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Monday, April 9, 2012

How To Know If You Are Working Out Hard Enough

Are you working out hard enough? This is a question we all ask ourselves when we step on the scales and it doesn’t give us the number we would like to see. When I work out is my intensity level enough to give me the results I want? Should I do more weight training and less cardio? What is metabolic training and am I eating right for my metabolism?

Your workout intensity level is based on your heart rate. These levels vary by your age and the amount of calories you want to burn during your workout. If you are age 20 you will want to have your heart rate at least 100 and not greater than 200. When your heart rate is 100 you burn between 4 and 6 calories per minute and when your heart rate is 180 you burn in excess of 15 calories per minute. If you reach 200 this would be a level that is not easily sustained and it is difficult to calculate exactly how many calories per minute you would burn. For every 5 years older you subtract between 2-3 beats per minute on the minimum end of the spectrum and subtract 5 beats per minute for each 5 years of age on the maximum end. If you keep your levels somewhere in the middle of these two you will burn a huge amount of calories in a short period of time.

How much weight training should I do? Weight training is good for turning that unwanted fat into muscle. So a schedule of every other day would work great to go between aerobic exercise and weight training. This gives you an opportunity to burn unwanted calories and build your muscles at the same time. It also gives your muscles proper time to rest in between. If you are strictly looking to make the scales move aerobic exercise is better because muscle is heavier than fat and therefore helps you lose inches but the pounds to move as fast.

Metabolic training is truly connected to what the intensity level of your exercise is. Metabolic training involves keeping your heart rate up and in the anaerobic zone which for a 20 year old would be between 160-180 beats per minute. If you were 45 that would be 144-162 beats per minute. Reaching this level of exercise is difficult but when you reach it and maintain it you will burn approximately 12-15+ calories per minute. This is the optimum level for your metabolism to be burning those calories. This is very difficult to achieve and maintain but it is worth every minute.

Just remember that it is all about burning more calories than you are taking in. So keep a close eye on that heart rate and you will know exactly what intensity level you need to be working out at.

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