Heart Rate Training

Woman Pushups

In this article, we will look at heart rate training. Take a poll of why most people work out on cardio equipment. You would find 90% or more will tell you they want to lose weight or tone up. So out of those people how many do you think heart rate train? I’ll bet not many.  Some may know what their heart rate is. Chances are, they don’t know where it should really be. That’s not helping them achieve their fat loss goal in the most efficient way possible.

Heart Rate Training – How Many Calories Do You Want to Burn?

What if I asked you if you wanted to lose 400 fat calories out of 600 calories burned in an hour? What about losing only 150 fat calories out of 800 total calories burned in an hour? Which would you choose?! Hands down you would pick 400! Well then why aren’t people doing this during their workouts? It is because they do not know the benefits of heart rate training. All your top athlete’s use it. That’s because they work with exercise physiologists. They know how to get them to their top potential in the shortest time possible.

What Is Heart Rate Training?

Before you can know the benefits, you have to know what it is. It’s using your heart rate zones to monitor your workout. Your body has 5 heart rate zones. I will describe them later on. In order to heart rate train you first need a heart rate monitor. For a good basic one you will pay between $40-150. You can expect to pay up to $400+ for more advanced heart rate monitors. These are used for performance training such as triathlons or marathons. But for the general population we don’t need anything too fancy.

Next, for heart rate training, you need to find out where your heart rate should be. The heart rate charts you see on the exercise equipment are not correct (example 220-your age). As a fitness professional I can tell you that the chart is obsolete and needs to be improved. Instead you need to find your Anaerobic Threshold. This is the point in which your body stops burning fat and starts burning glucose.

If you are trying to lose body fat, this is extremely important. That’s because you could be training too hard. Just because the treadmill says you burned 800 calories doesn’t mean you burned 800 fat calories. Let’s get one thing straight. You can’t burn just fat calories. Your body burns glucose also. You can train to where you are burning the most amount of fat calories possible.

Heart Rate Training: Vo2 Max Self Test

This best and most accurate way to test your heart rate is by getting a Vo2 max test done. This can cost around $100-250. For zero cost I can get you close to your actual anaerobic threshold hold. I can do this using a formula or a self perceived test. The formula is as follows: 180-your age.

To find your heart rate training zone, take that number and add 10 if you exercise 4+ times a week. The number stays the same if you exercise 2-3 times a week. Subtract 10 if you have not been exercising. For the self perceived test: Hop on a treadmill and warm up for 3-5 minutes. Then go up to a comfortable speed for 5 more minutes. Next go up in speed every minute until you reach the point of heavy breathing. At this point make note of what your heart rate is. This is your Anaerobic Threshold.

Heart Rate Training: 5 Zones:

Zone:

1 = Warm-up/Easy

2 = Aerobic Development/Medium

3 = Aerobic Development/Hard (the top of this zone is your Anaerobic Threshold)

4 = Anaerobic Endurance/ Very hard

5 = Speed & Power/Extremely Hard (You can usually only stay in this zone for 30sec-1min at a time)

Example of Zone chart:

Heart Rate Training

Zone 5

Peak

132

Peak

138

Peak

143

Peak

149

Peak

154

Peak

160

Peak

165

Peak

171

Peak

176

Peak

182

Peak

187

Peak

193

Peak

198

Peak

204

Peak

209

Heart Rate Training

Zone 4

132

120

138

125

143

130

149

135

154

140

160

145

165

150

171

155

176

160

182

165

187

170

193

175

198

180

204

185

209

190

Anaerobic
Threshold
120

—-

125

—-

130

—-

135

140

—-

145

150

—-

155

—-

160

—-

165

—-

170

—-

175

—-

180

—-

185

—-

190

Heart Rate Training

Zone 3

120

108

125

113

130

117

135

122

140

126

145

131

150

135

155

140

160

144

165

149

170

153

175

158

180

162

185

167

190

171

 

Zone 2

108

84

113

88

117

91

122

95

126

98

131

102

135

105

140

109

144

112

149

116

153

119

158

123

162

126

167

130

171

133

Heart Rate Training

Zone 1

84

72

88

75

91

78

95

81

98

84

102

87

105

90

109

93

112

96

116

99

119

102

123

105

126

108

130

111

133

114

* Lifetime fitness reserves rights to this table

Get Cardiovascular Fit

use heart rate training and get more cardio fit. The more carido fit you get, the higher your anaerobic threshold gets. So I would recommend testing your Anaerobic Threshold every 6-8 weeks. Want to burn the largest amount of fat calories? Work out in zones 2-3 for the majority of your workouts.

Want to move your Anaerobic Threshold up and improve cardiovascular endurance? Train in zones 4-5 once or twice a week. Do you train in zones 4-5 more than twice a week? I would recommend taking a rest day or an active rest day. This means working out in zones 1-2. Now that you have the tools to work out more effectively let’s get heart rate training!

By: Kristy Donathan

 

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