Bowery Mural

My heart skip skips a beat

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Over the past month or so I've upped my game in terms of the fitness routine and classes I take part in on a weekly basis. I'm doing something every day of the week, and after a couple months break sporadic attendance, I finally started regular spin classes again. Well, two per week so far.

On the other days it's mostly cardio and strength and man what improvements I've seen in my strength and my body shape. My press ups are better and I can do more in a row, burpees are one of my most favourite things (I'm weird, I know!) and I can even do a plank lifting an arm up and alternate leg - I'm sure there must be a name for them - alternate planks maybe? Anyway, when I started I couldn't do half that so these improvements are great.

But here's a thing... I also go tone of those heart rate monitor thingamys. It's a strap and a little gizmo called a MyZone belt. You strap it to yourself. Exercise. Record the data. Boom. You can have challenges with friends (at the gym) and set yourself goals. Then. You discover that your heart rate is running high all of the time - queue mad panic! That's what I did. I panicked. By all calculations that I Googled, my maximum heart rate should be 183. So that's what was registered on my profile. Then I done a few classes and noticed that I was working quite hard. You have different zones and percentages, again depending on your max HR, weight etc. Anything above 70% is good when working out. As a side note, in a spin class you can see your results in real time as they relay it onto a big screen form a projector, so you know exactly hard you're working at any given time.

So, one Friday night, my first Friday night spin class in about a month, I strapped the MyZone to my body and set off on the class. Now, this class is an hour long and mostly high endurance tracks - meaning that we do long steady rides with very little rest in between. These rides can be 6-7 minutes long at a high pace with gears up high enough to give good resistance, then there's hill climbs and your maximum gears. All in all the toughest spin class I do. I could see myself in the green zone during the warm up. This is up to about 70% max HR. Then I hit yellow - phew - 70-80% max HR. And then BOOM, RED ZONE. 90-100% max HR, and that's where I stayed for most of the class. Like I said above, there's not much rest between tracks so from 6 minutes work you get about 1 minutes rest which isn't that much when you're puffing and panting away like an old workhorse. I mean I think I only reached 100% for about 20 seconds the whole class but I was going from 90-96% during the ride. I was chuffed. I always knew I worked hard in class because my train of thinking is this - what's the point if you aren't putting the effort in.

some stats

After class I was in the changing room chatting to a few others who were asking about the MyZone belt. I said I was fairly new to it but that it seemed okay. One lady piped in "I don't think yours is working properly. There's no way you could have been in the red zone for that long. It could be dangerous!". WTF! And why not exactly?

Why can't I be in the red zone for that long? My heart rate runs high when I'm exercising. I've had that checked before. According to this gizmo my resting hear rate is fairly low, around 58-60, which is proper decent. Who was this person to question my ability or effort?

That weekend I was googling heart rates, max heart rate, what happens when you're heart rate runs high during exercise etc etc... All because of that person.

On the downside I might keel over and die when I'm a little older! on the upside I could have the heart and lung capacity akin to Lance Armstrong. I am a machine! *wink*

So, for a minute there, my heart skip skipped a beat. And then I calmed down.

Side note: with a title like this post has, I wanted it to be about affairs of the heart rather than the actual workings of a heart. Oh well, next time...

Angela x

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