Have you every wondered what your heart rate was while you are at your rolling or sparring? Sure you have! We have all been there, close to death and curious how fast are hearts were pounding. The secret top athletes around the world don't want you to know is they use a Chest Heart Rate Monitor.
The issue is obvious with the traditional wrist heart rate monitor. They are totally in the way when you are grappling and can be damaged when striking. With a comfortable strap that goes around the chest locating the monitor at the bottom of your rib cage. Men and women can comfortably monitor one's heart rate accurately while not impeding safety or mobility.
How to get the most out of a heart rate monitor for MMA, BJJ, & Muay Thai
1. Learn your max heart rate.
It sounds so simple, but figuring out your max heart rate is actually tricky business. There is the whole 220-minus-your-age formula rule of thumb but that is why we have hear rate monitors! Fitzgerald recommends wearing the monitor during a during a hard sparring session (if you’re a striker) or a HIIT session to get a better read on your max heart rate. The point is to make sure you really push yourself. The highest number your monitor records is will be your base max heart rate. We can use this as your measuring stick to gauge your heart rate range for other types of workouts. Once you have that number, you can put it to use in the following ways.
2. Find your "easy."
You shouldn't be going H.A.M. everyday of the week at the gym. Wearing heart rate monitors on lite sparing days or doing bag work is a great way to keep yourself honest on recover days. The point of recover days are so your body can heal up a bit while continuing to build technique & endurance.
Experts suggest to keep your heart rate around 65-70% of your max heart rate (the thing you figured out in step 1). Remember, the goal is to be in control and keep a comfortable pace.
3. Cardio Machine
Having an endless gas tank is a huge advantage for any fighter. Leverage a heart rate to continue to push yourself at a methodical rate. For those with weak cardio, you should stick to 50-65% of your max heart rate and slowly build up. If you are feeling pretty good about your cardio, shoot for 60-75%. If you are Forrest Gump type,go for 70-85% range.
4. Go Faster for Longer
Tempo workouts should be your secret weapon to go faster for longer. By training the body to use the oxygen it receives more efficiently, tempo training helps you boost your lactate threshold (the point when your body starts to feel fatigued, you know the burning-muscle sensation). Just know, if you go too slow, you will not reap these benefits.
It can be tricky to determine how hard you should be going, but roughly 85-90% of your max heart rate. You want to be sure that the pace is tough but still doable. You will likely be maintaining this pace for 20 minutes or so. Ready to try a tempo run? Here are a few typo workouts you can try out.
Get started monitoring your heart rate with one of these legit chest heart rate monitors.