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    Heart Rate Training

    Heart Rate Training - Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy - conveniently located for New York call (212) 317-8303

    Heart Rate Training

    By Aaron Swanson, DPT

    This February many of you will be spending your time wondering which Valentine’s Day card best expresses your affection or trying to remember what type of flowers your loved one prefers. While speaking from the heart is important, you should also consider what your heart is putting out.

    Heart output, not the cathartic kind, is a very valuable measure for fitness training. VO2 Max is the gold standard in the fitness industry for measuring heart output. It quantifies the amount of oxygen your body is able to utilize during exercise. In other words, it gives an indication of the efficiency of your cardiorespiratory system (and therefore endurance capabilities). However, this measurement requires expensive equipment and is labor intensive. A cheaper alternative is to use your heart rate (in beats per minute).

    Heart rate training has been shown to correlate with VO2 Max and will increase in a linear manner proportional to workload during aerobic activity. In other words, as your heart rate increases, so does your VO2 Max. Using heart rate, you can methodically alter your training intensity to meet your desired fitness goals. There are 5 different heart rate zones. Each zone has a different effect on how your body adapts to training.

    How to Find Your Heart Rate

    Finding your heart rate can be as simple and cheap as checking your pulse or as complex and expensive as a Garmin heart rate monitor. After establishing your method of heart rate measurement it is necessary to determine your maximum heart rate and then calculate the appropriate training zone.

    2 Main Ways to Find Your Target Heart Rate Zone1) Age Predicted Maximal Heart Rate (APMHR) 220 -age = Maximum HR

    Target HR = (APMHR x exercise intensity)

    2) Karvonen Formula This method involves using your resting heart rate to find your heart rate reserve (HRR)


    MaxHR - Resting HR = HRR

    HRR x exercise intensity = Target HR

    Heart Rate ZonesHealthy Heart Zone (Warm-Up) = 50 - 60%

    This is a great zone for you if you’re just starting to exercise. It can help to decrease body fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol.

    Energy Efficient (Recovery Zone) = 60 - 70%

    This zone has similar benefits to the heart healthy zone, but since it is done at a greater intensity it burns more calories. This zone develops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. For advanced endurance athletes this zone can be used as a recovery zone. During interval training this zone allows the muscles to restore the glycogen that is expended during the faster paced interval.

    Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training) = 70 - 80%

    This zone is necessary to train in if you want to increase your endurance. It develops your cardorespiratory system, increases the efficiency of your heart, and improves your aerobic capacity, meaning that the body has increased ability to transport oxygen to working muscles and to remove carbon dioxide.

    Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training) = 80 - 90%

    This zone trains your fast twitch muscle fibers to develop speed and increases your VO2 Max. It works to increase your anaerobic threshold and increase the efficiency of your lactic acid system. This zone is mostly used for interval training and for experienced endurance athletes.

    Red Line Zone (Maximal Effort) = 90 - 100%

    This zone is very intense and can only be maintained for very short periods of time. You should consult a physician before training in this zone.

    How to Train

    Choosing which zone to train in depends on your fitness level and personal fitness goals. For novices it is important to start in a safe training zone that allows you to progress your endurance level without causing a musculoskeletal injury. For more advanced athletes it is advantageous to vary your training program and train in different zones. This can be done by performing intervals between zones or steady paced runs in one zone. Some studies have shown that using interval training with high-intensity training zones leads to the same endurance results in half the time when compared to steady state aerobic training.


    For Beginners/Novices

    Start at an intensity of 50-60% MHR and work your way up to a duration of 30 minutes. Once you can perform this without any problems you can progress to interval training. For intervals, perform exercise at 50-60% for 3 minutes, then increase the intensity to 60-70% for 2 minutes. Repeat for 30 minutes. You can progress the intensity as tolerated.

    For Advanced Athletes the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommends a varied aerobic endurance training program such as the example below:

    Long Slow Distance = race distance or longer = 70-75% MHR

    Pace/Tempo = 20-30min = 75-85% MHR

    Interval = 3-5min (1:1ratio) = 80-90% MHR (60-70% MHR Recovery Interval)

    Repetition = 30-90sec(1:5ratio) = 90-100% MHR (60-70% MHR Recovery Interval)

    Farlek = 20-60min = varies between the above training methods


    Increasing your endurance will lead to improved cardiovascular-repiratory-musculoskeletal health, increased oxygen delivery and utilization, improved fitness/endurance, and improved fat burning efficiency. Using your heart rate as a measure of intensity will give you a more accurate assessment of your training. By alternating your training with different heart-rate training zones you will allow for a greater aerobic performance.

    Source : www.dynamicsportspt.com

    Understanding Heart Rate Zones and RPE Quiz Check Flashcards

    Be careful and make sure to look at the order of the questions :> Learn with flashcards, games, and more — for free.

    Understanding Heart Rate Zones and RPE Quiz Check

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    Which of the following equations best represents a 15 year old's lower part of their target heart rate zone?

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    205 x .65

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    Rate of Perceived Exertion is a predetermined pulse rate to target during aerobic exercise based on age when the cardiovascular system is optimally function to enhance aerobic fitness. This is usually considered 65-85% of a person's Max Heart Rate.

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    Terms in this set (10)

    Which of the following equations best represents a 15 year old's lower part of their target heart rate zone?

    205 x .65

    Rate of Perceived Exertion is a predetermined pulse rate to target during aerobic exercise based on age when the cardiovascular system is optimally function to enhance aerobic fitness. This is usually considered 65-85% of a person's Max Heart Rate.


    If Sally has a fitness goal to improve her mile run time from 10 minutes and 15 seconds per mile to below 8 minutes and 30 seconds per mile in 3 months, which training plan using the heart rate zones would best help her achieve her goal?

    Sally should do most of her workouts in zone 3, but have some of her workouts go in to zone 4 in order to increase her anaerobic threshold.

    A track athlete completing 4, 100 meter sprints as hard as they can with 5 minutes rest in between each one is an example of training in which zone?

    Zone 5

    Rate the following exercise session results on the rate of perceived exertion chart: You were short of breath, but could still talk in sentences, starting to sweat, but feel like you can continue the exercise session for a longer period


    Which zone is considered the "aerobic" zone for not only improving health, but also athletic conditioning by strengthening the cardiovascular and pulmonary systems of the body.

    Zone 3

    Which zone is considered the "shortness of breath" zone for crossing over from aerobic exercise in to anaerobic exercise?

    Zone 4

    As a person gets in better cardiovascular shape, their resting heart rate will increase.


    220-age is the formula to calculate:

    Maximum Heart Rate

    Which training zone is considered the "healthy heart zone" for improving health related issues like high blood pressure and cholesterol?

    Zone 1

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    Exercise Heart Rate Zones Explained – Cleveland Clinic

    Heart rate zones signal how hard your heart is working. Find out why it matters when you’re exercising and how to find your target heart rate.

    May 12, 2021 / Sports Health & Fitness

    Exercise Heart Rate Zones Explained

    Find out what they are and if you need to track yours during workouts


    You finally committed to an exercise routine. You’ve got cushy sneakers and cool new leggings. You’re huffing and puffing your way to wellness. Then your health tracker mentions needing to hit your target heart rate and you’re not sure what that means.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

    No need to feel like an exercise newbie. Exercise physiologist Chris Travers, MS, explains heart rate zones — and if they really matter when you’re working out.

    What are exercise heart rate zones?

    Heart rate zones are a percentage of your maximum heart rate (heartbeats per minute). Exercise too close to your maximum HR (Mhr) and your heart and body will struggle to keep up with the demands.

    “The goal of heart rate zones is to make you the most efficient, but to allow you to challenge yourself to improve cardiovascular fitness,” says Travers.

    Exercise heart rate zones are the training levels based on your maximum heart rate. As you increase your pace, cadence and workload, you increase the demands on your heart. Travers breaks it down:

    Lower-intensity zone: You’re exercising at 50% to 60% of your max heart rate. At this point, 85% of the calories you burn are fat. The downside? You’re burning fewer calories overall than you would if you were exercising at a higher intensity. You’re generally able to sustain this zone the longest amount of time.Temperate zone: You’re exercising at 60% to 70% of your max heart rate. Roughly 65% of the calories you burn are fat.Aerobic zone: Working at 70% to 80% of your max heart rate puts you in the aerobic zone. About 45% of the calories you burn are fat. But you’re burning a higher number of overall calories compared to the other heart rate zones. You generally sustain this zone the shortest amount of time.

    Why do you burn less fat the harder you work out? Travers explains, “Once your heart rate increases, you’re not taking in as much oxygen. You can’t oxidize fat fast enough. Your body turns to another, more readily available energy source to provide fuel for you — glycogen, also known as carbohydrates.”

    How do heart rates affect workouts?

    Heart rate zones let you know how hard your heart is working and what energy source you’re using — carbohydrates or fat. The higher your heart rate gets, the more you’re relying on glycogen from carbohydrates for fuel.

    “For endurance athletes, it’s best to exercise in the zones that mostly rely on fat for fuel,” says Travers. “Fat is a longer-lasting energy source and better for longer, intense workouts.”

    Best heart rate zone for fat loss

    You’ll burn fat at every exercise heart rate zone. If you’re just starting to exercise, aim for the lower-intensity heart rate zone. As you build stamina, push yourself into the next zone until you’re comfortably at the aerobic level. That’s your heart getting stronger.

    Cardio exercise is designed primarily to improve heart and metabolic health, says Travers. It helps lower your:

    Blood pressure. Cholesterol. Blood sugar.

    For fat loss, he recommends strength training to build muscle. Having more muscle mass boosts your metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn while at rest), helping you burn more calories throughout the day.

    “If you haven’t been active before, then cardiovascular exercise will help with weight loss in the beginning. But at some point, you’ll become aerobically fit,” Travers notes. “Then you won’t use as much energy (calories) to complete the same amount of exercise, so you’ll stop seeing significant weight loss.”

    How do I find my target heart rate?

    To find your target heart rate zone, you first have to know your max heart rate. The simplest way to determine that is to subtract your age from 220. That number is a general guideline for your max heart rate. Then multiply that number times the percentage listed in the exercise heart rate zone you want to be in.

    For example, a 40-year-old woman has a max heart rate of 180 beats per minute (bpm). To exercise in the lower-intensity zone, multiply 180 times 50% or 60%. The target heart rate would range from 90 to 108 for a low-intensity workout.

    Some exercise machines like treadmills automatically track your heart rate for you. But you can also track it yourself by wearing a heart rate monitor or fitness tracker.

    What heart rate is too high?

    Anything over your max heart rate is unsafe. But it’s also about duration, says Travers. You can do short bursts in a higher, more intense heart rate zone. Overall, though, it’s best to spend longer periods in a zone below your max heart rate.

    Does the average person need to track their heart rate?

    Source : health.clevelandclinic.org

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