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Old 01-04-2013, 02:04 AM   #1
seattlebusymom
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work out help

I would love some advise when it comes to heart rate and working out. I have returned to the gym and the first step for me is getting some cardio in at least 3 - 4 times a week. Since I am out of shape it is not taking much to get my heart rate up. I an putting in 40 - 50 minutes between the treadmill and elliptical. My heart rate seems to average 170 for the duration. I am 40. Can anyone help me out?
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:59 PM   #2
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Your working too hard. The formula for cardio is 60-90% of max hr. Max hr is estimated at 220 - age or 220 - 40 = 180.
60% would be 108 and 90% would be 162 so you should be between 108 - 162 bpm.
Usually it is reccomended for a beginner to stick with the lower end of the range. Remember it is better to start of too lightly and develop good habits than to go out hard and quit after a couple of weeks.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:23 PM   #3
Rose&Mike
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OP-how are you taking your heart rate? Machines in the gym are notorious for being incorrect. When I was on the elliptical this week my heart rate was measuring 170 and my hands weren't anywhere near the sensors. My heart rate when working out ranges normally from 110-150 so I was pretty confident it was incorrect. If you are using the machines for heart rate, try taking it yourself a couple of times and see if you are getting the same results. No advice for what to do if it truly is that high. I'm sure other folks will pop in with that.
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Old 01-05-2013, 12:56 AM   #4
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Thank you both. I am getting the readings off the machines. I am thinking I should look into a heart rate monitor. Any advise on brands. I used to wear a polar years ago. If I take the rate by myself what's the amount of time I count?

Thank you thank you....I sure appreciate the help!
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:42 AM   #5
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I was going to post yesterday but work kind of got in the way.

First and foremost and R&M said, the machine electrodes are not reliable. I suggest taking a count for 6 seconds on the carotid artery and multiply x 10. Do that a few times to get a real reading.

Next – IGNORE any formula based exercise range. Seriously, this is a misapplication of a paper presented at a cardiologist convention by two Finnish doctors. It was based on a study of college-aged males – aged 18-22. By chance one could draw a line through their data that suggested HR falls a beat a year. It simply does not happen. However, we Americans are looking for an easy system and this fit the bill. If one follows the formula and works out in the ‘fat burning’ zone based on the formula, there is a 90% chance you are not working hard enough – only about 10% of the folks I have observed come close to the formula.

Note how you feel when on the machines. Try to grade as:
Easy – Can do all day if I had to
Medium – Can do for quite a while, I can still talk normally
Hard – I think I can go for a while, but not much more than maybe an hour – Talking is broken into 3-7 syllable phrases
Very Hard – I can go for maybe 5 minutes if pushed – Looking for a way off the machine – 2-3 syllable phrases.
Extremely hard – I can’t go – can’t speak.

Try to correlate your HR to one of these zones. Most of your work should be at the upper edge of medium to lower hard.

I suggest a Polar HR monitor. The level is up to you, but I like a one that you can program zones into. I am also a fan of their “Fitness” test that measures HR variability at rest. It comes much closer that the formula.

However, if you want to zone into a set of training zones, we need to perform a submaximal test. IT is not pleasant but not a gut busting test, either. What we are looking for is the line between aerobic and anaerobic work, or the anaerobic threshold. By finding this HR, we can workout in a zone designed around you and your current fitness. This test should be performed every couple months as it is trainable and will change – hopefully improve.

To perform, I recommend a friend help but you can perform by yourself. The friend will help keep from the last interval cheats that we will all try to do.

Set up a treadmill at a speed you know you can maintain for 12-15 minutes. Warm up for 3 minutes at that speed. At the end of the warmup, note the HR and then speak a 5-7 syllable sentence. You chose, but something like, “Send the money honey”. Yes people will look at you in a club setting. Raise the incline 2% and run/walk for 2 minutes. At the end of the period, say your sentence. If still normal, add 2% and go again for 2 minutes. Repeat until you note that you can only say 2-3 syllables per breath. We really want to start to pay attention to the HR at this point. Raise the elevation again and at one minute speak and note HR. Run another minute. If you are still where you were, add a % elevation. Once you get to the point where you can only say 1-2 syllables per breath note the HR and go for another minute… keep an eye on the HR and note it if it climbs another beat or two. The monitor has a 10-15 second delay and you really want to make sure you grab that last beat increase if you can.

This last HR is your AT or anaerobic threshold. We will use it to set up zones
Zone 1 (Below AT-25%) - Warm-up/Recovery – Easy Pure fat buring
Zone 2 (AT-25% to AT-10%)– Aerobic Development – Medium – Fat with a little sugar as fuel
Zone 3 (AT- 10% to AT) – Aerobic Endurance – Hard – Training the body to burn fat at higher HR rates – Pushing up AT
AT – (Observed HR)
Zone 4 (AT to AT+10%) – Anaerobic Endurance – Very Hard – Working to pull up AT
Zone 5 – (Above Zone 4) - Speed/Power – Extremely hard


You will want to spend 80-90% of your cardio time in the upper zone 2 and zone 3 areas. You will not be comfortable but the closer you can work to the mid to upper zone 3, the quicker you will push up the AT. Again, every 2-3 months re-evaluate – you will know when the effort starts to feel easier over an hour workout.

Working out through this type of program, you will improve your cardio fitness, your ability to burn fat while working out and will lose weight. The “Fat Burning” zones found on a cardio machine will put you in the zone 1 area of this plan. Yes, you will burn almost 100% fat and it is safe. But you will not burn very many Kcal down at the bottom of the workout zones.
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:40 PM   #6
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Just a couple of things to add on to what Coach Charles said.

First my background. I have been teaching fitness since 1998 and have over my career been a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, Pilates instructor, and adjuct instructor at Bastyr University. I currently own my own Pilates studio in Redmond, WA. I have my BS in exercise science and wellness, am NSCA CSCS cerified, Stott Pilates Certified, and ACE Group Fitness Instructor certified. I am currently about 1/2 way through completing my master's degree in kinesiology. I love Disney and just started checking out the WISH boards recently because I am doing the 2013 Disney Marathon. I'm normally more of a lurker than a poster.

While I would agree with Coach Charles about the usefullness of max HR formula's I respectfully disagree about it being a misapplication of one study. Many, many studies have been done and it is actually useful on a population level but the problem is that the 220-age reccomendation has a standard deviation of over 10 beats per minute (I forget exactly what it was but it was shockingly high). Since statistics tells us that 95% of a population will fall within 2 standard deviations, the 220-age +/- 20ish beats is actually where it falls which is less than helpful for an individual.

That said if people follow the guidelines as given they will improve in fitness and if the op is the sort of person who feels more secure to have a device telling her she is doing ok that is perfectly fine. Op for more info on heart rate monitors start here http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/s...te-monitor.pdf.

Coach Charles's suggestion for finding AT was interesting and would be effective and useful but does require one to enter the vigorous category and it would be remiss to not mention proper health screening. The ACSM's guidelines of who should recieve medical screening and/or fitness testing before exercsie can be found here http://www.acefitness.org/pdfs/ACSM-...ctor-Chart.pdf
It is shockingly easy to be in the moderate risk category at which point it is usually recommended to stick with low-moderate intensity exercise unless one has medical clearance. If you are in the low risk category or get clearance his protocol looks good.

Good luck with restarting your fitness journey. I would like to restate my belief that in the beginning the most important thing is to start creating good habits. The most perfect program become useless if one stops doing it after a couple of weeks or develops an overuse injury and is forced to stop.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:27 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disneyjanet View Post
Just a couple of things to add on to what Coach Charles said.

First my background. I have been teaching fitness since 1998 and have over my career been a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, Pilates instructor, and adjuct instructor at Bastyr University. I currently own my own Pilates studio in Redmond, WA. I have my BS in exercise science and wellness, am NSCA CSCS cerified, Stott Pilates Certified, and ACE Group Fitness Instructor certified. I am currently about 1/2 way through completing my master's degree in kinesiology. I love Disney and just started checking out the WISH boards recently because I am doing the 2013 Disney Marathon. I'm normally more of a lurker than a poster.

While I would agree with Coach Charles about the usefullness of max HR formula's I respectfully disagree about it being a misapplication of one study. Many, many studies have been done and it is actually useful on a population level but the problem is that the 220-age reccomendation has a standard deviation of over 10 beats per minute (I forget exactly what it was but it was shockingly high). Since statistics tells us that 95% of a population will fall within 2 standard deviations, the 220-age +/- 20ish beats is actually where it falls which is less than helpful for an individual.

That said if people follow the guidelines as given they will improve in fitness and if the op is the sort of person who feels more secure to have a device telling her she is doing ok that is perfectly fine. Op for more info on heart rate monitors start here http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/s...te-monitor.pdf.

Coach Charles's suggestion for finding AT was interesting and would be effective and useful but does require one to enter the vigorous category and it would be remiss to not mention proper health screening. The ACSM's guidelines of who should recieve medical screening and/or fitness testing before exercsie can be found here http://www.acefitness.org/pdfs/ACSM-...ctor-Chart.pdf
It is shockingly easy to be in the moderate risk category at which point it is usually recommended to stick with low-moderate intensity exercise unless one has medical clearance. If you are in the low risk category or get clearance his protocol looks good.

Good luck with restarting your fitness journey. I would like to restate my belief that in the beginning the most important thing is to start creating good habits. The most perfect program become useless if one stops doing it after a couple of weeks or develops an overuse injury and is forced to stop.
I do not think we necessarily disagree.

I do agree that EVERYONE who has been sedentary should seek medical clearance before starting a program. I just hit the limit of what can be pushed in a post.

I will agree that the formula base ranges are safe... since they are low for the population in general. I base this on several studies as well as hundreds of actual metabolic tests performed. I just hate to see a person camp out on a piece of equipment and think that by working in the "fat burning" zone that they are going to see results.

Great catch on my short cut.
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Old 01-05-2013, 10:37 PM   #8
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I was given this Polar heart rate monitor by my gym when I joined a weight loss program over the summer.

http://www.polarusa.com/us-en/produc...sstraining/FT4

I think it's easy to use and I love that it has multiple settings (i.e. view calories burned, heart rate, etc.).

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-05-2013, 11:35 PM   #9
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I also use an FT 4, which I picked up somewhere around $60-70 from amazon, but Target had them as well. I have been extremely happy with it. Very straigtforward and their website is easy to use to track your info. Comes in pink, bummed I didn't get a pink one you can wash the chest band in the washer, and you can replace the batteries yourself which saves the hassle of mailing it off to polar. Only frustrating element is that you are unable to see your time in zone during your workout, but unless you need specifically 20 mins or whatever in zone, its not a big deal. It beeps to let you know you're above or below.

Also, this info is extremely helpful as I had the same question. My HR always seems higher than it should be but I feel great. Bookmarking this to study later, thanks so much!
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Old 01-06-2013, 12:52 PM   #10
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GREAT! info here! Thanks for that.

I have used the Polar HR monitor in the past as I began my journey. I have put it aside now and wonder from time-to-time how that info would be different from when I started. I do know that at first it was a struggle to get anything done without going off the chart. As time changed if I stuck with the 220-age and % for target zone I would not get much benefit, or so I believed since my fitness level improved.

seattlebusymom I love that you are looking for a sound and safe way to reach your fitness goal. WISHing you a successful journey.

Definitely be mindful of letting your medical team know of your plans.
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