it very accurately using a HR monitor. If you want to do interval training and you need to hit a certain number you know you have it just by looking at your monitor.
When I first starting working out I went by the standard formula of take 220 minus your age X whatever and you get a standard range for low, middle and high activity for your age range. The trouble with that formula is once you do enough cardio your heart and body adjust to that particular level, your heart is stronger and needs to work out harder. At the gym I use they occasionally test for maximum heart rate so you can adjust your levels. When I started working out my max was 140 bpm (beats per minute) and believe me that was hard to get to and stay at. Last time I was tested I maxed out at 192 bpm so now 130 -140 is cruising rate for me and to really work out hard I need to reach 170.
Hope that makes sense.
PS: you don't need to feel like you are going to pass out to feel as if you are working out hard enough. I am trying to rebuild my cardio base from taking about 4 months off. I try to do 2 to 3 60 minute steady state workouts after burning my glycogen reserves in the first 20 minutes I try to maintain between 130 and 140. Right now I am only doing 1 interval day, I am supposed to be doing 3, I do short 6 minute bursts on the treadmill between circuit training and I try to hit 150 -160. (Do a weight circuit and then an interval, repeat 3 times and finish off with core). When I am doing intervals I use inclines and a bit of speed to raise my heart rate.