The true measure of calories burned is oxygen consumption, but this is hard to measure outside of a lab. HRM's work on the principle that as exercise intensity increases, your heart rate increases in a generally predictable way to deliver more oxygen to your muscles.
An HRM is good for both sustained cardio and interval training.
However, it will not produce accurate results for strength training, as the muscles are working anaerobically (without oxygen), rather than aerobically (with oxygen), and your heart rate will not increase in the same predictable way.
I have a heart rate monitor from years ago. I go to the gym five days a week, do a lot of strength training, a bit of cardio, just now started spin classes. I love fitness gizmos - would it be worthwhile to get new batteries in the monitor and start using it? Or is it really only useful for measuring sustained cardio?
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