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  1. #1
    Big Boy
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    Weight loss with heart rate monitor

    I got my first heart rate monitor as a gift this Christmas. I want to use the hrm to help me lose weight on my spin bike, and my mtn bike. I've been reading alot about heart rate zones and I have found that I should stay in the endurance zone (55-65%) to burn fat more efficiently.

    My question is this...Do I just start riding until I'm in the right zone and just keep pedaling at a resistance that keeps me in this zone? Seems like this could be very monotonous on the spin bike. Should there be any variation? I've searched for some guidance, but most of the guidance is directed towards performance gains, and I am looking primarily for weight loss.
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  2. #2
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    If you can ride long sessions, the 65% target works nicely. If you can only ride an hour or less, I find that some interval training is better.

  3. #3
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    Any exercise is going to help, as long as you don't up the food intake to compensate! I'm guessing your overall target is 'a healthier you', so having some of the training that is slightly less effective for fat burning and slightly more effective at improving your cardiovascular system is a good thing. A mix of training is better and more fun so as long as some of the session is in that zone you'll get benefits from all of it.
    If you're going from standard tables to tell you what your MHR is, it's all rough anyway. Ride more (anything) and things will improve!

  4. #4
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    Re: Weight loss with heart rate monitor

    I may be new but I can definitely chime in on this. Look into H.I.I.T. I belive it's high intensity intermittent training. Read up on it. You basically go balls out for 30 seconds and then go slower for a minute.
    So when I used to do it on the treadmill I would sprint as fast as possible for a minute then walk for a minute. I would do this for 20 minutes.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

  5. #5
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Definitely in favor of intervals if you're inside. It's less mind-numbing. And supposedly it also helps you burn more calories recovering and boosts your basal metabolic rate. The loss in efficiency vs. just pedaling away at 55-65% would be if you couldn't do as much volume. Since many of us have our volume set by how much time we have, it's often not an issue in practice.

    One of my favorite workouts is commercial break intervals. Zone 2 during the show, then kick it up a gear or two and jam during the commercial break.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  6. #6
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    Above sounds like a great idea. Sitting on a spin bike is hard work for anything over half an hour. Some sort of interval on spin, and endurance on Mtb - make your Mtb rides over 2 hours and avoid the interval type effort if you can.

    Btw, consider calculating your threshold and run off the tables that use threshold as their base - it corrects for fitness levels.

    Oh and if no tv ( wife might not like the sweat on the floor), I used to use 1 song on song and 2 songs resting

    It's the habit of doing everyday that will make the difference

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I think I'm going to combine a bit of everything that was mentioned. I'm trying to ride about an hour each day or more with two rest days per week. I will try to stay in zone 2 during the tv shows and step it up for commercials. Should keep things interesting enough for a while.
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by texasnavy05 View Post
    Thanks for the advice guys.

    I think I'm going to combine a bit of everything that was mentioned. I'm trying to ride about an hour each day or more with two rest days per week. I will try to stay in zone 2 during the tv shows and step it up for commercials. Should keep things interesting enough for a while.
    You can stress your system in a lot of ways - including doing nothing but Zone 1/2 riding which the more you do, the more your system is stressed.

    You should use the App from MyFitnessPal.com to track your food intake. You can set it with your current weight and what your target goal is and the App will tell you how many calories per day you need to eat (including when you punch in the amount of exercise per day) to achieve your goal. That combined with weighing yourself every day helps keep you focused and on track.

    1 hour, 90 minute, and 2 hours in Zone 1/2 on the trainer/spin bike/exericse bike may be boring to some, but there is nothing like the excitement of trimming weight and building a good base in the off-season (winter weather). I would get a good floor fan to keep yourself cool and a towel to wipe the sweat off of your face. Then spin away while watching TV. Drink at least one water bottle per hour, take a couple minutes break after the first hour and then go on to your next 30 minutes or hour. Nothing wrong with doing a one minute interval every five minutes to keep yourself entertained every other day. Keep them in the Zone 3 or maybe 4 area to help break up the time.

    Shoot for 8-10 hours at least per week in the Zone 1/2 area to begin the weight trimming process. 11-12 hours would be more ideal to stress your system at that low intensity and build a big base as the pounds melt away. It wouldn't hurt to add weight lifting 2 days a week to increase your metabolism and burn away fat as well.

    I wouldn't suggest diving in and cranking out 12 hours in Zone 1/2 the first week, but work your way up and build to it. Maybe start with 6-7 hours the first week, and gradually add time until you are stressing your system enough to shed the pounds.

    Best of spinning fortune to you...

  9. #9
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    I just bought a HR monitor and Garmin 810 to motivate my fat butt to get back on the bike. Seeing your question reminded me its been awhile since i used a HRM and will need a program myself.

    As one poster mentioned, HIIT (High Intensity *Interval* Training) is where its at for fast fat loss, if you can handle doing it right. Unfortunately for us big boys and strictly speaking for myself, our intensity and interval capacity generally dont match up too well to HIIT training. HIIT training is intense, think go all out near/at puke level, very short rest, then blast again (have you heard of Sufferfest or Sufferlandrian? max effort/little rest). Probably too intense for clydes initially considering potential existing elevated heart rates, lack of overall fitness, etc., and again, speaking about myself. Intervals is were I need to start so essentially what you said you were going to do, steady state spinning, then bump it up for commercials. Thats what Im doing, inside and out. Steady spin then bump up/stand up for 30 seconds or a minute, whatever I can do. Stamina will come then I'll be ready for what HIIT training I can handle.

    Burcebrown's suggestion to use the app MyFitnessPal.com is excellent as well. One additional thought there is when adding food, the app has a scanner so you can just use your phone to scan the barcode of whatever you're eating, presuming it was from a package. I use this a lot and its very helpful for making tracking your nutrition as painless as possible.

    Of course many apps also incorporate your HR as part of your dashboard and some offer programs using HR/weight/fitness level/power etc as metrics to tailor to you or guides. Strava, TrainingPeaks, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, etc are all excellent for incorporating your HRM.

    Good luck, fellow Texan!

  10. #10
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    It's hard for me to stay in the 60-65% range but that's where I see weight loss. Lately I've been riding hard (80-85%) in the morning and low intensity at night (60-65%). My rides are around an hour each way but I do add an interval (of sorts) on the low intensity rides by sprinting up hills. Usually, the high intensity rides leave me hungry for protein and carbs and my eating negates the potential weight loss of the ride. The low intensity rides don't affect me the same way.

  11. #11
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    I use a HRM for some exercises, but:

    When I mountain bike, I do not pay attention to heart rate. I am out there for fun, and fun only. My trails are up and down, mostly rocky, single- and two-track. As a result, my heart rate usually goes up and down. I wear my HRM occasionally just to see, and I usually keep the rate mostly in or above my cardio target zone. I think I will call that interval training.

    The main thing for me is to exercise. Time limited? I shoot for cardio at the gym for 20-30 minutes and do other types of workouts (weights, core, etc.). My problem in losing weight is eating too much and poorly. When I eat proper portions and eat well, along with exercise, I lose weight. Go figure.

    The HRM is a good tool to determine effort, but I do not agonize over heart rate. Exercising as much as possible and eating well takes my weight off. I only really pay attention to heart rate for cardio. Gotta get that heart pumpin' to decrease the chance it will explode later on in life.

    I know. Not very scientific, but it works for me. Well, it works when I actually do it.

  12. #12
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    ^^ Thanks for the input.

    In reality, for weightloss, I think we all know what we need to do. I've heard that diet is 85% of weightloss with excercise and metabolism making up the other 15%. And for me, eating a healthy reasonable diet is the hardest thing to do!! And I'm sure that there is an army of people that agree!
    -It's time to shred some mild to moderate gnar!!

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I'm not into starving myself, but I do try to plan my eating. I have whatever I was going to have as my next meal when I get back from my ride. Sometimes I eat half of my lunch beforehand so I can eat half when I get back. As long as I don't see more food and would have to prepare more, it's relatively easy for me to avoid overeating.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    I have a HRM and use it. Mostly for comparison than for trying to stay in a zone.
    I have a few loops that I ride and with my HRM/GPS I can compare to see how I am doing. HR min/max/ave, ride speed average, time...
    Same for when i'm on my indoor trainer altho for that it is much easier to track my HR average.

    A HRM is a awesome tool, I cannot imagine being without one. However thats just it, it is a tool.

    Lately I have not noticed much in the way of weight loss, however I have noticed an improvement in my overall fitness. i.e. there is one hill on my loop that my HR would spike and stay 180+bpm, sometimes has hit 190bpm (scary for me to see). Nowdays it has not gone over 175bpm and is usually 171-172 (a couple times it was 168). For me that is HUGE and not so worried my heart would explode on that hill.

    Oh and one thing, not sure if it is my sensor strap or what but even with the sensor gel it takes several minutes and the start of a good sweat for it to sync up and give good readings.

  15. #15
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Sounds like you need to hit that hill harder.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    LOL I hit that hill as hard as I can. At those numbers I am wheezing and huffing and takes several minutes before I could even speak. Getting better tho as I am recovering a little faster every time.

    BTW: doc has told me to keep it under 175bpm as much as possible. spikes are OK, it just can't stay there.

    BTW BTW, there is another hill I want to tackle sometime. I've done it before numerous times, but that was 20 years and 100lbs lighter ago. ~4 miles of 5-12% grade all up. Keep telling myself I should try it but every time I hit the turn-off I ride on by.

  17. #17
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Well, if your doctor says not to find out what your max HR is...
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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