Perform Better: Are You Burning Fat?

Monitoring heart rate during exercise used to be reserved for people at extreme ends of the spectrum. From those who suffer from cardiovascular conditions in need of careful attention right through to the elite athletes in the world of sports. These were the two group represented when it came to tracking heart rate and defining programming around their needs.

In the last few years this type of bio-tech driven training has exploded due to the boom in wearable devices. But are smart phones and smart watches actually making Power Plate users any smarter when it comes to their heart rate? There are three simple steps to consider when tracking your statistics:

#1 A Powerful Pump

Whole body vibration increases circulation. A short, sharp and factual statement that all Power Plate users will know. With this circulatory boost we must also bear in mind that there will be an inevitable increase in heart rate. Part of the attraction with vibration training is the 'quick warm-up' feel as the blood flows and the heart pumps. Users should keep this accelerated rate in mind especially when working to high intensity. For those with cardiovascular conditions it is vital to monitor intensity through feedback from the heart.

#2 Find The Max

Discovering your maximum heart rate is an important step in improving the accuracy of your training. Many practitioners, coaches and health apps still use the calculation of 220 minus age to produce that top end number. Be warned that this simplistic method was derived from testing on male subjects so it often overestimates maximum heart rate in females. Even the most up to date formulas such as R.L Gelish's (206.9-067 x age),derived from 25 years worth of data, can still be off by up to 20 beats per minute in some cases.

To get the most accurate picture of maximum heart rate it should be measured directly. Fitness testing in a medical facility would be the best way forward however testing can be done on modern treadmills and bikes found in most health clubs. For an athlete or well-conditioned individual a maximal test would be applicable. The general population is recommended to partake in a submaximal test, which will take the participant through a gradual increase in intensity keeping them around or below 80% of their maximum heart rate.

#3 Know Your Zone

Training in specific heart rate zones is nothing new. Unfortunately it is still something that could easily be overlooked while working with Power Plate. Without knowledge of training zones how do we know if we are burning fat? Below is a breakdown that will allow you to hit zone you need:

  • Endurance/Fat Burning Zone: 60-70% of maximum heart rate will allow for a relatively light intensity workout ideal for weight loss as well as endurance based training.
  • Aerobic Zone: 70-80% of maximum heart rate is ideal for building the efficiency of the cardiovascular system and fat burn.
  • Threshold/Anaerobic Zone: 80-90% of maximum heart rate is used to improve the body's ability to deal with waste products such as lactic acid. In this zone we predominantly burn sugar (glycogen).
  • Anaerobic Max/VO2 Max Zone: 90-100% of maximum heart rate. Anaerobic or 'absence of air' means that the body uses sugar/glucose as its energy source in the absence of oxygen. This is a high intensity zone limited to short time periods often used to improve power or speed in well conditioned people. Think of a 100m sprinter or a power lifter, their sports take place in this zone.

Go and get a heart rate test done as soon as possible. Get some numbers down and find the appropriate zone. Power Plate can enable you to increase your fat burning capability. But you have to utilise heart rate as a marker to be able to use vibration in the most effective way.

For a deeper look into endurance programming with vibration please feel free to contact our Master Trainer team via and across social media.

By David Howatson-Begg, Performance Health Systems UK Master Trainer