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Workout question (I swear it has nothing to do with JDV)

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by bigpern23, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    So, in an effort to shed some blubber, I finally joined a gym this week. I jumped on an eliptical machine (which is fantastic, btw) and it monitors your heart rate. It said my target heart rate was 154, so I kept it around there during my 50-minute workout. I didn't feel like I was working very hard though. It felt more like a brisk walk.

    So today, I went in and worked it harder, going at a faster pace that was still comfortable, but definitely more work. My heart rate stayed between 165 and 170. So my question is, how important is that target heart rate?

    Is that just to prevent people from keeling over and dying? Or is that the most efficient way to burn calories?

    Any help from you workout buffs would be appreciated (perhaps this is a spot where JDV can contribute some good info, whatever ;)).

    Oh, and yes, I'm a guy, so that precludes me from asking anyone face to face in the gym and showing that I don't know what I'm doing. :)
  2. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Can the question not be asked without bringing JDV into it? Doesn't the humor wear out?
    The answer to that is yes.
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Yeah, well, it really has. But whatever.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I can't say for sure without looking at the machine you were on, but the "target" heart rate they typically give is 70 percent of your maximum heart rate, or in the case of the chart on the machine, it's 70 percent of the max for the typical person your age.

    But not everyone is typical. Some people have a higher maximum heart rate than others. And people who monitor their heart rate, often work out with different targets, depending on their individual workout goals.

    If you are new at this and trying to lose weight and start getting into shape, working out at 70 percent of your maximum heart rate will burn calories and give your heart a healthy workout. But it shouldn't be so difficult that you have to quit. If you are in really bad shape to start, try for something between 50 and 70 percent of your maximum. Build your way up. You should be able to carry on a conversation, but you should also be breaking a sweat. It takes trial and error to figure it out.

    Don't get caught up on the beats per minute. As I said, everyone's different. But the numbers you threw out are normal. Your heart won't explode. I get my heart rate up near 200 BPM for short bursts, and I can sustain a heart rate around 180 for forty five minutes, but it's an all-out run. I wouldn't do it every day, though. I'd burn out.

    Edit: I forgot to include... Quick rule of thumb is your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age, with the caveat that it really differs for everyone.
  5. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    On the elliptical, it also depends on what program you put it on. Fat burning and some of the other ones are kinda soft, especially if that's what you're going for. I always just put it on manual and go as hard as I can.
  6. Buck

    Buck Well-Known Member

    If you set the machine to cardio, it should tell you what your target rate is.
  7. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Will it do the work for you, too?
  8. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    HOLY SHIT! Moddy and I agree on something.
  9. Big Buckin' agate_monkey

    Big Buckin' agate_monkey Active Member

    But whatever.
  10. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    That's what I did and it said my target heart rate was 154. As I said, though, it just didn't feel like I was working that hard, so I upped it today and felt like I got a much better workout.

    I just wasn't sure if the reason for the target heart rate was because that was somehow more efficient than going higher or if it's keep you from keeling over. I get the feeling it's just to keep people from dying in the gym and scaring off customers.
  11. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    Not to threadjack, but what the hell is JDV?
  12. spup1122

    spup1122 Guest

    The eliptical is a little deceiving. I never felt like I was working out real hard on it, even though my heartbeat was up to what it told me it should be. I found out how hard I'd been working two days later. Don't think you're not working too hard, bigpern. You'll feel it later.
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