Heart Rate Training for Great Results
You know you need to work out to stay healthy and fit. But do you know how hard you should work out? Many people think they need to work out at the highest intensity possible every day, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Your weekly workout routine should contain a healthy mix of high-, moderate-, and low-intensity physical activity. Heart rate training is a valuable tool to help you hit all those different workout intensities. In our World Gym Athletics programming, we use heart rate training to ensure every athlete is getting the most out of their workout. Here is how you can start using rate training in your workouts.
Why you should try heart rate training
During World Gym Athletics workouts, your heart rate monitor allows you to stay within your optimal intensity range for the day.
Heart rate training provides real-time feedback about how hard you’re working during exercise. This means you can adjust your workout intensity based on your goals for the given workout. That, in turn, means you can set and achieve specific, data-driven goals for each session.
For example, if you want to go for a recovery run, wearing a heart rate monitor can prevent you from running too fast on your easy day. The same concept applies to high-intensity interval training, weightlifting, and other forms of exercise.
How to start heart rate training
Heart rate training is simple with a monitor like MyZone.
Well, first you need a way to measure your heart rate. If you wear an Apple Watch, Fitbit, Garmin, or other type of smartwatch, you already have a way to do so. Chest strap heart rate monitors, like MyZone, use electrocardiogram technology and tend to be more accurate than wrist-worn devices that use optical tracking, so if you want to get serious, go with one of those. Arm straps are another good choice, but they also use optical tracking.
Once you have your device of choice, it’s time to put it to use. Heart rate training is all about beats per minute (BPM) and how close your BPM is to your max heart rate during any given workout. Heart rate training utilizes five heart rate zones, all of which correspond to a certain percentage of your max heart rate (MHR). Each zone elicits a different response from your body.
The five heart rate zones
Use these five zones to achieve a desired outcome from each workout:
- Very light effort: 50 to 59% MHR
- Light effort: 60 to 69% MHR
- Moderate effort: 70 to 79% MHR
- Hard effort: 80 to 89% MHR
- Very hard effort: 90 to 99% MHR
Calculate your heart rate zones
A World Gym Athletics coach can help you calculate your max heart rate.
To find your heart rate zones, calculate your max heart rate. For World Gym Athletics, we use the Hunt Method: 211 – (your age x 0.64). For instance, if you’re 25 years old, you would multiply 25 x 0.64 to get 16, then subtract 16 from 211 to get 195.
With 195 BPM as your max heart rate, your heart rate zones approximately come out to:
- Very light effort: 97 to 116
- Light effort: 117 to 135 BPM
- Moderate effort: 136 to 154 BPM
- Hard effort: 155 BPM to 174 BPM
- Very hard effort: 175+ BPM
As a caveat, the formula isn’t appropriate for everyone. Beginners may need to adjust their estimated MHR down. A World Gym Athletics coach can help you do this.
Staying in an optimal heart rate zone during workouts ensures you don’t over-tax your body, but you push it when it’s time to get intense. To learn more, talk to a coach at your World Gym.