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Heart Rate Zones

    When a health and fitness professional such as myself meets with a client for the first few times, one of our goals is to gather as much objective information as we can.  This information can be used to compare beginning numbers with those measured weeks, months, or years later; denoting improvements in our clients as well as the effectiveness of the training programs we design.  
    What I'd like to provide you all with is how we identify the different heart rate zones in which we ask you to perform your cardiorespiratory exercise. First, I'd like to talk about our resting heart rate.
Resting heart rates can vary.  On average, the resting heart rate for a male is 70 beats per minute and 75 beats per minute for a female.  
    There are many ways we determine heart rate zones.  We create heart rate zones by first calculating the client's estimated maximum heart rate by subtracting our client's age from the number 220 (220 - age).  Second, we multiply the estimated maximum heart rate by the appropriate intensity (65 - 90%) at which our client should work while performing cardiorespiratory exercise.  Here's a look at the different zones and their training purpose:

Training Zone          Purpose

One              Builds aerobic base and aids in recovery

Maximum heart rate X 0.65
Maximum heart rate X 0.75

Two              Increases endurance and trains the anaerobic threshold

Maximum heart rate X 0.80
Maximum heart rate X 0.85

Three            Builds high-end work capacity

Maximum heart rate X 0.86
Maximum heart rate X 0.90


    The heart rate zone numbers should be combined with various other cardiorespiratory assessments to establish which heart rate zones a client will start in.  Please realize that this calculation is a crude average that will most likely have to be modified.  Intensity levels may need to be lowered (40 - 55%) depending on the client's physical condition.  I hope that all of you have found this blog to be informative and helpful.


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