Integrating heart rate monitors into your exercise program:
There are specific Target Zones (TZ) that help guide your members
to the right intensity. A TZ is a high and low heart rate range
that is based on a % of your maximum heart rate. You can use a formula
based on their age, or you can figure out their maximum heart rate.
You then take %'s of that to get their Target Zones.
Key Target Zones
60-70% of max hr Good for weight loss, building endurance or recovery
70-80% of max hr Good for improving cardiovascular fitness
80%+ of max hr Interval workouts for improving athletic performance
Determining target zones:
This formula used in the target zone calculator above is the Karvonen formula, which takes into account a person fitness level by incorporating their morning resting heart rate (MRHR).
First, you will need to get your member's average MRHR:
Morning 1# + Morning 2# + Morning 3# = ( X)
(X) divided by 3 = Morning Resting HR (MRHR)
This is a good indicator of their state of fitness. Once
they have this number established as a baseline, they can use it
to understand more about themselves than they can imagine. They
should take it again every once in a while, or at least once every
As their fitness improves, they will most likely see that number
going down. If they see an elevated number, it could mean one or
more of the following:
- They did not recover from a hard workout the day before
- They need more rest
- Their body has begun fighting off an oncoming illness
Now use their resting heart rate number as follows:
220 minus their age = estimated max hr (HRMx)
HRMx minus MRHR = multipler
Now find their personal target zones:
multipler X .60 + MRHR = ( ) 60% limit number
multipler X .70 + MRHR = ( ) 70% limit number
Mark is 40 years old and his morning resting hr is 58.
220 minus 40 = 180
180 minus 58 = 122
122 X .60 = 73 + 58 = 131
122 X .70 = 85 + 58 = 143
His 60-70% Target Zone would be 131-143
Polar exclusive feature for target zone exercise
Another option is the OwnZone
feature that is built into our M-Series products. During a brief
warm-up, these models will automatically establish their 65-85%
target zone for that day based on their body's fitness. If they
are doing a longer workout, they need to stay in the lower end of
that range. If they are looking for a shorter, more intense workout,
they should stay in the upper half of that zone. It's that simple!
Create a program using Target Zones
For members just starting a program, try having them work up to
at least three workouts a week for 30 minutes in their 60-70% target
zone. Time and intensity are the keys. If they can go longer, they
will only benefit more.
Exercise Tip: A person can burn almost twice as many calories by
exercising twice a week for 1 hour, as they would exercising 5 times
for 30 minutes.
Sample Week's Workout:
Monday: Exercise for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 60-70 %
Wednesday: Do an interval workout. This is a training method used
by top athletes, but your members can benefit by it to. Whatever
their activity, they can do an interval workout.
First, they should warm-up for 10 minutes at 60%. Then have them
pick up the pace or the intensity until they reach the 80% level.
This could mean increasing the speed or level on the treadmill,
or increase the level on the stationary bike, or just walk or run
a little faster. But bring it up gradually. They should do this
for 30 seconds anf then slow down and get their heart rate down
to 60%. Keep them there for a couple of minutes, and then repeat
the same effort. This is called an interval. Start with three or
four of these. Each week add one more
interval. When they are capable of doing six of these, increase
the interval to 45 seconds. Don't forget to have them cool-down
at the end of their workout for at least 5 minutes.
Friday: Warm-up for 10 minutes in the 60-70% zone. Exercise at
a pace that puts them in their 70-80% zone for 15-25 minutes (Tempo
Workout). Cool-down for 5-10 minutes getting their heart rate down
Weekend Recommend that they try another activity using their HRM.
There are many different heart rate-based exercise programs available
on the Internet or in books. In the Polar Store you will find the
Precision series booklets that can help you create an effective
program. Also, go to sample workout to checkout some other workouts that your can use and customize for your members.
Improving overall fitness:
If your members want to improve their overall fitness, they need
to vary their workouts. The body is smart and adapts to routine.
If they follow the same program, and have done so for a while, they
may have hit a plateau. Variety is the key here. Show them how to
approach workouts like an athlete does. They focus on different
workouts on different days.
- Have an endurance day when they go longer at an easier pace
than they usually do (60-70% TZ).
- Have them do a tempo workout another day staying below 80%.
- Do an interval workout like hill repeats, or speed intervals
where they pick up the speed for 1 minute, rest for three minutes
and repeat it again.
These are the kinds of workouts that will help get them over the
plateau. If they're in good cardio shape, or they have reached a plateau
and can't seem to lose any more weight, variety is the key and they
should try different activities. Your body will adapt to your exercise
if you do the same thing over and over. Now that you have an HRM
and know your Target Zones, you can use any activity to get a workout.
Just let your Polar HRM guide you.
You can even track their improvements beyond getting on a scale.
Look for lowered resting heart rate as a key indicator. For a more
effective measure, the Polar M61 and F92ti will perform the Polar
Fitness Test while they are sitting in a chair with our OwnIndex®
feature. You can establish their baseline fitness, then take monthly
tests with the M61 and F92ti and easily track their improvements.
There is also an OwnCal feature that will allow them
to accurately track the calories that they burn.
For your members - Getting to their goal takes determination and
consistency. Their heart rate monitor will continue to guide them
to an effective workout and keep them motivated.
It's up to you to show them how to achieve it!