You know you’re sweating buckets and can feel your heart pumping like crazy, but do you know if you’re functioning in an aerobic or anaerobic zone, or what percentage of your maximum heart rate you’re using? Most likely not, since it’s impossible to guess this information without the use of a device monitoring your heart rate.
Heart rate monitors make a world of a difference for individuals looking to increase their cardiovascular endurance and track how hard they’re actually pushing themselves during workouts. If you like viewing the amount of calories you’ve burned after a cardio session, a heart rate monitor provides a much more accurate number than a standard summary from a treadmill or elliptical. Because it’s actually measuring your effort and exertion, not just generic information punched into a machine, you’ll find that your actual calories burned is usually a very different number than what a piece of equipment will tell you.
Here at VIDA, we spent a lot of time researching the most advanced heart rate monitoring systems on the market to find the most fully functioning device to recommend to our members. The MyZone MZ-3 belt (and corresponding MyZone app) incorporates several unique features unparalleled in the heart rate monitoring world that we know VIDA members will love!
These features include the ability to live-track your effort exertion by the second on your phone, personalized workout summaries emailed to you after every session, and the point-earning feature which adds a competitive element to your workouts.
So how does it work?
The MyZone belt fastens around your rib cage with the device placed directly below your sternum. It’s comfortable and easy to adjust, so it doesn’t slip around or get in the way of your movements. You’ll download the MyZone app, which is synced directly to your device via Bluetooth. As soon as you open the app while wearing the belt, your device will beep signaling that it’s reading your heart rate.
Under the “effort stream” tab of the app, you’ll see a colored tile with a big percentage number on it. The percentage is the amount of your maximum heart rate that you’re using in real time, which you’ll see go up pretty quickly as soon as you start moving! MyZone uses different color zones for percentage ranges (blue means you’re using 60-70 percent of your maximum heart rate, green is 70-80 percent, yellow is 80-90 percent and red is 90-100 percent) so you can easily see what range you’re in by glancing at your phone.
In addition to your current color zone, your tile also displays total calories burned, your current heart rate and the amount of MyZone Effort Points (MEPs) you’ve earned. MEPs are what make using MyZone really fun – since you get more points for the harder you work. For every minute you spend in the blue zone you acquire 2 MEPs per minute. In green, you make 3 MEPs per minute, and in yellow and red you’re earning a whopping 4 MEPs per minute!
The live feedback from the app is great for group fitness and small group training classes, as it gives the instructor the ability to make sure each person is performing in the same effort zone. It also means no room for slacking, since your phone will show the rest of the room how much effort you’re actually putting out at that moment. If it shows that you have room to be pushing harder, you can bet that your instructor will point that out.
These tracking features are super helpful for making your workouts as effective as possible, but our favorite feature by far is the social aspect of the app. You add connections on the app the same way you would on social media, and all of your connections’ workouts will appear on your newsfeed. You can compare stats with a friend after completing the same class together, or check to see what workouts your friends at other gyms are doing.
There’s also the leaderboard – which displays a ranking of you and all your connections total MEP’s for the month. For those with a competitive side, trying to get ahead of your friends on the leaderboard can be all the motivation you need to crank out another mile, add another gear or do whatever it takes to push yourself harder during your workout. Trust us, it gets addicting.
The MyZone belt is available for VIDA members to purchase for a discounted rate of $99.99 (usually $149.99) using the link here.
The preceding post was written and sponsored by VIDA Fitness