does this work? The first step is to find out your maximum heart rate (MHR).
This is done by using a formula or by taking a sport-specific test.
220 - age = age predicted maximum heart rate
in beats per minute (bpm)
For example, if you are 30 years of age, your
age predicted MHR is 220 - 30 = 190 bpm. Using some basic maths, you can
then calculate the training or exercise zones that will enable you to
achieve your fitness goals. Once determined, the lower and higher heart rate
values can be set on your Cardiosport heart rate monitor. These then control
the intensity of your exercise by alerting you when to increase or decrease
your exercise intensity by means of audible and visual alarms, guiding you
to exercise more effectively to attain your personal fitness goals.
So a 30 year old just starting out on an
exercise program with the aim of getting fitter would start exercising at a
gentle pace of 50% - 59% MHR (95 to 114 bpm). If they wanted to lose weight,
then a slightly higher intensity of 60-69% MHR (114 to 133 bpm) would be
required. To improve aerobic capacity or athletic performance a higher
intensity of 70-79% MHR (133 to 152 bpm) is needed. Competitive athletes may
need to add interval training sessions during the week in the anaerobic
threshold heart rate zone, which is 80-89% MHR (152 to 171 bpm). This high
intensity exercise helps train muscles to handle lactic acid.
Your personal heart rate
If you train for a specific sport, you will
benefit from taking a sport-specific test at a sports or sports retail
centre to determine your maximum heart rate. The test provides you with a
personally accurate maximum heart rate to determine heart rate ranges
specific to you and your training schedule. It is particularly useful if you
are a multi-sport athlete, as you get your maximum heart rate for each
sport, allowing you to train - and compete - very effectively.
How a Cardiosport Monitor works
A chest transmitter via moistened electrodes
measures the ECG signal from your heart and ‘transmits’ this to a wrist worn
heart rate monitor that displays the heart rate. Other information is also
displayed depending on the monitor you have chosen. With a quick glance at
your wrist monitor you can keep track of how hard you are working during
To Heart Rate Monitors
How To Use A Heart Rate Monitor
Train Effectively - Use the Zones
If you are a beginner with the goal of
improving overall fitness, losing weight or reducing stress, exercise in the
healthy heart zone which is 50-60 percent of your maximum
||If you already exercise regularly but
are aiming to lose body fat, exercise in the weight management
zone which is 60-70 percent of maximum heart rate. Build up to a work
out of an hours continuous exercise.
||If your goal is to improve aerobic
capacity or athletic performance, exercise in the aerobic
zone which is 70-80 percent of maximum heart rate.
||Competitive athletes may need to add
interval training sessions during the week in the anaerobic
threshold heart rate zone, which is 80-90 percent of maximum.
This high intensity exercise helps train muscles to handle lactic acid.
However, train sparingly at these upper
limits. Exercising regularly at a heart rate intensity that is too high does
not produce additional aerobic benefits and increases the possibility of an
athletic injury. Interval training and anaerobic threshold workouts require
a high degree of fitness, and is not necessary for general fitness training.
Once you determine your individual training
zones, you can easily program them into your Cardiosport monitor. Your
monitor will notify you with a beep if you are exercising above or below the
pre-programmed zones. Many Cardiosport models record heart rate at
selectable intervals. You can then evaluate your exercise after each session
and adjust your intensity if needed. Recording heart rate also allows you to
monitor your fitness improvements over time.
Tips on Effective Training:
Warm up & cool down.
Always do a slow warm up of 5-10 minutes, followed by some gentle
stretching. Then gradually climb into the target range you have set. End
every workout with a 5-10 minute cool down, again followed by some gentle
stretching. The importance of this can not be over emphasized. Studies have
shown that people who warm up and cool down adequately have fewer athletic
Type of exercise.
Choose activities that use large muscle groups and which are continuous
in nature. Some good examples are walking, swimming, running, aerobic dance,
stair climbing machines, ski machines, treadmills, cycling or exercise
bikes. Feel free to include more than one activity - cycle one day, swim the
next, and do aerobics on the third. This is called Cross Training
and helps exercise all muscle groups, reduces boredom and keeps motivation
Frequency of exercise.
Exercise in the target range that you have set at least 3-5 times per
week, with no more than 48 hours between sessions. Even on 'rest days'
gentle exercise such as a leisurely walk can be beneficial.
Intensity of exercise. Select an
exercise intensity zone that is both within your capability and in which you
can achieve consistency. Studies show that people who exercise at too high
an intensity, especially in the initial stages of their program, drop out
sooner, have more injuries, and tend to develop a negative impression
towards exercise in general. If necessary start in a low exercise intensity
zone and build up.
Aim for 20-60 minutes of continuous exercise in your target zone each
session. If you are unable to exercise for 20 minutes initially, slow down
and gradually build up to this.
Before you begin your exercise program,
get an assessment of your overall fitness level. You must get clearance from
your doctor that it is safe for you to exercise.