first step to reaching progress in your fitness level is to create a
base of aerobic fitness, known as Aerobic Base Building. Aerobic refers
to the energy created using the oxygen system, and base building refers
to building a base from which one can later advance from. To build an
aerobic base, you must exercise in the aerobic range, gradually adding
more duration to absorb the training effectively.
You should commit to an aerobic base building period for 6–12
weeks when you are just beginning an exercise program, returning after
a break from training, or recovering from an injury or overtraining.
The longer the lapse in exercise, the longer the base building period
base building workouts should be at a heart rate range of approximately
65%–75% maximum heart rate. Using a heart rate monitor is critical
because it provides immediate, continuous, accurate feedback.
calculate your aerobic heart rate range, you can use the age-predicted
formula to estimate your maximum heart rate: 220 – age. Example:
If you are 30 years old, your estimated max heart rate is 190 BPM. From
there, multiply 190 x 65% and 80% to get a range of 123 to 152 BPM. For
more information on heart rates, see the Target Heart Rate handout.