Heart Rate Based Training: Part Four

Part Four

So you can keep your place in your thoughts let me help you with this overview: by showing several examples of HRP’s you are getting used to looking at these ‘graphs’ and beginning to understand some of the information they contain. After looking at them and my brief discussions of each I will lay out far more detail of how you can begin constructing your own HRBT experiments and discovering the exciting intricacies of your workouts and health that they contain. Once you begin this process you won’t need to be further convinced of the use of HRBT; the data will be so evidently self justifying that you will wonder how you ever hoped to get strong, fast or just not dead by any other means.

OK, here is the 3rd. graph. Same guy, different workout consisting of a 2K row, and kettlebells and Olympic lifts but this time utilizing a pyramid scheme up to 3 repetition max lifts at each station. The simple characterization of this workout, with the exception of the 2K, is more power lifting as opposed to the more athletic lifting of the first graph. By the way if you never do Olympic lifts or even want to the reason I tell you of the work reflected in each graph is so you will start to see the link, what I call the mapping, of the metabolic work on the HRP. Some of the ‘lingo’ I use is unique to lifters or other types of athletics and is not important in itself. I will get to more generic descriptions when more of the concepts are in place.

Now you are probably starting to recognize the warm up. The next lump is the 2K row. This was done as a negative split- this just means that the second half was rowed at a faster pace than the first half- and as a result his heart rate really peaks at the end of the workout. This kind of testing, negative splits, is how you can discover your true maximum heart rate. Granted this will be subject to issues of general conditioning that will change over time but it is a great first look at your likely maximum heart rate. If you go back and look at the first workout graph you will see that even this early in the workout the recovery slope is less than at the same point in that workout; that was a tough 2K and we are seeing signs of fatigue in the system. We do not have enough information yet to say whether this is heart fatigue, general metabolic fatigue of the muscles, lung limitation or a combination. But the exciting part is that eventually we will be able to dissect each of these elements of fatigue from the graphs.

Now that you have seen 3 examples of properly recorded HRP’s in a generally fit man I want you to think of your own workouts or exercise. If you imagine what your HRP would look like you will see the difference. Now if your imagination is like most people it will be based more on perceived effort than what actually happens to your heart. Let me give you an example; we’ve done this on several people not just one or two.

It goes like this: I talk to an avid Tennis player and ask them what they think their HRP would look like while playing. Oh, they assure me, it would go up and down just as you describe that it should, we haven’t gotten to this yet, and  then we record them playing a match and find that their heart rate is ‘pegged’ the whole time. It goes up and stays up whether they are rushing the net or waiting at the baseline. Reason? They are competitive by nature and the hormonal environment during competition keeps their heart rate up. For reasons we will discuss this is not healthy for prolonged periods of time and thus the need for compensatory HRBT the rest of the time. A similar story could be told of a bodybuilder, contract bridge player or recreational jogger. HRP of these activities is not conducive to overall health much less heart health.

End Of Part Four

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