Heart Rate Recovery Improved My Fitness

User Testimonial, by Jeff A.

I purchased Fitdigits for the most unlikely of reasons. It wasn’t to track my fitness, but to have a discussion with my primary care physician. Even though I am an active cyclist there are some things that can really slow me down. I became especially concerned when climbing several flights of stairs caused my heart rate to zoom up to the point where I would have to stop and wait for it to come back down. Surely, I thought that there must be something wrong with me, but how would I show this to my doctor? Then I thought, what about a chart showing the minute-by-minute changes of my heart rate. This is when I first used Fitdigits.

Not much heart rate recovery. Dec 2011

By the way, my doctor’s reaction was: “Don’t worry. You’re fine.”

Since I had purchased this fancy heart monitor, I figured I might as well use it for its intended purpose. I began to track my heart rate during my weekly spin classes and I now have over a year’s worth of data available to review.

For the first year, the only number I really looked at was the number of total calories burned. I wondered, “how hard was I working?” I wanted to challenge myself to work a little harder during class.

Showing recovery improvement. Jan 2012

This year I have been paying more attention to my heart rate. Recently I started a set of cycling classes led by a certified triathlete coach. During the first session, she conducted a lactate threshold test to determine each rider’s limits (watts and heart rate) which she structured the entire class around. For the first time in my life, I now have reliable data about what my thresholds are and I am being challenged to excel past those limits in very well structured workouts. I never knew I could get my heart rate so high and still live.

Further improvement. Feb 2012

I have to admit, that when I signed up for these classes I did not know what to expect. I did not exactly know how the workouts would benefit me, but I knew that I had to work hard. Thanks to Fitdigits, I have my answer about the benefits.

Take a look at the four images I have attached. The earliest, from 12/14/2011 is pretty typical for my spin classes over the past year. My heart rate would go up and stay up for the entire class. Now, look at the other three pictures, which are more recent. You begin to see that for the first time my heart rate is beginning to recover during intervals (not just at the end). The amount of recovery has been improving weekly. This has been extremely encouraging.

Drastic improvement. NICE interval recovery!! Feb 2012

Thank you, Fitdigits. I now go into my training and spin classes determined to work even harder.

Oh, and about the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Each of those images is worth about a thousand calories.

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