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HIIT Defined - What is (or isn't) HIIT?

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2

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  • Musikelektronik
    Musikelektronik Posts: 739 Member
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    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

  • MikePfirrman
    MikePfirrman Posts: 3,307 Member
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    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    Actually, Max HR is mostly just hereditary. I'm also just a decent indoor rower. Among my rower friends I'm like the guy that shouldn't be good at all but I'm OK because I work harder at it! Also took two decades off and got really fat and smoked another decade. 10 years of harder training can make anyone a semi decent weekend warrior! You too! I started hard at rowing at 48 or 49.
  • phred_52
    phred_52 Posts: 189 Member
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    80% is harder than most think it is. It's mainly because most don't have a clue what their true HR max is. First of all, you have to be in pretty decent shape just to try to do a HR Max test, then on one, you usually don't even reach it. Personally, I have to really push to reach 90% of HR Max and it's not pleasant at all. I think many push to 70% or 75% and think they are doing HIIT just because they've never pushed hard enough to know.

    I use the 220 less 57= 163 max HR. I just wanted to comment on the harder, decent shape, and it's not pleasant

    I'm not fit really. Recently started back at gym 5/23, but skipped many days, so total days so far is 25. I strive for 2 hrs on bike with a steady HR between 125-130 (77-79%). I don't find that really all that difficult. I also do many short, 30-60 second bursts getting HR 145-147, with max of 153 attained. Only effect I felt, was thinking my heart would burst, lol.

    After reading all this about max HR's etc., I figured I'd try on bike :smile:, so cranked tension, went all out for 45 sec., and was only able to hit 153, so now I'm soooo jealous of ya'll joking

    But kudos to you.

  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,885 Member
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    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    Actually, Max HR is mostly just hereditary. I'm also just a decent indoor rower. Among my rower friends I'm like the guy that shouldn't be good at all but I'm OK because I work harder at it! Also took two decades off and got really fat and smoked another decade. 10 years of harder training can make anyone a semi decent weekend warrior! You too! I started hard at rowing at 48 or 49.

    Yeah, my max heart rate has always been quite a bit higher than predicted too, whether I'm in good shape or not.
  • promisesstandin
    promisesstandin Posts: 150 Member
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    I haven't read all the responses so I apologize in advance if this has been answered. Would someone please give feedback on what might be happening to me when I try to do HIIT? I'm not in the greatest of shape but have managed to lose 100 lbs. mostly by correcting diet with dense nutrition and with some caloric deficit. Just as background, I went back to maintenance for 2 months to reset my metabolism because I was at a plateau and figured my system had adjusted to the deficit (went into homeostasis) so I've been referring at maintenance. Anyway, getting ready to go back into deficit and am wondering what might have been happening with my HIIT experience before.

    Heres' what it looked like: Elyptical type machine. Walk for 2-3 mins. casual, then pump it as fast and as long as possible HR around 155bpm (usually less than one minute but sometimes a little more), then walk it out til I'm at a resting HR or at least under 90bpm, sustain resting level for 2-3 mins. then push it up to high intensity again. This lasted for about 20-30 mins. Current stats: 59yo female, resting BP around 98/62 (down from 139/89 year ago), 166lb. 5'7", no meds.

    Here's the problem: After a few "cycles" of HIIT, I would feel as if the machine reset to a higher tension in the pedals - though it was set manually to the same intensity for the whole work out. That being said, what I felt periodically was like a ton of bricks to push the pedals during the intensity part, I would push through it like I went from 3rd gear to 20th gear on a bike, it would take about 10 seconds of hard pushing and then the release in the pedals would come and I could continue at a regular pace. I asked others at the gym about and they confirmed that the settings on the elyptical hadn't changed. I can only guess that my muscles were completely deleted in energy but why, after 10 seconds, the energy would return was puzzling. Also, I could only take about three rounds of the pedals feeling like I was in 20th gear before I'd have to just quit my HIIT workout even if that meant I only stayed on for 20 mins. BTW: I make it a choice to not work out/HIIT if I have not slept well.

    Any ideas what could be causing this 20th gear sensation? Thanks, everyone!
  • robertw486
    robertw486 Posts: 2,390 Member
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    I haven't read all the responses so I apologize in advance if this has been answered. Would someone please give feedback on what might be happening to me when I try to do HIIT? I'm not in the greatest of shape but have managed to lose 100 lbs. mostly by correcting diet with dense nutrition and with some caloric deficit. Just as background, I went back to maintenance for 2 months to reset my metabolism because I was at a plateau and figured my system had adjusted to the deficit (went into homeostasis) so I've been referring at maintenance. Anyway, getting ready to go back into deficit and am wondering what might have been happening with my HIIT experience before.

    Heres' what it looked like: Elyptical type machine. Walk for 2-3 mins. casual, then pump it as fast and as long as possible HR around 155bpm (usually less than one minute but sometimes a little more), then walk it out til I'm at a resting HR or at least under 90bpm, sustain resting level for 2-3 mins. then push it up to high intensity again. This lasted for about 20-30 mins. Current stats: 59yo female, resting BP around 98/62 (down from 139/89 year ago), 166lb. 5'7", no meds.

    Here's the problem: After a few "cycles" of HIIT, I would feel as if the machine reset to a higher tension in the pedals - though it was set manually to the same intensity for the whole work out. That being said, what I felt periodically was like a ton of bricks to push the pedals during the intensity part, I would push through it like I went from 3rd gear to 20th gear on a bike, it would take about 10 seconds of hard pushing and then the release in the pedals would come and I could continue at a regular pace. I asked others at the gym about and they confirmed that the settings on the elyptical hadn't changed. I can only guess that my muscles were completely deleted in energy but why, after 10 seconds, the energy would return was puzzling. Also, I could only take about three rounds of the pedals feeling like I was in 20th gear before I'd have to just quit my HIIT workout even if that meant I only stayed on for 20 mins. BTW: I make it a choice to not work out/HIIT if I have not slept well.

    Any ideas what could be causing this 20th gear sensation? Thanks, everyone!

    My guess is that as you get more depleted, you are just working through the acceleration curve of the machine. I did HIIT with a set power achievement level on my elliptical, and the motion makes it really hard to accelerate quickly. It takes a combination of resistance and leg speed. But until your leg speed gets up, the resistance seems harder.

    Power is a combination of torque (how hard you are pushing down) and RPM (leg speed). Due to the ellipse of the machine, the acceleration part can be a bit tricky as you wear down in energy levels. An easy way to confirm or deny this idea is to bump resistance down slightly as you accelerate, and as your leg speed increases bump the resistance setting up as well. Depending on the model of the machine you might be able to set the display to show you the data that is relevant. On mine I often toggle between resistance and strides per minute as the gauge of fatigue, and use calories per minute as the gauge of power.

  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,894 Member
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    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    edited July 2019
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    Ditto to HRmax genetics, but being fit as you age sure seems to prevent the normal rate of lowering that occurs.
    191 (from 194) last I tested at age 49.
    But some people just have a low diesel heart with lower HRmax.

    I think the HR graphs being shown are good too for showing that when you do max for briefer amounts of time, you can sometimes keep it up, but the total "set" time is still not that long. If either starts lengthening, the ability to keep it high drops.

    This is from HIIT and SIT workout I enjoy doing from time to time, though it's been awhile at this point.

    The HIIT is 15 sec sprint, 45 walk. The SIT is 1 min sprint (which is attempted at level pace but all I got), 1 min walk.
    20 min gentle jog in the middle for recovery.

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    As was mentioned about trying to think during this - I have the Garmin kicking off the buzzers so I only have to hear that. Math would be interesting.
    I think the reason why I can't get the HR up towards max better is running wasn't my main thing, though the 194 was based on running test.
    But that's the other nice thing about HIIT - all out is level of effort, pretty easy to hit. Get it, hiit, never mind.
  • promisesstandin
    promisesstandin Posts: 150 Member
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    Thanks, RobertW: A thoughtful and helpful response. You're appreciated. :)
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
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    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,894 Member
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    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
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    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.
  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,894 Member
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    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.

    @CSARdiver thanks for the recommendation. Just browsing for a few minutes I see the Polar getting high marks, so I think I may roll with that. No straps seems to sync with fitbit, but they both sync with mfp, so I ought to be able to get some good data off that. Thank you sir
  • jjpptt2
    jjpptt2 Posts: 5,650 Member
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    Given the problems related to knowing Max HR and tracking actual HR at very high intensities, is defining what is/isn't HIIT by HR, at best, an iffy proposition?
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,842 Member
    edited July 2019
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    jjpptt2 wrote: »
    Given the problems related to knowing Max HR and tracking actual HR at very high intensities, is defining what is/isn't HIIT by HR, at best, an iffy proposition?

    Yes. Though the % method lets you know after the workout if you accomplished it.

    And that's why it's different than other Interval methods - many of which do have some % of VO2max or HRmax to reach in order to benefit from whatever the improvement is. But they are usually long enough for HR to react and to be seen and workload adjusted.

    Whereas HIIT is easy in application - it's short - and go as hard as you can.

    Obviously if tired, unrecovered, ect - you can't really reach the level to illicit the desired results - I always treated it like a lifting workout - needed a recovery day before and after, nothing too intense to wipe me out.
    Like my workout above, I think that may have been one of those tired ones, and why the HR didn't get that high.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
    Options
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.

    @CSARdiver thanks for the recommendation. Just browsing for a few minutes I see the Polar getting high marks, so I think I may roll with that. No straps seems to sync with fitbit, but they both sync with mfp, so I ought to be able to get some good data off that. Thank you sir

    The only drawback with the H7 is that it requires a smartphone, so you can't simply look at your wrist and check data. The premium app package is ~20 USD I think and enables you to a whole suite of algorithms and calculations. You can upload this data to Polar Flow https://flow.polar.com/ and monitor you data over time.

    The other nice thing is that is a relatively small investment in comparison to the other devices.
  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,894 Member
    Options
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.

    @CSARdiver thanks for the recommendation. Just browsing for a few minutes I see the Polar getting high marks, so I think I may roll with that. No straps seems to sync with fitbit, but they both sync with mfp, so I ought to be able to get some good data off that. Thank you sir

    The only drawback with the H7 is that it requires a smartphone, so you can't simply look at your wrist and check data. The premium app package is ~20 USD I think and enables you to a whole suite of algorithms and calculations. You can upload this data to Polar Flow https://flow.polar.com/ and monitor you data over time.

    The other nice thing is that is a relatively small investment in comparison to the other devices.

    I was just reading up on the H10, which will store one workout in memory. The extra ~$30 might be worth being able to leave my phablet (note 8) at home. My doc is also a stickler for HR data, so that premium package may well be worth it too.

    Really appreciate the tips. :) New toys, especially useful ones are always nice.
  • CSARdiver
    CSARdiver Posts: 6,252 Member
    Options
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.

    @CSARdiver thanks for the recommendation. Just browsing for a few minutes I see the Polar getting high marks, so I think I may roll with that. No straps seems to sync with fitbit, but they both sync with mfp, so I ought to be able to get some good data off that. Thank you sir

    The only drawback with the H7 is that it requires a smartphone, so you can't simply look at your wrist and check data. The premium app package is ~20 USD I think and enables you to a whole suite of algorithms and calculations. You can upload this data to Polar Flow https://flow.polar.com/ and monitor you data over time.

    The other nice thing is that is a relatively small investment in comparison to the other devices.

    I was just reading up on the H10, which will store one workout in memory. The extra ~$30 might be worth being able to leave my phablet (note 8) at home. My doc is also a stickler for HR data, so that premium package may well be worth it too.

    Really appreciate the tips. :) New toys, especially useful ones are always nice.

    Nice! Was not even aware of the H10. Looks like a solid unit.

    Note - My H7 is almost 5 years old and I use this swimming, biking, and running primarily and have had no issues.
  • Phirrgus
    Phirrgus Posts: 1,894 Member
    Options
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    CSARdiver wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    heybales wrote: »
    Phirrgus wrote: »
    For what it's worth, I'm 55 and my best guess is my max HR is around 194 right now.

    I'm 51, and my "predicted" max heart rate (220 minus my age) is 169, which seems about right to me. The highest HR I've ever observed in a workout is about 165.

    If you're 55 and your max HR is about 194, you're obviously in much better shape than me, or you've been an endurance athlete for much of your life!

    Whatever the case, that's awesome. :)

    That formula seems to work for me as well. 59 (for a few more weeks lol) and hitting the bike as hard as I can gets me about 160 for a HR. That's a watch though, not a chest strap.

    And yeah, he's being modest about but @MikePfirrman got some serious CV health going on. Making me want to invest in a C2.

    I've found very few that find accuracy with wrist-HR when it starts going higher - I'll bet your maxHR reached on those workouts is higher.
    It sure feels higher lol. Piqued my curiosity, and I've been leaning more towards cardio so I may invest in a strap. Thanks for the FYI :)

    I highly recommend the Polar H7. I've been tracking data since the 90s and most chest recorders are close to medical accuracy. While it may feel like a nuisance initially you hardly know it is there after a few workouts.

    @CSARdiver thanks for the recommendation. Just browsing for a few minutes I see the Polar getting high marks, so I think I may roll with that. No straps seems to sync with fitbit, but they both sync with mfp, so I ought to be able to get some good data off that. Thank you sir

    The only drawback with the H7 is that it requires a smartphone, so you can't simply look at your wrist and check data. The premium app package is ~20 USD I think and enables you to a whole suite of algorithms and calculations. You can upload this data to Polar Flow https://flow.polar.com/ and monitor you data over time.

    The other nice thing is that is a relatively small investment in comparison to the other devices.

    I was just reading up on the H10, which will store one workout in memory. The extra ~$30 might be worth being able to leave my phablet (note 8) at home. My doc is also a stickler for HR data, so that premium package may well be worth it too.

    Really appreciate the tips. :) New toys, especially useful ones are always nice.

    Nice! Was not even aware of the H10. Looks like a solid unit.

    Note - My H7 is almost 5 years old and I use this swimming, biking, and running primarily and have had no issues.

    5 years out of a tech that gets constantly bounced around is a ringing endorsement in my opinion. I think I'll pull the trigger. The wife wants to know what I want for my birthday...great timing lol