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Workout Intensity


Workout Intensity

Intensity is perhaps the most commonly ignored factor when trying to develop the cardiovascular system. This principle refers to how hard a person has to exercise to improve cardiovascular health. Just as a bicep curl will develop the bicep, the stimuli for the cardiovascular system is provided by making the heart pump at a higher rate for a certain period of time. Monitoring your heart can be most efficient in understanding your body & how it works as well as gauging your heart health.

The cardiovascular training zone indicates that whenever you exercise to improve the cardio system, you should maintain the heart rate between 70 to 85% training intensities to obtain adequate development. If you have been physically inactive, you may want to use a 60% training intensity during the first few weeks of your exercise program. Once you have reached an ideal level of cardiovascular endurance, training in the 70 to 85% range will allow you to maintain your fitness level.


To check your resting heart rate, find a pulse. Take it for 10 seconds and multiply by 6. Locate your heart rate and find your rating.

Heart Rate Rating
Below 59 Excellent
60-69 Good
70-79 Average
80-89 Fair
Above 90 Poor

After a few weeks of training, you should experience a significant reduction in resting heart rate (ten to twenty beats in 8 to 12 weeks); therefore you should recompute your target zones periodically. The best time to take a resting heart rate is first thing in the morning or after relaxing for about 10-15 minutes. This can be one of the best gauges in determining your overall cardiovascular health.

Monitoring your heart rate during exercise can be accomplished in many ways. There are monitors that do it for you, hand grips on cardio equipment, and self rate checks. Find one that works for you and use it regularly.

To most effectively monitor your heart rate, wait until you are about five minutes into your exercise session. When you check the heart rate, count your pulse for ten seconds and then multiply by six to get the per-minute pulse rate. Exercise heart rate will remain at the same rate for about 15 seconds. After 15 seconds, heart rate will drop rapidly. Do not hesitate to stop your exercise to check your pulse. If the rate is too low, increase the intensity. If it is too high, slow it down.

Figuring out what your goals are & allowing your intensity to work for you. It will change over time. Remember, if you are working on getting healthy and not getting the results you desire, simply take your resting heart rate again. This is one of the best indicators of your progress. Your resting heart rate may lower before anything on the outside happens. I don’t know about you but that is incredible data to track. You may look amazing on the outside and the inside may be functioning poorly. Without a healthy heart, what is it all worth? If our heart stops, we stop. Let me know your goals and I will assist you in determining the best intensity for you to meet your goal.

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1 Comment

  1. How do I know or calculate my target exercise heart rate?

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