What Is Heart Rate Specific Training And Why It Works - Men's Health Magazine Australia

What Is Heart Rate Specific Training And Why It Works

There is no doubt that tracking workouts and analysing metrics has become almost mainstream within the fitness community. After all, few people will see results overnight with their training, but by tracking metrics you will be able to see whether you are tracking in the right direction or not.

The thing is though, different styles of workouts have different goals and physiological outcomes, and a lot of the tech, especially heart rate tech, only rewards high heart rates which does not reward low intensity or strength training. 

Cameron Falloon, the founder of BFT, who was previously an elite strength and conditioning coach for more than 30 years shares how at BFT they have flipped heart rate tech to reward all styles of training.

What is heart rate specific training?

Heart rate specific training requires your heart rate to remain within a set zone by training at a certain intensity. Your heart rate is monitored during your workout and is usually expressed as a percentage of your maximum heart rate—the greatest number of times your heart can beat in a minute without putting you at risk.

Your target heart rate—ie. the number of times your heart beats in 60 seconds within your workout—will be determined by your age, weight, height, gender, the type of workout and the workout goal. To calculate your max HR you can use calculations based on age, BFT use .64 x age. But if you’re looking for the most accurate reading, Cameron Falloon recommends undertaking a cardiovascular stress testing at a lab. 

Why focus on heart rate specific training?

“The common mentality around fitness was ‘go hard’ or ‘go home’, and while sometimes you need to give it 100%, the reality is working out like that every day isn’t sustainable and will result in burnout and injury,” Cameron Falloon says. 

“That is why I recommend a holistic approach that incorporates training at different heart rates for different styles of workouts. That way you work through all the different energy systems and muscle fibres.”

“A program that’s goal is hypertrophy (an increase in muscular size achieved through exercise} and building strength will have a different target heart rate than a cardio program. With 13 different programs at BFT, we need to reward our members for all types of training, which is why we created our own bespoke heart rate system.”

“The three pillars that underpin the BFT training system are to train every energy system, train every muscle fiber type and move through the body’s natural fascial planes to constantly improve your strength, cardiovascular fitness and reduce the likelihood of injury. With a holistic approach to training that we take, we had to create a holistic heart rate system that reward the desired physiological outcomes for each program.”

If you are interested in trying heart rate specific training, find a BFT near you. 

By Cameron Falloon

Cameron Falloon is the founder of BFT, and was previously an elite strength and conditioning coach for more than 30 years.

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