DID YOU KNOW??
James Allen Watrous, Ph.D.
How to properly compute your heart rate range (or reservoir), so you can
determine the proper heart rate range for your level of fitness.
Your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate are a function of
your fitness level and your genetic pole. That
is, two people can be at the same fitness level and have different resting and
maximum rates. As your fitness level
improves, your resting rate will decrease and your maximum rate will increase.
The resting rate will decrease to a specific point and then level off
depending on your genetics. Similarly,
the maximum rate will increase to a specific point and level off.
The difference between the resting rate and maximum rate is the range or
reservoir you have for a given level of fitness.
The resting rate is best determined by counting the number of beats for
fifteen seconds and multiplying by four. The
best time to measure resting heart rate is before you get out of bed in the
morning. For example, if you count
14 beats in 15 seconds, then your resting heart rate is 56 beats per minute.
To get your maximum heart rate is to have a supervised stress test on a
bicycle if this is your primary form of exercise.
The stress test should always be done with the primary form of exercise.
A VO2 max test generates even more information if you are interested in
upper levels of fitness. If you are
in good health as determined by medical exam in the last year, then you can
simulate a stress test by riding up a long steep hill (after an appropriate warm
up) as hard as you can until your respiration goes out of control.
Stop and count the heart rate for fifteen seconds.
Repeat every minute for five minutes.
IMPORTANT! Always do this
with a friend and never by yourself. For
those just starting out, a reasonable approximation is to take 220 minus your
age. Since individuals vary greatly,
this approximation may turn out to be crude.
However, you need a starting point now.
Remember that the resting and maximum heart rates change as fitness
changes and this process will have to be repeated until your fitness level is
where you want to be.
For example, your resting heart rate is 50 beats per minute and your
maximum rate is 175 beats per minute. Your
heart rate range or reservoir is 175 - 50 = 125 beats per minute.
Let us suppose that you want to do an aerobic level of exercise at 60% of
your heart rate range (reservoir). Then
here is the proper way to compute that value.
Workout Heart Rate = Resting Heart Rate + (60%)X(
In this example: Workout Rate = 50 + (60%) X (125) = 50 + 75 = 125
Workout Rate = 125 beats per
Let us assume you have a heart
rate monitor and want set two values that are plus and minus 5% of the 60%
Rate = 50 + (60%+5%)X(125) = 50 + 81 = 131;
Rate = 50 + (60%-5%)X(125) = 50 + 69 = 119.
You would set your heart rate
monitor to these upper and lower values. Now
try to maintain your heart rate value between these levels. On
the average you would be doing a 60% workout in the aerobic region of the human
body's utilization of energy output.
The cross over
between aerobic and anaerobic forms of energy output varies from individual to
individual, but 75% to 80% of your heart rate range is a good cross over value
to use. (Remember to add your
resting heart rate to this cross over value from the heart range.)
No one can maintain an anaerobic energy output for extended periods.
The duration of such output depends on your fitness level and genetic
pole. However, there is an upper
limit for all individuals.
levels of training, fat can be reasonably used for energy source as well as
carbohydrates. Even protein can be
utilized as an energy source. However,
it is not an efficient source of energy. At
anaerobic levels of training, mostly the glycogen forms of energy that are
primarily stored in the liver as well as lesser amounts stored in the muscles
can be utilized for energy output. There
is a limit to the amount of energy an athlete can store even though the amount
does vary with fitness level.
You have heard
about the runnerís wall. The
runner simply runs out of energy assuming that the runner has not ingested food.
In a marathon this is near mile twenty (20).
In bicycling this is usually near mile eighty (80).
The actual point will depend on the conditioning of the individual
aerobic energy output is with the utilization of oxygen and anaerobic energy
output is without oxygen. These two
processes are quite different and generate different by-products in the human
body. The aerobic forms of energy
output can be sustained for long periods of time, as long as the person
continues to eat and drink water. A
good example of extended aerobic energy output is the cyclists competing in the
Race Across America. This is an
extreme example, but within the humans ability to accomplish.
Copyright, 2017, 1985 to 2017. Watrous' Cycling Enterprises