The Best Cardio (3/3)

Heart Rate Recovery

Heart rate is a window into the body and describes how your physical and mental systems are processing. Heart rate is a way to measure physiological output.  

The intensity of the heart rate is the same whether you are fit or if you’re a person who doesn’t exercise at all. However, in a fit person, the size of the heart chamber has increased so that more blood is pumped per stroke making the heart more efficient. The heart increases in size and is able to deliver more blood to the body per heartbeat.

After exercise, your heart rate will recover to resting levels slowly or quickly depending on your fitness level. A slow heart rate recovery after an intense exercise interval indicates that the heart is not as responsive to the demands placed on it. A rapid heart rate recovery is indicative of a well-functioning heart, able to supply the demands placed on it.

Heart Rate Recovery

Phase 1 is the first minute after exercise in which the heart rate drops rapidly.

Phase 2 is the longer heart rate recovery which occurs from 30 minutes to several hours depending on fitness level and intensity of workout.

Determining Heart Rate Recovery

Step 1: Exercise intensely until fatigue and then stop.

Step 2: Exactly 60 seconds after the bout of intense exercise, note the pulse.

Step 3: Rest interval until ready to continue the next exercise interval.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1, 2, and 3 until the heart rate does not recover as effectively.

Interpretation: It may be the third, fourth, or fifth interval that the heart rate, after 60 seconds, does not return to the previous heart rate recoverings, say 12 points higher. This is the time to stop exercising as more exercise will place more demands on the cardiorespiratory system than it can adapt to.

Never extend exercise beyond what your body can respond to! You are asking for trouble. Going beyond the point of over-training will do catabolic damage to the heart and oxidative damage to the arteries.

A Normal Pulse Rate

A well-conditioned heart that has had the benefits of Maximum Intensity Interval Training, functions at rest with a pulse of between 70-74 beats per minute. When the body engages in an intense exercise interval, the pulse increases rapidly at the onset of exercise, then recovers very quickly at the end of exercise. The fast recovery is the key to cardiac strength and the resting pulse of around 72 is the indicator of healthy myocardial physiology.  

A slow pulse indicates a heart that is overly stressed. Prolonged long-term endurance training results in non-physiological changes in autonomic control of the heart such that parasympathetic activity dominates and sympathetic control is reduced. The parasympathetic stress and sympathetic weakness results in a decreased heart rate at rest, in response to low to moderate exercise.  

High intensity interval exercise, even at 80-90% maximum, is superior to moderate intensity exercise for increasing aerobic capacity and VO2max is nearly 2½ times as effective in improving cardiovascular function as medium intensity training at 50-60% of VO2max.

 Do not waste your time and energy on long-term low to moderate exercise. If you are not engaging your muscles, through their complete range of motion, under moderate resistance, to complete exhaustion, you are not only wasting your time and energy, you may be damaging your health.

The increase in intensity will more than double your health benefits, increasing your physical performance and cardiac function far better than continuous “aerobic” exercise. Not only that, but REDUCING the volume (the total amount of exercise) and INCREASING the intensity to maximum will increase your speed, your endurance, improve your heart function and energy metabolism and decrease the catecholamine stress hormone levels.

The Myoride Exercise Machine is the best way to engage in full body, complete range of motion, low-impact, Maximum Intensity Interval Training.