Is the band supposed to run during resting in between sets?
I’ve seen this question posed a few times so it’s probably worth some clarification. And, to me, it’s really less about the Band and gaining knowledge about general exercise.
Underneath the Exercise Tile (not the Guided Workout tile) you can choose from a list of pre-defined or custom activities. The Band doesn’t track or monitor these differently from any other exercises, they are only intended to give you more robust sets of data in your Microsoft Health dashboard. So, when you’re looking back through your exercise data, you can better pinpoint the activities that allowed you to reach your goals quicker. There are certain exercises that work better for each body type. For me, it’s running. But, I also do strength training quite a bit to make me a better runner.
Microsoft recently renamed “Weightlifting” to “Strength” in the Exercise Tile to better categorize the activity. This way, Band owners can perform any type of Strength exercises and have it show up as such in the Microsoft Health dashboard. You can then modify the subcategory in the dashboard to improve the data as I outlined HERE.
For Guided Workouts, Band owners are used to usually having a Rest period between defined between reps and sets. But, the standard Strength activity doesn’t have this option. Some wonder if they should manually pause Band activity monitoring when they are taking rests – to ensure that the Band captures calorie burn correctly.
There’s absolutely no need to worry about this. When you perform any activity and then take a rest period, that rest period is still considered part of the activity. Even during rest (unless your rest period is longer than about 2 minutes) the activity has increased your heart rate which continues generating a more than normal calorie burn. The Band is smart enough to know when you’re resting and you’re your active based on the monitored heart rate and alters calorie burn accordingly. And, when you dig into the data in the Microsoft Health dashboard you’ll be able to see the heart rate highs and lows and quickly identify your rest periods. So, the Band should be used to track your entire workout. This goes for both Strength tracking through the standard Exercise Tile and through Guided Workouts. Just because rest periods may be built into a Guided Workout doesn't mean the Band stops monitoring during those times. Heart rate is an important factor for understanding your overall health and that data needs to be included for the entirety of any workout. How quickly your heart recovers from activity during exercise is another key factor in determining your fitness level.
For optimum results for any strength activity, and unless you are doing circuit work, you should plan no more than a 1 minute (ideally 30 to 45 seconds) rest between sets and 2 minutes between exercises. Any more than this and your heart rate could drop to normal ranges, slowing your calorie burn rate.
Want some new strength workouts for your Band? Join the Microsoft Band Community and gain access to the Shared Workouts resource.