For Instructors Spinning

Dialing in Heart Rate Targets

Heart rate training is the next step we take our students after they have mastered riding the Spinner®. The easiest formula is to use the age predicted maximum heart rate formula. However, the calculation of maximum heart rate is an inexact estimate at best. The age predicted maximum heart rate formula (220 - age for men and 226 ? age for women) can be off by as much as 12 to 24 heart beats. Consider the implications just that variation may have on training. If someone is 24 beats higher than their age predicted maximum heart rate, they will be under training. Conversely, those that are lower than their maximum heart rate calculation may be over training at the intensities we plan in our profiles. To dial in the proper heart rate, you will need to consider adding perceived exertion to your cues and then linking them to target heart rate. This task isn?t easy to do. Perceived exertion is sometimes difficult to define for our students to help them dial in on their target heart rate. I often use a simple approach to how I want my students to dial in their 85% of their maximum heart rate. I tell them they shouldn?t be able to talk without having to break their sentences into small two-word phrases at best. This effort is not maximal and they should still be able to work a little harder. If you are using a 1-10 RPE scale this effort rates about a seven or an eight. Your legs will start to feel the burn!! Ultimately, the best way to determine target heart rate ranges is to have your students get metabolically tested. These tests may not give a maximum heart rate, but will provide lactate threshold and VO2max heart rates for the student. If you start to develop training around these numbers, your students will experience phenomenal progress in their fitness journeys. Heart rate training allows us to systematically help our students train efficiently. However, without coupling target heart rates with perceived exertion, a student may not be training properly. If your students have the motivation to take their training to the next level, then metabolic training is the best way to dial in heart rate training targets. blog by Ralph Mlady for 5/8/11



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