This week promises to be an interesting and exciting one for me… to kick it off, my new Garmin FR60 watch arrived in the mail on Friday. I was so excited to test it out that I quickly read through the quick start manual and tried it out on Saturday morning.
The first thing that I noticed is that the strap for the heart rate monitor just barely fits me. I am not sure what size comes standard but I had to make this as small as it would go so that it would fit. And, while it did fit… I am definitely a bit nervous that it will stretch a bit and then be too big for me. I’ve never worn a heart rate monitor before – so it felt very strange at first. I am getting used to it (two days in now) but it is still quite odd to have something strapped to my chest.
The second thing that I noticed is just how far off the heart rate monitor on my Cybex Arc Trainer is! There were times when there was a difference of over 20 beats per minute! In addition, the Cybex heart rate monitor (on the handles) would often jump all over the place while the Garmin monitor was much more steady and seemed more realistic. I’d never really paid attention to my heart rate on the Cybex machine before and I knew that it wasn’t really accurate but I didn’t realize just how far off it really was! The blurry image below is the display for the Cybex — the number all the way on the right (169) is what the Cybex thought my heart rate was. I tried to get a picture of the heart rate from the Garmin FR60 but I was moving and it just didn’t work out. So, you’ll see the heart rate chart below that shows what my heart rate was for most of that workout (below 150).
Once I finished my workout, I uploaded my workout details to the Garmin Connect site and I was able to see my heart rate for the duration of my workout (see the above chart). This was fascinating to me… But, the next most fascinating thing was the calories burned. The arc trainer displays calories burned throughout the workout and it has always seemed high to me. I’ve never quite believed it… Well, the calories that Garmin things that I burned were quite a bit lower. For example, today the Arc Trainer indicated 1,800+ calories while the Garmin watch indicated 1,100+. I suspect that the Garmin watch is more accurate as it is taking my heart rate into consideration.
This leads me to one of my other really exciting things for the week … I’ve signed up with a local sports health clinic to have my RMR tested. In addition, I am going to have some performance testing done so that I am able to better understand what my body needs to fuel the exercise that I do. I’ll share more, in a later post, regarding why I decided to get this testing done. All of this will likely lead to some changes with the blog as I continue taking healthy steps to become healthier!