How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor Watch

How to Use a Heart Rate Monitor Watch
Heart rate monitors (HRMs) are increasingly popular training tools for both athletes in cardio-intense sports and for serious gym rats who want to take their training to the next level. The normal format for these devices is that of the wristwatch. Whether it be for cycling or trail running, what a monitor does is provide you with easy-to-read data on your pulse so that you can fine-tune your training.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Make an estimate of your maximum heart rate, as you will need this statistic to determine your various heart rate zones. Determine this by taking 210 and then subtracting 1/2 your age and 5 percent of your body weight in pounds. A 50-year-old, 200-pound man would be 210-25-10 = 175.
Step 2
Adjust your maximum heart rate figure at your birthdays. For every year you age, subtract 1 from that number.
Step 3
Engage in your training regimen, and monitor your heart rate watch over the course of it. Your heart rate needs to be raised into particular zones, or percentages of your maximum rate, to achieve particular effects. Your watch will at least give you a raw pulse number and probably a percentage of your maximum as well. To start, fat burning and general fitness for a 50-year-old requires a rate of between 50 and 70 percent, or 87 to 122 beats per minute.
Step 4
Improve your body's capacity to transport oxygen to your muscles by taking your heart rate up to the next step, between 70 and 80 percent of the top, or 122 to 140 for our example. This is one-half of building up your cardiovascular capability.
Step 5
Improve on your body's capacity to eliminate muscular waste products by raising your heart rate up to the 80 to 90 percent zone, which is 140 to 157 for our 50-year-old example.
Step 6
Develop your speed by going over 90 percent of your maximum heart rate.

Tips & Warnings

A good workout should include at least one period from Step 4 and 5, each lasting several minutes. It should also include a brief, one- to three-minute period of going over 90 percent of your 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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