F.I.T. Blog

Personalizing Your Training with a Heart Rate Monitor

I remember back in high school we occasionally had to wear heart rate monitors for gym class. You got graded on your level of exertion.

However, a few of us were athletes and going through gym class was a far cry from the level of exertion we experienced playing basketball or football.

So, of course, we had to game the system. “Had,” is maybe a strong term…

We found a way to tap on the monitor system really fast and get the heart rate up to over 200 beats per minute. If we did that for a solid minute or two, we would end up with a high enough average heart rate at the end of class to satisfy the requirements for an “A” that day.

The technology of the MyZone monitor has changed since then while largely staying the same. The best way to monitor heart rate is still by putting a monitor around your chest, thus closest to your actual heart.

However, the great thing about MyZone now is that you can see exertion levels at different points throughout a training session.

So, if you go into the red zone for 2 minutes at the beginning of a training session, it won’t keep your heart rate elevated, negating the way we gamed the system. Nor will it provide you with a significant amount of extra MEPs at the end of the session. Basically, the technology got smarter!

So what are MEPs and how do you get them?

MyZone created a really simple way to track your effort, or Metabolic Efficiency Points, via heart rate % of maximum.

50-59% Max HR = 1 MEP/min (Gray zone)
60-69% Max HR = 2 MEP/min (Blue zone)
70-79% Max HR = 3 MEP/min (Green zone)
80-89% Max HR = 4 MEP/min (Yellow zone)
90-100% Max HR = 4 MEP/min (Red zone)

Basically this simple approach allows for any athlete to work at a moderate to vigorous intensity and track their effort. As the athlete improves their aerobic capacity, it will be more and more difficult to attain MEPs so you have to continually increase your effort to match your improved fitness level.

Most of our athletes that use the MyZone belts get 100+ MEPs in a training session. And our baseline goal for an athlete is 1300 MEPs/month. So 12 sessions (3x/week) in a typical month will net you right around that 1300 range.

And for those who cannot get to the Gym at this time, it is a simple way for us to track your workout consistency and effort level because you should be able to achieve a similar amount of MEPs doing the at-home workouts we provide.

If you know us, you know that consistency is our biggest key to help with your ongoing success on your athletic journey. We aren’t asking you to go out and try to get 3000 MEPs each month. We want you to enjoy activity and do it at an intensity that impacts your health: physically and mentally.

Having a simple tool like the MyZone belt helps us monitor YOUR intensity level on a truly personalized level!

Coach Jared



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