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Heart Rate Training

February 4th, 2009 by Fitness Guardian

High Intensity
Jackie Warner of Bravo’s Workout and Jillian Michaels of The Biggest Loser are in the business of helping people get fit.  They also promote high intensity exercise as the best way to get results.

Measuring Exercise Intensity
But what is the right exercise intensity for you?  And how can you make sure you keep that intensity consistent across your workout?  There are several ways to get feedback from your body during exercise that will help you stay at proper intensity.

Rate Of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
Also known as the Borg scale – you essentially rate how hard you think you’re exercising against a 1-10 scale. You set an intensity goal and stay within it.  Here’s an example.

Rate Of Perceived Exertion Scale

  • 0 – Nothing at all
  • 1 – Very light
  • 2 – Fairly light
  • 3 – Moderate
  • 4 – Some what hard
  • 5 – Hard
  • 6
  • 7 – Very hard
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10 – Very, very hard

The Problem With Perception
Problem with using your rate of perceived exertion as a guide is it’s not very accurate.  It’s easy to think you’re exercising harder than you are.  Which leads us to our next method…

Heart Rate Monitors
These monitors measure how fast your heart is beating per minute.  You simply determine the exercise intensity you want as represented by beats per minute.  There are several formulas that can help you determine your ideal training range.  Most fitness professionals agree that a high intensity workout is about 75 – 85% of your maximum heart rate.  To calculate you can use a simple formula:  Take 220 – minus your age and multiply it by .85 to get your training Beats Per Minute.

So a 30 year old woman who wanted to exercise at 85% intensity would take 220-30= 190 x .85 to get a heart rate of 161 beats per minute.  There are a million heart rate monitors out there that have all kinds of bells and whistles.

Style & Substance
Seems like Jillian Michaels followers would like a balance between style and substance.  Then this may be the heart rate monitor for you.

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