Let’s discuss the burning heart rate workouts for a few minutes. These days everyone wants to talk about getting fit, slimming down and losing weight. For most of the people who are interested in losing weight and getting slim their first order of business should be evaluating their physical well-being. There are three areas of wellness that are sometimes interrelated but still very different. These are health, fitness and performance. Each is distinct in their value and should be considered independent of each other for goal setting.
What Is Heart Rate Training?
The human heart starts beating around the fourth week of gestation. During his lifetime the typical human may experience roughly 3 billion heartbeats. From a medical standpoint a normal heartbeat is around 60 to 100 bpm. Slower heartbeats are usually the body’s response to chronic exercise. This is a good thing.
Keep in mind that the average human (weighing around 160 pounds) is carrying roughly 4.7 liters of blood. Blood accounts for about 7% of the human body weight. That means the average American is lugging around approximately 1 ½ gallons of the red stuff every day. The reason why I bring this up is to underscore the importance of focusing on heartbeat for health. The whole point of measuring the heart rate in the first place relates to the optimal functioning of blood flow throughout the body.
Heart rate training allows us to focus on any one of these three goals independently and drill down to the minute details involved in the achievement of these goals. Those were looking to lose weight may or may not be unhealthy. For example an athlete who needs to shed 15 pounds before the competition in order to increase performance and qualify may still be in top physical condition.
Those who are classified as overweight and obese should first improve their overall health;
• Body Fat Levels
• Blood Pressure
• Cholesterol Level
• Lung Capacity
Appropriate food consumption and proper exercise can help to improve overall health in readiness for fitness training. People who are out of shape and unhealthy will have to pay attention to phase 1 (improving health) before moving on to phase 2 (fitness training).
Improvements in fitness level seek to improve heart rate, points, oxygen utilization and lactic acid concentration. Those were looking to gain performance levels may focus on accuracy of movement, completion times, improved skill training or mental attitude.
Heart Rate Training Cycling
Training zones are based on the idea that the heart beats faster based on the rate of exertion during aerobic activity. Resting on the couch while watching TV would be considered an anaerobic activity because your muscles aren’t challenged to the point at which your pulmonary system and circulatory system need to engage at a higher intensity. Heart rate training zones (there are five zones) differentiate between the levels of maximum heart rate in response to exertion.
Heart rate training, cycling will usually take someone through each zone during the full workout. Heart rate training, cycling is used in interval training; the person goes through various stages from anaerobic to extremely high aerobic activity and back down for recovery. This process is repeated several times during the workout.
For best results, a heart rate monitoring system helps to record the maximum heart rate and recovery heart rate during intervals. The readout is then used to determine how long to rest between intervals. Finally, the monitoring system is used to make sure that recovery workouts are effective. Timex heart rate monitors and Garmin offer excellent monitoring systems along with populare brands by Nike and Polar.
Heart Rate Training Workouts
Most healthy individuals will find that the range between 50 and 80% of their maximum heart rate is considered their exercise zone. So for example, if your max heart rate is 180 bpm, your low end of the range would be 90 bpm’s while 144 bpm’s would be the high range. Heart rate training workouts help training enthusiasts to monitor their range throughout an exercise program. Polar heart rate monitors are being used by non athletes to improve their conditioning and performance these days.
Since every individual is different, the first step is to determine your maximum heart rate. Keep in mind that this is just an estimate, but still worthwhile; take your age and subtracted from the number 220. In this example, a 58-year-old man would have a maximal heart rate of 162 bpm’s. The high range for exercise effort would be 130 bpm is why the lower range of the exercise would be 81 bpm’s. This range is simply an indicator of how hard you should be working during your aerobic routine.
When monitoring intense activity, getting an accurate pulse count is important. Many people use the two fingers to the artery method; they count the beats during a 10 second period. They then multiply the number of beats per 10 seconds by six to get the heart beats per minute. So for example, if a 10 second pulse count is 20, the heart rate would be 120 bpm. Pulse monitors make it easy to track your progress while exercising. There are quite a few heart rate monitors on the market specifically for high intensity exercises. They range in price and complexity.
Monitoring heart rate levels during a workout offers an excellent way to keep track of your progress while keeping you in a safe zone. The five heart rate zones correspond to the range between health, fitness and performance. These are laid out from zones one through five:
• Z1 Healthy Heart Zone 50%-60% Health Zone
• 2-5 (perceived exertion)
• Z2 Temperate Zone 60%-70%
• 4-5 (perceived exertion)
• Z3 Aerobic Zone 70%-80% Fitness Zone
• 5-7 (perceived exertion)
• Z4 Threshold Zone 80%-90%
• 7-9 (perceived exertion)
• Z5 Redline Zone 90%-100% Performance Zone
• 9-10 (perceived exertion)
Whether you choose the two fingers on the artery method or one of those fancy Nike heart rate monitors, keeping track of your heart rate throughout an exercise allows you to remain in your preferred zone for as long as you need. Keep in mind that your five heart rate zones are unique to your particular biology and physiology. So for example, two cyclists maintaining a steady rate of 150 leads per minute maybe in two different zones. This is why it is important to base your training on your individual level of fitness.
Pulse monitors are used in a variety of fitness programs and for a variety of purposes. Some fitness enthusiasts use it while bicycling while others for swimming, walking or weightlifting. Heart rate monitors are often used for the following training systems:
• Heart Rate Training Running
• Triathlon Heart Rate Training
• Heart Rate Training For Weight Loss
You can use the handy heart rate training calculators located here on the website to determine your target heart rate and maximum heart rate for your age. You can find a good heart rate training chart to help you determine whether you are doing too much or too little for your particular exercise or training discipline. There are plenty of heart rate monitors reviews online and in magazines to help you choose the right one for your needs.
Companies like Polar offer a variety of tools to help individuals stay within their target zones. There are heart rate monitors without chest strap attachments. These monitors strapless heart rate monitors can track calories burned as well as pulse rates. Companies such as Nike, Garmin and even Timex offer a wide selection of styles. They often come with training charts; here’s an example below.
The Fat Burning Zone
Humans use both fat and carbohydrates to fuel their muscles during exertion. The concept of the fat burning zone in relation to exercise machines started out as a calculation set by the exercise equipment industry. In other words the measurement was a matter of convenience, not scientific data.
Muscles respond to activity by using fat and carbohydrates in similar fashion to the way the internal combustion engine uses gasoline. Low intensity exertion such as walking or gardening, for example, will rarely activate the lactate threshold. The human body loves fat and will do anything to keep it stored away for emergencies. Normally, the body has plenty of fat storage and has no reason to worry about fuel expenditure for low intensity effort.
When the activity level intensifies to a point where muscles can no longer rely on the inefficient fuel distribution (fat) to power the machine, the most expendable fuel is used (carbohydrates). This stage is activated by the lactate threshold. This is the stage at which the heart needs to pump more blood in veins and arteries and the lungs are required to force more air into the pulmonary system.
Think of an old steam locomotive pulling out of the station; you can hear it chugging ever so slowly as it builds up pressure. The chugging sounds become more rapid and more fuel is involved in keeping the steam engine fires going. In order to keep the pressure in the steam engine, more fuel must be added at a rapid pace to keep the fires going. This is the difference between aerobic and anaerobic activity.
The use of fat as fuel decreases with the aerobic intensity of the activity. Exercise below the lactate threshold essentially uses fat as fuel because the body sees no cause for alarm. Intense activity above the lactate threshold uses mostly carbohydrates because it burns more efficiently for this phase of exertion. Carbohydrates become the only fuel source once the intensity level rises high above the lactate threshold.
When carbohydrates aren’t available for fuel in abundance, the muscles are forced to use fat. People often assume that low intensity exercises equate to the fat burning zone. The problem with this scenario is that low intensity exercise is still an inefficient fat burning system. This is why the body doesn’t mind letting go of its precious fat stores during low intensity activity. Case in point, during rest your body is burning 100% fat as fuel.
Heart Rate Training Plan
When you’re ready to train with a specific plan, your goal is to get the job done within specific zones. For example, your goal on day one, maybe two stay within 70 to 80% (zone two) of your training capacity for 30 minutes. This would be a training rate that allows you to hold a conversation comfortably while working out. Your goal may be to stay within zone three (81 to 93%) for several minutes before going back to zone two every 15 minutes. A heart rate training plan is as individual as the person who is using it.
Maximum Heart Rate Formulas Versus Maximum Heart Reserve
Exercise enthusiasts have been using the maximum heart rate formula (220 minus your age) to determine their specific numbers for their heart rate zones. Experts are now using a new formula they consider more accurate; known as the heart rate reserve. If you have a maximum heart rate up 190 and a resting heart rate of 60, your heart rate reserve would be 130.
Since your heart rate training plan would consist of your warm-up, medium intensity and high-intensity ranges, you need to calculate your specific zones. Your warm-up zone would be approximately 65% of your maximum intensity. So for example, if your heart rate was (in this case, 130) x 65%, plus your resting heart rate (in this case, 60) with the result being 144.5. Now that you have a baseline for your warm-up, you’ll know if you are working too hard or not enough for your goals.
Whether you use a heart rate monitor to track your progress during cycling or to help with fat burning exercises, these gadgets aren’t going away anytime soon. Now you can even track your pulse from your Android or iPhone! Bear in mind that no device is going to be 100% accurate for your specific physiology, but should be used as a gauge to help you stay on track for your fitness goals.
Heart Rate Monitor Watches Review
REVIEWS AND COMPARISONS
Polar RS300X Heart Rate Monitor – Suggested Retail – $89.99
Suunto Quest – Suggested Retail – $207.59
Garmin Forerunner 15 – Suggested Retail – $169.99
Polar FT7 – Suggested Retail – $74.99
Polar FT4 – Suggested Retail – $62.99
Garmin FR70 – Suggested Retail – $129.99
Mio Alpha – Suggested Retail – $169.00
Timex Ironman Road Trainer – Suggested Retail – $67.55
Timex Ironman Easy Trainer – Suggested Retail – $53.03
Mio Link – Suggested Retail – $79.00