Heart Rate Training & The Neck Up–Neck Down Rule

October 15, 2007 at 4:26 pm 3 comments

Workouts are going well this week. Only today and tomorrow to go before, for the first time, I can say that I’ve ticked off four weeks of workouts without missing a day.

Over the weekend, I was feeling a bit rough one day, sinusey and congested with a bit of a headache. Not wanting to ruin my perfect record this month, I used the neck up–neck down rule to decide what to do. This says that if you are sick from the neck up, headache, snuffly, that kind of thing, it’s ok to work out if you feel up to it, but use your common sense, maybe take it a little easier, and be sure to keep well hydrated. On the other hand, if you’re sick from the neck down, aches and pains, shivering and so on, take the day (or two) off, hydrate, rest and recover.

It was a neck up day and I didn’t actually feel too bad. So I hopped on the treadmill and began my workout. I always use a heart rate monitor as I find it a more objective way of gauging my effort, and makes it harder for me to cheat when I’ve had enough. I warm up at 30–40% of my maximum heart rate, a moderate effort is 50–60% of my MHR, and harder workouts range from 70–90% depending on the length of time spent at that intensity. For example, I might do 30 second sprints at 90%, but if I was after a 10 minute block it would be at the lower end.

On Saturday, I started at about 2 miles per hour (3.2 kph) for the first minute just to get moving but found myself at 30%. Nudged up to 3.4 kph and watched my HR go up to the mid thirties and at 3.6 kph I was over 40%. Even though I didn’t feel too bad, my body was obviously working overtime to deal with a little head cold and my heart was showing the effort. I did my moderate, steady state, 60% workout at a paltry 4.0 kph (vs. around 5 kph usually), gradually managing to increase that to 4.4 as my heart rate came back down.

And the fantastic thing about heart rate training is that this slow pace gave me the same workout (ie. same cardiovascular effort) that I would normally get from going much faster. Without the monitor, I might have jumped on the machine, plugged in 5 kph, and struggled to get through my workout. And if I had managed to finish it, it would likely have been such a stress on my system that instead of shrugging off the snuffles overnight, as I did, I would likely be laid up today and feeling like hell. Can you tell I’m feeling all smug and pleased with myself?

But seriously, I wouldn’t train any other way. For more information about heart rate training, check out a great little book called ‘Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot’ by John L Parker. There’s a link and a review on my books page if you’d like to look into it. Happy training.

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Entry filed under: exercise, heath and fitness.

The Problem with Points Body Fat Down 1%

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. flaborfab  |  October 15, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for the tip! I’ve been looking for some information about heart rate training and I’ll definitely go and check out this book. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • 2. blubberbegone  |  October 15, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    My pleasure. It’s completely changed the way I train. Hope you enjoy it too.

    Reply
  • 3. byebyebelly  |  October 16, 2007 at 3:07 pm

    The Neck Up Neck Down rule is a great one to go by. I’ve found that exercise seems to help me recover faster from a “neck up” ailment. Maybe it’s mind over matter, but I’m convinced it works.

    Oooh, I need to get my heart rate monitor back out. I had completely forgotten about it. Thanks for the info on the book too.

    Reply

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Blubberbegone Stats

  • Start: 16 stone, 45.7% body fat
  • Goal: 10 stone, 20% body fat
  • Today: 14 stone 13.6 lbs, 44.8% BF
  • Pounds lost: 14.4
  • Body fat lost: 0.9%
  • Exercise this week (Sat–Fri):
  • Total: 2 hr 5 mins
  • Jog/Walk: 20 mins
  • Walking: 20 mins
  • Burlesque: 1 hr
  • Pilates: 25 mins
  • African dance: mins
  • Tae Kwon Do: mins
  • Badminton: mins
  • Tai Chi: mins
  • Yoga: hr
  • Exercise last week: 4 hrs 40 mins
  • Joke of the Day

    I'm not fat - I'm a woman and a half.

    Motivation

    My Weight Loss Goals

  • 1. Crack 15 stone (210 lbs) for the fourth and final (I hope) time.
  • 2. Lose 10% of my body fat (14 stone 4).
  • 3. Fit into a size 18 (US 16).
  • 4. Get my body fat below 40%
  • 5. Lose another 10% of my body fat (12 stone 12/180 lbs).
  • 6. Get my BMI under 30 (12 stone 9/177 lbs) - no longer obese, just overweight now.
  • 7. Weigh less than my husband.
  • 8. Fit into a size 16 (US 14).
  • 9. Lose my third 10% (11 stone 8/162 lbs).
  • 10. Fit into a size 14 (US 12).
  • 11. Get my BMI under 25 (10 stone 8/148 lbs).
  • 12. Lose my fourth 10% (10 stone 6/ 146 lbs).
  • 13. Fit into a size 12 (US 10).
  • 14. Reach my goal weight (10 stone) and decide if I need to lose any more based on my muscularity and shape.
  • 15. Turn heads in a bikini!
  • My Fitness Goals for 2011

  • 1. Increase my cruising walking speed from around 5.0kph to 6.4kph.
  • 2. Increase continuous jogging time to 30 mins.
  • 3. Run a 5K for charity.
  • 4. Work on my crawl stroke and build up to 30 mins continuous swimming.
  • 5. Build up to 1 hour continuous and comfortable cycling.
  • 6. Squat 50kg.
  • 7. Do an unassisted chin up.
  • 8. Take a martial arts or self-defence class for at least 3 months.
  • 9. Beat my husband at badminton.
  • 10. Learn a new dance style.
  • My Blubber Reduction Journey

  • My highest measured weight ever:
  • Jan 1 2006 = 238 lbs (17 stone)
  • BBG blog starting weight:
  • Sep 16 2007 = 215.5 lbs (15 stone 5.5), 47.0% BF Lean body mass 114.2 lbs (8 stone 2.2)
  • Highest weight posted since then:
  • Xmas 2008 = 223.6 lbs (15 stone 13.6), 48.2% BF, lean body mass 116.0 lbs (8 stone 4)
  • Lowest weight posted since then:
  • Nov 16 2009 = 193.2 lbs (13 stone 11.2), 43.7% BF, lean body mass 108.8 lbs (7 stone 10.8)
  • Lowest body fat posted since then:
  • Sep 7 2009 = 194.2 lbs (13 stone 12.2), 42.6% BF, lean body mass 111.5 lbs (7 stone 13.5)
  • My blubber reduction journey 2011:
  • Xmas 2010 = 221.6 lbs, 46.7% BF, 118.1 lbs LBM
  • 5 Jan = 221.0 lbs, 47.1% BF
  • 12 Jan = 219.6 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 19 Jan = 220.4 lbs, 45.8% BF (TTOM)
  • 26 Jan = 218.8 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Feb = 218.8 lbs, 44.7% BF
  • 9 Feb = 219.4 lbs, 44.9% BF
  • 16 Feb = 215.8 lbs, 44.6% BF
  • 23 Feb = 213.2 lbs, 45.2% BF
  • 2 Mar = 211.6 lbs, 45.9% BF
  • 9 Mar = 209.8 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 16 Mar = 208.8 lbs, 45.3% BF
  • 23 Mar = 208.0 lbs, 45.1% BF
  • 13 Apr = 208.4 lbs, 44.4% BF
  • 20 Apr = 207.6 lbs, 43.3% BF
  • 27 Apr = 205.0 lbs, 45.8% BF
  • 4 May = 209.2 lbs, 45.2% BF (TTOM)
  • No. weeks: 18
  • Average weekly weight loss: 0.31%
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