Finding your personal cardio heart rate zone is very important if you want to burn body fat as quickly as possible.
Within the WLC System, you'll find that burning fat during cardio is one of the secrets to fat loss.
If you do the right type of cardio at the correct cardio heart rate zone, you can burn a good amount of body fat DURING your workout. You'll also burn fat well after your workout if you get this right.
I want to go through this with you step-by-step so you understand how to find your personal fat burning zones based on your heart rate.
Learn How to Measure Your Heart Rate
The first step in getting all of this right is learning how to measure your heart rate properly.
You can do this in many different ways, but here are a few of my favorites.
The easiest method is using a heart rate watch.
The manual method requires a watch with a second hand and finding your pulse somewhere on your body. I recommend using your right index finger and finding your heart rate under the left side of your jaw bone on your neck.
I recommend counting the number of beats in a 60-second period. You could shorten that time and multiply by a factor but this introduces some error to your true heart rate measurement.
I really do recommend the heart rate watch, though, as it will prove to be really useful as you use the WLC System.
Find Your Resting Heart Rate
Use your heart rate watch or the manual method of measuring heart rate to find your resting heart rate.
In order to find your resting heart rate, you need to be well rested. Your heart rate should not be elevated at all for any reason.
Taking this measurement immediately after waking up, and you should get a very accurate measurement unless you use a very loud alarm clock that makes you jump sky high out of the bed.
The average resting heart rate is approximately 72 beats per minute.
If your resting heart rate is much higher than 72 beats per minute, you've got some work to do on your cardiovascular exercise. Your cardio workout plan is really going to help you get in better shape.
A goal for your cardio workout program should be to greatly decrease your resting heart rate. Lets make that heart of yours strong and powerful with cardio.
Finding Your Maximum Heart Rate
The next step in finding your personal cardio heart rate zone is finding your maximum heart rate.
The only true way of finding your maximum heart rate is to do some lab testing that's going to wear you out and could possibly be dangerous unless a doctor is supervising.
I would rather you estimate your maximum heart rate with this formula:
Maximum Heart Rate = 220 – Your Age
If you're 20 years old, your maximum heart rate estimate would be 200 beats per minute. If you're 80 years old, your maximum heart rate would be 140 beats per minute. This means your maximum heart rate decreases as you age.
Make sure to calculate and record your maximum heart rate when stepping through this page. Keep it handy for later.
Finding Your Heart Rate Reserve
Your heart rate reserve means exactly what it says.
This really means the difference in your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate. So this is what you have in reserve when you are resting.
To calculate your heart rate reserve, simply use this formula:
Heart Rate Reserve = Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate
Let's say your resting heart rate is 70 beats per minute and you are 40 years old. This would make your heart rate reserve equal to 180 beats per minute minus 70 beats per minute. This means your heart rate reserve equals 110 beats per minute.
Make sure to write down the result of your calculation as it will be needed in your cardio heart rate zone calculation.
Finding The Perfect Intensity Range for Burning Fat
This is one of the secrets to the WLC System and why it is so effective in burning body fat.
You are going to use TRUE medium intensity cardio to burn maximum amounts of body fat. I'll explain what this means.
The table below will give you percentage multipliers for the low, medium, and high intensity cardio ranges. Your cardio heart rate zone will use ONLY the medium intensity multipliers.
|Medium||60% – 80%|
You can now take your heart rate reserve number and multiply it by 60% and then multiply it again by 80% to get your cardio heart rate zone to use with the WLC System.
For example, lets say your heart rate reserve is 110 beats per minute.
When you multiply 110 by 0.60 you get 66 beats per minute. When you multiply 110 by 0.80 you get 88 beats per minute.
Write those 2 numbers down as you're going to calculate your lower cardio heart rate zone and your upper cardio heart rate zone using these 2 numbers plus your resting heart rate.
Now You Can Find Your Cardio Heart Rate Zone
In order to find your personal cardio heart rate zone for burning body fat, you need to use the following 2 formulas:
Lower Heart Rate Zone = Resting Heart Rate + (Heart Rate Reserve)(0.60)
Upper Heart Rate Zone = Resting Heart Rate + (Heart Rate Reserve)(0.80)
Let's say your resting heart rate as calculated earlier is 70 beats per minute and your heart rate reserve is 110 beats per minute. You would get the following as an example:
Lower Heart Rate Zone = 70 + (110)(0.60) = 70 + 66 = 136 beats per minute
Upper Heart Rate Zone = 70 + (110)(0.80) = 70 + 88 = 158 beats per minute
This means you will want to stay within 136 to 158 beats per minute during your cardio workouts. This would be your personal cardio heart rate zone for use with the WLC System.
You need to find your actual numbers and use the steps here to find your target heart rate zones.
How To Use Your Target Heart Rate Zone for Burning Fat
When using the WLC System, you will always do a minimum amount of cardio on muscle building cycles and you will add as much cardio as needed for fat burning cycles.
Usually, this means 2 to 3 cardio sessions for muscle building cycles and 3 to as many as needed during a fat loss cycle.
During your cardio workouts, you would use a heart rate watch to set your personal cardio heart rate zones on your watch. An alarm will sound if you aren't within your cardio heart rate zones. Stay within your heart rate zone for the duration of the cardio workout if possible.
This will take hard work.
If you aren't in good shape at this time, set some lower heart rate zones and strive to stay within those until you get to be in better cardiovascular shape.
If you can stay within the target heart rate zone at a medium intensity, you should be working pretty hard the entire workout and you will burn lots of body fat during your workout.
The work you've done during the workout will even produce a fat burning effect for many hours after your workout.
Free Download: Cardio Heart Rate Zone Calculator
To make all of this easier, I made a quick and easy calculator for you.
This calculator does all of the calculations that we've talked about on this page for you.
All you really have to do is enter your age and your resting heart rate. Make sure you get an accurate measurement for your resting heart rate.
Free Download Cardio Heart Rate Zone Calculator: Download
The cardio heart rate zone calculator is also available in every copy of the WLC Log Book, but I thought I would include it here again just in case you missed it previously.
If you need any help with your fat burning target heart rate zone, let me know. Remember to work your way up to this if you're currently out of shape.