Disclaimer: Ive sucked lately been remiss in answering reader emails. Not sure what else to say except you’ll have that sometimes…
Hi MizFit, I saw you tweet that you dont use a heart rate monitor. what do you do instead? thanks!!!
I’m slowly realizing Im just not a fan of gadgets.
I weigh once a year at the doctor, dont run with an ipod and I dont use a heart rate monitor.
I didnt when I was working to lose weight either (oooh how was THAT for heading off additional questions?).
Even then I knew I needed to set myself up for success.
I know me.
I guess in some ways Ive always been a body listener (misfit whisperer?).
I typically do lateral raises with 15 pounds. If today were shoulder day, however, and that 15 pound dumbbell felt frickin heavy beyond belief and I knew I’d be SWINGING the weight not lifting I’d listen to my body, back off to 12 pound weights & increase my repetitions.
The same goes for my cardiovascular workouts and, for that reason, I always go by Rate of Perceived Exertion.
A numerical scale which is used to measure the intensity of exercise and (the one I use) runs from 0-10.
There are myriad ways to define each number. For me zero (nothing at all) is how I feel when plopped in a chair watching Real Housewives of Orange County and 10 (very, very difficult) is how I’d *imagine*I’d feel were I ever to run a marathon.
You can envision the entire scale looking somewhat like this (my personal target for cardiovascular exercise falls into a 4 or 5 depending on the day & whether I’m interval training):
0 – Couch plop
0.5 – Just noticeable
1 – Very light Im probably texting this woman still.
2 – Light
3 – Moderate
4 – Somewhat hard, sweating, breathy, I CAN TALK but dont want to.
5 – Hard, very breathy but can still talk or sing.
7 – Very challenging but doable.
8 – Im working hard, can talk but verging on angryexerciser (dont pretend you dont know what I mean).
10 – Very, very difficult (read: I dont think, in all honesty I’ve pushed myself to this point….yet.)
The scales may vary (some range from 1-20 instead of ten) but the concept remains the same: perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working.
It focuses upon the physical sensations you experience during an exercise period (increased heart rate, increased respiration or breathing rate, increased sweating, and muscle fatigue).
For me this method of assessing my cardio workout works far better (more personal than a heart rate number) & after years of using the RPE scale I find I know, intuitively, when to up my intensity level.
Do you swear by your monitor? Never embark on ANY cardio without it?
Are you a sister/brother in the RPE scale? how well does it work for you? how long have you been using it?
Or, and you rebel peeps may be my fave group, are you firmly in the I dont need no stinkin heart rate exertion calculator camp?
Please to hit us all up in the comments.