Heart Rates

If you are serious about getting fit, why not consider investing in a Heart Rate Monitor? Not only will it enable you to keep track of your current level of fitness, it will aid in setting fitness goals for the future.

A heart rate monitor will help determine your resting heart rate, maximum heart rate and specific heart rate zones- all vitally important for building superior fitness.

If you don't happen to own a heart rate monitor, here's how to calculate all that stuff by hand.

-Resting Heart Rate

1. Find somewhere quiet and try to relax.
2. Take your first 2 fingers and find your pulse on either your neck or wrist.
3. Count how many times you feel a pulse (your heart beat) over 1 minute
4. Record this value, it is important.

- Maximum Heart Rate

Calculating a Maximum Heart Rate has long been disputed- there are a number of ways to do it.

The simplest way is as follows:

MHR= 220 - Age

However there is an alternative formula, which can be more accurate in some circumstances (Robergs, Robert A. & Landwehr, Roberto, 2002)

MHR= 205.8- (0.685 x Age)

- Target Heart Rate

Your Target Heart Rate corresponds with a range of heart beats reached during exercise, for example 50%-85%, allowing an effective cardiovascular workout.

Using the Karvonen Method, you can calculate your Target Heart Rate as follows, where MRH is Maximum Heart Rate and RHR is Resting Heart Rate.
THR = ((MHR − RHR) × %Intensity)) + RHR

For example, an individual with a MHR of 200 and a RHR of 60:
50% intensity: ((200 − 60) × 0.50) + 60 = 130 bpm
85% intensity: ((200 − 60) × 0.85) + 60 = 179 bpm

It is important to remember training in different target zones (or %) can improve different areas of fitness. The following diagram demonstrates this effectively (c/o Wikipedia).

So we can say that if you want to:

1. Lose Weight and Build basic fitness- train at 60%-80% of MHR
2. Build Aerobic capacity and endurance- train at 70%-80% of MHR
3. Improve Anaerobic performance- train at 80%-90% of MHR

There are many different ways to train in your target zones, such as Running, Rowing and Cycling.

Check out some Fitness Guru cardiovascular workouts.

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