What does your heart rate tell?

PulseOn’s groundbreaking optical heart rate sensor technology allows us to monitor your heart rate continuously and accurately during your training, up to your maximal running speed and maximal heart rate – without the chest strap, easier than ever. But PulseOn is not only about heart rate – it is about the insights that the heart rate can provide!

What does your heart rate tell?

Heart is your most important muscle. It pumps blood to your brain and muscles and takes care that they get enough oxygen and fuel, day in, day out. To meet the demands of your everyday life or training, your heart rate is constantly adjusting, from beat to beat. PulseOn monitors your heart rate accurately during your training and applies advanced physiological model based analysis on the heart rate – continuously, while you work out.

Heart rate guides you towards optimal training. When you speed up, your heart rate increases, muscles burn more calories, training is more efficient and your fitness improves – but only to a limit. If your training load becomes too high and your recovery is not sufficient your progress slows down or stops. Also, when your fitness improves your training heart rates for the same exercise will slow down, and you will have to speed up or prolong your training to reach the same effect. Heart rate guided training will help you to control your training intensity and training load during your workout to be in an optimal level for your fitness level, and it will also guide you to balance load and recovery.

Complex? Yes. But PulseOn makes it simple. PulseOn will listen to your heart for you, and transform its message to easily actionable information – for you to reach your full potential, whether you are a top athlete or a fresh starter. Key insights include:

  • How fit am I - Fitness level
  • What is the impact of this training on my fitness - Training Effect
  • What is my current training intensity?
  • How much time do I need to recover?
  • How much calories did I burn?
  • What should I do next?

Fitness Level and VO2Max

Fitness level means your maximum aerobic performance. Its golden standard measure is VO2max (maximal oxygen consumption). Oxygen is consumed in your body when your muscles work – the more they work the more oxygen is needed. A fit person is able to make his or her muscles to work more or longer without getting exhausted. When you get more fit you notice that you are able to do the same effort easier than earlier – your fitness level has improved!

When you train your Fitness Level (VO2Max) increases. Your personal Fitness Level is the most important factor to guide your training. To find out your Fitness Level, run or walk briskly for a minimum of 20 minutes with GPS (application and phone GPS on) at least on moderate intensity – your PulseOn will do the rest! After you sync the exercise data to your phone, your Fitness Level will be shown at the bottom of the application home page. If you are unable to do this, you may also fill in a simple questionnaire (in Settings – Personal Settings – Fitness Level) to estimate your rough Fitness Level based on your typical training activity.

It is recommended to test your Fitness Level regularly, at least once a month. Fitness Level affects your Training Effect, Training Intensity, Recovery Time and kCal estimation, and outdated Fitness Level information may cause their values to be inaccurate. If Fitness Level is not known, a population average for your age and gender will be used. If your real Fitness Level is better, the application will underestimate the calories but overestimate the Training Intensity and Training Effect.


Training Effect

The most important question on any exercise is: what effect did this exercise have on my fitness? When you train your body’s homeostasis is disturbed and as a reaction your muscles and aerobic capacity will gradually improve. The harder you push the larger is the disturbance and the greater is the effect – as well as the required recovery time. Correspondingly, same effort for a fit person has a lower impact on fitness than for a less-fit person – the effect is personal. PulseOn tells you the effect of your training with Training Effect (TE). Training Effect measures workout’s impact on aerobic fitness at a scale of 1.0-5.0. Low intensity makes Training Effect accumulate slower and higher intensity faster.


TE is easy to follow on PulseOn as a key number to follow up your training program. Pay attention to have a proper mixture of different TE levels in your training program, balancing improving or highly improving TE training with maintaining or recovery exercises

Read more about Training Effect here.

Training Intensity

Training Intensity describes the relative intensity of your exercise scaled to your maximal performance. When you train at maximal performance level, your heart rate equals to your maximum heart rate and your oxygen consumption reaches your maximal capacity. Training Intensity can be roughly estimated by heart rate zones – but PulseOn takes you further! PulseOn calculates Training Intensity by estimating your relative oxygen consumption as percentages from your personal maximum capacity defined by your Fitness Level. (Read more here)

Difficult? PulseOn makes it easy! PulseOn shows your Training Intensity in five levels on wrist device and application:


Varying Training Intensity is usually recommended in training. Very light intensity is good for warm up and cool down for training while light intensity is a suitable level for recovering or fitness building exercising, or long duration fat burn training. Moderate intensity is an intensity level for building up aerobic fitness and endurance. Hard and very hard intensities rapidly build aerobic fitness and also impact your anaerobic fitness.

Recovery Time

When you train your body gets loaded and your body’s homeostasis gets disturbed. Good recovery is essential to get full benefits of your training – your body needs time to reload its resources! The higher the Training Effect and the lower your Fitness Level, the more time is needed for full recovery. Recovery time tells you when your body is fully recovered from the previous effort and when you are ready to GO! This helps you to plan the timing of your workouts optimally to improve fitness and feel good.



Tracking calories burned is an easy and popular way to gauge different workouts and activities. As contrast to most fitness trackers, PulseOn estimates energy expenditure accurately from heart rate, not from movement. Advanced physiology based modelling allows accurate and personalized estimation of calorie burn during different exercises, including activities where movement-based trackers regularly fail, e.g. cycling

Read more about tracking calories here

PulseOn utilizes Fitness Level and other personal parameters, such as age, gender, weight and height as well as maximum heart rate to estimate the calorie burn during your training. For most accurate results, make sure you have correctly defined these parameters in your Personal Settings, and that you have your Fitness Level freshly and correctly defined.


Optimal training combines exercising with varying intensities and durations, without forgetting sufficient recovery and rest. When you track all your activities with PulseOn, it provides you always up to date advice on what would be the best option for you today – to train or to take a rest. PulseOn coaching engine provides advice on optimal duration and target Training Effect for today, personalized to your fitness and training history. And if you decide not to follow the advice, don’t worry – PulseOn coach will adapt to your real life and come back the next day with a new tip. For best results, use PulseOn to track all your training to keep PulseOn coach up-to-date on your progress!