Goodbye, Heart Rate Monitor.

August 5, 2014

I can think back to a time when I wouldn’t leave the gym until I burned at LEAST 500 calories.

How freaking ridiculous is that? I felt like if I didn’t burn at least that many calories, that I didn’t get a good enough workout, or that I didn’t work hard enough. THIS IS NOT TRUE. At all.

I did get over that eventually, but I still wore my heart rate monitor because I thought it was fun to see how many calories I was burning. No other reason. I didn’t feel like I had to burn X amount of calories before I left the gym, I was just curious. No problem with that.

So why have I stopped wearing it now? Well, as you all know I am competing in my first bikini competition. You would think that it is more important to wear one, right?

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Well, I’m just a little badass and have decided not to wear one my entire journey of this prep. Before starting prep, I had a different style of working out. I didn’t do too much cardio, but I did do a lot of supersets, active rests, and was go-go-go in the gym. I would always leave the gym dripping sweat, and would workout for about an hour to an hour and a half.

Since getting some different protocols from my coach, I am doing zero active rests, still lifting heavy but giving myself more time to rest in between sets (before I would barely rest at all), and only doing two short HIIT sessions a week, usually on non-lifting days. That means I’m in the gym for only about 30 minutes on cardio days, and 40-60 min tops on lifting days.

It’s definitely different to me, but I am actually LOVING this split and this new way of training. I don’t feel run down, I don’t feel like I’m killing myself every day (and you don’t need to!), and I feel strong and powerful even while on a caloric deficit.

When you are in competition prep, you have to be very meticulous with your macros and your food. Yes, I am carb cycling. Yes, I plan out my macros for the day and weigh everything I eat. Yes, I weigh myself twice a week for check-in’s with my coach.

No, I don’t do this in everyday life when I am not prepping. 

I do believe the way I am approaching my competition is the healthiest way possible. I will not starve, or do hours of cardio everyday. When I hear girls don’t even know their macros because their coach is telling them exactly what to eat, and they have at least an hour of cardio everyday because their coach said so, I cringe. My coach has never told me what to eat, just gave me my macros. I can eat whatever my little hearts desire, as long as it fits. And, he has actually cut my cardio down. WIN.

That being said, although this is a better way to approach competing, you still do have to be strict with certain things. I want to look my absolute best on stage, so I am giving this prep 110%. I still have to carb cycle, I still have to be in a caloric deficit, and I still have to give my all in the gym.

What I don’t have to do, is let a little strap that is placed under my boobs dictate if I worked out hard enough or not for that day. That is why I won’t be wearing it this entire prep. I go into the gym, do exactly what is on my plan, and leave.

What if it said I only burned like 150 calories on my cardio days? I really do not care. Competition prep is a challenge physically and mentally already, so I just want to trust the process. 

So many people get caught up in silly things like that, that just do not matter. Who cares how many calories you burn. Did you give it your all during that workout? Or did you half-ass it? If you gave it your all, THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS.

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So farewell, sweaty, smelly, annoying little strap that means absolutely nothing. I’m breaking up with you, but I will keep your watch companion just so I know how long to rest in between sets 😉

I challenge you to give yours up, too. Screw it! Only YOU know how hard you worked in the gym. Don’t let a number tell you that you kicked-ass that day.

 

Do you wear a HRM?

Will you give it up if you do?

18 Comments
    1. Love that you are kicking ass and taking names! You certainly train at a high level and are probably really in tune with your body, which is awesome! I don’t wear a HRM but I think it serves a purpose for a certain type of person and for a certain amount of time. Like anything that gives us data (a GPS watch for runners, for example) it can be a great tool but can also become a big mental crutch.

    1. Brittany— This post was absolutely amazing! I am so darn happy for you! Your prep also sounds so HEALTHY hahha — not something I would say to most people. 30 minutes of cardio and 1 hour max lifting — seriously that is so great to hear. You know what I hate? My trainer said 1 hour MAX lifting [too] but then I see people upload pictures of their polar watches saying they lifted for 90-120 minutes. WTF? Then I feel like shit. But time after time he tells me they are just hurting themselves and more than an hour is way too much. Im so happy I’m seeing someone else remain balanced ESPECIALLY in prep. Thank you for being such an inspiration! xoxo

      Kelcey

      1. Love you girl!!! I know I do a big WTF to those pictures, too. You are an inspiration! <3

    1. Thats an awesome outlook! Just wondering, what do your macros look like?

      1. They change all the time! Today was 185 c, 50 f, 150 p

      1. Thanks girl!! I found him through Layne Norton, he was recommended by him 🙂

    1. I join you girl!! Actually I bought one only a few months ago, but I got so annoyed by this number and I really DON’T care how much I burn, so I just chuck it out. And there is no way to wear a watch at CrossFit I would probably strangle myself one day, lol.

    1. Awesome post and sentiment! It’s good to focus on what counts and what you need to get out of every workout for your training instead of being paranoid about how many calories you’re burning. I used to wear a HRM on my runs to make sure I was running at the right effort level, but I got so used to the feel of each effort level that I don’t wear it anymore. (Also my HRM watch bit the dust…) Best of luck to you as your follow your HRM-free journey!! 🙂

    1. Its funny, when my HRM broke during my last month of marathon training I freaked out to the point where I counted every little calorie I consumed since I could no longer “burn it off” instead. It made me so much more stressed which was NOT good with the long miles of high intense stress I was already putting my body through. During my tapering week when I had to reduce milage, eat more, and rest frequently I just gave up being concerned about calories and calories burned and just “trusted my progress”. Crossing that marathon finish line was the best acomplish in the world; I think if my HRM never broke I would have never trusted and listened to my body and pushed it further then it’s limits.
      So anyways, LOVE THIS POST. I agree 100% to trust the progress and stop worrying so much!

    1. I used to wear a HR monitor all the time, but no more…I just use my watch for timing my workouts and distance when I’m running outside. It gets exhausting focusing on how much you are burning and how many calories you are consuming. I am currently working on intuitive eating. Keep up the good work woman! 🙂

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