I have a polar FT60 monitor and it's great. It's really useful for me to be able to see where my heart rate is during different types of exercise (and it means that I can see how many calories I burn when I'm lifting weights!).
(I like it because it's pink! But, I'm pretty sure that any HRM would do the job!)
Anyway, like I said, my monitor gives me goals every week that adjust based on how well I did with my goals the week before.
This week my goals are:
- Time: 3 hrs, 20 minutes
- Calories: 2100 kcal
- Time in Zone 1: 1hr, 20 minutes
- Time in Zone 2: 1 hr, 30 minutes
- Time in Zone 3: 30 minutes
The different zones correspond to different heart rate intervals. I actually changed the original settings on the watch, because I didn't feel like they encouraged me to push myself at all (N.B. This is just what works for me, so I wouldn't advise anyone copy this). So, my current settings are:
Zone 1: 120 - 150
Zone 2: 151 - 170
Zone 3: 171 - 200.
As of today, I am:
- Time: 2hrs, 32 minutes/3 hrs, 20 minutes
- Calories: 1188/2100 kcal
- Time in Zone 1: 1hr, 40 minutes/1hr, 20 minutes (it's totally fine to go over)
- Time in Zone 2: 30 minutes/1 hr, 30 minutes
- Time in Zone 3: 17 minutes/30 minutes.
The other really really good thing about me going to the gym is it means that I'm not sitting around my room, bored. The real problem with that is that that's my "highest risk" time for mindless snacking. I've realised that I'm absolutely fine with food everyday up until the end of the day, after work, when I'm just sitting around watching TV. If I'm at the gym, I'm doing something, so I don't even think about food!