Train to your own beat

TrakCoach for iPhone uses your heart rate monitor to time high-intensity intervals, measure workout effort, and track fitness trend. Ideal for strength training, interval training, CrossFit, cycle/pump class, etc.

Heart rate training

Heart rate training is the scientific way to train at the right intensity with optimal recovery to maximise results. TrakCoach uses your heart rate monitor to time high-intensity intervals, measure workout effort, and track fitness trend. Ideal for strength training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), cycle/pump class, CrossFit, etc.

Your training profile

Select the Profile tab to review your training profile including fitness rating, average training zone, total workouts, average minutes, and average effort. Charts average heart rate and fitness trend across all sessions. Tap the Edit button to change profile settings.


Change profile settings

Create your physical profile by entering your name, age, weight, and gender. Your physical profile is used to calculate recovery and anaerobic threshold, calories burned, and fitness rating.

Setup your health profile including resting and maximum heart rates. These are required to automatically calculate suggested heart rate thresholds and convert heart rate to training effort.

Prepare to start workout

Select the Workout tab to prepare for your next training session. Tap your phone against your heart rate sensor to pair a new device. Next time you start a session the app will automatically connect to the paired sensor.

Saved recovery and anaerobic heart rate thresholds are shown inside the progress circle. Tap the Settings button to modify these and other session options.

Alternatively, tap the Start button to use default session title and saved parameters. Session options can also be adjusted at any time during a training session.


Setup your workout

Session options include title, recovery and anaerobic thresholds, intensity type, and session goal.

Select Recovery/Anaerobic options to modify heart rate thresholds using the scroll wheel, or keep default Karvonen levels. Percent maximum heart rate (%Max) is always shown alongside beats per minute, since %Max is commonly used by athletes and coaches.

Select intensity display preference as beats per minute or training effort. Training effort will be shown as %Max, %Training, or %VO2Max, depending on your App Settings.

Select optional target session goal as total minutes, total calories, or total anaerobic intervals. This simply triggers an audio alert once the goal has been reached, and does not prevent the session from being continued beyond the goal.

Start your workout

Activity data displayed during the session includes current training zone, training effort, elapsed time, estimated calories burned (energy expenditure), and total intervals. Intervals occur whenever heart rate exceeds anaerobic threshold.

Progress circle represents the percentage of instant training effort level, or the percentage of session goal completed, depending on goal enabled setting.

Tapping the Pause button reveals end session or change settings buttons.


Rest between intervals

While resting between intervals, TrakCoach will time your recovery period using heart rate. Once your heart rate reaches the optimum recovery threshold, you'll hear an alert and/or feel your iPhone vibrate. Threshold alerts prompt you to resume training without interrupting your focus. You can also pause a workout manually to chat, change session setting, or end your workout. Note performance and heart rate data are not recorded while the session is paused.

Two minutes following each high-intensity interval a recovery event may be recorded to estimate fitness rating. Learn more about recovery rate and how to improve accuracy in the training guide. A different audio alert will be triggered for each recovery event detected.

Note when the home or sleep buttons are pressed, TrakCoach will continue running in the background by reading heart rate data and sounding alerts.

Review your results

Your workout results are presented at the end of each session. Training effort (light grey section) includes average training zone, average heart rate, average training effort, and best recovery rate. Learn more about recovery rate in the training guide. Session data (white section) includes total duration, estimated calories, and total intervals. Heart rate versus time chart (dark grey section) includes minimum and maximum heart rate values.


Review training history

Select the Report tab to review all your previously saved workout sessions. Select any row to review all performance data for that session. Swipe left to delete a session.

The numbers in the progress circles on the left represent average training effort for each session. Training effort will be shown as %Max, %Training, or %VO2Max depending on your App Settings.

Review past results

Training effort (light grey section) includes average training zone, average heart rate, average training effort, and best recovery rate. Learn more about recovery rate in the training guide. Session data (white section) includes total duration, estimated calories, and total intervals. Heart rate versus time chart (dark grey section) includes minimum and maximum heart rate values.

Tap the Delete button to remove this session from your saved results and recalculate profile averages.


Review training guide

Select the Document tab to read heart rate training definitions and learn more about TrakCoach. The guide can help users understand the principles behind heart rate training. Find details about algorithms used to calculate Karvonen thresholds, training effort variations, estimate energy expenditure, VO2Max, and recovery rate.

Change app preferences

Select the Settings tab to change App settings. Settings include preferred training effort, threshold sounds, threshold vibrations, and auto-pause option.

Training effort can be represented in the app as Percent Training Heart Rate (%THR), Percent Maximum Heart Rate (%MHR), or Percent VO2 Maximum (%VO2Max). Learn more about these terms in the training guide.

Threshold sounds include audio alerts when heart rate falls below recovery threshold or when heart rate rises above anaerobic threshold. To avoid repeated alerts when heart rate floats around thresholds, alerts will only recur when heart rate crosses two zones away from recovery or anaerobic thresholds. Beeping at 5 second intervals can be enabled while heart rate is below recovery threshold or above anaerobic threshold.

Threshold vibrations can be set to occur at intervals of 5, 10, or 15 seconds while heart rate is below recovery threshold or above anaerobic threshold.

When auto-pause is enabled, an active session will be automatically paused when heart rate falls below recovery threshold. Activity and heart rate data is not saved while the session is paused.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is high intensity training?
High intensity training (HIT) can include speed, interval or strength training. HIT exercises should be brief, infrequent, and intense. One example of HIT exercise is performing barbell squats using a high level of effort (heavy weights and low reps) to muscular failure with a short resting time between each set. HIT is primarly used to stimulate an increase in muscular strength and size.
How does TrakCoach improve HIT workouts?
TrakCoach can optimize resting times, record training sessions, and measure fitness trend. TrakCoach may also be useful in high intensity interval training (HIIT), where short bursts of cardiovascular exercise are performed to improve glucose metabolism and reduce body fat. After completing a high intensity set to muscular failure, TrakCoach detects when your heart rate falls below the optimum recovery heart rate, and alerts you to begin the next set. Your optimum recovery heart rate is calculated using a scientific algorithm called the Karvonen method.
What features does TrakCoach offer?
  • Measures heart rate recovery speed to estimate fitness trend
  • Shows training intensity as bpm, %training, %max, or %VO2max heart rate
  • Plays audio/vibration alerts when entering recovery and anaerobic zones
  • Counts high intensity intervals
  • Charts average fitness trend
  • Charts training intensity trend
  • Saves session data including effort, duration, intervals, calories
  • Calculates historical averages over time
  • Includes heart rate training guide
  • Options for training effort display, training goals, and auto-pause
What is the relationship between training zone and effort level?
TrakCoach can represent effort level as %Training heart rate (%THR), %Maximum heart rate (%MHR), or %VO2 Maximum (%VO2Max). We choose %THR to define five training zones as Light, Moderate, Vigorous, Challenging, and Hard. In this case effort level is based on a simple linear scale of training heart rate from 0% to 100%, where 0% represents the selected recovery heart rate, and 100% represents the selected anaerobic heart rate. Effort level ranges are then evenly divided into training zones on this linear scale. Training zones are best described in the table below:
Training ZoneEffort level (%Training HR)
Hard80 to 100
Challenging60 to 79
Vigorous40 to 59
Moderate20 to 39
Light0 to 19
What is the Karvonen method and how is it used by TrakCoach?
Training Heart Rate is the desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables your heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout. This theoretical range varies based mostly on age; however your physical condition, gender, and previous training experience can also affect your training heart rate. The Karvonen method factors in general fitness using resting heart rate for a more accurate training heart rate estimate. The general form of the Karvonen method to calculate recovery and anaerobic target heart rate is:
TargetHR = ((220 - Age - RestingHR) x %Intensity) + RestingHR
TrakCoach calculates a Karvonen training range from 50% intensity (Recovery Threshold) to 90% intensity (Anaerobic Threshold). You can learn more about the Karvonen method on Wikipedia.
What is Recovery Rate and how can it predict fitness trend?
Recovery Rate (or Heart Rate Recovery) in beats-per-minute is the speed at which your heart rate returns to normal after exercise. Recovery Rate is a good measure of your cardiac efficiency. In general, the faster your heart rate returns to normal the fitter you are. Learn more about Recovery Rate and how it's used to determine fitness trend and estimate biological age in the training guide.
Reduce target recovery heart rate when performing machine weight training.
In general, your heart rate will be higher when performing free weight training compared with machine weight training. Because training with free weights involves higher muscle fiber recruitment than training the same muscle group with machine weights. For example, performing barbell shoulder presses requires more leg and core muscle activation, compared with seated shoulder presses. Your heart pumps blood through your arteries to deliver oxygen to your muscles, pumping faster as your muscles work harder. Therefore, you should find training with free weights raises your heart rate more, and recovers much slower, than performing the same exercise with machine weights. So if you're including machine weight training in your high intensity workouts, then we recommend lowering the target recovery heart rate by about 10-20% beats per minute. This will maintain your training tempo and prevent rushing your sets.
Reduce target recovery heart rate when performing exercises while seated or lying on a bench.
Your heart rate will be higher while performing standing exercises compared with being seated or lying on a bench. The American Heart Association states that the position of your body - standing, sitting or lying down - influences how quickly your heart beats each minute. Your heart rate is faster when you are standing than when you are sitting or lying down. When you are lying down, the effect of gravity on your body is reduced, allowing more blood to flow back to your heart through your veins. Because more blood returns to the heart, the body is able to pump more blood per beat, which means that less beats per minute are required to pump blood to the muscles. Since high intensity exercises are usually performed standing, we recommend setting your target recovery heart rate to the default Karvonen level. Then when switching to an exercise that involves a seated or lying position, we recommend lowering the recovery heart rate by about 10-20% beats per minute.
Reduce target recovery heart rate when performing unilateral exercises.
Your heart rate will be higher while performing bilateral exercises compared with unilateral exercises. Squats, deadlifts, back rows, shoulder presses, and bench presses are examples of bilateral, multi-joint exercises that demand full-body tension and strength. These movements are key to any high intensity strength training program. However, experienced lifters know that weaknesses can be overcome by incorporating unilateral exercises such as single-leg squats, single-arm bench presses, and single-arm rows. Although performing unilateral exercises can still be performed with high intensity, there is much lower muscle fiber recruitment involved, and therefore a lower target recovery heart rate required. Since you are training the same muscles on opposite sides of the body between sets - where a single set represents training both sides consecutively - we don't recommend waiting for your recovery heart rate after training one side. Instead, from our experience we prefer waiting until breathing rate recovers before switching sides. After completing both sides of the exercise and fatiguing target muscles, wait until your heart rate recovers before starting the next unilateral set. For example, after completing one side of a barbell row, catch your breath before completing the next side - and then wait for TrakCoach to alert you on reaching the target recovery heart rate.
Conserve your iPhone battery.
TrakCoach can operate in the background with your iphone display off to minimize battery use. However, you may prefer to use TrakCoach with the display on. In this case enabling screen auto-brightness and threshold vibrations can rapidly deplete your iPhone battery. In our experience, running TrakCoach over a one hour workout indoors with auto-brightness and vibration reminders enabled, drains around 10% of our iPhone batteries. This usually leaves enough power to last the rest of the day with normal use. If your battery is already low or you need to conserve power for other uses (like phone calls), try disabling auto-brightness and reducing brightness manually, and/or disabling vibrations. The TrakCoach app must run in the foreground (screen always on), which means outdoor use in daylight hours will maximise auto-brightness and rapidly deplete your battery. In this case, we recommend manually reducing screen brightness to a minimum.
Wipe-down your iPhone after training.
If you're not perspiring after a high intensity workout, then you haven't done a high-intensity workout! Most sports armbands for your iPhone are made from a soft synthetic polymer material which is great for protecting against oil, heat, and weathering. Unfortunately it can also absorb sweat onto your iPhone. We recommend wiping down your iPhone after each session with a moist towel or disposable wipe. iPhone's are highly durable and probably resistant to corrosion, but do you really want to risk damaging it?