Heart Rate Monitoring is at Fitdigits’s Core

Testimonial by Fitdigits user David S.

Having decided I needed more Heart Rate analysis than my Garmin 310 Forerunner/Garmin Connect combination provided I began the process of testing the myriad of fitness/running Apps available for the iPhone. I finally identified iRunner by Fitdigits as the one that would give me the information I required.

iRunner by Fitdigits stands above other Apps because it is designed with Heart Rate monitoring at its core rather than an added extra; for me heart rate based training is essential for anyone who is serious about improving their performance.

I use a Polar H7 Heart Rate strap and an iPhone 5 and it works seamlessly. The App allows me customization of my Heart Rate Zones and of what I see and hear, allowing me to achieve the goals I have set for each training session; I have found no other App that delivers this kind of functionality.

Once I have completed my training session the information breakdown given by the App is excellent, but when it is uploaded to the Fitdigits website, My.Fitdigits, along with a Fitdigits MVP Subscription the analysis starts to stand out against other fitness sites. I can now analyze my cumulative Heart Rate data for any period and any training type. I now know if I am spending the right amount of time in each zone for any phase of my training. It was this functionality that led me to doing a VO2 Max test to nail my Heart Rate Zones, which then took my training to another level.

I have been using iRunner since June 2013 and have no doubt that it was a major contributor to setting PRs in the Half Marathon and 10k this year!

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!

Fitdigits Saved My Life

Testimonial by Fitdigits user John T.

I first became aware that I had a very slow resting pulse when I had a physical in July, and realized I needed to be proactive. I started recording my heart rate using the Fitdigits application and my newly acquired Polar H7 Heart Rate Monitor when going for a walk. I am a 73 year old hiker who walks at least 1 1/4 hours a day and on hiking days, considerably more. I track my heart rate using Fitdigits not only while walking and hiking, but also while sitting at my desk.

As soon as I started using Fitdigits I noticed two things. First that I had a very low resting pulse (30 beats per minute) when sitting at my desk and second that when I went for my daily brisk walk, my heart rate was all over the place. I was worried.

I went to my doctor who did not believe me (he admitted as much) because I had no visible symptoms, and rejected the Fitdigits HRM as faulty. After I insisted, I got hooked up to an EKG and was admitted to the hospital because he thought he saw a “Fib Flutter” in my EKG. In the hospital that night, the monitors went off repeatedly as my pulse dropped below 30, then 20 and finally at 3:20 in the morning my heart stopped for 7 seconds.

Within a few hours, treated with great respect and great emergency, I had a pacemaker. If I had not had Fitdigits to monitor my heart to alert me of this condition, I would have never gone to the Hospital, and consequently would not be here writing this today.

Now I monitor my heart rate as a matter of routine. I talked to the Fitdigits Support team and they told me a Scosche Rhythm works great with a Pacemaker, so I now track my walks and hikes using the Rhythm and it works perfectly. As far as I am concerned Fitdigits saved the life of a 73 year old hiker. Thank you!

Pairing your Older Scosche myTrek or Rhythm Heart Rate Monitor with Fitdigits Apps

Related Links:
Pairing your Bluetooth Low Energy Heart Rate Monitor in iOS
Troubleshooting Your Scosche Rhythm+ or Mio Heart Rate Monitor
Troubleshooting Your Sensors

******NOTE: SUPPORT FOR OLDER SCOSCHE myTrek and the original Rhythm is being discontinued in July, 2016 ******

Scosche Rhythm and myTrekPairing the older versions of Scosche Rhythm / myTrek

If you are using an old-school Scosche Rhythm / myTrek using traditional bluetooth,  Scosche stopped supporting them a while ago.  Since the bluetooth classic monitors have been discontinued by Scosche, the SDK has not been updated in order for the monitors to work on iOS 9 and Android OS 5. This meant we could no longer support Scosche’s MyTrek and Rhythm Pulse monitor.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, and please see below for options on Android and iOS devices.

Upgrade your monitor (it is worth it!)


Android

However, you can download and install older versions of the Android app – iRunner or iCardio. The last version with support was v3.31 and here are the links below:

iCardio:
http://www.fitdigits.com/downloads/Android/3.31/iCardio_3.31(69).apk

iRunner:
http://www.fitdigits.com/downloads/Android/3.31/iRunner_3.31(69).apk

Once you have the file, you can uninstall the newer version of the app from your device, and copy the older APK file you found to the phone or tablet. If you tap on the links above on the device, it should install automatically.

If not, copy the file to either a new folder, or the existing Download folder. Then, you’ll need to find the file on your Android device (with a File Explorer app or similar), at which point you can tap on it and install it. Note that you will need to tick the box somewhere in your device’s settings menu to allow the installation of apps from “unknown sources”. Most but not all Android devices have this option.


iOS

 

For iOS users, there is only a limited time left to download a compatible app – as soon and the next release goes live in Apple iTunes it will no longer have support for these older heart rate monitors. iCardio no longer supports them, so you would have to download iRunner or iBiker, which are older versions. But remember not to allow automatic upgrades or the next update to those apps will no longer support the old app!  

Turn off automatic updates:
http://www.gottabemobile.com/2016/01/26/how-to-turn-off-automatic-app-updates-in-ios-9/

Download iRunner:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/irunner-runners-walkers-fitness/id304074554?mt=8

 


For all compatibility, please view here:
http://www.fitdigits.com/compatibility.html

We hope that helps!

 

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Pairing your Android with the Scosche Rhythm or myTrek:

The beginning of every great story has an introduction. Well Android users, prepare to be introduced to the device that will change your life, the Scosche Rhythm. Learn how to Pair your Scosche myTREK or Rhythm with Fitdigits on the Android, and re-write your life story to include a happier and healthier you!

First, put on your Scosche sensor. Make sure your alignment is correct:

Next, turn on the Bluetooth settings in the iPhone and pair the Scosche sensor.

1. Go to your Android Settings
2. Tap Wireless & Network

Choose Wireless & Network

3. Tap Bluetooth Settings

Tap Bluetooth settings

4. Make Sure Bluetooth is ON. If ON, tap Scan Devices
5. Your Heart Rate Belt should appear as “Scosche myTREK” below “Bluetooth devices”. Tap to pair

Tap Scosche to pair

6. Your Scosche will now be paired. To delete a pairing, tap and and hold the Scosche sensor, and choose to unpair
7. Open your Fitdigits app and go to Settings -> My Sensors, and tap Heart so the check is orange
8. Choose Scosche from the menu that comes up

Tap Scosche myTREK

9. You will be taken back to the “Bluetooth devices” screen. Tap on Scosche and you are paired.

Start a workout, and you are ready to take this relationship to a whole new level!

Customize Heart Rate Zones on the Android

Customizing your Heart Rate Zones is important to personalizing your workouts and calorie burn.

With Fitdigits apps on Android, it’s simple to change your zones, though ideally it is done through a customized Fitness Assessment you’ve taken, where we do the work for you.

  1. Tap Menu > Settings
  2. Tap My Heart Rate Zones
  3.  Tap Add Zone Set
    1. To edit a zone set, tap that zone set and tap Edit in the top right
  4. Tap on the Title of the Zone Set and the zones themselves to change the names.
  5. Tap on the beats per minute barriers to change them
  6. Tap “DONE” when finished.
  7. To set the new zone set as default in the app, tap “Set Default”