Why You Should Be Using A Heart Rate Monitor in Your Training

February 12, 2019 3 min read

Knowing your heart rate and heart rate zones is vital to getting the most out of your training. Understanding how hard you should be going in each zone will ensure a productive training session and prevent you from overtraining, meaning better results in the long term.


Calculating your resting heart rate will allow you to figure out the base rate for training on your smart bike. To calculate your resting heart rate, use a heart rate monitor to measure your resting heart rate early in the morning, not long after you’ve woken up - and before the essential morning dose of caffeine. Simply lay there and try to be as relaxed as possible. Do this every morning for a week and you’ll be able to calculate your resting heart rate by taking the lowest readings and calculating the average from them.


In order to calculate your max heart rate you’ll have to do a little more than the traditional ‘220 minus your age’ method, and perform a heart rate test. This could be via a RAMP or FTHR test, or by doing your own max heart race test. For example:

-start with a 15 minute thorough warm up

-ride as hard as possible for 10-15 minutes

-sprint the last 30 seconds

-continue to warm down for 10 minutes

The warming down is important as your heart rate doesn’t raise in time with your FTP and will lag, and this will allow time for you to be able to read your Max Heart Rate (MHR) on the monitor.


Now you have an idea of both your resting and your max heart rates you will be able to calculate your heart rate zones. The Association of British Cycling recognises six key zones:

  1. 60-65% of max heart rate: for relatively easy, long rides, mainly targeting general fat combustion
  2. 65-75% MHR: an ideal base zone, for medium effort, longish rides
  3. 75-82% MHR: for endurance and aerobic improvement at moderate power
  4. 82-89% MHR: your threshold zone, which should roughly equate to your FTP
  5. 89-94% MHR: your V02 max zone, meaning that it’s a key zone for improving your body’s ability to deliver oxygen to working muscles
  6. 95-100% MHR: usually executed as high intensity interval training in 20 to 90 second blocks

A Zone 7 can also be considered to exist- this would be your short sprint bursts, no longer than 20 seconds.


There are a number of instances where your heart rate may measure differently to what you’d expect. It’s important to allow some room for lag, as your heart rises much slower than your FTP, and won’t show instantly on a sprint or more intense interval. Other reasons for a fluctuating heart rate may indicate signs of overtraining, particularly when your heart rate is lower than usual at a higher perceived execution. This can also help to indicate any signs of upcoming illness or stress.


Wattbike Atom

Heart rate belts can be paired with your bike in the Wattbike Hub before starting your session. It’s recommended that you wear your HR monitor before trying to connect it. You can connect during your session by tapping the HR sensor in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Your HR monitor should appear in the list; tap to connect and go back to the main menu to start riding.

Tap the play button to begin your session and when finished, pause then stop. The session will save and automatically upload to the Wattbike Hub.

The Atom is compatible with a number of belts - including Bluetooth, ANT, ANT+, Polar and Wattbike belts.

Wattbike Pro/Trainer

The Pro and Trainer can be connected to any ANT+ heart rate monitor. You can see a video of how to connect your heart rate monitor to your Pro or Trainer bikehere.

Heart Rate Monitoring with Wattbike

Want to start getting the most out of your zone training? Take a look at ourheart rate belts.

Interested in the other measurements your wattbike can provide? Check out ourquick guide to understanding Wattbike data.

Belt connected? Now get toconnecting some training apps.

Also in Product guides

ATOM X, Gym, ThirdSpace
Spin Bike VS Wattbike ATOMX: Why the ATOMX is the Best Choice for Your Gym

June 12, 2024 4 min read

Read More
Best Smart Bike for Indoor Cycling
Best Smart Bike for Indoor Cycling

January 11, 2024 5 min read

Discover the best smart bike for training with Zwift, testing your ability, & recreating that real road feel indoors. Explore the best from Wattbike.
Read More
Spin Bike vs Smart Bike: Which is Better for At-Home Training?
Spin Bike vs Smart Bike: Which is Better for At-Home Training?

January 10, 2024 6 min read

Spin bikes & indoor trainers help improve your fitness. See how training plans & unparalleled data from Wattbike will help you reach your targets.
Read More