The Right Target Heart Rate For You 



Cardiovascular training is a must when wanting to achieve optimal health and plays a huge part in weight loss.


In a recent conversation with a friend who just joined the gym they mentioned that they use the fat burning zone on the elliptical. They have a lot of great tools on the cardio machines. The only problem is not a lot of people know how to utilize them in their workouts.


You have to know where you are at and for many beginners, training too intensly too soon can actually put you at risk for burnout and put too much stress on your heart. Success comes from slowly training your body. It is sustainable and really makes it more fun.


I want to share with you how to find your starting place. Using a Target Heart Rate calculator is a must. Let me first start with talking about the different levels:




Exercise at 60-75% of your Heart Rate Max.


This stage is for beginners who have not been working out. You need to start slow and build up to 30-60 minutes of exercise. For some, this might mean 5 minutes at first. When you are able to sustain 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week you are ready for the next level.




Exercise at 80-85% of your Heart Rate Max.

This is for people who have a good cardiorespiratory base and are able to go back and forth between the Beginning level (60-75% of your HR Max) and Intermediate level (80-85% of HR Max).

A training session would lool like something like this:


5 minutes at 60-75%

1 minute at 80-85%

5 minutes at 60-75%

1 minute at 80-85%

5 minutes at 60-75%

1 minute at 80-85%





Exercise at 86-90% of your Heart Rate Max.


This is for advanced clients and should not be used if you are at the Beginning and Intermediate levels. It can cause serious health related injuries.


I share this level for those of you that go to the gym and use this type of level on your cardio equipment. You need to be properly trained to perform such levels. Please seek assistance from a trainer or physician if interested in these levels.

Max Heart Rate = ?
60% to 75% of your Max Heart Rate = ?
80% to 85% of your Max Heart Rate = ?
86% to 90% of your Max Heart Rate = ?


Cardio is a must when wanting to reach optimal health and weight loss. Training correctly can help you to see the results you want faster while also properly building your endurance. We want to be doing this for the long haul, so do it right and you will enjoy the process.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013 7:29:00 PM

Dear Self - Push Through. 

Why exercise through hard times?


Implementing healthy standards in your home, as we all know, can be hard to maintain if you are having difficulties in life.


I know first hand how this happens as I had a close family member on death's door a while back. It was very emotional and I ironically lost my inspiration to think about my own health as I saw them lose their's. That experience taught me a lot and I saw after the year was over that my health was in shambles.


Some key things to remember in hard times:


1. Exercise releases a chemical called endorphins. They give you a sense of happiness often referred to as a "runner's high".

2. It helps improve sleep.

3. Helps combat anxiety.

4. Gives a sense of well being.

5. Increases your energy levels.



We all get thrown curve balls in life and at times feel knocked down and dragged around. Does this mean it is all over? No. At the appropriate time we can get back up, dust ourselves off and not forget what we have learned.


I am always going to remember that hard year. I am thankful for the healing of that family member as they are so cherished and I saw first hand the breakdown of health and the building back up of health. You know what got engraved in my heart and mind? It is so important and so fragile if not taken care of....more that I ever knew.


For me it has never been about status or looking attractive, but about being my strongest. It is easy to fall but I know it is easy to get back up. Hopefully the next time I have to walk through something I will write this note on my mirror to remind me of the basics:



References: WebMD "Exercise and Depession"

Saturday, January 19, 2013 1:04:00 PM

Weight Training with a Tempo 

Weight Training with a Tempo


I love all of the possibilities when it comes to designing a workout. You can change one factor and it challenges your muscles, central nervous system and frame a different way.


Today I want to discuss working out with a tempo. By changing the speed in which you raise and lower your weight, you can increase your muscle endurance, strength and force production. You will usually see numbers like 4-2-1, 3-2-1 or 1-1-1 and it looks confusing.


What do these numbers mean?


  • The beginning number is the number of seconds that you will take to lower your weight. It is commonly called your "eccentric contraction" and is when the muscle is being lengthened.


  • The second number is the number of seconds you pause at the top or bottom. This is called your "isometric contraction" and is when you pause after your eccentric contraction.


  • The third number is the number of seconds you will take to raise your weight or in some cases (like a lat pull down) lower your weight. This is called your "concentric" contraction and is when your muscle is being shortened.


Beginners - The 4-2-1 tempo.


I use a 4-2-1 tempo for beginning clients as we are working on endurance and stability. Let's break down what these numbers mean. Let's use a biceps curl as an example.

1. You lower your weight to the count of 4 seconds.

2. You pause for 2 seconds

3. You raise your weight in 1 second.


Intermediate - The 3-2-1 tempo.

For those who have completed the 4-2-1 tempo and are interested in building strength, I use a 3-2-1 tempo. Let's break this down using a biceps curl:


1. You lower the weight with the count of 3 seconds.

2. You pause for 2 seconds.

3. You raise your weight in 1 second.


Advanced - The 1-1-1 tempo.


The 1-1-1 tempo you will see more commonly with athletes or body builders. Using the biceps curl as an example we will break this tempo down:


1. You lower your weight in 1 second.

2. You pause for 1 second.

3. You raise your weight in 1 second.


There are a lot of different tempos out there. I use these tempos as they are a part of my training through NASM and have been proven to be really effective.


Still Confused?


Are you doing a chest press (for example) and are confused by these tempos. Ask yourself:

1. When is my muscle being lengthened? This is your "4".

2. When is my muscle being shortened? This is your "1".

3. When do I pause between lengthened position or shortened? This is your "2".


As you lower your weight, you will do it to the count of 4 seconds. You pause for 2 seconds and you raise it for 1 second.



I hope you are able to add these tempos in at the approriate level (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced) and enjoy the many benefits to working out with a tempo. Not to mention that it is fun!





Saturday, January 12, 2013 10:55:00 AM
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