Sometimes you have something but don’t know all that it’s capable of. That is exactly what happened with my Polar A300 watch. Ladies and Gents, I’ve had this watch for at least 3 months and haven’t come close to taking advantage of all that it has to offer. Now that I do know, it feels like I have a brand new watch that is literally like the workout buddy I never had. Let me tell you about my new best friend, and the incredible story behind our friendship.
First my boyfriend and I decided to try this workout class called Orange Theory (which by the way I highly recommend). The moment we stroll in they begin explaining *yada yada yada* (it was 8am) and they make me take off MY heart rate monitor and put on THEIRS. I wasn’t happy about that, but of course I went with it.
The workout class started. The friendly trainer made his way towards us to help us on our rowing machines; he helped with our form and made us cognizant of our heart rate that was being displayed on the giant screen above out heads. As we switched from weights to cardio, our goal was to get splatter points, which means you’re in a certain heart rate zone for a consecutive minute, and if we got 12+ splatter points, we were burning calories throughout the next day, even if we were sitting on the couch. Pretty flipping awesome, right?! WELL, I learned that my heart rate goes down really quickly since I really try to focus on my breathing when I run. Although that sounds like great news, I also learned that I wasn’t pushing myself, and my heart rate zone wasn’t getting me these so called splatter points I yearned for as I watched everyone else’s add one by one. This started making me think… HAVE I BEEN WASTING MY TIME!? I was literally in second to last place and I work out 4-5 times a week. Why was it taking so long to reach this splatter point goal that was set for me?
Well, I was running on a 5.7 and learned that in order to keep my heart rate in the zone I needed, I had to run at a pace of 7.2!! I had never even attempted to run that fast, but as I looked at my heart rate, I realized this was the only thing getting me there. I wasn’t at my maximum heart rate yet, so I thought, “Wow, this is where I should have been this entire time.” I didn’t know my own potential, and I hadn’t tried to push myself because that’s always just seemed faster than I thought I could run; but after a week of running at that pace, I keep getting surprised by how good it feels afterwards.
Because Orange Theory used heart rate monitors similar to the one I already had, I thought there’s gotta be a way I can see my heart rate zones laid out for me. And low and behold…. the amazing app Polar Beat. I had been using Polar Flow which was recommended, but I definitely prefer this former.
I realized when I work out, specifically running, I’m in a moderate zone that helps with my aerobic endurance. This heart rate zone isn’t the one I needed to get those “splatter points” and I couldn’t believe it! I literally hit the ground running once I started using Polar Beat. My goal today was to keep my heart rate in Level 4 for over 12 minutes and I felt extremely challenged at the gym. I was sweating my you know what off by the end of my workout and I finally realized I didn’t have the right information to know how hard I should and could push myself at the gym.
Here is a list of the heart rate zones to better understand. When you compare it side by side to the Polar Beat app, it makes perfect sense. Going to gym now and knowing what I need to do to reach my goals and keep myself challenged has made this week of workouts a completely different experience! Remember if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. Be strong, y’all!