Advanced Heart Rate Analysis

Fitdigits advanced heart rate analysis is now included with the Star Membership. Heart rate analysis helps you monitor how your fitness is changing through time, making sure that your efforts over multiple workouts are balanced to your goals and helping you reach those goals. It can also help you dial in your personal heart rate zones, allowing you to see how the distribution goes at different intensities.

To access new heart rate analysis charts, log into my.fitdigits.com. Go to Activities. Click the arrows on either side of the dashboard display to switch dashboards. Remember, you can adjust your time in the top left corner to view your stats by week, month, year, or custom. By dropping down the options menu, you can also change the grouping of your activities (to select Runs only, Cycle only, etc) and adjust which activity type is displayed.

BPM (Beats per Minute) Histogram

BPM histograms show your heart rate distribution for the given time frame. Below is the heart rate distribution for all workouts in 2013. Zones can be determined by dropping the Options section and selecting the heart rate zone set of your choice. Check out how Fitdigits determines heart rate zones and how accurately determine zones with fitness assessments. If you have had a fitness assessment elsewhere and know your zones, you can also manually enter them.

Zone Histogram

Zone histograms show the time spent in each heart rate zone as well as a percent breakdown for each zone. In the image below, 12% or 7:22 hours of total workout time with heart rate was spent in zone 2. The zone histogram and pie chart will show just how your time in zones adds up.

 

New advanced graphs allow you to see your time in zones over multiple workouts. Select to view workouts by month to see how your fitness is changing through time. If you choose, you may also view these changes over all workouts or over a specific workout type.

 

This can be great when you are going through different training stages or have different goals in mind. Are you looking to build your base in the off-season? If so, maybe you want to make sure you are mostly in those lower zones for longer periods of time. Are you looking to improve your stamina at race pace? Or perhaps your power for shorter distances?

Each goal has, at its core, a mix of time in the zones; if you are always pushing too hard, it may be time to give your body a break! Can you identify where you are cutting yourself short by not pushing hard enough, or if you aren’t taking enough base building time?

Fitdigits 4 Keys to Cardio Fitness

5 Heart Rate Training Myths

The Loch Ness Monster. Bigfoot. The Chupacabra. All of these myths have been circulating since the beginning of time. Since we do not have concrete evidence either way, there is no possibility of reaching a verdict as to whether the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, or the Chupacabra actually exists. However, when it comes to myths about heart rate training, we have answers as solid as steel. Read below for some common heart rate training myths, and the truth behind them.

1. If you want to burn fat, it is best to get your heart rate as high as possible. You better be working out until you are sweatier than John Goodman’s third chin after a set of crunches in a sauna.

WRONG: This statement has about as much validity as Manti Te’o’s girlfriend. The best method for burning fat at a higher percentage is a steady, consistent workout in Zone 2 (60-69% max heart rate), the fat burning zone. This zone uniquely targets fat because fat is a slow burning fuel, so if you do a long and less-intense workout, your body will target a higher amount of fat cells then carbohydrates. While you may burn more net calories in higher heart rate zones, you will burn the highest percent of fat calories in Zone 2.

2. The best way to check your heart health is to see how far you can push yourself during a workout and how fast you can go. After the workout is over, check out how far you traveled and what time you got to truly determine if you are in good health.

WRONG: If you are physically active on a regular basis, a great way to check your heart health is by checking your heart rate recovery after an intense 10-15 minute workout. You can figure out your heart rate be either using Fitdigits iCardio’s recovery feature, or by manually figuring out your recovery. Either way, if your recovery is between 22-52 beats per minute (BPM) after a 10 minute ramped up workout, it is average. If your recovery is higher than 52 BPM your heart is very healthy, and below 22 BPM your heart is slightly older then your calendar age.

3. When it comes to Heart Rate Zones, you are fine just going with the default formula of 220-your age for max heart rate. The corresponding zones are very accurate, and you don’t need more specialized zones unless you are a serious athlete.

WRONG: I would not wish this amount of uneducated bliss on my worst frienemy. Custom heart rate zones are the key to informed workouts, which will lead to better results. Not only will custom heart rate zones make zone based training as easy as a Kindergarten spelling test, but it will also result in drastically more accurate calories burned in your workouts if you are using a fitness application. Custom zones also allow for a caloric breakdown of how many fat and carbohydrate calories burned during a workout. Complete a Fitdigits Fitness Assessment to get custom HR zones.

4. In order to become better at endurance workouts, get your Forrest Gump on and go as far as humanly possible. Try to drive your heart rate higher than James Franco was in Pineapple Express. If you are going less than ten miles a day on your workouts, might as well throw in the towel and try your hand at knitting.

WRONG: The best way to train for endurance is to workout with steady pace workouts in the Aerobic Zone, which is zone 3 (70-79%). Do not run a race distance every day because that is just asking for an injury! However, once a week try to work in an LSD workout. No, I’m not saying you should be scoping out Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and “feeling colors” while you run, but rather a Long but Slow Distance workout, in which you run for a long distance at a slow and steady pace.

5. When it comes to working out, monotony is your friend. If you find a routine that works for you at an intensity level that feels right, make like a Carnival ship and keep cruising. If you mix things up too much you are danger of becoming dangerously spontaneous, which often results in a putrid body odor, sore hamstrings and the inability to pronounce “hospitable”.

WRONG: Interval training based on heart rate zones might as well be called the blender, because they are a great way to mix up your workouts. If you find you are constantly doing the same routine or route during workouts, try an interval workout to add a dash of spice to your exercise life. One great type of interval workouts is High Intensity Intercal Training (HIIT), or more specifically Tabata intervals. Tabata interval training is basically when you elevate your heart rate to Zone 5 (or 90-92 % of your max heart rate) for 20-60 seconds, followed by periods of shorter or equal rest. HIIT and Tabata is a great way to burn fat, or just to switch up your routine to keep you engaged!