Polar for your Boot Camp Goals


We have a great opportunity to utilize polar for your boot camp goals, if only we apply the information we receive with you wearing your polar device. I started writing the blog post for the Polar planning option and realized I was really needing to write to current clients. Or maybe someone who wasn’t quite seeing the changes they wanted, so they stopped coming altogether. If you haven’t articulated your goals to yourself, it is impossible to reach your goals. Not verbalizing the goals to me can make it take longer to reach your goals too.

Many people come to me with the, I want to get in shape and losing a few pounds wouldn’t be bad, type of idea. While this is a great start to improving your overall fitness, it isn’t very specific in terms of goal setting. It is perfectly acceptable to start your fitness journey, see some of the positive results, like increased energy, and then set some goals. In order to know that you have reached your goal, it needs to be measurable, preferably with an end date, and ultimately have some action steps associated.

First, some basics on the information we have up on my TV during class. The average maximum heart rate is 220 – your age. If you ever see that you are over 100%, we can reset your maximum heart rate. Polar has actually made it super easy to do at the end of a class, or you can log in at home to do this. I, for example, can get my heart rate into the 190s, so I reset my max to reflect what my personal maximum heart beats. Stored fat burning occurs from 65-85% of your maximum heart rate. This is why I encourage you to be in the green or yellow when you complete your warm up. Going through the motions, and starting a workout when your heart rate is barely over 50% of its max will not yield the results you are looking for in a 45 minute workout. We increase our cardiovascular capacity and we burn the most calories when we have steep peaks and valleys in our workouts. This is why I encourage longer rest when you have been above 90% for too long. We also are able to see your calories burned. It takes 3,500 calories to burn one pound. If you burn 350 calories in a workout, you’d need 10 workouts in a week to equate a pound of weight loss. Which leads me to the nutrition component. If you are hoping to lose weight, it is important to do more than just workout.

I think it is important to note, some people just want to come to class, be told what to do, and that is all. In those cases, perfect, I am glad we are getting you to where you want to be. You are increasing your fitness just by showing up and going through the motions. Coming to class provides you with total body workouts presented in a variety of formats and styes. We incorporate some strength and some cardio within each week. Programing is 6 weeks of daily workouts repeated once, thus lasting 3 months.

This message is more for those who want to increase the speed in which one reaches more specific goals. I will gladly help you on an individual basis in person, but thought I’d share some general goals with you all here. To get your wheels going. Or even to help you without you saying anything to me.

We will start with the ever common, I want to lose weight goal. If we lived in a vacuum, you can lose weight by intaking less calories that you expend. This is why places like WW and Jenny Craig are so successful. They monitor your caloric intake to make sure you are eating less than you are expending. For a sedentary person to start something as simple as walking, it can help them to lose weight. For those who have already been working out, even semi regularly, it is harder to lose weight through exercise alone. Those most successful in losing weight keep some kind of log or journal. As a selfish plug, my three month journal is a great way for you to record your food and your feelings. If you like the electronic route, My Fitness Pal has always been super popular, however there are many newer options on the market. I stopped liking MFP when it was bought out by Under Armor. Probably because change is hard, but also it wasn’t as user friendly to me anymore. I really like Lose It!, as a free version is totally fine. If you do chose to purchase, make sure you wait until they email you a special offer.

If you want someone to tell you how many calories you should eat a day, just text me, and I will plug the numbers. If you want to figure it out, you will need to calculate your Basal Metabolic Rate and then use the Harris-Benedict multiplier. As a general rule, I subtract 500 calories from that total, for my daily weight loss calorie goal.

Next goal, when you work out, your heart rate gets super high and rarely comes down. You are probably the type of person that finds yourself winded when you go up and down the stairs. To help control your heart rate, you need to take time to allow your heart rate to recover. In class, this may require you to rest longer than the 10 second timer. When your heart rate requires a longer rest, this does not mean that you need to make up the work time later. By allowing your heart rate the time to come down, it will start to come down quicker, getting you back on the 10 second rest times. You may also find that you need a longer warm up, with a more gradual build to the 75% heart rate max. That usually goes in hand with needing to sustain that 75% longer in a warm up. For you, the 5 minutes is good for you to go from gray to blue to barely get into green. Then you skip the first exercise, continuing your warm up at the sustained green. If you go from gray to red in the 5 minute warm up, you are not actually helping your cardiovascular system improve.

Next goal is re-injury prevention. When we are hurt, we are given physical therapy exercises to maintain the strength in our bone/muscle/tendon/ligament. Sometimes, we need to continue that type of PT forever. Sometimes, it is important to warm up that part of our body before doing a strenuous workout. Some of you walk into class, hop on the bike, and warm up. Some of you walk in and spend time warming up your spine, your core, or your ankles and knees before doing step ups. Maybe you need to come to class a couple minutes early, so that you are ready for 5 minutes of warm up when everyone else walks in. Or maybe you need to skip the first exercise, so that you can be properly warmed up before beginning a workout. If you don’t know what exercises you should add to your warmup regimen, just ask, I have lots of suggestions.

Finally we have the, I want to get more out of boot camp goal. I mean, you signed up for boot camp. You heard that HIIT workouts are a great way to burn calories, tone muscles, increase endurance, help with weight loss. GREAT! It really comes down to pushing yourself. You can always do more than your brain lets you think. (Note, I’m not talking to the injury people in the previous paragraph). HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. We discussed earlier to take a longer rest to create an interval when your heart rate shoots up. For many of you, you are not actually getting to the high part of the intensity. On an individual basis, this may look differently. Say the exercise is a squat. Sally may need to squat lower. While Vickie needs to squat with a faster tempo. And Terri needs to grab heavier weights in her squat. In order to keep yourself out of the re-injury prevention group, you cannot go faster, heavier, or a fuller range of motion than your body allows. But if you can get into a car or sit down on your office chair, you can at least squat as low as my bench. You literally do that every time you get in the car or sit at work. Now, some of you are allowing gravity to help you fall into the desk chair. In class, you need to focus on having core engagement to control your descent. If you need clarification on what muscle is working in exercises, ask me! I love sharing information like that. I like problem shooting when you are unable to engage the proper muscle. Maybe you have a weak posterior kinetic chain, or maybe you have horrible posture. We can very easily trade an exercise or two out each day, to help you build those under used muscles.

So basically, I can 100% individualize your workout to make sure it is working for you. I am a firm believer than there is no one perfect workout for everyone. So if you are not satisfied with the progress your body and mind have made by coming to class, let’s work on fixing that. Today!

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