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Target Heart Rate Question

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Old 08-24-2006, 09:10 AM   #1
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Okay, so I have been exercising now for 8 months at the "old" way of figuring heart rate...you know, the 220-your age. I then read about how it was important to figure in your fitness level by subtracting your resting heart rate. So, I did that. 220-40=180-53=127x70%=88.9+53=141.9 (142). That is the low end for my "cardio" work. Well, at 142 I can barely speak, sweating alot, and my legs are very tired. So, my question is has anyone else found this method to be totally off or am I, in spite of my lower resting heart rate, still in a lower fitness level? What ways do you use to measure heart rate and would you suggest I keep trying with these rates or go back to the old ones? It is important to note that I have a few symptoms of overtraining as well...inability to sleep, sore muscles, resting heart rate was 48 and went to 53.
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Old 08-27-2006, 08:18 PM   #2
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Hi Christina and congratulations on your weight loss! Woo hoo!

Keep in mind that all these formulas are guesses and estimates. Rule #1 in the gym is to listen to your body and your body seems to be telling you that 142 is too intense for you to sustain. And it's also telling you that you're overtraining. So I suggest that you back off a bit. Personally, I'd call 70% of your max heart rate as moderate intensity, not low intensity.

Instead of focusing on the numbers, how about judging yourself on perceived exertion? On a scale of 1 - 10, how hard are you working? Shoot for somewhere around a 7 - 8 for moderate intensity.

Or try intervals - when you start at say 55% of your max HR to warm up, spend a few minutes at 60%, move into 70 - 75% for a few minutes, then sprint for a minute or two at 80 - 85%, then move back down to 70 - 75%, then 60% for recovery, then back up again. Intervals are an awesome fat burner.

Hope this helps a bit - obviously you've been doing something right so far and you don't want to burn out now.
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Thanks Meg. What I have tried doing is getting to the 70% and then jogging until I hit 80% and then I walk until it drops to the 70% again. That seems to be working better than trying to stay at 70%. I am doing this for my 2-3 days of vigorous exercise. When I do moderate I use the elliptical at about 65% for a steady state workout. I also do sprinting (85-90% ) once every other week. So, I think I have it figured out and my body is feeling better and my heart rate was down to 50 today. So, I think things are progressing again. But, thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question!!
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Old 08-29-2006, 08:45 AM   #4
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Good news!
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