Determining Your Training Heart Rate

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When reading the training methods presented in this chapter and throughout this guide, you will come across references to exercise intensity. Intensity is the rate at which exercise is performed. If you work out in a gym you may have used an exercise machine that monitors exercise intensity. A quick and easy method for measuring the intensity of your workout is by measuring your heart rate and checking to see if you are within your target training zone (see below).

Measure your heart rate by taking your pulse at the carotid artery (neck) or the radial artery (wrist) for 15 seconds; multiply this value by four to get your heart rate in beats per minute. Compare this heart rate value to your target training intensity. If your heart rate is too low, increase the intensity of your workout. If it is too high, reduce the intensity slightly.

Your target training heart rate can be calculated as follows:

To maintain aerobic conditioning, exercise should be performed at a heart rate between 70% and 90% of your maximal heart rate (Max HH).

Remember, this is only an estimate of your maximal heart rate.

Depending on your particular "physiology" and physical conditioning, your Max HR could be higher than what you derive from this equation. However, this is the way it is routinely estimated.

Max HR in beats per minute = 220 - your age (years)

To calculate 70% and 90% of your Max HR, multiply Max IIR by 0.70 and 0.90, respectively. This is your target training intensity zone or the range within which your heart rate should be while working out. Figure 1-2 presents an example of how to calculate your desired training heart rate by this method.

Figure 1-2. An Example for Determining Your Target Training Heart Rate

Determining Your Target Heart Rate

A SEAL is 22 years old Max HR = 220 - 22 = 198 bpm Lower Target HR = 0.7 X 198 = 139 bpm Upper Target HR = 0.9 X 198 = 178 bpm

Calculate your target training heart rate zone using the formula provided ahove or use the chart shown in Figure 1-3. It is important to note that maximal heart rates tend to be lower during swimming and arm exercises. For these activities you should subtract 13 from your maximal heart rate to before obtaining your training heart rate. An example of this is shown in Figure 1-4.

Figure 1-3. Target Training Heart Rate Zone
























1 80

1 62

1 58

70% of Max Heart Rate

Age (years)

1 53

1 53

1 19

70% of Max Heart Rate

1 19

Figure 1 -4. An Example for Determining Your Target Training Heart Rate for Swimming r-

A 22 year old SEAL wants to swim at 70% of Max HR Then his Max HR = 220 - 22 = 198 -13 = 185 bpm 70% of Max HR = 0.7 X 185 = 130 bpm \_/

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