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05 Jan 2005

heart rate
HI doc,

please can you tell me what percentage of my heart rate i should be training at to loose fat. im 1.9m tall and weigh 128kg, want to loose some fat
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

Hi John

My honest advice to you, which will remove the complexity of this, is that you not worry about heart rate too much to start with. I really believe that if you are able to exercise for the recommended 45 minutes each session, without feeling completely exhausted, then you are probably going to be going at the best heart rate anyway. Too often, I have seen people hit problems with these equations - it's not that they are bad, it's just that they are only applicable to the average population, and the individuals in that population are rarely average. So, for example, it is true that we say the maximum heart rate is 220 minus age, but perhaps you are an exception, and then if you base training on this, it all goes wrong.

Therefore, my advice is that you go to the gym and with the advice and instruction of a trainer, if you are starting out, you set up a programme that consists predominantly of cardiovascular exercise, like running, walking, cycling, swimming, aerobics, rowing etc. Then, you aim for 4 sessions a week, 45 minutes a session, and you should see results. If you base it on effort, and aim to finish the session feeling tired but not exhausted, I can guarantee results if you stick at it.

Over time, if you are aware of your heart rate, then it becomes a very powerful tool, because as you get fitter, you will see how it goes down at the same exercise pace, or perhaps that you are able to exercise for longer or faster at the same heart rate. That's a sign of progress, but as for using heart rate preemptively, don't take it too literally, or you will be frustrated often.

Good luck
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