Training

Reaching your Target Training Zone

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Along with taking the time to do cardio, to burn calories and fat, you need to make sure that you are working in you optimal training zone. That will help ensure you are getting the maximum benefit of your training. The zone is going to be different from one person to the next depending on age, sex, and fitness level. But how can you figure out your target training zone?

This method is fairly straightforward and will allow you to figure out your own zone.

Checking the Pulsereaching your target training zone

  • The correct way to check your pulse rate is to:
  • Use your middle and index fingers
  • Press them against the next, below the chin and next to the Adam’s apple OR on the inside of the wrist
  • Press them firmly so you can feel the beat, but not hard enough to restrict blood flow, and count the number of beats that occur in 15 seconds
  • Multiply that number by 4 to get your heart rate per minute

Some people prefer to just get a pulse rate monitor instead of doing it manually which is a great idea as well.

Determining Resting Heart Rate

You need to establish a few baselines to help determine your zone. While using a general chart is one option, it does not take into account your history and level of specific fitness.

  • Take your pulse when you wake up before you get out of bed
  • Take your resting heart rate at night after sitting or lying down for 10 to 20 minutes
  • Track the heart rates morning and night for one week then compute the average which is your resting heart rate.

For fun you can re-check your rate after a few weeks of exercise. If you have been training properly then hopefully you are increasing your metabolism slightly which increases your resting heart rate a minor amount.

Calculating the Target Heart Rate

This takes a little bit of math but is fairly straightforward. Activity is based on intensity or a percentage of maximum effort.

  • Warming Up – 40 percent
  • Low Level – 60 percent
  • Moderate Level – 70 percent
  • High Level – 80 percent

For men to determine your THR do the following:

  • Take 200 minus your resting heart rate minus your age
  • Multiply that number by the percent level for the activity you will do
  • Add that number to your resting heart rate
  • That is your THR for that level of exercise in beats per minute

For women to determine your THR do the following:

  • Take 230 minus your resting heart rate minus your age
  • Multiply that number by the percent level for the activity you will do
  • Add that number to your resting heart rate
  • That is your THR for that level of exercise in beats per minute

Monitoring Your Rate

Ideally you want to stay within your target range during the entire time you are exercising at that level. For example, if you are doing interval training and mixing between 2 minutes of high and 2 minutes of low level activity then you will monitor it off and on during each interval to make sure your not pushing too hard (or not pushing hard enough).

For people who do a lot of interval style training the pulse rate monitor is extremely useful. After a while you will be able to feel when you are in your zone much like after driving your car for a long time you know what a certain speed feels like.

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