I am stronger, I am fitter, I am more energetic than I have ever been, at any point in my life, period! I am officially addicted to Heart Rate Training combined with Strength Training.
Like many I have gone through ups and downs in exercising. Life got in the way, kids got in the way, work got in the way, basically I let excuses win. About a year and a half ago I found the Peloton, it was dynamic, never boring, and would join me with a community of folks with a common goal. The community focus of getting fit and having fun couching and supporting each other through the journey has been such a motivator preventing me from just giving up.
As I embarked on my journey on the Peloton I would jump in on random live rides, learn the coach’s, styles, etc. Just getting on the bike and doing random exercise was great and I made progress, but then I stalled. So I started to focus and ride with a plan each week, I would try to ride seven days a week and do a variety of classes that were hard and offered a variety of challenges. It was great and I started to see progress, but then I stalled again.
Determined to not give up on the Peloton and the community I started to read more about fitness. I really listened to the coaches about rest days, heart rate zone, power zone, tabata, etc. I began to ride 6 days a week and focus on a balance between Heart Rate Training and Strength Training. I also learned about Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and when I should back off vs. when I should just go all out and never stop until I just could not go any more.
Since starting a blend of Heart Rate Zone training and Strength Training I have seen amazing progress, been hitting personal records, losing the weight, and feel stronger, fitter, and more energetic than I have ever been, at any point in my life, period! As I started to see and feel the progress I was curious on how this combination of exercise was helping me see these results.
With that I ventured down to the core aspects of the body, active muscles demand oxygen, and the circulatory system works hard to provide it. The muscular system and circulatory system keep each other in check. Without focusing on strengthen our circulatory system our muscles would be unable to carry out the physical activities of strength training.
As I think about my personal journey and looking at the various charts and data collected on the Peloton and my fitness watch I can see how I have shifted between points where I needed to focus more on Heart rate strength vs. muscular strength. It is a fine balance between the two where some days your legs are on fire, your pushing your muscles to the max and your heard rate is just cruising alone like it’s no big deal. When it does, you need to adjust and put more focus on strength training. Of course the opposite of that is your huffing and puffing and your heart rate is through the roof but your legs are not impacted. In that case it’s time to put more focus on Heart Rate Zone training and endurance.
So the net result, if you have hit a plateau then I strongly suggest you consider incorporating heart rate training with your strength training. Take the time to really monitor your results after each ride and pay attention to when you feel your heart rate or physical strength is what is holding you back and make adjustments to focus on building your capabilities in the area in need.