June 21, 2016
Using the MYZONE system as a tool to provide feedback to clients during group heart rate training can substantially enhance their motivation, adherence, and belief in themselves. Ultimately, this makes you a more valuable leader on their fitness journey. MYZONE can play a role in tracking the various components of physical fitness – cardiorespiratory endurance, muscular fitness, flexibility, and body composition – whether it’s during one exercise session or over the long-term. Let’s explore how you can use the MYZONE system during group heart rate training and when training your clients on each component.
There are numerous ways to challenge your client’s cardiorespiratory endurance, including steady-state, tempo or pace, threshold, and interval training. In an individual exercise session, you can gauge the intensity of your client’s workout using their percentage of maximal heart rate displayed with the MYZONE system. You can also use your client’s recovery heart rate (RHR) as measure of the heart’s efficiency. This might be something you track very closely during interval training. Check out our recent blog post on heart rate recovery assessments.
Over the long-term, you can use the MYZONE system during group heart rate training to determine if your client has improved their cardiorespiratory endurance. In time, your client’s percentage of maximal heart rate should be lower when performing the same exercise (i.e. running at 6 mph on the treadmill at 1.0 incline), indicating that their heart does not have to work as hard for their body to perform the same work.
A simple way to track your client’s cardiorespiratory endurance is to have them perform 3 minutes of exercise at about 75% of their maximal heart rate (green zone). Note their heart rate (in beats per minute) at the start and end of the 3 minutes. After the 3 minutes, have your client sit in a chair and record their heart rate immediately. Wait one more minute, and record their heart rate again. Repeat this test again after 8 weeks of training. An indication of improved cardiorespiratory endurance would be a lower heart rate (or more significant decrease in heart rate) in the one minute recovery heart rate.
When training your clients in the component of muscular fitness, you can use the MYZONE system to monitor group heart rate response during muscular strength and muscular endurance training. Although you would not use heart rate to monitor intensity during muscular strength training, you can look at how your client’s heart rate increases during each set (typically 2-6 repetitions) and how well it recovers during the 3-5 minutes in between sets. You should see your client’s heart rate come down in between each set (if not, it may be appropriate to encourage your client to check in with their physician, especially if they feel lightheaded or dizzy following exertion).
Muscular endurance training involves continuous repetitions (i.e. 12-15 reps) of major muscle groups with minimal rest in between sets (i.e. 30 seconds); therefore, heart rate can be used to measure intensity. When training your client in muscular endurance, you should see their heart rate go up during each set and recover slightly between sets. You can use heart rate recovery to indicate readiness for the next set or exercise. For example, if your client is working in the green zone during a muscular endurance circuit, encourage them to recover into the blue before rotating to the next exercise. You can monitor your client’s progress over several weeks/months by comparing how long it takes them to recover to the target zone between sets or exercises (more to come on this in a future blog).
Although heart rate cannot be used to reflect your client’s level of flexibility, you can monitor their heart rate during key portions of flexibility training. When you begin an exercise session with a dynamic warm-up that prepares the body for exercise and moves joints through a full range of motion, you should expect to see your client’s heart rate gradually increase from a resting level to a moderate intensity (usually the blue or green zones). When your client has dynamically stretched each major muscle group and achieved a heart rate in the blue or green zone, you know you can begin the workout.
On the flip side, you can also track your client’s heart rate during the static stretching portion of their cool-down. As the exercise session winds down, you should expect to see a gradual decrease in your client’s heart rate. If you do not see a near-resting heart rate during static stretching, this may be another reason to encourage your client to visit a physician.
MYZONE is more than just a group heart rate monitor. You can also use the MYZONE system to track your client’s body composition changes over time. Enter your client’s weight, height, circumference measures, BMI, and body fat percentage into the Body Metrics section of the Outcomes screen. Work with your client to set body composition goals, and plan their training accordingly. You can provide them with target MEPs to earn and target calories to burn each session or each week (more to come on this in a future blog). Hold your client accountable by checking in on their progress every session.
We would like to follow your progress with your client! Encourage your client to post their moves to Facebook or Twitter and use the hashtags: #myzonemoves #fitness #progress. Keep moving forward!