Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Gift Ideas Part 1

1. Polar Heart Rate Monitor

As you know I'm a data junky. Collecting data is the key to monitoring your progress. A good heart rate monitor provides a view into the intensity your body is working at, how fast you can recover (the true test of fitness) and they provide a great estimation of caloric expenditure. Now keep in mind its strictly an estimation based on your height, weight, age and heart rate but a great tool!

I've mentioned this before in my HIIT article, but High Intensity Interval/Resistance Training can provide and extremely efficient and effective workout that sets the stage for fat loss the rest of the day. Here's a basic example based on my heart rate monitor. This morning I performed a 30 minute High Intensity Tabatta Style workout. The goal was to create a lot of lactic acid in the muscles, and maintain an average heart rate between 65% - 85% of my Max heart rate, resting when needed. The results are as follows...

Total Estimated Caloric Expenditure:
- 30 minute workout : 463 calories
- 30 minute post workout : 713 calories (250 calories sitting doing nothing!!!)
- 3 hours post workout : 1800 calories (roughly 445 calories per hour post workout)

*Note: these are estimations for a 200lb male, it doesn't take into account body composition or other elements that would impact metabolism and caloric expenditure.

Treat yourself or others this holiday season and pick up one of these. Very worth while, and you don't have to spend that much to get a good one.

Personally, I recommend the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor (they have a male and a female version). It has everything you really need to monitor your workouts and its a great deal. A few of the features:
- The chest strap is really comfortable compared to other brands.
- Really easy set up.
- You can set an ideal heart rate zone to work in. (Recommend 65%-85%)
- Monitors duration of workout.
- You can see previous workout data.
- Estimated Caloric Expenditure.
- Doubles as a watch.

You can certainly spend more to get heart rate monitors with additional features but this is really all you'll need.

Click the links below to pick yours up on Amazon today!

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