Cardio Dance and Circuit class, aside from being a RedBird Pilates and Fitness studio favorite, gives us the chance to work on the most important muscle of all: our heart. Though it doesn’t often get mentioned in our Pilates mat or reformer classes, our hearts need the same training and conditioning that the rest of our muscles need. Obvious, right? A healthy heart is more efficient, pumping more blood with less effort. Not everyone knows, however, how we can measure our cardio health and set goals. 

This brings us to the training zone. The training zone is the target range for you to work towards in your cardio workouts. Each person’s training is different. It’s calculated to be 60% – 80% of your heart rate reserve. Training zones are moving targets – as your optimize your cardiovascular health through cardio exercise, your heart rate changes.

Ideally, during cardio dance and the cardio circuit classes, you should sustain your training zone for 20 – 40 minutes. This means that about a third of the way into class you should check your pulse. Then do it again in the second half of the class when you’re in full throttle. Are you in your training zone?

Don’t worry, it’s easier to figure out than it sounds:

1.    The first thing you need to know is your resting heart rate. Here’s how:
Take your pulse before getting out of bed three mornings in a row. Write it down! After the three mornings have passed, average your three pulse counts.

2.    Figure out your maximum heart rate (MaxHR). You do this by plugging your age into this simple equation:
220 – (your age) = your MaxHR

3.    Figure out your heart rate reserve (HRR). This is the difference between your resting and your maximum heart rates – that’s the heart activity you have to work with, right? Here’s how to get your HRR:

(MaxHR) – (resting HR) = your HRR

4.    Next find out what your lower limit percentage (60%) is for your training zone range. Easy:

HRR x .6 = 60% training percentage

5.    Now, your upper limit percentage (80%):

HRR x .8 = 80% training percentage.

6.    Let’s get the heart rate range now.

60% training percentage) + (restingHR) =  lower training zone limit

(80% training percentage) + (restingHR) = upper training zone limit

**Please note: These are pen and paper calculations for setting training goals. The best gauge, though, is how you feel. If you feel challenged but are able to recover relatively quickly, that’s a good sign. If you feel too winded or take a long time to recover, take that seriously and adjust your goals. **

(2) Comments
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