Heart-rate training benefits everyone, from the beginning exerciser trying to lose weight, to individuals trying to improve their cardiovascular fitness, to the highly conditioned athlete preparing for the next competition.
The key to making progress is to elevate your heart rate into the correct training zone, so your effort matches your goals. These are seven easy-to-follow ranges that will help you train in your ideal heart-rate zone.
*To determine your Resting Heart Rate take your pulse before you get out of bed in the morning. Do this for several days in a row to get consistent readings.
YOUR MAXIMUM HEART RATE
The is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute. This does not take into account your fitness level or inherited genes, which can make your true maximum heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute higher or lower than the age-predicted number.
YOUR HEART-RATE RESERVE
This heart-rate reserve represents the cushion heartbeats available for exercise.
AEROBIC TRAINING RANGE FOR FAT BURNING
This fat-burning range will lie between 50 and 75 percent of your heart-rate reserve. Your heart rate during aerobic training that will most efficiently burn fat.
AEROBIC TRAINING RANGE FOR FITNESS
The range required to improve aerobic endurance is higher than that needed for fat burning, between 75 and 85 percent of your heart-rate reserve.
This range represents the upper limits of aerobic exercise—the point just before you push yourself into exhaustive anaerobic work. Exercising at this intensity is usually done to improve athletic performance. It is not recommended for weight loss. Operating at this intensity level will not burn body fat. It becomes a carbohydrate (muscle-glycogen burning) exercise.
ANAEROBIC TRAINING RANGE:
This is all-out effort and represents 90 to 100 percent of the cushion of your heart-rate reserve. The goal here is to go as fast as you can for as long as you can. This is pure anaerobic, carbohydrate-burning, exhaustive, lactic acid-producing exercise.