Grieving the loss of my heart rate monitor

Do you use heart-rate based training? Although it has its limitation, monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be incredibly beneficial. If you do not use one, how do you determine whether you are working with enough intensity? Knowing that the biggest battle is the mental game, how confident are you that your perception of how hard you are working is accurate? FT7

While I highly encourage that everyone invest in a quality heart rate monitor (e.g., Polar, Garmin), it can be liberating to work without it. Having consistently worn a heart rate monitor for years, my heart rate monitor died several months ago and I have been working out without it ever since. This has given me a great sense of freedom. I was to a point where I was obsessive about burning an obscene amount of calories according to my monitor – which I know is inaccurate anyway!

Positives

I am focused on my task at hand – lifting a weight or performing a movement – with no distraction of looking at my watch.

I am not smashing  my watch with the kettlebell. Now that I think about it, I wonder if all that smashing shortened its life.

I do not have to remember all the pieces AND to turn it on before a workout.

Negatives

I have no idea what my heart rate is – I know my intensity has decreased as I do not have a number to ‘shoot for.’

Without a watch, I am not timing my workouts.

I cannot brag about how high my heart rate has been. (Mine gets freakishly high.)

I miss the immediate reinforcement of being shown that I burned a given amount of calories – even when I knew it was inaccurate. I feel like without the watch I am not burning calories (our minds are tricky, aren’t they?).

The bottomline

I am honestly pretty lost without my heart rate monitor. I do not believe this is a terrible dependency, seen as I know that it is not a completely accurate tool. I know I could be pushing myself harder in my workouts, but I like having that number goal.

The good news, I will have my replacement monitor in about a week! I may be lost, but I will be found!!!!! And as I work towards being in the best shape of my life by May, being found is more critical than ever!

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