In the Zone – Heart Rate Training

There was a time when only professional cyclists, runners, and triathletes wore those funny plastic straps around their chests to monitor heart rate when they exercised. Now heart rate monitors are common tools found in many recreational athletes’ equipment bag as well. Heart rate monitors come in all price ranges and have varied capabilities to help guide your training, i.e. tools that monitor everything from altitude to the number of steps taken. Their main function is to give the user an immediate look at their heart rate response to exercise intensity. With the proper knowledge, the information heart rate monitors¬†heart rate monitors provide is your most powerful tool to maximize results in fitness and performance. The ability to monitor and manipulate exercise intensity is essential to creating precision heart rate training zones which are the anchor of all effective training programs.

The Numbers Game

There are numerous calculations available to estimate proper heart rate zones. The most common being 220 – Age = Max Heart Rate (MHR). Percentages of MHR are sometimes used to determine the various heart rate training zones to work within for maximum fitness results. Unfortunately, this and other formulas don’t work because they are based on a general premise and not your personal physiology. Differences in age, sex, genetics, and training background make heart rate information as individual as a fingerprint.

The only accurate and efficient method to arrive at personalized heart rate training zones is via metabolic testing called VO2 analysis. This simple, and now affordable testing procedure takes a snap shot of your working physiology as you exercise and will not only diagnose the efficiency of your energy production systems but also illuminate the path to better fitness and health. This test will tell us the how efficient your energy production systems are functioning in terms of the aerobic and anaerobic pathways used by your body to make energy for exercise, and for life.

With this information we can direct you to train at the most productive heart rate to increase fitness, performance and manage your body weight! For athletes, fitness enthusiasts and weight loss clients the initial goal is simple: exercise at a heart rate that teaches your body to burn fat as the primary fuel! Becoming a “Better Fat Burner” will also reduce the production of lactic acid and therefore fatigue when you exercise and improve energy levels every day.

In addition, metabolic testing provides valuable information relating to the calories burned during exercise and at rest. Empowered with this information we will be able to find with precision the realistic goals for adjusting your daily caloric intake to help decrease body fat and put on more muscle. Without testing, any estimation of your personal calorie needs is just a guess. Take the guess work out of your training and replacing it with personalized scientific data. This assures that your workouts are 100% productive and your calorie consumption will help you attain your goals faster!

Ready to get tested and use heart rate training to attain your goals? Phase IV offers VO2 testing as an integral component in your quest for health and fitness and assures your workouts are time efficient and productive. Our exercise physiologists will help you thoroughly understand your physiology and apply your zones for effective weight loss and increased performance.

To learn more about how to use Phase IV science to help you, join us at Fleet Feet Sports (16545 Ventura Blvd., Encino) This Wednesday night, October 24th at 7pm. Exercise Physiologist, Holly Perry, will give a lecture on Heart rate training with represenatives on hand to show the latest in heart rate monitors.

Call Phase IV at 310.582.8212

Robert Forster, PT, Founder & CEO of Phase IV and Forster Physical Therapy, National Spokesperson, Author, Physical Therapist to 42 Olympic Medalists, NBA and Grand Slam Champions and Member of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness.

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