You know who you are! You have a brand new, state of the art, heart rate monitor strapped tightly to your wrist - or maybe you have a band secured around your torso that connects to your wrist monitor - and these devices measure your heart rate so you're constantly checking it during exercise to make sure your in “fat burning mode.”
But do really know what your fat burning mode even is?
While there are many conflicting pieces of information about fat burning and weight loss, I believe that you must understand the basics before you read about all the conflicts.
Here is a simple equation to calculate your Max Heart Rate which then allows you to calculate your personal Fat Burning Mode.
Figure out your max heart rate - Max Heart Rate is simply 220 minus your age.
Then determine your fat-burning range - 60% to 70% of your max heart rate.
It’s that easy! And there are many online calculators that can help you with the math if needed.
Now, here is your target, or desired effort, depending on where you are in your workout and fitness journey…
40-50% - Beginner Exerciser
50-60% - Intermediate Exerciser
60-70% - Advanced Intermediate Exerciser
70-85% - Advanced Exerciser
It's also important to check your Morning Resting Heart Rate frequently to alert you to a higher than usual pulse which can give you advanced warning of over training or of an oncoming bug or cold. Also, this number helps you to know when to back off on training or to spend more time resting.
A lower than usual resting pulse can announce the pleasant news that you are in better shape than you thought you were!
To have an idea of your average morning resting heart rate, you can follow the points below.
1 - Find your pulse with your fingers, not your thumb, while lying in bed before you get up in the morning.
2 - Count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by four, or 30 seconds and multiply by two. For example, If you count 32 beats in 30 seconds, your resting heart rate is 64 BPM (32 x 2).
3 - Record your heart rate for five days.
4 - Add the five days resting heart rates together and divide by five to find your average resting heart rate.
It's important to know your numbers and the best way to tell that something might be off in your body is to be aware. Part of that awareness - of the “unseen muscle” (the heart) - is to know your pulse and your heart rate training ranges. Once you know your numbers, training becomes a game you want to (and will) WIN!