Our team at Heart Zones, Inc has been full steam ahead for 2015 and growing the Heart Zones System. As we near the end of the year it is a good time to reconnect with one of our early adopters and here the story that led them to the Heart Zones System! We are so excited about what our system is doing in Health Clubs around the WORLD in this case and can’t wait share more stories of success with you as the arise in 2016! Here is a guest article written by Kiz Davis a Fitness Instructor teaching a range of classes from Fitness Pilates to Aqua to Body Sculpt to Indoor Cycling. Here is her story …
I first became aware of group heart rate based classes through my indoor cycling mentor Helen Holmes, a former master trainer for Keiser, who developed her own program based on VO2 max testing called fit4life (following a similar methodology to the one shown below). For some time, I had been teaching indoor cycling and noticed that my legs were like lead at the end of the week, so I spoke to Helen and she suggested that I was more than likely overtraining by spending too much time in the really high intensity zones of heart rate (85-100% max). She suggested that I attend one of her classes and it blew me away. My average watts (power) were higher, as were my calories used and distance but my perceived exertion was actually less than normal. I was sold on the program!
As a result, I decided to become a fit4life instructor and now I am also one of their course tutors and introduced the program into my classes. My participants love this progressive interval based training program and classes are now pretty much always full with a waiting list. The main feedback I get from my clients is that they feel far more educated about how to train both when they are feeling well along with when they are recovering from simple things like coughs and colds that place a big strain on their CV and immune systems. For me, the golden ticket is that at least 50% of the members (myself included) are now working on a higher starting gear than they were before we started the programme, whilst keeping their heart rate in the correct zone.
Initially, members were encouraged to purchase their own heart rate monitors or to use the Talk Test to determine their heart rate zones. At the same time, two of the participants Dr Ali Macintyre, a local Primary Care Physician, and her husband Steve Davies, were impressed with the program and could see how we could utilize heart rate based training in circuit style classes within the local community. Our aim is to help people who are new to exercise to train effectively, along with those recovering from health issues and also to try to encourage those who have become disillusioned with exercise to try it again.
So, we began searching for a group heart rate based software system that would allow us to more effectively monitor heart rate in real time and came across Sally’s Heart Zones System along with Myzone and suunto. We carried out testing on the Heart Zones System and MyZone system and found that the Heart Zones System gave us more usable graph data and also had the fantastic advantage of being a wrist based monitor. This is both comfortable to wear and reliable. We are well aware that wrist worn devices are likely to be much more acceptable to class members of all shapes and sizes and would be perceived as less invasive when turning up for a class rather than being asked to roll up ones t-shirt to apply a chest strap!
Once we had decided on the system, we began formulating our new program and were able to launch PulseFitUK in April 2015. We offer a fun, low impact class that aims to keep participants between 55-75% of max heart rate. We have a regular group of clients who attend and love the program as they receive education throughout the class on most effective weight loss exercises, real time data as to how they perform during the class and also a weekly educational and motivational email on topics ranging from stretching to nutrition to the anti-depressive effects of exercise. We aim to expand these classes in 2016 and are also looking to work with our local health authority to offer classes for staff and patients alike!