160117 Is your heart on top of your training?
Do you know if you and your heart are training at a sufficient level to make progress by encouraging the heart muscle to get stronger? If not then the next time you train try counting your heart beats and find out where you stand. This is a quick and dirty way of finding out if you are on track to achieving higher levels of fitness.
To begin the test make sure you have the right equipment on hand. You will need a clock with a sweep hand or a digital one with an internal stopwatch or better yet an actual stopwatch. As soon as you are finished exercising take your pulse. Do not wait even two to five seconds to do so or the results will be misleading. Now that this figure is noted take your pulse again in exactly one minute; not a minute and two seconds but precisely one minute. If for example you decide to count right after your exercise is done and do so for one full minute then the second minute would begin immediately with not interruptions between the two.
The next step is to subtract the second reading from the first and then divide the answer by 10. The resultant answer is then compared to the following chart to determine your level of cardio overall physical fitness.
If your calculations come up less than the number 2 then you are in poor shape and need to work out a bit more and a bit harder by upping your cardiovascular workouts. Raise the target heart rate percentages up into the 70% HR for your age and gender.
Numbers between 2-3 indicate a fair fitness position but it definitely could be improved with higher workout intensities.
Good readings start to appear between 3-4 and get even better at ranges of 4-6. Superior fitness is indicated when the numbers are above 6.
If you are already in superior shape then the dividend number changes. In this instance take your pulse immediately after exercising as before and then again at the thirty-second mark. Now rather than dividing by 10 you will divide by 5 to arrive at the answer.
If you are concerned about overtraining take your pulse three mornings in a row as soon as you wake up. If by chance you are entering the overtraining phase of things your pulse may be up higher than normal. Some of the literature suggests these higher pulse rates can be as much as ten beats more per minute than normal. If this is the case then it’s time to lower your level of training until your body has a chance to recover.