#SmartCoaching with the Polar FT60

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Polar.

Now that I’ve shared my “body after baby” progress at nine months in I thought it would be perfect time to introduce you to one of my absolutely favorite pieces of FitGear.  I recently got the opportunity to try out the Polar FT6o as part of a FitFluential campaign and I was SO excited.  If you’ve been following along for awhile you know that I bought myself a Polar FT40 back when I was losing the baby weight from Emmalyne and it’s been my go-to gadget for 2.5 years.

 

Polar FT60 #SmartCoaching #Team Polar

 

Having a heart rate monitor has completely trained the name of the game for me when it comes to training.  I first started using my Polar to get a better indication of the amount of calories I was burning during my workouts.  As a breastfeeding mom having an accurate idea of energy expenditure is extremely important for maintaining milk supply.  For anyone, having an idea of what you’re burning at the gym can help you fuel your body for success a lot better.  The Polar FT60 takes into account your demographics (age, gender, weight, height, etc) when calculating your calorie burn based on heart rate giving you a more accurate representation of your workout.  The chest strap fits comfortably at my bra line, doesn’t move, and doesn’t chaff.  The watch itself is extremely stylish and one that I frequently wear with my scrubs as my regular watch!

 

Polar FT60 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

Some things I personally learned while using my heart monitor include:

  1. Cardio machines at the gym lie.  Every single time I have used my heart rate monitor and compared it to the machine at the gym, the machine grossly overestimated the amount of calories I burned.  For anyone trying to lose weight this can be a major issue.
  2. Which of my workouts are in the “zone”.  The Polar FT60 has tons of SmartCoaching features, one of which includes a breakdown of the amount of time you spend in different heart rate zones.  Seeing which of my workouts fall into high intensity (CrossFit, sprints) and those that target fat loss (weight training, incline walking) helps me tailor my intensity each day.
  3. Numbers are fun.  I am a geek at heart so seeing numbers is a big thing for me.  Even though my muscles shake from a solid workout I like seeing numbers.  They are a tangible source of accomplishment if you will.  Not something to obsess over but rather a tool to use to maximize your success and help to achieve your goals.  I love them.  Having a detailed and long-lasting training log is amazing to me.
  4. It’s super easy to use.  The Polar FT60 is incredibly easy to use which is awesome.  It’s very intuitive and just a push of a button gets you going.  Can’t get much simpler than that.

 

Polar FT60 3 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

Smart Coaching Features with the Polar FT60

 Pre Training

  • Training plans and challenges on polarpersonaltrainer.com

During Training

  • STAR Training Program: Shows users how hard and how much they need to train to reach their long-term goals. It’s designed to keep users motivated all week and every week by using a personal guidance program that’s no further away than their wrist.
  • OwnZone: Knowing the right intensity to improve fitness can be a challenge. OwnZone adjusts a user’s heart rate training zone to perfectly match their body’s current physiological condition. By using OwnZone, users can be sure they’re training at an intensity that improves their aerobic fitness

After Training

  • Training Load: This feature within polarpersonaltrainer.com displays a color- coded graph of a user’s cumulative training load, notifying a person when he or she has recovered enough for the next session, and accurately predicting training developments to prevent overtraining. This data also provides intelligence to modify training sessions as necessary
  • Fitness Test: This feature gets a measure of users’ current fitness level in just five minutes. By regularly comparing test results, users can see what progress they are making and how their fitness is improving over time

 

Polar FT60 4 #SmartCoaching #TeamPolar

 

With my Polar FT60 I also receive the FlowLink which plugs into your computer to easily sync your watch to PolarPersonalTraining.com.  It couldn’t be easier to use – you download the sync software, plug in the FlowLink and set your device on top.  Seriously that simple!  All of your workouts get uploaded so you can graphically see your accomplishments and figure out how to achieve your goals faster.  Other accessories available include the G1 GPS sensor that you can use to track speed and distance.

 

I seriously can’t say enough good things about Polar.  I have invested my own money in products (my FT40 and Chris’ FT7) and have been thoroughly impressed with their quality of product as well as their customer service.  I was thrilled to get a chance to check out the “upgraded” version f my beloved FT40.  I know many of you have asked about my heart rate monitor in the past so I am happy to have gotten this up for you guys.  I am more excited to offer you a discount code for your own Polar FT60!   You can purchase one here with the code FitPolarFT60.

 

Have you used a heart rate monitor?

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Fit Gear for the New Year

**The Koss portion of this post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.  All opinions are my own.

 

It’s FRIDAY!!!!  As of 10:30 this morning I will have survived my first official week as a PA-S (Physician Assistant student) and I get to celebrate with a 3-day weekend.  WIN.  Even better?  Chris is off from today to Monday so we can catch up a bit on some family time since most of my evenings are spent at my desk.  One of the things that has kept me sane and going this week though has been fitting in my workouts.

 

One of my goals for the New Year was to consistently get my workouts in and despite a crazy busy schedule so far I am doing good.  One of the ways that I have been motivated is with some awesome new FitGear.  Here are a few of my favorite things to help keep me (and you!) motivated to stay on track in 2014.

 

Fit Gear for New Year

 

1.  Koss Fit Series

Koss Fit Series

 

 

Koss teamed up with Gold Medalist Dara Torres to make the world’s first headphones designed by women and for women.  I received both the FitBuds and FitClips to try out.  Between the two I prefer the FitClips myself.  They don’t fall out and are sweat resistant.  I have worn them on a couple of runs and they fit my ear perfectly … it helps that they come with three different sized ear cushions so you can create a “custom” fit!

 

The FitBuds are a lot smaller than anything Koss has made which can fit women a lot better.  The fun and bright packaging is just an added bonus 😉  You can find your own Koss Fit Series headphones at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Walgreens, Kmart, or Sears.  Koss can also be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

2.  A Fit Bit and Polar FT 40

Polar FT40 and Fit Bit

 

 

I bought myself my Polar FT40 heart rate monitor when I was getting back into working out after having Emmalyne and haven’t looked back.  I think it’s one of my favorite pieces of fit gear EVER.  Knowing how many calories I burn is especially important while I am breastfeeding because I significantly have to up my intake to keep my supply and fuel my body properly.

 

I bought myself a Fit Bit this last week after seeing a lot of my favorite people sporting them.  Now that I am a full-time grad student I have found myself sitting SO much more than I usually do.  Keeping track of my steps helps make sure I keep myself moving and helps motivate to get my exercise in for the day.  Even more fun?  A few of my friends in my class have them too and we check in on each other for our steps.

 

3.  New Running Shoes

Brooks Adrenalines

 

 

Nothing gets me out the door and hitting the pavement faster than new running shoes.  It’s like running on air.  I got my first new pair of running shoes since the Augusta Half Marathon LAST February.  Shameful.  My shins and feet where killing me and now they like me again.

 

There you have it!  Some of my favorite fit gear for the New Year.  I am off to Anatomy and Physiology Lab and getting ready to embrace the weekend!

 

What piece of fit gear can you not live without?  Is there a new gadget you got that’s helping motivate you?

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**The Koss portion of this post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC.  All opinions are my own.

Soldier of Steel

**The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Soldier of Steel™.  All opinions are my own.

 

Finding a partner in life who shares similar passions to yours is key.  Lucky for me, Chris and I have many similar interests.  One of the most important ones is that we are both committed to living an active and fit lifestyle.  Chris’ love of fitness goes beyond his own personal reasons – it’s also a part of his job.  As you guys know, Chris is an Active Duty Soldier in the Army and is expected to maintain a certain level of physical fitness.  So in our house, anything that combines fitness and the armed services is a win.

 

sosTM_thumb

 

 

Mark Twight is one of Hollywood’s “go to” trainers and is also the founder of Gym Jones (with his wife Lisa), a strength and conditioning facility.  He’s pretty noted for helping condition cast members of movies like “300” (2007), “Repo Men”(2010), “Man of Steel”(2013), and “300: Rise of an Empire”(2013).  I have to say …. the characters are pretty ripped in those movies so he must be doing something right 😉

 

He goes WAY beyond Hollywood though and also teaches climbing, nutrition, and fitness to Special Operations Command (SOCOM) operators.  Basically he works with some bad asses in the military.

 

How does this connect to the Armed Services?  Well, like Clark Kent, Soldiers of the National Guard have to be ready for anything at a moments notice.  Not only to they deploy to war zones, they also are activated when crises arise back home like the tornadoes in Oklahoma or Superstorm Sandy.  These men and women are Citizen Soldiers who are ready when their neighbors need them.

 

Soldier of SteelTM

 

 

You too can be a SOLDIER OF STEEL™ by completing the workout.  By visiting SoliderOfSteel.com you can:

  • Download a one-month training routine developed by Mark Twight
  • See how Mark Twight transformed Henry Cavill into the MAN OF STEEL™
  • Watch fitness webisodes
  • Receive training tutorials on 23 different exercises

 

 

What I like about the workouts is that they require minimal equipment and can easily be done at home (depending on what you have) or at any gym.  The workouts themselves can be tailored for beginners and advanced alike.  While I haven’t had a chance to try the workouts yet, I am familiar with all the moves and feel confident that you can be successful with them.  After showing Chris the month of workouts we both are stoked to try them out soon!

 

Do you want to be ripped like Henry Cavill?  Because I am thinking that Chris does ;)

 

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Disclosure Reminder: This is a compensated post for the Soldier of Steel™ workout, made possible through my partnership with FitFluential. All opinions are honest and my own.

What Is Beautiful

**I have been selected to participate in a sponsored campaign with Under Armour through my affiliation with FitFluential.  In this circumstance, sponsored means I will be receiving free product.  No other compensation will be provided.  I LOVE the premise of this campaign and hope you do too.

 

By now many of you have probably seen that What’s Beautiful 3.0 by Under Armour has launched!  The goal? To get women to set epic goals and then motivate them to achieve them.  When you sign up, you can share your journey with others.  There is even a competition involved where you can set yourself apart from the rest with a chance to win a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day yoga and surf retreat!  BAM.

 

You might be wondering why I have waited until now to join in.  Well, I wanted to announce my pregnancy first!  You see, being pregnant makes my “epic goals” a little different than if I weren’t.  I’d love to say that my goal is to finally run a sub-2:00 half or do x amount of unassisted pull-ups but that’s not the case right now.  So instead, #IWILL focus on having a healthy and active pregnancy.  I would like to maintain a certain level of fitness until the very end.  I attribute an easy labor and delivery with Emmie to staying active until the day I had her.  Goodness knows I’d love a repeat experience 😉

 

I also want to cheer you on if you participate!  I’d love to connect with you on the What’s Beautiful platform. You can find my profile HERE.  I can’t wait to see what you can accomplish!  You can join teams, accept challenges, and continue being your awesome motivating selves.  Let’s do this!

 

Are you participating in What’s Beautiful?  Leave a link to your profile so I can find you!

 

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Cathe XTRAIN Workout Series

As a busy mom sometimes fitting in a trip to the gym can be challenging.  Sometimes Emmalyne just isn’t feeling it and we stay home.  Although I could use that as an excuse to skip a workout I try my best not to.  Part of the reason I am successful is we have built a small library of workout DVDs.  I have to admit though, doing the same DVD over and over gets boring and old really fast.  But guys, I find a DVD set that hasn’t gotten old yet.

 

As you all know, I am a FitFluential Ambassador and my partnership with them has given me the opportunity to do fun things (Dirty Girl mud run anyone?) and try out some awesome products.  I recently got sent the XTRAIN Workout Series by Cathe Friedrichto try out and I am hooked.  From the Cathe website:

“XTrain is the ultimate total body fitness conditioning program that has been designed to crush calories, incinerate fat and work and tone your muscles like never before”. (source)

 

Incinerate fat and torch calories?  Sounds pretty awesome to me.  So I was pretty stoked when the series arrived at my house.

Cathe XTRAIN Workout Series DVDs

 

 

The workout series comes with four different programs ranging from 30-90 days.  On top of that, Cathe has designed each DVD to have optional premixes so no matter how hectic your schedule is, there is a workout to fit it.  The set I got has 9 DVDs:

  • Disc 1: Chest, Back, and Shoulders
  • Disc 2: Bi’s and Tri’s
  • Disc 3:  Burn Sets
  • Disc 4: Super Cuts
  • Disc 5:  Legs
  • Disc 6: Cardio Leg Blast
  • Disc 7: All Out Low Impact HIIT
  • Disc 8: Hard Strikes
  • Disc 9: Tabatacise

 

The first DVD I tried was Disc 2: Bi’s and Tri’s (Rounds 1-5 + Core #1).  The equipment needed was dumbbells, a stability ball, and medium resistance tubing.  I had the dumbbells and stability ball but was missing the resistance bands so I improvised.  I started off with 10 pound dumbbells but realized that I was going to meed 5 pound ones as well.

 

Cathe XTRAIN Bis and Tris

 

 

Holy moly.  I definitely felt the burn.  I struggled getting through all the reps on some of the exercises.  The bonus core workout set my abs on fire as well.  I have also done Disc 1 (chest, back, and shoulders) and Disc 5 (Legs) and all of them provided a good level of intensity and a killer burn in my muscles.

 

So, what are my thoughts?

 

PROS

  • With 140+ different premixes it is really hard to get bored.  
  • Each premix is a different length of time so you can fit your workout to your schedule.
  • None of the workouts were easy and all of them left me feeling sore so I know I got a good workout in.
  • Cathe is a energetic and fun instructor.  It’s easy to go along with her.
  • The user’s guide provides a weekly schedule of workouts for each plan.  It also details how much weight Cathe uses in each exercise and the reps making following along easier.

 

Cathe XTRAIN Workout Series Premixes

 

CONS

  • I didn’t have all the required equipment.  Some of the equipment it called for was: a firewalker loop, resistance tubing, a step with 5 risers, boxing gloves, dixie cupes, and Slide N Glide Discs.  I could substitute paper plates for the glide disks but 5 risers is a lot and it’s hard to sub for the firewalker loop.

 

Cathe is really a pioneer in the the fitness exercise DVD business and has been doing it for over twenty years.  Even though she has been around for a long time, the XTRAIN Workout Series was fresh and modern in my opinion.  Overall I am really excited that the series is part of my home gym collection.  When I pop in any of the discs I know that I am going to get a quality workout that I can tailor to my needs and busy schedule.

 

Do you like working out at home?  Do you use workout DVDs?

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Disclosure: As a FitFluential Ambassador I received the Cathe XTRAIN Workout Series at no charge.  No additional compensation was provided.  All opinions are honest and 100% mine.