What are Your Most Pressing Heart Rate Training Questions?

By Jennifer Sage On November 6, 2012 Under Heart Rate Training

Spinning with a heart rate monitorHave you ever been confused about heart rate training? Has a student ever asked you a question that you just didn’t know how to answer, or you weren’t sure your answer was correct? You aren’t alone! But now, you can get your question answered.

As most of you know, I’ve been involved in educating indoor cycling instructors since 1977, when I first became a Master Instructor for the SpinningĀ® program. Over the past 15 years I’ve realized that there are many misconceptions about understanding heart rate and how to prescribe heart rate training zones. The industry is partially at fault for allowing the misconceptions to not only continue, but to flourish.

A very large book could be written on heart rate training for fitness, even just in this niche of indoor cycling. (Hey, maybe some day I’ll take that on!) Lately, I’ve been getting many more questions about training with heart rate that have made me realize that too many instructors are so confused about the correct way to prescribe heart rate training to their students. So I’ve decided to put those questions into an eBook of sorts, an FAQ. Originally it was going to be a fairly small list, but the questions are growing. Also originally, this was going to be just for ICA members, but I think I’ll have two versions. One will be basic answers to HR training questions, free for all instructors and students, and a second more detailed one will be provided to all ICA members.

Send me your questions! You can either email me at jennifer@indoorcyclingassociation.com, or leave them in the comments below, or visit the ICA Facebook page and leave it there on my HR Training FAQ post….and while you’re there, please LIKE us! šŸ˜‰

One thing to keep in mind, some questions might require an entire chapter or several chapters to answer them. You can still ask it, but for a full treatise on the subject, I may have to refer you to a previously written article, either on ICA or another source (like Joe Friel’s books). The answers to the FAQs will necessarily have to be somewhat short, perhaps limited to a few sentences on up to a paragraph or two.

The following are some ideas to trigger questions you might have, or maybe some of these are your questions – if so, let me know so I have an idea how many people are in need of clarification on certain subjects.

  • Has a student ever said something that another instructor has told them about their heart rate that you know to be incorrect?
  • If a student asked what their “training zones” should be how do you answer?
  • If a student tells you she is “at her max” how do you respond?
  • If a student is older, should you be concerned?
  • How about an obese student?
  • Do you know what perceived exertion cues correspond to each training zone?
  • Do you believe in the fat burning zone? What do you tell your student about where to ride most of the time to lose weight?
  • Do you give the same answer to every student who asks a question about HR zones or intensity? Why or why not?
  • If your student says “I burn more calories in your class than anyone else’s class” (based on their monitor or cadence meter), how would you answer?
  • What if they said they burned more calories in another instructor’s class?
  • Do you keep track of calories burned from your HRM or cadence meter?
  • Do you believe all workouts should be HIT?
  • What does it mean if HR won’t go up?
  • What does it mean if HR won’t go down?
  • What do you assign as LT/AT? Do you know what that is?
  • Do you know what a field test is? A talk test?
  • Are you so confused about HR training that you would rather not even go there, not even wear a HR monitor?
  • What is the question that plagues you the most about HR?
  • Do you encourage your student to purchase a HR monitor? Why or why not?
  • If you don’t train with HR, do you at least use RPE?

Want to make sure you are alerted when the FAQ is ready? Then sign up for the Free newsletter for the Indoor Cycling Association on the upper right of this blog. It may take me a few weeks or so to compile all this! Thank you all in advance so much for your contributions – even if you think you know the answer, please post the most common questions you hear your students asking. You may help other instructors who don’t know how to answer them intelligently!

1 Comment Add yours

  1. May Britton
    November 21, 2012
    2:44 am #comment-1

    Yes, please, I’d like to know all of your answers to the sample questions you mentioned.

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