What is Heart Rate Controlled Training?

Date Posted:4 January 2016 

You are on a cardio machine and your hands are on the heart rate panels. The number 125 pops up. But what does that mean? Let’s break it down. Your heart rate is the speed of your heartbeat and is measured in beats per minute (bpm). The more conditioned you are, the lower your resting heart rate is because your heart becomes more efficient at pumping blood with regular aerobic exercise.

Whether you are on a treadmill, stationary bike, cross trainer or some other cardio machine, your heart rate is very important. It is the biggest factor in determining how many calories you burned during exercise. Exercising at a higher intensity raises the heart rate as the heart is working harder to pump blood supplied with oxygen and nutrients to the working muscles. You expend more energy when you work at a higher intensity, burning more calories.

Your maximum heart rate should be determined before training and can be figured out by subtracting your age from 220. As you age, maximum heart rate drops and this is why it is more difficult for older people to burn calories.

So what are the heart rate zones that are shown on cardio machines? There are five heart rate zones:  moderate, fat burning, aerobic, anaerobic and maximum effort. It is recommended that adults perform at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. This zone falls in 50%-60% range of your maximum heart rate. For example, if you are a 40-year old, your maximum heart is 180 bpm. To perform moderate activity, your heart rate should be in the 90-108 bpm range.

How can cardio machines make this process easier? Many cardio machines have a program called “Heart Rate Controlled Training.” By providing your age, it determines your maximum heart rate. Next, what zone do you want to train in? You can choose your target heart rate. If you are on a stationary bike or cross trainer, the machine will increase the resistance and make you work harder to get in your target range. If you are on a treadmill, the incline and speed will increase to the appropriate value.

What if I want to burn more calories? The harder you work, the higher your rate becomes and the more calories you burn. By performing activity above the moderate range, you can achieve this. Try this for a sample workout. Perform five intervals of high-intensity work for 30 seconds on the stationary bike followed by 30 seconds of low-intensity work. Your heart rate will increase during periods of high-intensity activity, burning more calories.

Want to start training at the right intensity for you? Flex Fitness Equipment has a wide range of cardio machines that have heart rate monitors. They are affordable and are some of the most well-known and respected brands in the business. Come on in to our location or shop online to get started with your heart rate training today!


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