Heart Rate Zones


Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 20

Posted: 13 Apr 2010, 15:46
Anyone have advice for helping me understand heart rate zones? I just got a heart rate monitor and figured out my zones. I really need to loose some inches on my waist. When I am in the "burn fat" zone it doesn't feel like I'm working hard enough- this confuses me- don't you need to sweat and get your heart rate up to loose weight?

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 58

Posted: 13 Apr 2010, 15:59
I've lost 50 pounds, I turn the resistance up on any cardio machine I am on until I sweat. For a while I was stuck not losing any weight, I had stopped sweating on the elliptical trainer, so I switched to a stationary bike on the interval setting, sweat pours off me, and I lost 14 more pounds to each and actually pass my goal. I ignore the heart rate and go by how much I sweat and how winded I am. As in I stay at a pace that makes conversation possible but not easy, I also push harder every few minutes until I can't catch my breath and slow down. But when I get off the bike I am soaked through.
Good Luck to you!

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

Posted: 13 Apr 2010, 16:19
You should try to be in the "cardio" zone.

However, there is no reason to kill yourself Smile You can overwork too. But yes, you should definitely sweat.

Here's a calculator to find your target heart rate based on your age:

Target Heart Rate Calculator

I use the "breath test" for an easy way to tell if you're working hard enough but not too hard. You should be able to answer a question but not carry on an conversation. So if you can keep talking, no problem, you aren't working hard enough. But if you can't say a short sentence out loud, you are working too hard.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
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Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 20

Posted: 13 Apr 2010, 23:12
Thank you so much for the advice! I'll keep doing what I'm doing then Smile

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 6

Posted: 14 Apr 2010, 08:27
You don't have to be in the cardio zone to lose weight. Here's the deal. You should be exercising at 60-80% of your max heart rate, which you can find online here: http://health.discovery.com/centers/heart/hrc/hrc.html.

I usually work out at 60% of my max and feel the burn. If you want to try out a different approach you can always try High Intensity Interval Training.

Joined: Apr 10
Posts: 1

Posted: 16 Apr 2010, 10:57
Do some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). I wasn't significantly over weight and I still lost 30 pounds using this method. The basic premised behind it is you do 3 minute cycles of very high intense cardio, followed by 1 minute of rest/very low intense cardio.

Here's an example:
Minutes 1 - 3 : Warm up at a 3.0mph walk
Minute 4 - Run at moderate level, get up 70% of Max HR
Minute 5 - Run at higher level, get up to 80% of Max HR
Minute 6 - Run even faster, get up to 90% of Max HR
Minute 7 - Cool down, walk very slow, drop HR
Minutes 8 - 10 - same cycle as 4 - 6
Minute 11 - Cool down
Minutes 12 - 14 - same cycle
etc...you only need to do about 20 minutes total (INCLUDING the warm up)
It burns a ton of calories, it's scaleable (i.e. as you get in better shape, you just run faster) and its been proven to burn more fat in less time than running at a moderate pace for 60 minutes!

Google HIIT

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 14

Posted: 19 Apr 2010, 10:00
HRM is tricky. Pay more attention to how you feel, and not to the numbers. My feeling is the numbers are a general guideline - you can fine-tune as you get more familiar with how you feel when your heart rate is at a certain level.

I get into the 60% (140 bpm) range during warm-up - walking fast. Running, I'm around the 80% (160 bpm) range running. I've adjusted the alarm range to how I feel during my workout, rather than the age/weight guidelines that came with the heart rate monitor.

It's a lot of fun once you get it set, and very revealing too (ie - when you're coming down with a cold, your heart rate will hit max earlier - though you feel fine working out.) It will also let you know when it's time to step up to the next level.

Good luck - and keep with it. Once you figure out where to set your ranges, it's a really great tool.
Every step counts.

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 11

Posted: 03 Apr 2011, 07:01
I don't do anything very scientific, just this: on the 3 aerobic workout days each week with Body for Life, I do the required 20 minutes in 1 minute increments of each MPH 4, 5, 6, 7, 4, 5 .. it is not scientific, but it gives me 5 peaks in 20 minutes. Now if I wasn't lazy, I'd do 5-8mph instead of 4-7, but I don't have the fortitude for that yet.

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 27

Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 12:23
I swear by my heart rate monitor. It came with the formulas to calculate heart rate zones and so I have a Lo zone and a Hi zone so I try to always stay at the top of the high zone without going over. Mine also counts calories so I work out until I hit 300 calories. I like to jog on the treadmill and sometimes (usually when its really warm in the gym) my heartrate goes up too high too fast and I have to reduce my workout so instead of jogging, I lower the pace and walk at a really high incline on the treadmill instead. Its nice because it works my leg muscles differently also.

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 120

Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 12:25
my heart rate monitor does a fit test and calculates my zones for me. I love it! plus I love that I can see how many calories I've burned for any workout.


Strong is the new skinny!

One should eat to live, not live to eat. ~Cicero, Rhetoricorum LV

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 38

Posted: 13 Apr 2011, 13:10
I agree with Adelinemf, if you have the heart rate monitor and you can get the calories you burned for each workout. That coupled with monitoring everything you are eating on Fatsecret.....all you need is a decent calorie deficit and you will lose weight. There are always details to "tweak" in to lose more fat faster....such as monitoring macro nutrients and such but calorie deficit = weight loss. That can easily be attained with those two things mentioned.

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 3

Posted: 15 Apr 2011, 07:03
Keep in the lower max HR Zones (60%) based upon age when beginning new workout regime. If you've been seditary this will seem OK and too easy for others. But, give yourself several weeks before ramping up to higher HR Zones. For fat burning 60 - 70% max. seems reasonable for most getting healthy people.
For those starting in the less fit range this makes lots of sense and is safe. Build toward steady progress that matches your fitness level.

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