NFLF Meets New Technology

Good morning!

As we close out August and welcome September, my favorite time of the year begins. Comfortable weather, country fairs and pumpkin euphoria! Unfortunately, I will not be enjoying my most favorite time of the year for running, as I address my hip. No boo-hoo on my part, as I am eager to take whatever steps required to get back in my running shoes.

The past week was another learning opportunity for the coach.

As I mentioned last week, we are bringing the science of heart rate to NFLF using MyZone. We have been using heart rate training for our runners for a few years, but now we are incorporating it in our resistance training. MyZone will allow both the trainer and the client to view the level of exertion during their workout and review the overall data after. Understanding the basic MyZone data is fairly easy, as it color codes each heart rate zone, but there is other valuable data available to analyze.

I easily set up MyZone and downloaded the App to both my tablet and iPhone. On Tuesday I had the MyZone strap wrapped around my chest and commenced to do our personally designed high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. I frequently checked my phone to see the instant feedback but found that not to be the best method. When my workout was complete and I disengaged the strap from my chest, I was instantly provided the data on my phone and via email. Data such as percentage of time in each zone, calories burned, and an overall percentage of my max heart rate were all provided.

On Friday morning Doug and I were back at the NFLF Fitness Center again repeating the same HIIT workout and again I had the MyZone strap securely wrapped around my chest. Everything worked much the same, but this time I did not follow my data during the actual workout. Now with two of the same workouts captured, I have data I can review and compare.

My initial thoughts are very positive, but as my old boss once said: “The devil is in the details.” Meaning, it is very easy to use a device like MyZone and tell people to go to it. The problems with that mindset can range from in effective training to high risk of injury. The intent of MyZone is to motivate users to workout at a level that maximizes their workouts. We all certainly want that, but left to our own, we may sacrifice safe and proper form, or in our attempt to keep in a certain color (zone), we only work the heart and not the target muscles.

Another highly potential danger is when working out in a group setting and the MyZone data is visible, our tendency may be to sacrifice proper technique in favor of favorable screen data. Much like those group classes where the participants disregard proper technique in order to keep pace with those around them.

So, my initial thoughts of MyZone are positive and enthusiastic. However, I want to review all the data and understand how best to train and coach with it. Initially, I can see how it can be a great training tool, but I can also see how it could be hazardous to someone’s workout. You can be sure NFLF will utilize this great tool in most effective and safe manor.

More to come…

Enjoy this wonderful Sunday and have an awesome week!

God Bless