Training on heart rate can give you very valuable information about your fitness level and training intensity, among other things. At Kicksfit we regularly provide high-intensity training forms that raise the heart rate significantly. This does not only stimulate calorie burning, but also provides a great training stimulus for the heart-lung system. This has several positive consequences in the short and long term. Want to know how to properly train on heart rate? Below we will share 5 tips you do not want to miss out on!
1) Determine the correct intensity zone
Most brands (including Garmin, Polar and Myzone) distinguish 5 different intensity zones that can be used for training based on a percentage of your maximum heart rate. As a rule of thumb you can calculate your maximum heart rate with the formula: 220 – age. This means that according to the table above, a 20 year old athlete trains at a heart rate between 140 and 160 heart beats in zone 3 (average intensity), based on a theoretical maximum heart rate of 200.
NOTE: This calculation gives a reasonable indication, but does not take into account individual differences that can sometimes amount to 10 to 15 beats. During the webinar “Training on heart rate” I would like to tell you more about more accurate measuring methods.
2) Use a heart rate belt
Many sports watches and smartwatches nowadays include a writs heart rate measuring feature. This is quite reliable to use, for example, to determine your resting pulse or to do low-intensity efforts. However, with high intensity and interval training, a measurement via the wrist is less reliable. In that case, wearing a heart rate belt is an absolute must to be able to train properly on heart rate.
3) Listen to your body
A heart rate monitor can provide you with valuable information about your fitness level and training intensity, among other things. For example, you will notice that your heart rate will drop as you train consistently, at the same intensity. If you regularly participate in a Kicksfit workout, you will notice that your heart rate will drop more quickly after a high-intensity game, relay race or circuit training. The recovery ability is also very valuable during a football match. After all, you want to recover as quickly as possible after an action in order to be able to do a new action again.
Can I determine the training intensity by my heart rate monitor?
Unfortunately not! A high stress level, a bad night’s sleep and/or a busy working day can affect your performance and recovery. Therefore, always listen to your body and do not declare the heart rate monitor as sacred.
During short (football) sprints (e.g. 8x 15 meters with 10 seconds rest) your heart rate monitor is of little use. This (mechanical) load demands a lot from your muscles and joints and can feel very heavy. The displayed heart rate is then not accurate because the effort is not immediately translated into a higher heart rate. In (top) sports, therefore, the subjective degree of fatigue (EMF) experienced after a training session is often taken into account as a supplement, expressed in a figure between 1 (very light) and 10 (very heavy).
4) Lower your resting heart rate and metabolism through high-intensity training
With the Kicksfit workouts, we regularly provide high-intensity forms of training, such as the High Intensity Interval circuit training, relay races and small games that raise the heart rate significantly. This not only stimulates calorie burning, but also provides a great training stimulus for the heart-lung system. This has several positive consequences in the short and long term. One being a stronger heart muscle, causing your resting heart rate to drip in the long term. This means that at rest your heart will pump more blood per beat and work more efficiently. The resting heart rate of a well-trained athlete can even drop to about 30-40 beats per minute. In addition, your metabolism will be increased by regular high-intensity training. Even immediately after your workout you will notice that the body is working even harder and burning extra calories. This is also known as the EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption).
Of course it is important to take into account the load versus your taxability. Too intensive training can lead to injuries. It is important to take this into account when you start training on heart rate!
5) Don’t compare your heart rate (too much) with others
If you are exercising with your buddy, your heart rate may be much higher or lower at the same intensity. This can certainly indicate that you are less or more trained. You will notice that – with the same intensity – your heart rate will drop as you are more trained. However, other factors also play a role, such as age and genetic predisposition. As a result, your maximum heart rate may be 165 while your buddy has a maximum heart rate of 200. If you both train at an intensity of HF155, this would be at 94% of your HRmax and only 78% of HR max for your buddy.
Can I train my maximum heart rate?
Your maximum heart rate decreases on average by 1 beat per lifeyear. You cannot increase your maximum heart rate through exercise. In well-trained athletes, the heart rate will drop less quickly as the years go by.
Would you like more insights into how you can train effectively based on heart rate to improve your performance? Come and train at Kicksfit!