Many people who have researched the quickest, most effective, way to lose weight are opting for heart rate training as studies have shown that weight loss goals can be reached faster with type of training. Heart rate training is simply monitoring your heart rate during a workout and controlling how fast or how slow your heart is working by increasing or decreasing the intensity of your workout.
Knowing your maximum heart rate is the basis of this type of training. The standard formula for estimating your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. If you are 35 years old, then your maximum heart rate is approximately 185.
The problem with this formula, however, is that maximum heart rate doesn’t decrease with age if you maintain your fitness. As a result, the formula isn’t the most accurate method to use. In fact, any formula based on age isn’t going to be the most accurate method. However, if you must use a formula, this one is believed to be more accurate:
Males: 210 minus 1/2 your age minus 5% of your body weight + 4
Females: 210 minus – 1/2 your age minus 1% of your body weight + 0
Let’s say you are a 35 year old male and you weigh 180 pounds, the formula would look like this:
210 – 17.5 (35 years divided by 2) minus 9 + 4 (180 pounds x 5% = 9) = maximum heart rate of 179.5, or 180. As you can see, the result is similar to the previous formula. For most people, these formulas will be adequate enough but there is a more accurate method that can be used.
That method requires that you first determine where you fall within three fitness categories. Those categories are:
Poor Shape: You are in poor shape and you haven’t done any form of aerobic exercise, or walking, for two months.
Fair Shape: You are in fair shape and you exercise, or walk, around three times a week.
Good Shape: You are in good shape and exercise more than three times a week, or you run a minimum of five miles weekly.
After determining your fitness category, you have to perform a one-mile walking test. Hop on your treadmill and walk at a steady continual pace for one mile. At about the three quarter of a mile mark (which will be a distance of .75 on your treadmill display console), take your heart rate and make a mental note of it.
Then take that number and add 40 to it if you fall within the poor fitness category. Add 50 to it if you fall within the fair shape category. Add 60 if you are in the good shape category. The number you come up with will be your maximum heart rate. All of the training zones used for heart rate training will be based off of this number.
The key to having an efficient heart rate training program is using a treadmill that is equipped with a heart rate monitor. Based on the monitor’s readings you will know what your heart is doing throughout your workout. Using a heart rate monitor will take the mental calculations and guesswork out of the equation and let you focus on your training. Depending on your individual training program, you will use the heart rate monitor to gauge whether you should continue your pace, intensify it, or back it down.
Learning Your Heart Rate Training Zones
Many people love heart rate training because the routines are quick, lasting between 20-30 minutes. The routines consists of moving in and out of the following zones:
Healthy Heart Zone – Your heart rate is beating between 50%-60% of your maximum heart rate and you are feeling comfortable and still able to talk normally at this pace.
Fitness Zone – Your heart rate is beating between 60%-70% of your maximum heart rate and you start breathing heavier and you find it a little harder to talk.
Aerobic Zone – Your heart rate is beating between 70%-80% of your maximum heart rate and if you can talk, it will only be in short phrases.
Anaerobic Zone – Your heart rate is beating between 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate and your breathing will be hard.
Red Line Zone – Your heart rate is at or nearing your maximum heart rate and you will only be able to stay in this heart rate zone for a couple of minutes.
If reaching your weight loss or training goals faster is something that interests you, think about heart rate training. When you use the heart rate monitors that are on treadmills, it’s easy to know what zones you are in and when to move in and out of them. They will do all the monitoring for you. All you will have to focus on is moving closer to your weight loss goals!