Assess: Your Tools, Fitness & Zones
A Little Learning Pays off in the Long Run
It only takes a few minutes. Launch the app and see how it works before you actually go for a workout. Understanding your tools will help guide you through the process and increase your enjoyment. Try these 4 suggestions to familiarize yourself with the app:
1. Go to Settings - Profile. Make sure your profile is filled out correctly to get the most accurate calorie burn numbers and set your fitness level and birth date for at least baseline heart rate zones and calorie calculations (for those who are using heart rate monitors).
2. Get comfortable with the app. If you have the heart rate monitor setup, pair it with the app now. Take the app out for a walk or jog (with or without heart rate). Start a test / sample workout just for fun (it helps to be outside to acquire GPS, but you can also just hit start to begin a test even without acquiring any sensors). Swipe the screen a few times to view all the different screen views available.
3. Explore the in-workout options available in the gear section in the lower right (auto-swipe the screens, turn voice feedback on or off, take a picture, mark a lap and more). Stop a workout (double-tap the bottom pause section during a workout or slide-to-pause that same area).
4. View results, tap edit, and delete your test workout.
Custom Heart Rate Zones Help You Develop the:● Correct intensity for aerobic system development (FAT BURNING / ENDURANCE)● Correct intensity or anaerobic system development (SPEED / POWER)● Correct durations for time spent in appropriate training zones (based on your goals)● Appropriate recovery periods during harder intensities and interval training● Appropriate recovery periods between complete exercise sessions● Effective evaluation of adaptations to your current training programs● Race pace strategy for longer competitions  Heart Rate Training, Benson, Connolly et al, 2011 p.9
Assess Your Current Fitness Level
Once you are comfortable using the app, it's time to do a Fitness Assessment. Assessments can help you learn a lot about your heart, including your max heart rate during exercise, as well as your current fitness level. They are designed to create your own personal training zones too. These in turn allow you to have more effective workouts directed towards your goals and a much higher chance of success, as well as more accurate calorie burn calculations.
A good reason to know your fitness level and customize your zones is simply one of self-knowledge. Knowledge is power, and self-knowledge strengthens the mind-body relationship.
Using Personal Heart Rate Zones vs. Calculated Zones
If you aren't using personalized heart rate zones, you could either be exercising in zones that are way too high or too low. If you are in zones that are too high, your workout will exhaust you and possibly be dangerous. If too low, you will not be pushing yourself enough to develop the base fitness you need to get fit. Remember the old adage GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out. This holds true in terms of quality of workout towards your goals.
To address this issue, Digifit provides the ability to create custom training zone sets. For a while, this was helpful for those who knew how to test themselves for Maximum Heart Rate or had a metabolic assessment, but it wasn't really helpful for those who hadn’t spent the time, money or effort to take advantage of this feature. It was a shame to see so many people interested in heart rate training using wrong data and methods, thus not achieving their desired results. As a result, we created a few fun, yet challenging, fitness assessments to help make sure your zones are right for you. These routines determine your personalized heart rate training zones as well as your overall fitness level, so you can see how you progress over time.
Once you are comfortable with your tools and have your basic zones down, the next step is all about choosing goals, then setting a plan to get you where you want to go, even if it is as simple as, "Get Fit and Stay Healthy." Are you looking to race for a time goal? For fun? To lose weight? Just to stay fit? Your thoughts will have a lot to do with shaping the next few steps, so keep it real and remember to enjoy the journey! Here are a few key goals we've found resonate with most of our users...which one are you?
Look good, feel good. Exercise keeps me healthy, balanced and happy.
Losing Weight and
Keeping it Off
Fad diets don't work. I want to lose weight and keep it off with diet and exercise.
Faster. Farther. Stronger.
I train hard and live by my numbers.