If you thought the fat-burning zone was inaccurate, it pales in comparison to the recommended heart rate zones. The two are in fact connected. Heart rate zones are usually illustrated using color-coded charts, divided by age, that tell you what range you should try to stay within during your workout. There are several formulas that are used to compute these zones, with the most popular being the age-graded heart rate formula.” The formula is simple: subtract your age from 220 to determine your maximum heart rate. This is supposed to be the highest heart rate you can achieve during exercise.
Research indicates that a significant portion of the population, often said to be almost two-thirds, falls outside these zones. This means that a large number of you who are following the zones are in essence working out incorrectly. You are working out either too easy or too hard, and the chances are very good that it is the former. You are not working out at a high enough intensity. You are ripping yourself off.
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Get Your Heart Rate Up and Keep It Up
Remember the judge who gave his definition of pornography? He said he would know it when he saw it? Well, intensity during cardio is pretty much the same thing. How do you know when you’re working out at an intensity that will bring about real results?
You’ll know it when you feel it. That’s pretty much the rule when it comes to doing cardio. Push yourself. Burn away the calories. Create a negative daily caloric balance by expending more calories than you take in each and every day.
Debunking the Cardio Machines
Walk into the cardio area of most any gym today, and you can work up a sweat just trying to decide which piece of cardio equipment to use. Striders, stepmills, skiers, the StairMaster. Fitness companies are forever coming out with new and unique ways in which we can torture ourselves cardiovascularly.
Do you want to use your hands, or would you rather exercise with just your lower body like a cast member of Riverdance? The days of just the treadmill and StairMaster are long gone. If you can’t find one type of cardio machine that you can tolerate a few times a week, you’ve got to get with the program. And, with so many choices available, many people inevitably want to know Which is best?
If You Can Read During Cardio, It Is Too Easy
While sweating is not a requirement to show that you are working out at a good intensity, many people who should be sweating during their cardio are not. Many people. Not sweating may not show that you are taking it easy, but sweating certainly will indicate otherwise. When in doubt, sweat. Now that you know the general principles of doing cardio, let’s look at all the different choices available to you in most gyms. There are four tried-and-true machines that have been around for a while and will be around for many years to come.