As a lot of you guys will know by now, I am nearly two weeks into my 10-Weeks-To-Fitness challenge, in which I am trying to half my body fat in, you guessed it, ten weeks. The first week, as we found out on Sunday went really well and I lost 2% of my body fat and 2lbs and this week, I hope will be just as good. So far I have trained hard and, despite the pizza last night, not eaten too badly. But there is one thing that I need to credit my success to and that is my Polar Bluetooth Heart-Rate Monitor. This is not a sponsored post, I genuinely do owe it so much.
I went to a Body Attack class at my gym this morning (every bit as horrible as it sounds and does merit it's own blog post which will come later) and was given the opportunity, thanks to a LOVELY trainer to opt for the 'easier' exercises whenever I wanted. Normally I would have jumped at this opportunity working on the logic that no one in the class would recognise me on the street and the instructor was too distracted with fifty or so other people to shame me and chosen to do one slow lunge rather than the suggested lunge leaps that everybody else was doing.
But, today I had a heart rate monitor on, which was at that exact moment telling my phone exactly how well I was doing, and as a result, I opted for the difficult exercises. In fact, I opted for them so many times that I was actually close to throwing up when I left the gym - it was wonderful. Never have a I left a class so sweaty before.
So let me tell you about this device that I am loving so much.
The heart rate monitor as, as the name suggests, a device that monitors your heart. You pop it on and leave it resting just underneath your bra with the sensor where your heart is and you connect it to your phone. In the Polar app you then specify what you are doing (today was strength training but there is an option for everything; 'cycling', 'running', 'boxing' etc) and press PLAY on the app. Depending on what you are doing you can then either pop the phone down and forget about it, or, if you are on a treadmill or if you like watching yourself get closer and closer to heart attack, you keep it open in front of you and watch how hard you are working.
If you are out on a bike ride or run it will tell you how far you have travelled, using GPS and whatever you are doing it shows you how many calories you have burnt and more importantly what your heart is up to. Calum, of Taylor Made Training who is the man responsible for my mission, put me onto this and when I am in the gym with him, he syncs it up with an iPad so he can watch my progress. Yes, I may LOOK sweaty, but with Polar you can see exactly HOW hard I'm working.
Your heart rate percentage (how much of your potential you are using) is displayed in colours, grey is between 50% and 60% and means you are not in the zone, blue is between 60% and 70% and means you're alive and doing something but not working particularly hard, green is between 70% and 80% and by this point you should be sweating, yellow is between 80% and 90% and means that you're really fucking struggling but that great things are happening to your body and 90% and above is amazing and means that a) you're literally making your fat cry an incredible amount and b) you might be about to have a heart attack. (Joking, kind of).
Calum tries to get me up to 90% as much as I can and then keeps me there for a minute before letting me have a break. And for the times when I am on my own this is AMAZING, where I would normally opt for a gentle jog I find myself pushing myself like crazy trying to get to the dreaded red zone.
And on days like yesterday when I was not actually looking at my phone but aware of the heart rate monitor on my chest? I worked ten times harder than I would normally have done. And boy was it worth it, I burnt over 500 calories in an hour. We all know that there is no way in hell that that would have happened on a normal day. Below I have put in screen grabs of the last few days' exercise so you can see how it works:
I've got to the point of obsession and excitement that I'll refuse to workout if I'm not wearing it, working on the logic that if it didn't happen on the app, then it didn't happen at all. And guys, it's great. For the first time I'm looking forward to exercise and I'm proud and excited about what I am achieving. It's a GREAT feeling.
The heart-rate monitor is a little pricey at £60 but to anyone who is serious about working out and getting fit, I'd say it's 100% worth it. You can get yours here.
Ahaha OK, fine, I'll go back to talking about pizza and makeup again now, I just thought I was onto something and deemed it unfair not to share my findings! Big love xxx