It’s two days away from Valentine's Day and although seeing the person you love is one way to make your heart go pitter patter, it is important to understand how monitoring your heart rate during training sessions can have many benefits that last well beyond the roses, chocolates, and candy grams.
Did you know that in under a minute, your heart can pump blood to every cell in your body? And over the course of a day, about 100,000 heart beats shuttle 2,000 gallons of oxygen-rich blood many times through about 60,000 miles of branching blood vessels that link together the cells of our organs and body parts. That's a hefty job for a fist-sized muscle!
Understanding what your heart muscle is capable of, will allow you to push past those limiting "I can’t" type thoughts and take your training to the next level. Whether it's training for a 100 mile bike race, climbing the Appalachian Mountains, or simply dominating a 15 minute HIIT session, heart rate training has a multitude of benefits.
So where do you start? The first step would be to invest in a quality heart rate monitor. Brands such as Polar and Garmin have a long-standing reputation of being reliable and accurate when it comes to looking at your BPM's. These monitors generally come with a watch as well as a chest strap that you wear together during exercise and can range from $50 all the way up to $500.
The next step would be to find your estimated max heart rate (MHR). This number will be the base for how long and how hard you train in each heart rate zone. This can be done using the following formula for both men and women.
Men = (220 – age)
Women = (226 – age)
Once you have determined your MHR you can determine what your training goals are. This will greatly influence the amount of time that you spend within each *heart rate zone per session, per day, per week. Once you've set them, it's time to create a plan of action that will launch you towards achieving success. If you don't have the knowledge or time to create a periodized training plan, consider hiring a Coach or Personal Trainer that specializes in the sport or activity you wish to improve.
Now you're ready! Depending on what you are training for, consider the heart rate training zones below and follow through for the results you are looking for!
*Heart rate training zones:
Zone 1 (YELLOW) -> About 60-74% of MHR
Zone 2 (GREEN) -> About 75-87% of MHR
Zone 3 (RED) -> About 88-95% of MHR
Fall in love with the Woodway Curve Treadmill for HIIT and see how much your heart will love this manual treadmill for any level of fitness!