Heart rate monitors provide users with a host of valuable functions and features but amongst the most useful are the ability to monitor your average heart rate and create training zone alerts with upper and lower limits.
Both of these features can make a significant contribution to helping optimise the training effort which ensures maximum workout effectiveness.
This introductory guide from Cartwright Fitness will help you calculate your perfect training zone or the ideal average session or lap heart rate for your workout.
The most straightforward method for calculating a training zone is to use the estimate of maximum heart rate by deducting your age, in years, from 220.
Estimate of Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – Age
Once you have identified an estimate of your maximum heart rate, you can then calculate a percentage of this number to focus the workout on calorie burning or cardiovascular aerobic development.
There are several methods for determining maximum heart rate and each method has pros and cons.
The purpose of determining your maximal heart rate is to then identify the training zone that best fits your fitness objectives:
Five Heart Rate Fitness Zones
• Zone 1: 50-60% of maximum heart rate
Light exercise. Maintains health, a get fit and active campaign and begins the process of balancing energy in and energy out equation. Also pre-conditioning or training session warm-up and cool-down.
• Zone 2: 60-70% of maximum heart rate
Weight Management. Lose weight and burn fat. Based on the premise that sustained low-intensity effort will on balance use more calories than short high-intensity exercise.
• Zone 3: 70-80% of maximum heart rate
Increase stamina and aerobic endurance. Training at this intensity will stimulate various physiological changes that will increase the aerobic capacity of the individual. Race pace for endurance events lasting longer than 1 hour.
• Zone 4: 80-90% of maximum heart rate
Maintain excellent fitness condition. Training at this intensity will develop speed endurance, physiologically build up lactate acid and develop efficient processes to remove this bi-product of muscular work. Training in this zone is especially important for competing in events that have a duration between 1 minute and 45 minutes.
• Zone 5: 90-100% of maximum heart rate
Manitain superb athletic condition for sprinting and other speed power training for explosive maximal speed training.
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