Hello FitnessRx Women!
Today, I want to talk CARDIO, as so many people ask me how much cardio I do or what I recommend they do. This all depends on where I am at in my personal fitness goals, either pre-contest or off-season. However, when I do cardio, I always use calculated variables to maximize results. This way, I never waste a minute & get the results I’m wanting, needing and expecting!
You too can achieve more results by using tools to maximize your time doing cardio. Here’s how:
#1. Get a Heart Rate Monitor. I like the Polar Cardiac Strap & Watch. It links to most cardio equipment, but I find the watch reads more accurately. Also, the watch stores your data.
#2. Find your Resting Heart Rate. Finding your resting heart rate is easy; you just need to be able to count and have a watch with a second hand. The time of the day is important, though. You will get the most accurate reading of your resting heart rate first thing in the morning, without any activity or stimulants in your system. Here’s how to do the test:
1. Find your pulse at your wrist or in your neck, using your index and middle finger. Don’t use your thumb since it has a pulse that can confuse your count.
2. Count the number of beats you feel in 10 seconds.
3. Multiply the number of beats you count in 10 seconds by six to find the number of beats per minute. You can take your pulse three times, and then take the average rate of all three measurements to be super scientific.
#3. Find your Max Heart Rate. This is based on a few different variables, such as gender, age, physical size, etc. Here is a general guideline to follow until you are able to perform a personal fitness test to determine your most accurate Max Heart Rate.
#4. Determine your Target Heart Rate. Using the Karvonen formula, you can determine what your Target Heart Rate should be. In general, for moderate intensity steady state cardio (not HIIT training), one’s target heart rate ranges from 60% – 80% intensity. (HIIT Training using all-out effort requires higher intensity)
Karvonen Formula: Target Heart Rate = ((max HR − resting HR) × % Intensity) + resting HR
** If you would prefer to skip the math, just use this ONLINE TOOL to calculate your numbers.
#5 Get To Work! After finding your target heart rate, be sure to maintain that for an entire steady state cardio session. Using a heart rate monitor for HIIT training is important as well, we’ll discuss getting the most out of HIIT training for cardio with your HR monitor in my next article!
You can always adjust your target heart rate, increasing the intensity or adding time to cardio to break plateaus. By monitoring these items and adjusting them every week, you will know what kind of cardio at what intensity works for your body to get lean and accomplish your fitness goals.