Heart Rate Training
Q: What is heart rate?
Heart rate is the number of heart beats per minute; the times per minute that
the heart contracts.
Q: What is average heart
A: The average of heart rates
measured during an exercise period.
Q: What is recovery heart
A: This is the heart rate that
our body will decrease to after an exercise session. For example, you exercise
for a 1/2 hour at 155. Two minutes after you stop exercising, your heart rate
decreases to 95. The 95 would be your recovery heart rate. It is used to
evaluate your fitness level after exercise. It is good to set a two minute time
frame and see how many beats you recover in that time frame. Compare this
recover heart rate between exercise sessions.
Q: What is resting heart
A: Resting heart rate (Resting
HR) is the number of beats in one minute when you are at complete rest. Your
resting heart rate indicates your basic fitness level. The more
well-conditioned your body, the less effort and fewer beats per minute it takes
your heart to pump blood to your body at rest.
Q: How do I determine Morning
Resting Heart Rate (MRH)?
Immediately after awakening and before you get out of bed, measure your heart
rate using your heart rate monitor or from the palpitating pulse from artery,
counting the beats for 15 seconds and multiplying by four. You can sleep with
your heart rate monitor on and in the morning read it first thing. Be aware of
the fact that, if your bladder is full in the morning, you didn't sleep well,
or you're feeling stressed, you might have a slightly elevated resting heart
rate. Take these measurements for five consecutive days and find the average.
This average is your actual resting heart rate. Resting heart rate is dependent
on your living habits and a number of factors such as quality of sleep, stress
level, and eating habits.
Q: What is maximum heart
A: Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR) is
the highest number of times your heart can contract in one minute. Max HR is
the most useful tool to be used in determining training intensities, because it
can be individually measured or predicted.
Q: How to determine maximum
A: You can define your
maximum heart rate by
1) having it
measured in an exercise test
age-predicted maximum heart rate formulas.
1) Measured Max
The most accurate way
of determining your individual maximum heart rate is to have it clinically
tested (usually by treadmill stress testing) by a cardiologist or exercise
physiologist. You can also measure it in field conditions supervised by an
experienced coach. If you are over the age of 35, overweight, have been
sedentary for several years, or have a history of heart disease in your family,
clinical testing is recommended.
2) Predicted Maximum
HR There is a mathematical formula that allows you to predict your Max HR with
some accuracy. It is called the "age-adjusted formula". The age-adjusted Max HR
formula can come in very handy when you're not prepared to pay for the
physician-supervised stress test.
WOMEN: 226-your age =
age-adjusted Max HR
MEN: 220-your age = age-adjusted Max HR
If you are a
30-year-old woman, your age-adjusted maximum heart rate is 226- 30 years = 196
bpm (beats per minute).
These formulas apply
only to adults. The generally accepted error in age-predicted formulas is + -
10-15 beats per minute, which is due to different inherited characteristics and
You should remember
that there may be some discrepancy when using the age-adjusted formula,
especially for people who have been fit for many years or older people. The
formula will give you a ballpark estimate to work from, but if you want to
exercise/train at your most effective levels, your Max HR should be
Q: What is the heart rate
A: Heart Rate Reserve is the
difference between your Maximum Heart Rate and your Resting Heart Rate. If your
maximum heart rate is 196 bpm (beats per minute) and your resting heart rate 63
bpm, your heart rate reserve is 196 bpm - 63 bpm = 133
The greater the
difference, the larger your heart rate reserve and the greater your range of
potential training heart rate intensities.
Q: What is safety heart
A: This is the heart rate that is
prescribed for beginning exercises - whether a walker, runner, swimmer,
snowshoer, or a participant in any aerobic activity. It is also the term used
in some cardiac rehabilitation programs in which physicians prescribe moderate,
supervised training for recovering heart attack patients. This range is usually
60% (or less) of the maximum heart rate and represents the least amount of
stress you can place on your heart and still receive a beneficial exercise
Q: What is Max VO2 heart
A: This is the heart rate at
which you hit your maximal oxygen uptake effort. On the average, you hit your
Max VO2 HR at 95% of your Max HR.
Q: What is the anaerobic
A: The physiological point
during exercise at which muscles start using up more oxygen than the body can
transport, i.e. muscle work produces more lactic acid/lactate than the body can
Q: What is
information on what is happening inside the body, for instance heart
Q: What does ECG stand
A: It stands for electrocardiogram
which is a unit that is used in the medical community to measure and analyze
heart rate. The Polar heart rate monitors all have the same accuracy rating as
the ECG machine.
Q: What is the target
A: A target zone is a heart rate
range that guides your workout by keeping your intensity level between an upper
and lower heart rate limit. There are various target zones that are suggested
for an individual to follow that correspond with a specific exercise goal. IE:
Improved Fitness Zone 70-80% of Max Heart Rate.