Fitdigits Apps Menu & Navigation

Fitdigits now features a revamped user interface for iCardio, iRunner, iWalker and iBiker. The streamlined menu allows you to navigate throughout the app easily and quickly.

To access the menu, tap the three horizontal bars in the top left of the home screen.

Tap the three horizontal bars to access the menu

Tap the three horizontal bars to access the menu

After tapping, the menu will reveal. Let’s briefly go over all of the menu items

Heart rate training app navigation

  1. Profile / Name – Set and edit information like your name, profile picture, height, weight, fitness level, email and more.
  2. My Upgrades – This will show you your current purchases or allow you to upgrade for some great features and functionality.
  3. Activities – View a complete list of all workouts and activities tracked with Fitdigits.
  4. Daily Activity – View your steps and calories over small and large periods of time when paired with Apple Health, Google Fit or one of our other daily activity providers.
  5. Goals – Set goals for activity, steps, weight and more.
  6. Health Vitals – Keep track of weight, blood pressure, resting pulse, sleep and connect, either manually entered or through our health partners.
  7. Groups – List and manage the groups you belong to or start your own group if you are a Star member.
  8. Partners – Link and manage all your partners, daily activity and steps providers, and other health partners and providers.
  9. Sensors – Go here to pair and manage compatible Bluetooth Low Energy Sensors.
  10. Sync – This syncs all of your data to make sure there is a safe backup and so you can view workouts on my.fitdigits.com.
  11. Settings – View your app settings and customize them.
  12. Support – Email support, send a Debug log, read tips and tricks about using and troubleshooting the apps.

Where did Fitness Assessments go? 

Since the activity you do the Fitness Assessment in is so critical to the assessment, access them from the gear / options icon to the left of the quick start button when you are in the home screen with the activity type you want to do the assessment with selected.

Ditch the Distance – Go for Time

If you are training for a distance event, or just training in general, it is important that you work out properly and are prepared for any set of circumstances that come your way. So many things can affect your performance. The weather can be unpredictable, your body can respond differently; so many variables come into play on any given day, especially set race
days!

Prepare for anything and make your training Mother Nature-proof by training with duration and intensity instead of distance.

A recent blog post by noted endurance training expert Joe Friel argues that one of the more common endurance training mistakes is focusing on distance instead of duration. While most people use distance when training because that is the measurement races use (it’s called a “5k”, not a “30 Minute-er”), the best way to combat variability is training using duration. Friel went on to explain further:

“With rare exceptions, the workouts I suggest athletes do are based on duration, not distance. The reason is that the intensity of a workout is specific to its length in time, but not necessarily to its distance. For example, if there are two runners in a 10-km race and one finishes in 30 minutes while the other, also working as hard as he can, finishes in 60 minutes, their intensities were not the same. The 30-minute finisher was working at a much higher intensity as a percentage of VO2max. If they were to both run as hard as they could for 30 minutes they would likely use almost exactly the same intensity; one would simply cover more ground than the other”

Therefore, if there are adverse conditions on race day, you can use your intensity training to alter how hard you push it in order to make sure you complete the race. Friel continues:

“The bottom line here is that intensity is inversely related to time. This means that as one increases, the other decreases. As the time of a race or workout gets longer, the intensity at which you are working is reduced. It’s obvious. You can’t run a marathon at your 5-km pace. You run slower in the marathon because you have to run for a longer time. A 30-minute 10-km racer and a 60-minute 10-km racer are, essentially, not doing the same race, and they shouldn’t train the same way either. In the same way, if the bike race will take longer due to wind then you must race at a lower power.”

IMG_0236

Fitdigits on iOS has all of the tools you need to both create and track duration based workouts with a focus on intensity. Fitdigits Custom Workout Routines allows you to not only create workouts specialized to you, but also gives you in workout feedback if your intensity (i.e. Heart Rate) is too high or low.

Create a Structured Workout Based on Duration:
  1. On the Home page, choose the icon of the workout you wish to create the workout for (most likely Running)
  2. Tap Workout -> Workout Routines
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap New Time/Distance Routine
  4. Add a Name, Time and Zone. Longer workouts should be in lower zones, while shorter workouts should have a higher heart rate

 

You now are ready to start training! It is up to you whether you wish to add Auto End Routine and Auto Recovery to your workout.

–Read Joe Friel’s blog post Train for Duration or Distance?

Come race day, make sure you are prepared to monitor your race and make it to the end injury free. Use Fitdigits Fitness Assessments to set custom Heart Rate Zones, VO2 Max, and Lactate Threshold.

 

 

Stronger and Smarter Workouts With Fitdigits

Susan has been Spinning® with Fitdigits Ambassador and Spinning Instructor Giovanni Masi for over a year.

Since Gio has started to help her in her running training using Fitdigits to track Heart Rate, Susan has recorded Personal Bests on runs on a near weekly basis! She never thought she could break the 12 min mile mark, but with the help of her trainer, the Fitdigits app and a Heart Rate Monitor, she has left that time in the dust. Also gathering dust is her old Garmin Watch.

Suffice to say, Susan thinks Fitdigits is pretty splendid:

“I have so far logged 88 running and Spinning workouts with Fitdigits. Fitdigits’s visual displays allow me to compare one workout to another, which has facilitated improvement in performance, recovery and endurance. Over the past four months Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate in such a way as to become more efficient in both running and Spinning®. For example, the first run I logged on Fitdigits was October 10, 2012 with a pace average of 12:04, which was pretty much the norm for me. Later on a similar run I logged a pace average of 10:34, which is a time I never thought I would see! This is a remarkable feat and attributable to the skills learned from using Fitdigits and Giovanni’s training advices/plans on a regular basis. Taking more than 1.5 minutes off my pace has inspired me to keep trying to run faster and stronger.

During spinning classes, Fitdigits has taught me to control my heart rate with resistance and breath. It has truly empowered me with the confidence and strength with which to challenge myself to become a stronger and smarter rider. It appears as though the strength gained from using Fitdigits regularly has spilled over into general fitness classes and personal training at the Y and at L.A. Fitness. Now, using Fitdigits in those classes will help me to improve my performance there as well.

Overall, I would say that the gains from using Fitdigits have been great. Just by monitoring my heart rate and learning how to control it, my level of fitness has improved remarkably. Since I spend an average of nine hours a week engaged in physical activity, this is a big deal. Thank you Fitdigits!”

Now that Susan has made such great gains, the next step is taking a Fitness Assessment so she can truly see her gains in her fitness level.

Using Fitness Assessments to Determine Heart Rate Zones

You’ve begun the journey of learning about your body, your heart. You’ve made the decision to take control of your fitness level. Congratulations! There is very little as key to a great heart rate training experience as having fully customized, personalized Heart Rate Zones and Pace Zones that fit you. When you have this, things just feel right when you are exercising.

Fitdigits includes multiple types of fitness assessments with a Pro Plus or Star Membership, for all levels of users. These assessments help determine your fitness level, using well accepted research as a base for calculating VO2 Max as a proxy for cardiovascular fitness. We’ve taken proven techniques, combined common sense, and designed assessments that can serve to proxy for the full treadmill-hooked-to-a-mask-and-computer traditional fitness test. Why spend hundreds when you have Fitdigits?!

The Beginner Cardio, Advanced Cardio, and Critical Power 30 minute (CP-30) Cardio assessments can help you determine your personal heart rate and pace zones to properly design your exercise regimen and help you hit your goals.

Ready to begin? Let’s do this!

Starting a Fitness Assessment

All Fitness Assessments require a heart rate monitor paired and connected to run an Assessment. Please note any pausing of the workout / assessment will make it null and void as an assessment, though it will still show up as a workout.

To start your assessment, get yourself and your heart rate monitor ready. Find a nice flat and open place where you can move freely. Open the app then:

Starting a Fitness Assessment

  1. Swipe to the activity type you want to do the fitness assessment in.
  2. Tap the gear / settings icon for the activity type.
  3. Tap Fitness Assessments to see a list of the different assessments available.
    1. Assessments like the Rockport Walking Test and Cooper Running Test are only available in some activity types like walking/running.
  4. Tap on the assessment you are going to do.

 

The description of the assessment will give you an overview of what is expected for that particular type. It’s good to familiarize yourself with what is expected, though you will also be guided through by voice prompts during the assessment.

  1. Tap Launch / Launch Assessment to launch the sensor acquisition and get to the ready state. Once all sensors are acquired, tap Start to begin.
  2. Depending on the assessment, between 7.5 minutes and up to 50 minutes will elapse, guided in stages by voice prompts, taking you through different levels (or continuous levels) of effort throughout the assessment.

 

When the assessment is complete, you’ll get a summary of Fitness Level and VO2 Max as calculated by the results.

Assessment Complete

 

Tap Done, which will take you to your assessment results.

 

Fitness Assessment ResultsAssessment Results

Choose “Set All” to apply these results as your default settings and zones. You can also choose different settings to set individually as well. If you don’t set them as default at this time, you can always do that later.

To see that your Heart Rate or Pace Zones have been set to default, go to the app Settings > Activity Preferences > <activity type> > Heart Rate Zones or Pace Zones.

Once you have your own personal heart rate zones, you’ll wonder why you ever did accept the default!

Some experts recommend a new assessment every 6 weeks, some every 6 months to a year, to help track your fitness level and zones through your active life. The newer the active lifestyle is, and the more variation of the training levels, the more often you’ll want to complete one.

Next step – designing custom interval workouts based on your new zones!

 

 

Creating Interval Structured Workouts with Fitdigits

Whether doing HIIT or long slow intervals (start slow then taper lol), interval-based exercise has been shown to help you define the best workout to meet your goals.

Fitdigits iCardio, iRunner, iBiker and iWalker with a Pro Plus or Star Membership gives you the ability to create and customize your workout definition, getting visual audio cues and coaching through the routines. When you have a plan, this is the place for you.

Create workouts based on heart rate or pace zones – ideally created by using one of our fitness assessments. Structured interval workouts based on heart rate are a popular feature, and tend to be more efficient and correct, but many plans are often specified in distance and pace, rather than heart rate.

Managing and Creating an Interval Structured Workout

Access your structured interval workouts:

  1. In the app, at the main screen, swipe to select the activity type you would like to create the intervals. Any activity  – run, bike, walk, etc, can be chosen.
  2. Tap the activity options (gear) icon for that activity
  3. Tap Workout Routines

With the Pro Plus package, it comes with some stock routines, targeting different heart rate zones and outcomes, that make a good base for workouts.

Managing Structured Interval Workouts

Launch Routine: To launch a created routine, tap the routine name and tap Launch. Tap Edit Routine on that same screen if you want to edit it.

Edit Routine: Tap Edit in the top right of the screen. That will bring you to the creating / editing interval workout screen described below.

 

Creating or Editing Interval Structured Workouts

At the bottom of the list of workouts, you will see two different types of interval workouts that can be created with a variety of options. Traditional Time & Distance based, or Music based, which is a variance on time based intervals, where you can specify the length of the interval to also be the length of the song(s) you pick, to match the effort to the beat of your favorites.

Create a Heart Rate or Pace Interval Workout

  1. Tap Add at the bottom of the Workout Routines listing
  2. Tap Name and add a description of the intervals you are creating
  3. In the Zone Type, select BPM
  4. Set whether the interval will be measured by Time or Distance. If you chose to create a music based routine, it will prompt you for either a playlist or song, see below for more on Music routines.
  5. Select the Zone you would like to target for that segment
  6. To add more intervals for that series, or even add another series, repeat the above. Check out our Guide on designing fun, effective and interesting interval workouts for more on building fun and effective routines.
  7. Choose if you want to automatically start Recovery once the workout is complete, and / or to automatically End once complete.
  8. Tap Save in the upper right to save your changes.  Heart rate zone structured interval workouts

Pace Interval WorkoutsMusic Structured Interval Workouts

 

 

 

Using the Cooper Running Test Assessment

By setting Zones customized to your body, heart, and systems, you get a true view of your level of effort you are currently training or exercising in, which allows you to train better, without injury over longer times.

The Cooper Running Test assessment is very similar to the Military Physical Tests used around the world. It’s original purpose is to measure VO2 Max, however we have adapted it to extrapolate Heart and Pace Zones as well.

The most accurate assessment for Zones is the CP30 assessments, but the Cooper offers a good approximation when done correctly.

With a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) you can use it to develop Heart Rate Training Zones as well as Pace Zones. To calculate a VO2 Max and FitRank (age adjusted ranking based on VO2 Max) for this assessment, you must have a Resting Pulse entry in the Health section of the app (one not taken from a Blood Pressure reading). See this post on measuring your Resting Heart Rate.

The Cooper Running Test is for those who are used to physical exercise. This test requires you to run for 12 minutes as far (and fast) as possible (race pace).

How to Complete the Cooper Running Test Assessment:

  • Make sure your profile in the app is correct (Gender, age, etc).
  • Find a track or very flat area you can run unobstructed for 12 minutes (approximately 2 miles). A treadmill is acceptable if you have a foot pod to measure distance.
  • Warm up for 10 minutes (light walking, stretching, etc)
  • Start the assessment on the App, and start running – Choose Run > Workout > Cooper Running Test
  • After 12 minutes, the workout will end
  • The Recovery portion will begin (recovery is an option we’ve added here as another data point to assess your overall change in fitness)
  • Stand still and relax for the 2-minute recovery time
  • You will be shown your results on the final screen, as well as online and in your results listing

The Cooper Running Test will help determine Pace Zones applicable to running, which can help your training and keep you injury free by keeping your training in the right zones at the right times. You can watch these zones change over time with changes in your fitness! In fact, this assessment should be used on a regular basis to show changes in your fitness levels and training zones.

How We Calculate Zones and VO2 Max:
Heart Rate Zones and Pace Zones are determined using the formulas provided for this type of test. One of the best write-ups of these calculations is the Joel Friel post here, though since the Cooper is a much shorter test, we set your average pace/heart rate to 90% of your Max and calculate the zones from there. For VO2 Max, we use the formula (Kilne 1987) VO2max = (Distance covered in metres – 504.9) ÷ 44.73.

Many factors can influence results including temperature, elevation, sleep, emotional state, eating habits and more. The best analysis of the results are by comparing it with previous results. The test environment should remain as constant as possible.

Please don’t perform any fitness test without talking to your physician about it first.

Assessments can change the way you live your life, change the way you exercise because:

1. They help determine your Fitness Level.

Using physical tests developed over the years by a variety of individuals and institutions, these fitness tests have been shown to result in fairly accurate measures of fitness, and can be compared to others of similar age and gender. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to determine VO2 Max, but the majority do.
See the article “Why Should You Know (and Track) Your Fitness Level?” for more.

2. They help determine personal heart zones.
People are all different. Only 20% of people have a max heart rate that is close to the 220-Age = Max HR. For a large majority, setting zones of 50%-100% off that formula does not result in zones that are meaningful or correct. From previous discussions, we know how important understanding what HR zone you are in can be towards realizing your goals (is your goal endurance and fat burn, or speed and power, for example). Your HR zones will also change over time – the more fit you become, the higher your HR Max will be (relative to yourself, not others) for example. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to set HR zones, but the majority do when paired with a heart rate monitor.
See the article “Why Should You Know Your Personal Heart Rate Zones?” for more.

Using the Advanced Cardio Assessment

By setting Zones customized to your body, heart, and systems, you get a true view of your level of effort you are currently training or exercising in, which allows you to train better, without injury over longer times.

The Advanced Cardio Assessment is designed for people who are in good shape and are exercising on a regular basis (4 hours or more per week). It requires maximum-effort output, which should not be attempted by those who aren’t used to high levels of activity.

With a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) you can use it to develop Heart Rate Training Zones. With GPS and/or Foot pod in Running, it can be used to develop Pace Zones.

It can be completed on just about any workout type, and to develop specific custom zones for any given workout type, it should be done using that type of exercise. Fitdigits offers users the ability to use different heart rate zones depending on their activity selection.

To calculate a more accurate VO2 Max, you should have a Resting Pulse entry in the Health section of the app (one not taken from a Blood Pressure reading). See this post on measuring your Resting Heart Rate. Otherwise, we will use an approximation of your Resting Heart Rate based on the measured value from the assessment.

How to Complete the Advanced Cardio Assessment:

  • You will need to be on a treadmill, spin bike, elliptical machine, or a flat surface you can run or ride on for more than 10 minutes.
  • Bring your heart rate down to a low, resting rate by staying still for a moment and just relaxing.
  • Start the assessment on the App – Choose the Activity Type you are doing > Workout > Advanced Cardio Assessment
  • You will be coached through a series of effort levels, starting with resting and moving up through to maximum effort over a 10 minute period (for a sub-maximal assessment see the ‘Beginner Cardio Assessment’)
  • The Recovery portion will begin (recovery is an option we’ve added here as another data point to assess your overall change in fitness)
  • Be still and relax for the 2-minute recovery time
  • You will be shown your results on the final screen, as well as online and in your results listing

The Advanced Cardio Assessment helps determine Heart and Pace Zones, which can help your training and keep you injury free by keeping your training in the right zones at the right times. You can watch these zones change over time with changes in your fitness! In fact, this assessment should be used on a regular basis to show changes in your fitness levels and training zones.

How We Calculate Zones and VO2 Max:
Heart Rate Zones are determined using the measurements from the assessment. For Heart Rate zones, the Karvonen method is applied to the readings (recorded Resting Heart Rate trumps the in-assessment measured Resting Heart Rate). For VO2 Max, we take your Resting Heart Rate and your calculated Max HR, and apply the Heart Rate Ratio Method. (Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004).

Many factors can influence results including temperature, elevation, sleep, emotional state, eating habits and more. The best analysis of the results are by comparing it with previous results. The test environment should remain as constant as possible.

Please don’t perform any fitness test without talking to your physician about it first.

Assessments can change the way you live your life, change the way you exercise because:

1. They help determine your Fitness Level.

Using physical tests developed over the years by a variety of individuals and institutions, these fitness tests have been shown to result in fairly accurate measures of fitness, and can be compared to others of similar age and gender. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to determine VO2 Max, but the majority do.
See the article “Why Should You Know (and Track) Your Fitness Level?” for more.

2. They help determine personal heart zones.
People are all different. Only 20% of people have a max heart rate that is close to the 220-Age = Max HR. For a large majority, setting zones of 50%-100% off that formula does not result in zones that are meaningful or correct. From previous discussions, we know how important understanding what HR zone you are in can be towards realizing your goals (is your goal endurance and fat burn, or speed and power, for example). Your HR zones will also change over time – the more fit you become, the higher your HR Max will be (relative to yourself, not others) for example. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to set HR zones, but the majority do when paired with a heart rate monitor.
See the article “Why Should You Know Your Personal Heart Rate Zones?” for more.

Using the Beginner Cardio Assessment

By setting Zones customized to your body, heart, and systems, you get a true view of your level of effort you are currently training or exercising in, which allows you to train better, without injury over longer times.

The Beginner Cardio Assessment is a very entry level test, mostly helpful for determining your lower Heart Rate Zones. It is not designed for people who are in great shape and are exercising on a regular basis (4 hours or more per week).

With a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) you can use it to develop Heart Rate Training Zones. With GPS and/or Foot pod in Running, it can be used to develop Pace Zones too.

It can be completed on just about any workout type, and to develop specific custom zones for any given workout type, it should be done using that type of exercise. Fitdigits offers users the ability to use different heart rate zones depending on their activity selection.

To calculate a more accurate VO2 Max, you should have a Resting Pulse entry in the Health section of the app (one not taken from a Blood Pressure reading). See this post on measuring your Resting Heart Rate. Otherwise, we will use an approximation of your Resting Heart Rate based on the measured value from the assessment.

How to Complete the Beginner Cardio Assessment:

  • You will need to be on a treadmill, spin bike, elliptical machine, or a flat surface you can run or ride on for more than 7.5 minutes. DON’T GO TOO FAST!
  • Bring your heart rate down to a low, resting rate by staying still for a moment and just relaxing.
  • Start the assessment on the App – Choose the Activity Type you are doing > Workout > Beginner Cardio Assessment
  • You will be coached through a series of effort levels, starting with resting and moving up through to approximately a 65-75% effort level over a 7.5 minute period
  • The Recovery portion will begin (recovery is an option we’ve added here as another data point to assess your overall change in fitness)
  • Be still and relax for the 2-minute recovery time
  • You will be shown your results on the final screen, as well as online and in your results listing

The Beginner Cardio Assessment helps determine Heart and Pace Zones, which can help your training and keep you injury free by keeping your training in the right zones at the right times. You can watch these zones change over time with changes in your fitness! In fact, this assessment should be used on a regular basis to show changes in your fitness levels and training zones.

How We Calculate Zones and VO2 Max:
Heart Rate Zones are determined using the measurements from the assessment, assuming that max effort reached 75% of the true maximum achievable (for saftey). For Heart Rate zones, the Karvonen method is applied to the readings (recorded Resting Heart Rate trumps the in-assessment measured Resting Heart Rate). For VO2 Max, we take your Resting Heart Rate and your calculated Max HR, and apply the Heart Rate Ratio Method. (Eur J Appl Physiol. 2004).

Many factors can influence results including temperature, elevation, sleep, emotional state, eating habits and more. The best analysis of the results are by comparing it with previous results. The test environment should remain as constant as possible.

Please don’t perform any fitness test without talking to your physician about it first.

Assessments can change the way you live your life, change the way you exercise because:

1. They help determine your Fitness Level.

Using physical tests developed over the years by a variety of individuals and institutions, these fitness tests have been shown to result in fairly accurate measures of fitness, and can be compared to others of similar age and gender. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to determine VO2 Max, but the majority do.
See the article “Why Should You Know (and Track) Your Fitness Level?” for more.

2. They help determine personal heart zones.
People are all different. Only 20% of people have a max heart rate that is close to the 220-Age = Max HR. For a large majority, setting zones of 50%-100% off that formula does not result in zones that are meaningful or correct. From previous discussions, we know how important understanding what HR zone you are in can be towards realizing your goals (is your goal endurance and fat burn, or speed and power, for example). Your HR zones will also change over time – the more fit you become, the higher your HR Max will be (relative to yourself, not others) for example. Not all assessments in Fitdigits apps have the ability to set HR zones, but the majority do when paired with a heart rate monitor.
See the article “Why Should You Know Your Personal Heart Rate Zones?” for more.

Comprendo CEO, Dean Hovey, Runs a Half Marathon

Comprendo CEO, Dean Hovey, Runs a Half Marathon

“I knew I was in trouble.”

The stakes were high. With all the best intentions, life’s twists and turns got the best of me. As race day approached an untimely mixture of frequent travel, a nagging cold, and a grueling work schedule had all taken its toll on my training regimen. Instead of running the prescribed 22 – 30 miles per week I had put in less than 12 on average. I knew that I was in trouble. Either my ego would be shattered, I’d end up hurting myself, or both. Read more.