After a workout, do you know exactly how much effort was expended by your heart and body, or are you still left wondering if your time in the gym was truly well spent? Fitness trackers and wearables, like step trackers and simple calorie-burning trackers, give you the ability to track all kinds of health measurements. But are these trackers enough to just know and monitor your physical effort or calories? If you’re serious about your fitness goals and tracking your fitness efforts, you may find that a heart rate monitoring system better serves your needs and can help you more efficiently achieve your fitness goals.
Heart rate fitness trackers, like the MYZONE heart rate system available at the Village gives users a complete picture of their workout, and results, including average heart rate, physical effort, time spent exercising, and MEPs which are MYZONE Effort Points, earned.
What is the MYZONE Heart Rate System?
The MYZONE heart rate system is a chest strap that monitors and displays the user’s actual heart rate and exertion level during physical activity in real-time. The live stream is available both on the MYZONE app on the user’s phone and on MYZONE-enabled screens throughout our clubs. Challenge yourself and a friend by watching each other’s effort on the screen displayed and see how the friendly competition and camaraderie puts some extra pep in your step. MYZONE presets the color-coded zones based on the user’s biometrics like age, weight, and height.
What are Zones and MEPS?
There are five “zones” in the MYZONE system, each representing the effort level the user is exerting. For each minute spent in a zone, you earn MEPs, which are calculated using the time spent exercising, physical effort (zones) and average heart rate.
- Grey = 50-59% of your maximum heart rate
- Low intensity zone
- Typically seen during warm up or cool down
- A recovery zone, used to reaccumulate energy
- Burns 85% fat, 3-5 kcals/minute
- Earns 1 MEP per minute
- Blue = 60-69% of your maximum heart rate
- Endurance zone
- Increases mitochondria in cells, which are responsible for energy production
- Burns 80% fat, 3-5 kcals/minute
- Earns 2 MEPs per minute
- Green = 70-79% of your maximum heart rate
- Strength zone
- Increases the number and size of blood vessels in the respiratory system
- Improves cardiac function
- Burns 40% fat, 9-11 kcals/minute
- Earns 3 MEPs per minute
- Yellow = 80-89% of your maximum heart rate
- Threshold zone
- Increases tolerance to lactic acid and improves the ability to consume oxygen
- Used to increase fitness
- Burns 25% fat, 12-14 kcal/minute
- Earns 4 MEPs per minute
- Red = 90-100% of your maximum heart rate
- Maximum effort zone, very difficult
- Used to increase fitness for short periods of time
- Burns 5% fat, 15-20 kcal/minute
- Earns 4 MEPs per minute
How to Use the Zones in a Workout
To find the “zone” that’s right for you, you must determine what your fitness goals are, your current fitness level, and if you are a beginner or more seasoned exerciser.
If you’re new to fitness, and are focusing on exercise for the first time, it makes the most sense to spend several weeks in the blue and green zones developing your aerobic (cardiovascular strength) base to improve the efficiency of your body’s ability to absorb and transport oxygen. A good foundation is always necessary and can benefit even seasoned athletes in their fitness journey. These zones can be maintained for longer periods of time – and burn more fat per hour than any other zone.
Once you have developed your aerobic fitness base, you can begin incorporating some yellow to take your fitness to the next level. Finally, as you progress, you can slowly add in some (no more than 10%) red in interval training to push yourself and increase your maximum heart rate. MYZONE also allows users to monitor their recovery heart rate, the heart’s ability to slow down after vigorous exercise. Once the user becomes familiar with their “numbers,” it’s easy to tell if it’s a good day to work hard or if they need a recovery day.
If you like numbers, you will no doubt have fun watching your workouts, looking at your graphs, and watching the change in your heart’s ability to exert itself during physical activity while seeing results in your fitness. Perhaps the greatest benefit of all is the interaction you gain with other members on your same path. This heart rate monitor is truly one of the best fitness trackers and it has endless benefits. See for yourself how MYZONE works in a multitude of group fitness classes at the Village! Sign up today for a VIP Trial Membership and see why Life’s Better at the Village. Plus, when you and a friend join the Village this month, you’ll both receive a free MYZONE belt!