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JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
Posts: 1,708
3/17/12 12:55 A

For the most part and for most people I agree that a HRM is a want, not a need. I could have maybe gotten by without one, but was fortunate that my son had bought one and I was able to use it. That being said, some of us can really use one, not so much for calorie counting and such, but just for educational purposes to understand where we are rates are at. Since I am getting off my BP meds and have a tendency to overdo things, it has helped me to stay within my limits. That doesn't mean the HRM is going to stop me from having a heart attack, but when I do, I'll know why. LOL J/K I really do like it for allowing me to know my HR better and keeping from over doing it.

3/17/12 12:14 A

The final analysis of your question is that a heart rate monitor is a want not a need for anything you do to lose fat and get fit. If you budget affords the want go for it since it is just one more thing to accumulate in the hope that it will magically answer questions you have not yet asked.

REDSHOES2011 SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (66,181)
Posts: 7,159
3/17/12 12:00 A

Even sparks people only wants 3 stats time, distance and calories burnt.. I purchased a electronic usb controled pedometer.. All the other information is useless information.. Don't even need to be a runner to get good health..
I lost 176lbs without a pedometer or a HRM and I don't think I missed any important points when nutrition was 80% of the journey.. We can't out run poor nutrition or cheat meals.. But if you eat 100% correctly and move just a little more than usual- results without all that crap..

Thats the message I want to tell sparkers- I never used one until sparkspeople demanded totals too!
emoticon Politic correctness also is silent peer pressure..

Edited by: REDSHOES2011 at: 3/17/2012 (00:02)
JEANHLAV SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (3,704)
Posts: 53
3/16/12 7:24 P

Interesting comments. I use one whenever I do a Cardio exercise. It let's me know where I am at..... I can then compare my road bike trip to my gym class Spin class. Or my snowshoe trip to the elliptical machine or a walking program. It just let's you know where you're at. I also know where my 'wall' is.

MANDILH07 Posts: 32
3/16/12 7:50 A

This is all very useful, helpful and I appreciate all of your suggestions. I believe I will hold off and do more research before purchasing one because I want to make sure I'm spending wisely.

thanks again!

JADOMB SparkPoints: (134,622)
Fitness Minutes: (68,349)
Posts: 1,708
3/15/12 4:23 P

For most folks, I'd say it isn't that important. Mostly for the reasons already posted. But as the last poster said, if your HR is important to keep track of then they are pretty dang important. That is what I use mine for. Since I am off my BP meds, I am very cautious about how hard I push my heart. It helps me understand just how hard I am working my heart and when I can move up in certain cardio and strength exercises. Even while doing my calisthenics/ST, I have realized my heart was above 150. So I take a bit more time inbetween my sets to keep it more around the 130-140 mark. So it depends on what you want it for and how serious you are about the numbers.

IRONSLUGGO SparkPoints: (0)
Fitness Minutes: (4,388)
Posts: 146
3/15/12 3:53 P

Generally speaking...No, they are not worth it. Really, they are just a gadget.

That said, for those who use their heart rate monitors for actual heart rate training, they are an invaluable tool. In my training I do some runs that are very specifically to be Z2 runs. Some are Z1-Z2 recovery runs. As an example, today my run plan calls for 45 minutes in Z2 then 5 minutes in Z4 followed by a cool down. If you follow this type of training then a HRM is very helpful.

Also, to do this you must also do a lactate threshold (LT) test to determine your heart rate zones which is basically your average heart rate over the last 20 minutes of an ALL OUT 30 minute run.

ILOST150POUNDS Posts: 1,662
3/15/12 3:20 P

It is for me because I'm motivated by numbers. I like to see that I'm really exerting myself appropriately. I have a Garmin HRM that I pair with a Garmin watch for motivation. Love it.

UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
3/15/12 2:08 P

Depends on you and what you want out of it.

Sgt is right that all algorithms, from Spark's estimations to the HRM's, are estimates. However, the HRM is a much more accurate estimate than something like Spark, because it's factoring in how hard you personally worked. It IS a bell curve average, and yes some people will fit outside that (I doubt as many as 50%), but for most of us, it works quite well.

If tracking the numbers inspires and motivates you and you want to know you're tracking as accurately as possible, it can be worth it.

If you do a lot of activity that is difficult to track because it varies, such as walk/run combos outside where you don't know how far or exactly how fast you were walking vs running, or activites that simply aren't in the tracker, then it can be very worth it.

If you want to be able to work at 75% effort, 80% effort, know what your HR should be if you want to attain that specific personal best, these kinds of training measures are great with an HRM.

I do echo the suggestion to ensure it factors in as much personal detail as possible, and definitely get a model with a chest strap, not just a watch that you touch. Also, some cheaper models don't actually tell you calories burned, so watch for that.

3/15/12 1:13 P

I advise my clients to not bother with them since they are not accurate. The algorithms used are based on averages which in a standard bell shaped curve leaves 50% of the sample outside of the outside of the number with 25% at either end. There are too many individual variables for the information obtained to be anything better than a SWAG (scientific wild ass guess). for any one individual.

Accurate measurements of calories used can only be measured in a laboratory setting and your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) has a one to one correlation with a laboratory measured value. Save your money for some other form of fitness equipment or a reward for progress.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,250)
Fitness Minutes: (15,537)
Posts: 9,713
3/15/12 1:10 P

I think they are. I've been getting a lot more out of my workouts since I've started using one. It's easier to exercise effectively with one.

Here's some resources that may help you:

If you really are that concerned about the numbers, they're far, far more accurate than a pedometer. I've found mine (a low end model, but still works great) to be very motivating! It's great to plop down after one of my HIIT classes and declare "400 calories!" and know it's true!

Most serious exercisers around here seem to use them.

Just remember... make sure whatever model you get tracks weight, age, and gender at the absolute minimum.

Edited by: DRAGONCHILDE at: 3/15/2012 (13:10)
KATIE123A SparkPoints: (16,854)
Fitness Minutes: (4,372)
Posts: 15
3/15/12 12:07 P

i've had issues.... because I'm so "squirmy" it doesn't accurately count my steps

MANDILH07 Posts: 32
3/15/12 11:38 A

I've said in the past that they're too expensive and don't fit into my budget right now but my husband thinks it would be a good decision to get one if it will help me more accurately measure my workouts.

So for those of you that use them compared to just a pedometer, are they really worth the money?

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