Posted by: Dr. Tyrone A. Holmes | October 24, 2008

Training with Heart Rate

   You are probably familiar with the concept of “training with heart rate”.  It’s based on the idea that you can improve the quality of your exercise program by matching your exercise intensity with the goals of a particular workout.  You do this by determining your Heart Rate Training Zones (more on this in my next post) and then training in the zone that fits the goals you have for a specific workout.  For instance, if you want to improve your aerobic endurance, you might train at a moderate intensity, which is about 70 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate (this would be Zone 3).  Conversely, on some days, you may want to take it easy and work out in Zone 1, which is 50 to 60 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Training with heart rate works by letting you know how hard you are working during a given workout and by providing you with the feedback needed to modify the intensity of your workout if you find you are working too hard or not hard enough.  It offers an easy way to continuously monitor your exercise intensity and to keep it at the desired level.  The training zones also help you understand the specific physiological benefits accrued while exercising at various intensity levels (e.g., the ‘fat-burning’ zone and the ‘aerobic endurance’ zone).  There are several Heart Rate Training Zone methods, each with various strengths and weaknesses.  I will provide a review of the most common methods in my next few posts along with a description of how to effectively apply them.  I will also discuss the most important tool for training with heart rate – the Heart Rate Monitor.

NEXT POST – October 29, 2008:

The 5 Heart Rate Training Zones

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