Pete’s Tuesday Weekly – How’s your most important muscle performing?

For those of you who have trained with me on the SPINING bikes you know I am a big advocate of the Heart Rate Monitor. I feel that this technology best gets you in tune with how your body is responding to various types of training and it serves as a continuous feedback loop as you move in and out of targeted training zones. First time users, myself included, are surprised at how hard they are actually working when it is employed.

I think that more times than not we quickly learn that we are not pushing ourselves near as hard as we thought we were, or could, and this revelation in and of itself becomes a form of motivation for picking up the pace and driving our fitness levels further. I know that everything is relevant but for a relatively nominal investment (as little as $55) you can get a Polar FT4, which I use, and you can quickly start getting in tune with how your body, and the most important muscle in particular, is responding to the various exercises you do.

Another great option is the FitBit, which is a bit more expensive, but it provides a great web interface and other cool options that go well beyond just your heart rate (Steps, GPS, Elevation Gains, Multi-Sport functionality, etc.). I am testing out the FitBit Surge and will share with you my feedback in a future blog. If anyone has feedback this blog would be a good place to share it with everyone.

Whatever your budget, I think knowing what your heart is doing as you exercise is a game changer and I highly encourage it for everyone. On top of knowing where your heart is as you train, I further believe the various technologies help keep you engaged and that serves as an added game changer as you get about your various fitness activities!

Do you know how to estimate what your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) should be? Below is a good age-predicted method for estimating your MHR and defining your training zones:

Max Heart Rate (MHR) = 208 – (0.70 x Age)

Example for a 50 year old:

208 – (0.70 x 50) = 173 BPM


Target Training Heart Rate Ranges – Example based on above 50 year old:

ENERGY ZONE™ Range Calculate Low End of Range Calculate High End of Range
Recovery 50 – 65% of MHR 173 x .50 = 87 BPM 173 x .65 = 112 BPM
Endurance 65 – 75% of MHR 173 x .65 = 112 BPM 173 x .75 = 130 BPM
Strength 75 – 85% of MHR 173 x .75 = 130 BPM 173 x .85 = 147 BPM
Interval 65 – 92% of MHR 173 x .65 = 112 BPM 173 x .92 = 159 BPM
Race Day 80 – 92% of MHR 173 x .80 = 138 BPM 173 x .92 = 159 BPM

ENERGY ZONE™ – trademark of Mad Dogg Athletics, Inc.

Tidbit about me – My wife (Mary Beth) and I will be celebrating our 30-year anniversary this coming November. We have 3 wonderful children, all adults, and for those of you who’ve been around the club recently you may have met our dog…Bentley.

High Satiety Foods – If you’re not satisfied you’ll tend to keep eating. So while eating healthy and nutritiously is important it is also important to make sure we are eating satisfyingly so we don’t end up eating too much. So while the attached links are not links to recipes, they do provide some good reference relative to eating satisfyingly.

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