Training by using your targeted heart rate (THR) is a method that is growing in popularity. It's a dependable way to ensure that you're working out at the right intensity to reach your goals. If you work out at a level below your THR, you're not working hard enough to achieve lasting results. However, if you work out above your THR, you'll fatigue faster and won't be able to sustain your workout.
What is the THR Zone?
The THR Zone is the number of times your heart needs to beat each minute to achieve a desired workout effect. It is represented as a percentage of the maximum number of times your heart can beat per minute.
The American Heart Association recommends working out at a THR Zone between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate. A beginner should stay in the 60% range while an intermediate exerciser should strive for 70% to 75% of his or her maximum. Advanced users can push for the 80% range. This range also works if you're doing a short workout.
To find how these percentages translate into beats per minute, refer to the chart. Remember that your THR should reflect your current level of conditioning and personal fitness goals. Before you begin any exercise program, consult your physician.
How does it work?
Once you determine your appropriate THR Zone, choose the desired time and THR range you want to work out between. After four minutes of warm-up, the incline or resistance level will increase gradually to get you to your zone. Through the duration of your workout, the incline or resistance level will adjust automatically to ensure you remain in your zone. The last four minutes of the program will gradually decrease the resistance level to give you a smooth cool-down.
How does your machine know exactly what your current heart rate is throughout the workout? It detects your heart rate by either using the grip pulse handlebars found directly on the product or by using a wireless chest-strap transmitter (only on select models; chest strap may be sold separately). When using the grip pulse handlebars, it may take up to five seconds to get the most accurate reading possible.
Whatever method you use, this program can simulate the intensity of your favorite sports, as well as everyday activities. It's also a great way to keep your workouts interesting and challenging.