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HEART RATE TRAINING


HR training enables in-depth fitness analysis


“In the future, a data-powered lifestyle will provide a host of metrics for tracking; heart rate will be just one”


Matt Bolam


Speedflex: Head of training Going forward, the advances in wearable technology and the growing awareness of heart rate training will make it more ubiquitous, so people will be prepared to wear monitors around the clock. One of the exciting aspects is that it will allow


clubs to get a more holistic view of the member’s lifestyle and use this to improve training results, as well as adherence and retention. We’ll be able to analyse how they react to their day-to-day stresses and how stimulants, diet or lack of sleep affect them. From this, we can inform their training programmes, bringing in other disciplines if needed – such as yoga and meditation – and giving diet, nutrition and other lifestyle advice. There’s also potential to use heart rate monitors to create new revenue


streams by providing in-depth analysis. For example, if a member runs a 10k race and wants to improve on their result for the next one, the gym instructor could analyse their performance and make recommendations.


Arron Williams


Life Fitness: Special projects


Lee Drabble


Fitness First: UK gym floor experience manager


Having just opened our second BEAT location in London – a club within a club with heart rate training at the centre of the offering – we see heart rate training as a growing area. Monitors are cheap to buy and easy to store, and this style of training offers motivation and allows members to work out more effi ciently to achieve results. Going forward, what I’m most excited by isn’t the new technology but the


new applications, which will allow us to train smarter and personalise data. I think we’ll start to see heart rate training being put to wider uses,


particularly weight loss. We worked on a couple of features for men’s consumer magazines and helped one guy lose 10 kilos in 10 weeks, and another lose 12 per cent body fat in six weeks. Heart rate training informed their programmes and identifi ed the reasons they hadn’t been able to lose weight previously. Everyone is different and needs to work at different intensities. One guy


wasn’t losing weight because he wasn’t getting enough recovery time in his circuits class, so his body was eating muscle, not burning fat. It would be interesting to start using heart rate training in pilates and yoga classes too, as it would teach people to use their breath to control their heart rate.


56 Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


I don’t think there’s much of a bright future for heart rate training by itself. The positives are: it’s a useful way for novices to make endurance training more precise as an intensity metric; it can help keep you in the right training zone for endurance activities; it can provide biofeedback; it can help monitor a person’s progress; and it can also help prevent over-training. The cons of heart rate


training are that it isn’t performance-relevant: pace and power are more relevant, reliable metrics for performance training. Secondly, HR max formulas contain a wide margin of error, with large deviations dependent on age and gender. Lack of sleep, emotional stress, diet and weather can all signifi cantly affect heart rate. Finally, there’s the issue of


reliability and accuracy of heart rate monitors, particularly with some of the newer wearables. In the future, a data-powered


lifestyle will provide a host of metrics for tracking; heart rate will be just one of many metrics that help us optimise our health and wellbeing. ●


July 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


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