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What is Heart Rate Training?

Heart rate training is a workout regimen in which you exercise in such a way and at such a level that you reach and sustain your target heart rate for much of the workout time. Heart rate training is intended to strengthen the muscle that is your heart, and in so doing cause the body to use oxygenated blood more efficiently and get more of it to your cells. This stimulates an increased metabolic rate, something desired by athletes in training as well as people seeking to lose weight without starving themselves to death.

Maximum Heart Rate

Heart Rate Training using a heart rate monitor or manual method is the quickest and most reliable way to train for in your Target Heart Rate Zone. Burn fat, lose weight and get fitter with Heart Rate Training now! Athletes who use a heart rate monitor as a training aid need to identify their maximum heart rate in order to determine their appropriate training zones. The easiest and best known method to calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR) is to use the formula MHR = 217 - (0.85 x Age).

Heart Rate Zone Training

The Energy Efficient or Recovery Zone - 60% to 70% Maximum Heart Rate
Training within this zone develops basic endurance and aerobic capacity. All easy recovery running should be completed at a maximum of 70%. Another advantage to running in this zone is that while you are happily fat burning you may lose weight and you will be allowing your muscles to re-energise with glycogen, which has been expended during those faster paced workouts.

The Aerobic Zone - 70% to 80% Maximum Heart Rate
Training in this zone will develop your cardiovascular system. The body's ability to transport oxygen to, and carbon dioxide away from, the working muscles can be developed and improved. As you become fitter and stronger from training in this zone it will be possible to run some of your long weekend runs at up to 75%, so getting the benefits of some fat burning and improved aerobic capacity.

The Anaerobic Zone - 80% to 90% Maximum Heart Rate
Training in this zone will develop your lactic acid system. In this zone, your individual anaerobic threshold (AT) is found - sometimes referred to the point of deflection (POD). During these heart rates, the amount of fat being utilised as the main source of energy is greatly reduced and glycogen stored in the muscle is predominantly used. One of the by-products of burning this glycogen is lactic acid. There is a point at which the body can no longer remove the lactic acid from the working muscles quickly enough. This is your anaerobic threshold (AT). Through the correct training, it is possible to delay the AT by being able to increase your ability to deal with the lactic acid for a longer period of time or by pushing the AT higher.

The Red Line Zone 90% to 100% Maximum Heart Rate
Training in this zone will only be possible for short periods. It effectively trains your fast twitch muscle fibres and helps to develop speed. This zone is reserved for interval running and only the very fit are able to train effectively within this zone.

A Brief note on Heart Rate Monitors

Some athletes and exercisers like to use electronic heart monitors to let them be more precisely aware of their heart rate level throughout their workout without having to be distracted by thinking about it or briefly stopping to take their heart rate.

Most of these monitors work by having an electrode placed on the chest, against the skin, during the workout, an electrode which is connected back to a small monitor worn typically on the wrist. The electrode sends electronic impulses to the monitor and the monitor displays the current heart rate. Some monitors can be programmed to give off a signal such as a beep when a target heart rate is reached or dropped out of. However, it is not necessary to heart rate training that you use a heart monitor.