I hate cardio, I don’t hate it a little, I hate it a lot. Because I dislike it so intensely I will cheat myself if I am not careful. I would much rather use an elliptical and chat with a friend for a while than push myself. So, if I want results I have to hold myself accountable by watching my heart rate and ensuring that I am working in the correct zone. There are many different ways to calculate your target heart rate. For the purpose of this blog I want to keep it as simple as possible.

Here is a very simple user friendly method to calculate your target heart rate zone:

220-your age=max heart rate

Once you figured out that number what do you do with it? You have to determine you goal. What are you trying to do? Each goal has a different training zone:

Zone #1-weight loss: Train at 60-70% of your max heart rate

Zone#2-weight management/increasing cardiovascular endurance: Train at 70-80% of your max heart rate

Zone#3- interval: Train at 80-85% of your max heart rate

Now that we have determined your heart rate zones and your max heart rate I should probably help you figure out how to take it. Here are 2 easy methods:

1st method- Wear a heart rate monitor. There are a bunch of good ones. I wear a Garmin, but Polar, Apple, and Fitbit also make some excellent monitors. (some can be really expensive and are consequently not an option for everyone).

2nd method- Place your index and middle fingers either on your wrist or on the side of your neck. When you locate your pulse count how many beats there are in 30 seconds, multiply that number by 2 and you have you heart rate.

Here’s my point, if I have to do cardio then I want it to be effective. I don’t want to waste my time. If done correctly I can reduce my time spent by doing cardio by making it more effective and efficient. I may always hate cardio (I am pretty sure I am allergic to it) but, I won’t make excuses. If it will help get me where I want to go then I am all in.