A little something I found that relates to this thread,enjoy
Burn your heart rate monitors!
I just read an article in the New York Times
about heart rates
which reminded me of one of my pet peeves: the reductionist view of the world and the body. The writer and the experts that she quotes all believe that the "heart rate" is a magical marker of fitness. They all seem to think that the point of exercise and the key to health and fitness is purely to make your heart beat at some correct heart rate and to keep your heart beating at said rate for an optimal amount of time every day. As if simply making your heart beat fast would solve all your fitness and health concerns.
What is worse is that they do not even question their basic assumption: that the heart rate is the holy grail of fitness.
The basic premise of the article is that there is confusion over what exactly the magic heart rate number should be. Why should there be such overwhelming belief in the "fact" that the heart rate is the index of fitness yet such confusion over what that heart rate should be? Fitness experts have lost sight over what they are trying to achieve. They have neglected to define fitness and performance in any real way. Therefore agreement over what is best is impossible because there is no agreement over what they are looking for specifically. They build the foundation of their reasoning on soft definitions and subjective standards. Therefore, no agreement is possible and, furthermore, their hypothesis cannot be challenged.
Why is it that the guys who spend all their time calculating their optimal heart rates aren't winning the races? Sprinters, lifters, footballers, gymnasts, dancers, skiers and other athletes aren't sitting around calculating their heart rates. They are out there performing. The guy who comes in first in the race didn't spend the race looking at his heartrate monitor. He was looking at the finish line and trying to get there before anybody else. The race results are listed as "First with a time of 2:02" not "First with a heart rate of 190."
The heart rate myth is a placebo to placate the masses of weekend warriors so they can say, "I tried really hard," or "I was in my fat-burning zone for 20 minutes." Instead of having to say "I finished in an embarrassing 15 out of 15 in the race and I am woefully out of shape." The heart rate myth is there to give a lot of "experts" something to talk about to distract us and confuse us so that we need to hire "experts" to figure out our optimum training intensities.
The heart rate does not take into account quality or productivity. It is purely a measure of exertion. To paraphrase Coach Glassman: effort without productivity or results is a seizure. Measuring how far and how fast you can move is productive.
What we do at CrossFit is try to win and measure our fitness through our performance. It is not as confusing as the media would have us believe. Burn your heart rate monitors and don't listen to the hype.