Basic Concepts of How & Why to Use a Heart Rate Monitor

Basic Concepts of How & Why to Use a Heart Rate Monitor
The heart rate monitor is an electronic tool that makes monitoring and developing training programs in cardiovascular intensive sports much easier. Without one, an athlete must manually check his heart rate during training, which is an awkward and inaccurate procedure.


Heart rate monitors take the pulse, or how often the heart beats per minute. Having an accurate pulse count is necessary for specific kinds of training that call for the athlete to attain specific heart rates.

Maximum Heart Rate

A key figure in heart rate training is the maximum heart rate, or the top number of beats per minute the heart can manage. This number declines by about one beat per year as we grow older.


A user engages in exercise and periodically checks the heart rate monitor to see if her heart rate is within a desired zone, and either increases or decreases her work rate if it is not.


An athlete's training can be designed to embrace different heart rate zones, thereby training the body to improve different aspects of its conditioning. A runner, for example, might jog for much of his course, but then break into wind sprints to get his heart rate up into a different zone and for a different kind of training.

Example: Aerobic Zone

Aerobic training works on maximizing your body's ability to deliver oxygen to and eliminate carbon dioxide from its muscles, and is the best training for fat burning. The range for aerobic training is between 70 and 80 percent of the maximum heart rate.

Example: Anaerobic Zone

Training in this zone raises muscular tolerance for a waste product called lactic acid. It requires the heart rate to be raised to between 80 and 90 percent of its maximum.

Article Written By Edwin Thomas

Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.

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