Use Your Maximum Heart Rate to Boost Your Aerobic Training

Your maximum heart rate, or MHR is an approximate value for the absolute fastest your heart can beat. You shouldn't ever actually get to your maximum heart rate. It could be very damaging for you.

So what's the point of it we hear you ask?...well, knowing your MHR helps you to work out your target heart rate or THR. You target heart rate is your "ideal" rate so you know what intensity you should workout to get maximum benefits. It may all sound confusing now, but read on and we'll clear things up :-)


Here's the information that you will learn about your maximum heart rate:


Benefits of Using Your Maximum Heart Rate


You are able to know how hard you are working out. This is actual physical proof!


You will be able to measure your progress carefully. This is a really important factor in staying motivated.


A lot less guess work will be required in your effort to get fit. We know you like to see results. This is another great tool to help you get there.


Why Do I Need to Know My MHR?

You need to know your MHR to make sure you're working at the right pace. Knowing your maximum heart rate helps you figure out what the perfect aerobic training session is for you.

It does this by helping you to find your target heart rate. Because really, there's no point in over, or under working. Especially if it's not helping you!

Your Target Heart Rate lets you know the intensity that your aerobic workout should be. Your ideal workout for best results.

See how to figure out your maximum heart rate and target heart rate below.

Getting your heart rate up in aerobic exercise is great for weight loss, check out more on aerobic exercise here.


Work out Your Target Heart Rate

THR guide


So, we'll use Shaye for example...

  • She is 21 years old...
  • 220 - 21 = 199
  • So, Shaye's Maximum heart rate is 199 beats per minute (BPM)
  • 199 x 0.60 = 119.4 BPM
  • Shaye should be training at a minimum of 119.4 BPM in her aerobic training.
  • 199 x 0.80 = 159.2
  • Shaye's maximum heart rate should be 159.2 during her workout.
  • So, if Shaye measured her heart rate after an aerobic workout and it was 85 beats per minute, she would deserve a kick up the ass!
  • If Shaye reached a heart rate of 190 beats per minute, she probably wouldn't come back from her workout. Get the idea?



How to Measure Your BPM or Beats Per Minute

time your pulse This is actually really easy...Take your Pulse by using your index and middle finger. Make sure you don't use your thumb because its got its own little pulse! Don't panic if you can't find it at first... You are alive, we promise! Everybody has one, it's just a matter of learning how to find it.

Your pulse can be found by putting your fingers on your wrist like this. It's located slightly off centre on the "thumb-side" of your wrist.


Once you've found your pulse:

  • Make sure that you count the first beat as a zero
  • Then begin 1.... and 2... and 3... and so on!
  • Count your pulse for 15 seconds.
  • Remember that number multiply it by four.
  • That is your heart rate! Pretty easy huh?

Measure your beats per minute during your workout to make sure that you're staying within the right range.If its lower, you need to give yourself a kick in the bum and work harder. If its higher, well done for trying so hard, but you're overworking. Slow down, go at a pace that is maintainable and a little more enjoyable.

Keep in mind that this is just for aerobic training.


How to Use It

Okay so now you have your target heart rate worked out? Here's what to do.

  • If you're wanting to do a light workout just get your heartrate up to the minimum THR. It still burns fat at this intensity.
  • If you want to do an intense workout get it up to your maximum THR for at least some of the workout.
  • You should measure your bpm during your aerobic workout to make sure that you're staying within your THR range.
  • Keep in mind that this is only for aerobic training. Interval training is when you stay within your THR range and periodically boost above this range. This is a form of anaerobic training which is great for fat loss.


Summary of all the articles that we linked to from this page:



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