Welcome to AA Fitness! This is a Health and Fitness Blog for
ALL ages. Enjoy all the material I have to share with you. My
philosopy and expertise is in Kinesiology, and comes with a
decade of education and experience. I am an educator, trainer,
coach, student, athlete, and client to fitness!!! Join the journey
and let's have some fun! -Andrew Ames

Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Karvonen Formula (Target Heart Rate)

Created by Finnish professor Dr. Karvonen, this formula is the most customized for YOU.   With submaximal intensity, the value of your heart rate (HR) correlates directly with the intensity of the load (work).   The Karvonen formula calculates the minimum and maximum HR for an effective aerobic training workout.   The Target Training Range should be between 70% and 85% of your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR).
How to find your Target Heart Rate (THR)
1st: Find your Resting Heart Rate (RHR): Have a watch by your bed, ready to go.   After you wake up in the morning, before getting out of bed, check your pulse for one minute.   You can take this RHR over the course of 3 mornings, if you want an even more accurate RHR number.   An individual’s RHR varies. A healthy resting heart rate lies between 60 and 90 BPM (beats per minute). If your resting heart rate is above 90 beats per minute for all three mornings, you should consult your physician. You may have a heart condition called tachycardia.  Similarly, a dangerously low heart rate (below 60 if you are inactive and below 40 if you are an athlete in training) accompanied by weakness, lethargy and fainting can be a symptom of bradycardia, which requires immediate medical attention.   A consistently irregular heart beat that skips beats or speeds up periodically is also cause for concern. While the occasional fluctuation is no serious matter, if you take your pulse for a full minute and notice irregularities, you should bring this to the attention of your physician.

How can I check for my pulse?
Your pulse can be felt at any point on your body where your veins and arteries run close to the surface of your skin. The most popular pulse point can be found on the carotid artery, which runs along the left side of your neck. You can find the carotid artery just below the leftmost point of your jaw bone, next to the tendon in your neck.
*BE SURE to use the correct fingers:  You should not use your thumb to measure your heart rate because your thumb has its own strong pulse that can interfere with the pulse you are trying to measure. Instead, use your index and middle finger to press on the artery. It doesn’t matter if you use your left or right hand.
Karvonen Formula: Put your math skills to the test!!!
1) MHR (Maximum Heart Rate) =220 -subtract- Age.
2) HRR (Heart Rate Reserve) = MHR  -subtract- RHR (Resting Heart Rate)
3) THR (minimum) = HRR *multiply* TI%(min. Training Intensity) +add+ RHR
4) THR (maximum)= HRR   *multiply* TI% (max.) +add+ RHR

This will give you your Target Heart Rate (THR) minimum and maximum.   You should try to stay in between these numbers, depending on your goal {(fat burning (lower range) or cardiovascular training (higher range)}.   My next blog will give you SCIENTIFIC information about the Fat Burning Zone.  It is called that for a reason. J

 4 Training Intensities (TI%)


1) Objective: Weight loss & special populations    
Population:Sedentary, Obese, Overweight,Cardio Development, Hypertensive, Diabetic, Cardiac

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­2) Objective: Weight loss, Cardio Capacity                  
Percentage: 50-75%                                                           
Population: Active

3) Objective:Cardio Capacity                                          
Population: Trained Individual

4) Objective: With Trained Professional                         
Percentage: 90-100%                                                   
Population: Athlete

Here is an example for an individual who is 35 years old:

* RHR over 3 mornings
Morning 1) 69 bpm(beats per minute)
Morning 2) 71 bpm
Morning 3) 70 bpm
Average: (69+71+70) /divided by/ 3 = 70 bpm

1) MHR = 220 – 35 = 185bpm
2) HRR = 185 – 75 = 115bpm
3) THR (minimum) = (0,7 x 115) + 70  = 150 bpm
4) THR (maximum) = (0,85 x 115) + 70 = 167 bpm

RHR= 70bpm
THR(min)= 150bpm

*A non-scientific approach that is sometimes used, and if you do not have the ability to check your heart rate, although I STRONGLY recommend you do, the TALK TEST, is another method to help find what zone you are in.   I like to use the A-B-C’s.  In one breath, I find out how many letters I can say, with at normal pace.  If I reach up to Q-R-S, I’m usually in a lower zone. :)

Added Definitions
*Intensity of the load (work being done)- This is defined as intensity as the percentage of maximum load that is being used.(ex. a 75% load would be, if you can use 100 lbs maximum,  lifting 75 pounds)
*Submaximal intensity- This means not at maximum intensity
*Tachycardia- Heart rate is controlled by electrical signals sent across heart tissues. Tachycardia occurs when an abnormality in the heart produces rapid electrical signals.
*Bradycardia- Bradycardia can be a serious problem if the heart doesn't pump enough oxygen-rich blood to the body. For some people, however, bradycardia doesn't cause symptoms or complications.

Next Topic:   The Fat Burning Zone…

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