Use Your Activity Tracker to Compare Your Performance with the Professionals
by Darren Round on Jul 26, 2018
You might be able to run 10 km a day, bench press twice your weight or swim for hours on end, but how fit are you relative to the sporting elites? In the past, tracking your fitness against the pros was impossible unless you happened to know a specialist coach or a university researcher. However, thanks to the advent of advanced wearable fitness trackers, exercise fanatics can easily compare their metrics with those of the best runners, swimmers or cyclists.
Match Your Heart Rate With A Marathon Runner
Your resting heart rate tells a lot about your capacity for endurance sports like marathon running or cycling. For most mere mortals, a heart rate of around 66 beats per minute is standard. Check with your fitness tracker before running and, for most ordinary people, it should average near that mark.
This is one area where elite athletes are significantly different. Some professional cyclists have recorded resting heart rates of around 30 beats per minute, but that's an outlier. Most high-performance endurance specialists will average about 40 beats per minute - so track your progress and see how you compare.
Boost Your Pull-Ups To Compete With the Best
Pull-ups are hard work, which makes them a popular metric for macho gym fans. But how many pull-ups can the average person really expect to carry out in one minute? According to US fitness experts, for adult males over the age of 18 the average number of pull-ups should be around 8 per minute. However, the world record is light years ahead of the pack. Russian Vitaly Kulikov has been logged as completing a daunting 59 pull-ups in one minute.
Even if you can't match Vitaly, you can use your fitness tracker to log your personal progress. Try to beat the average by one or two pull-ups every week.
Feel the Burn To Shed Those Extra Pounds
Calorie burn is another metric that elite athletes pay close attention to and that your fitness tracker can easily monitor. The figures for professional athletes are impressive, so you won't necessarily want to use them as a yardstick.
For example, sprint legend Usain Bolt takes in about 5400 calories every day, while Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson eats a staggering 15,000 calories. This energy is the amount that they burn, which translates into hours of running or lifting.
You probably won't be able to match the Rock in your workout regimen, but even slight increases in calorie burn can have huge consequences. Using your fitness wearable as a guide, try to add 500 calories to your daily activity. For most people, that's an increase from 3,000 to 3,500 calories -- an achievable amount.
Cover More Miles With Your Running ScheduleIt's not rare for long-distance runners to log over 150 km a week, and most 10,000 meter or marathon competitors run every day. For most people, that kind of routine is not just physically unachievable, it's also practically impossible given the constraints of work and family.
However, using a fitness tracking device, you can steadily increase your weekly distance so that it compares with the average marathon runner. Advanced runners tend to limit themselves to about 100km per week, so make that your extreme peak. A sensible goal could be 30 to 40 km.
Getting to your goal is much easier when you have graphs and tables of your daily and weekly performance near at hand, and the easiest way to get that data is by using your fitness tracker.
The new generation of wearable fitness devices has given fitness fans a new set of tools that they should all be using to enhance their performance. Although it isn't necessarily healthy to try to train like the world's greatest marathon runners of lift like the Rock, it doesn't hurt to know what could be achieved and to track your progress in seeking to get there.