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Articles > Training with 5 exercise heart rate training zones


Page 1 2 3 You may think that training is just for athletes. I absolutely believe that with few exceptions everyone can train to create change which leads to a good healthy life. Exercise is as different for everyone as Training With 5 Exercise Heart Rate Zones change is different.

Whether you want to change by shedding a few pounds or you just want to feel good about yourself, then here's a way that, if you follow it, you may end up on the wellness road to a new life.

What I'm talking about is Heart Zone Training, the best approach to all-around fitness I've found. This isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. It works for a 50-year-old athlete like me, a 60-year old with a family history of heart problems, a 70-year old wanting to improve strength, or an 80-year old who wants to climb to the third floor of a building without puffing. It works for a 20-year-old who wants to get fitter, a 30-year-old who has become more sedentary from too much time in front of a computer, and a 40-year-old who is preparing for a second wedding ceremony and wants to be their best.

Let's take it one part at a time and first look at those three words: Heart Zone Training.

HEART

That's easy. Your heart's a muscle; you can strengthen it. It's a use-it-or-lose-it muscle so if you don't do cardiovascular exercise, you'll lose the hearts functional ability.

ZONE

A zone is simply a range of heart beats. Recent research has shown powerful benefits from exercising in several different zones to get maximum benefit.

TRAINING

Training is the regime of exercising to achieve a goal. It's different than exercising. When you exercise you are doing it for the joy and benefit of the exercise. When you train, you want to accomplish a goal.

Take my 58-year-old friend Sara whose young grandchildren are really paying attention to her workouts. Today, I see her reaping the benefits of paying attention to her body. She looks good, she feels good, and her annual physical give her straight "A"s for low blood pressure, low body fat and low cholesterol. She's running her grand dads around now.

You can have similar results. It all starts with the beating of your heart.

RATING YOUR HEART RATE

Heart rates are measured in beats per minute (bpm). Our ambient heart rate is that measurement when you are sitting, relaxed, sedentary and it should be around 70 bpm for most people. In general, the lower your ambient rate, the better. World-class athletes have ambient heart rates in the 40's and 50 bpm range.

Your resting heart rate is measured when you first wake up in the morning before you get out of bed. The lower the number the better. Common resting heart rate numbers are in the 50-60s but again, those really fit athletes commonly display resting heart rates in the 30's and 40's.

Your Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR) is the fastest your heart can beat for one minute. A generalized rule anchors your Max HR using a mathematical formula but it has a lot of error in it because it allows it to drop as you get older.

In fact, Max HR doesn't decrease if you maintain your fitness (it does if you become de-conditioned). So using a formula based on age just doesn't work well enough. If you have to have one then use the one that we have found to be more accurate:

New Mathematical Formula Age/Weight Predicted Maximum Heart Rate

Males: 210 minus 1/2 your age minus 5% of your body weight + 4
Females: 210 minus - 1/2 your age minus 1% of your body weight + 0

Let me give you an example. I am 50 years old and weight 130 pounds. My arithmetic formula then would be as follows:

210 - 25 (50% x 50 years) minus 1.3 + 0 (female) = Max HR of 183 bpm

That's fairly close (within 10 beats) of my actually tested maximum heart rate which is 193 bpm.

If you ever go to an athletic club or gym and see the Max HR charts you have to be cautious. They aren't very accurate. Maximum heart rate is genetically determined, it simply isn't going to decrease according to those charts.

A few tips about Max HR which you may be curious about. It's altitude sensitive and increases as you go higher and it also is affected by drugs such as beta blocks and even antihistamines. It cannot be increased by training and a high Max HR does not predict better performance.

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