This week I wanted to talk about not having a heart rate monitor. When looking at Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, I am either looking at Garmins, or Heart Rate Monitors (HRM). I won’t lie, I am one of them. I love seeing my progress, seeing how hard I am working, and knowing the calories I burn. It actually can do more harm than good (a completely different topic) and sometimes my HRM just plain drives me nuts! Most times, it doesn’t connect when I put it on. Then, it falls down when I wear it and work out, stopping the monitoring, which I find out later.
To save myself some frustration trouble, I have begun not using it for my workouts. Sometimes I remember and will decide to play around with it, but other times, I rely on a few other methods.
How to measure your effort without a HRM:
1. Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE): This method relies solely on how hard you think you’re working. When it was developed by Gunnar Borg, he used a 15 point system that began at 6 and ended at 20. However, we tend to use a more recent, simplified scale lately which begins at 0 and ends at 10. Bor’s scale used 12-13 as a sign for moderate intensity, and a 16 as hard intensity. That translates to about a 4-6 for moderate intensity and 7-8 for hard intensity on our simplified version.
With this method, you measure how hard you are working based on these numbers. Are you feeling out of breath? You might be at a higher number. Are you feeling like you can easily breathe and aren’t working so hard, then you probably at a lower number. This is especially helpful for those who have to take heart medicine, or any medicine that alters your heart rate. For instance, Aaron has a heart problem in which he takes medicine to lower his heart rate. That makes his heart rate not reliable for how hard he may be working. I like this method as everyone is able to dotheir best and not compare it to someone else.
2. The Talk Test: This is exactly as it sounds. You measure your intensity compared to how well you can talk and carry on a conversation. If you can carry on a conversation with no problem, step it up a notch. Is it becoming a bit more difficult to talk comfortably? You may be at a great spot. If it’s way too hard to talk and you are struggling to breathe, it’s time to take it down a notch. Again, this is based on you and how you are working!
There may be more ways out there, but these are the ones I like to rely on the most when not using a HRM. No, they will not give you the calories, but it’s not all about calories. It’s about working hard for yourself and relying on body signals.
And now onto my favorite part of the week… a new workout!
This one was really fun for me to not only create, but complete. I was tired of the same movements and wanted to challenge myself to see what I could do. Each circuit has strength components as well as cardio bursts. The moves are different and fun. I really enjoyed adding new ones to my workout!
I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions or if you complete it!