View Full Version : heart rate monitors?

05-10-2004, 12:02 PM
:o I was just wondering, if the club doesn't offer members to use them, how many people show up to class with them? is it a good percentage of them? What i'm asking is, do you feel (in your experience) that a heart rate monitor is a necessity for spin classes?:rolleyes:

05-10-2004, 12:23 PM
Yes. IMO every student should have a reason or a goal for attending a Spinning class (including having fun or to get away from the kids). Then assign HR parameters and/or a periodization plan to obtain that goal. Then it's Cadence + Resistance = HR with HR parameters best measured by a combination of HR monitor combined with RPE.

Just my slice of Cheeze

05-10-2004, 12:31 PM
I feel that consistant use of a HRM will empower the rider to have better control over their ride. Once they know their zones there is no guessing of intensity levels. Most of my riders wear a HRM but there's always a few that don't, and Perceived exertion is the only option. I try to convey how each zone should "feel". If your club doesn't loan them out they'll probably never really go over in your classes. I know the riders who use PE get a great workout too, and with consistancy either with or without the monitor the rider will develop a better intensity awareness. To answer your question, No, I don't think HRM are a necessity, unless of course the rider was told by their MD to wear one.

05-10-2004, 06:43 PM
So where & what brand do you guys use? I will buy one for myself so i can see the difference. i've never used one before.

what is the price for a GOOD one. thanks! ;)

05-11-2004, 12:22 AM
Hi Alyssa,
I now teach almost all of my classes using mainly the heart rate monitors. I find that it is very motivating and really makes my class feel like they know how hard they are working. The most well known HR monitor is the Polar. The advantage of these is that many cardiovascular machines use these, so you can get on a lot of these machines and get a reading.

The problem that I have with polar, is that when the watch battery dies, you have to send it in to the company and it takes a few weeks. I hate being without it!!

It all depends on what you want to spend on one. You can get an inexpensive one for $40-$50. These are the basic ones that are good for beginners and basically tell you your heart rate and that is all. If you want more than that... you will spend more. A beginner really only needs the basic one.

05-11-2004, 07:02 AM
I only use Polar as I've started selling them to my students. Polar has a great program where you can purchase them at cost and sell them at any price you choose. I mark mine up a little, but still make it worth while for my students to order thru me as opposed to shopping on line or at the local sports store. Since I've been selling them (about a year now) I usually have about 50% of the people wearing them. We have 50 bikes. I'm also able to sell them to other members at my club, so not just people who spin:)

05-12-2004, 02:03 PM
I have 3 and I loan them out, write down some numbers for the individuals and explain HOW to use them and not just wear them to see how high it can go. I have to say more than half of the folks ask me where they can get one. It might be hard to justify the purchase if all the rider will hear is something ambiguous like ". . . hill 80%" If they don't know what their 80% is or the benefits of being there, they might use the monitor as a spedometer instead of a valuable tool in heart rate manipulation. One member said it best, "I've been lying to myself about my workouts." He's never without his monitor now. Do your homework and you will LOVE all the doors it can open for ya!!!
This forum is great and Sally's book is superb too. (The Heart Rate Book for Indoor and Outdoor Cyclests).

05-12-2004, 07:46 PM
I teach my classes as if all riders are using a monitor. I tell everyone at the beginning of the class what the target zone for the class should be. I then do drills based on the zone. I am trying to get everyone to use a monitor. I was able to work out a deal with a local bike shop. They agreed to give all gym members a discount on items purchased. I really want all riders to get the benenfit of using a monitor, a rider can truly take ownership of their ride when they can monitor their own heart rate. I loan mine out almost all the time, that has been the best way to get a rider to purchase their own.

05-12-2004, 09:01 PM
I have a Polar A5 and I barely leave home without it! If I ever go for a run or to a class and forget to put it on...I'll go back home to get it. I think it's a valuable tool for any exerciser, regardless of whether they're in training for something or just trying to keep in shape.

A little while back, I started really pushing the monitors and our club put them on sale... now about 80% of the regulars have it. Monday night, I did a submax bike test on all 10 people so that everyone would have more accurate zones. (I hate the age related formula. ugh). I also typed up a handout about each zone and what each zone means. I doubt anyone really paid that much attention to it, but I know they appreciated my effort in trying to educate them and give them the most for their workouts.

So anyway, in response... I'd say they aren't a necessity, but once you start using one, you'll never want to do without. It's really a great way for the people to monitor what they're doing (provided they aren't on BP medication or anything else that would affect their HR).

05-12-2004, 09:25 PM
I'm sold. Thanks for your replies. I am going to shop around for my heart rate monitor. I do believe you can be lying to yourself on how hard you're working. I would like to use it to see how hard i'm actually working as i feel i'm working the hardest when i spin than with any other cardio format. ( i teach most formats too)

05-15-2004, 09:18 PM
my gym is selling the polar a1 for $55. i haven't started looking up prices & models yet. does anybody know this model & if that is a good price for it? i'm planning on buying one real soon.

05-16-2004, 03:24 PM
We use the A1 for our fitness assessments and for anyone who wishes to borrow a monitor. They seem to be fine, we've never had any trouble. The only word of warning is buy it now - Polar has discontinued that model and replaced it with F1, which is about the same but $20 more expensive!

05-16-2004, 08:23 PM
I have 2 A1's, 1 Old Target, 1 Pacer (that's mine with a light and I love it), and 1 A3.....I always have two to loan out in class (both are in the shop right now) and will often give mine to someone.... I also carry small papers with the Heil formula on it which I hand out to people, esp those looking at those Heart Rate Charts!!! I've found that now 95% of my regular riders have monitors and those that don't soon get them.

Personally I think that riding without at HRM is really deceiving.....although I will say that I will also tell people to listen to their bodies....we've all had times when we feel like we're really pushing and look down and the HRM is at 75%...then for that day perhaps we need to back off a bit!!!