By: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
The other day in the gym, I was doing my high intensity intervals on one of the fabulous Woodway treadmills on the main floor. Next to me was a new member. She kept saying, “OMG, this workout is killing me. My heart rate is so high and I can barely catch my breath.”
Whew! I asked her if she was all right and she smiled and said she was and loved the feeling. But I began wondering about how much people, especially newcomers to exercise, really know about heart rate and breathing during exercise. Sure, we all know that exercise improves heart health, improves endurance and reduces breathlessness, among a myriad of other health-related benefits. But think about it for a moment and you’ll agree that many people comment more about pounding heart and breathing rates during exercise, than almost anything else.
Let’s break these two down, heart rate goals and the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise. The first, heart rate, is a standard guideline when determining aerobic intensity. People count their pulse, or better, use a heart rate monitor. There are three different types of heart rates and it’s important to know the differences, and then there’s several ways to measure your V02.
Target heart rate- This is generally considered to be about 50-75% of your maximum heart rate. Treadmills and other equipment in the gym have easy to measure heart rate monitors on them, and though they may not be the most accurate, you would be wise to check your heart rate frequently during a workout. Sure you can go all out and pump it at 85-100% of your maximum heart rate, but better be in great shape or have a buddy nearby for safety. Better yet, have a personal trainer from the gym help you build your max heart rate, and your V02.
Maximum heart rate- Your maximum heart rate can be affected by as much as 10 beats/minute depending on your age, size of your heart, heat while working out, hydration and several other factors. The easiest and best-known method to find your maximum is 220 minus your age equals your heart rate max.
Want to get really detailed? Use this formula: HRmax = 217 – (0.85 × age)
- Subtract 3 beats if you are an elite athlete under 30
- Add 2 beats if you are a 50 year old elite athlete
- Add 4 beats if you are a 55+ year old elite athlete
- Use this HRmax value for running training
- Subtract 3 beats for rowing training
- Subtract 5 beats for bicycle training
- Subtract 12 beats for swimming
Resting heart rate-
While many of us have resting heart rates between 60-80 beats/minute, physically fit people tend to have lower rates and older folks have higher rates. Best way to check this is to simply take your pulse in the morning after you wake up from a good night’s sleep before getting out of bed.
While most of us generally can tell we are overdoing it during a cardio session when we can barely talk, fitness pros measure the volume of oxygen they consume while going all out. VO2 is measured in ml you use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. The fitter you are, the higher your VO2 value. Work out for about 20-30 minutes three to five times a week at between 65-85% of your maximum heart rate and you can increase your VO2 maximum value. Computers are generally used to measure your VO2 but here is another method that has about 95% accuracy. Run for about 15 minutes at an all out pace that you can handle. Round off the distance you’ve logged to the nearest 25 meters. Divide that number by 15, subtract 133, multiply that total by .172, then, add 33.3.
Confused? Try this link instead http://www.ntnu.edu/cerg/vo2max You may not hit 50-80 VO2 value, which is considered excellent, but this link will approximate your overall fitness age as well. Armed with this information, may just boost what you get out of your next workout. At the very least, you’ll be much more informed about the progress you are making in your exercise routines, and that’ll lead to greater motivation. One of the gym’s trainers can certainly help you assess and build your heart rate and VO2 values, while growing fitter, healthier and happier.
Side note: Our spin classes are great for building your overall fitness as they practice high intensity interval training.
The La Jolla Sports Club is honored to host one of the best if not the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu trainer and fighter, Clark Gracie. Clark Gracie has been with our club many years now and teaches a range of beginner and advanced Jit Jitsu classes. He is a true talent, an amazing instructor, and famous as a photogenic athlete . Check out this short video on what it takes for Clark to exude greatness in this challenging sport.
By: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D Fitness Psychology San Diego
See those club members who look like they can’t make up their minds on the treadmill, recumbent bikes, elliptical machines, and other cardio equipment? Fast, slow, on the treadmill running as fast as they can, then jumping to the side and barely able to catch their breath before jumping back on. They aren’t confused. They are getting fitter, healthier and stronger often in half to one-third the time of typical endurance workouts.
They are also improving their insulin sensitivity, improving their cholesterol numbers, turbo-charging their fat metabolism, potentially eliminating diabetes type 2 and some forms of depression and hypertension, increasing their levels of human growth hormone and expanding aerobic capacity. Interval training trumps steady state uphill exhaustion when it comes to putting a smile on your face and reducing stress as well. Not bad for someone who doesn’t seem to know if he/she wants to give it his/her all or coast for a bit. Don’t let that up and down fool you. It’s intentional. If you haven’t tried High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, what are you waiting for? A pill to swallow?
Maximum exertion followed by a brief rest period for 6-10 cycles, is the essence of HIIT. Start with a comfortable 3-5 minute warm-up and then a series of 30-second sprints each followed by 90 seconds of recovery, and end with another 3-5 minute cool down. Or adjust the incline while going at a steady pace, increasing the exertion peak and decreasing the recovery time as you become fitter. Some like the idea of sprinting for a couple of minutes and then doing a slower jog or walk for a minute, followed by 6-8 cycles. When it becomes too easy, sprint for four minutes and cool it for two minutes. Go faster and longer with about a 50% reduction in your cool down time for each “peak.” Think approaching 95% of your max heart rate and peak VO2 Max.
Your VO2 Max, which is the maximum amount of oxygen you use during peak exertion, is a measure of your cardiovascular fitness. HIIT boosts this measure increasing your ability to use oxygen more efficiently, allowing longer and more strenuous workouts before fatigue sets in. Your metabolism continues to burn longer as well post-exercise, some say burning up to 15% more calories during the 24 hours following a HIIT session.
Of course, obese, deconditioned, injured folks, or those with hypertension or heart disease should check with exercise savvy physicians to be cleared for this type of elevated demand.
Think of HIIT as a dance, back and for the across the aerobic-anaerobic line, each time, catching your breath. Probably won’t get you a trophy on “Dancing With the Stars,” but it sure will increase your health, fitness and happiness in a condensed time frame. You decide what’s more valuable.
Our very own Jiu Jitsu instructor, Clark Gracie, has been recognized as one of the most photogenic individuals on the internet in 2013! Clark Gracie recently appeared on Good Morning America to discuss his newly found fame to claim!
Here are our team members who medaled!
Clark Gracie La Jolla Clark Gracie – 1st Place Mike Scott – 1st Place Akim Assenine – 3rd Place Ron Blake – 3rd Place Brettao – 3rd Place
Clark Gracie Tijuana Agustin Rivera – 3rd Place Jose Navarro - 3rd Place Jose Robles – 3rd Place
The Pan American Championship is the second biggest Gi Tournament in the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation. The tournament took place in Irvine, CA from March 20th – 24th.
San Diego Fitness Psychology
By: Michael R. Mantell, Ph.D.
On March 16th, at 10:00 a.m., I’m giving a presentation on the psychology behind eating. No, don’t worry, if you know me at all, it won’t be filled with any nonsense psychobabble…well, mmm maybe just a tad bit. But it’ll be down to user-friendly earth.
For a taste of what I’ll be talking about—and I do hope you’ll join in, I thought I’d share some interesting and novel takes on weight management here. Simply put, research has shown that people who use the approach I’ll be describing in my presentation, along with lifestyle change, lose more weight than those who only make changes in their daily habits. The link is what you think.
Typically, folks who want to lose weight have negative views of themselves, are self-conscious and perhaps even embarrassed to be around others who are trimmer, toner and more “in-shape.” Self-esteem and self-confidence trip these people up since they erroneously believe that the ONLY way to increase self-worth is to lose weight. Of course, becoming healthier is a key factor in motivation to reaching a normal weight goal, along with wanting to be more active and maybe even seeing their grandchildren grow up.
Identifying and modifying thinking patterns and negative mood states that undermine healthy eating approaches is a critical factor in understanding successful weight loss. Cognitive behavioral coaching for weight loss helps you to identify your unhelpful patterns of thinking that are maintaining your current weight problems. Thinking patterns tend to be over-learned and occur almost “automatically” – they just pop into your head without you noticing. This is because they are so familiar that you don’t even recognize they are there – it’s like you’ve tuned out the ‘background noise’ of your thoughts. The first step learning how to ‘tune in’ and recognize your patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving in relation to weight.
Otherwise, your self-esteem, body image, stress that affects problem-solving, social anxiety and other similar issues will continuously get in your way of successful weight loss regardless of the diet and exercise program you adhere to—if you do adhere to one.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you think what are called, “sabotaging thoughts” about exercise. “If I don’t have enough time for a long workout, it’s not worth doing.” Unless you catch that erroneous thought and have a ready more accurate response in your head, you are likely to avoid exercise that day. Thus, “ANY amount of time spent exercising is better than no amount of time. It’s important to sometimes work out for smaller amounts of time so that I prove to myself that exercising doesn’t have to be ALL or NOTHING, it’s somewhere in the middle.”
When it comes to the overall success of your weight loss, you might have a sabotaging thought, “Well, I did lose a bit of weight this week but I’m really upset and disappointed that it wasn’t more.” Instead, a rational counter would be, “C’mon, real life weight loss has nothing to do with being the “biggest loser.” Losing a half pound or up to two pounds a week is the normal range. While I WISH and would PREFER to lose more, every pound I lose is a victory and adds up to serious weight loss.”
What about dealing with a craving? The sabotaging thought might be, “I need to eat to make this craving go away—it won’t go away any other way.” The rational response is, “Cravings are just like an itch. The more I think about it, the worse it gets. It’s just a craving and when I distract myself from it, it’ll start to go away.” How about this familiar one? The sabotaging thought is, “Since I didn’t lose any weight this week, I’m a failure and this is not working. I give up. The rational response is, “Hey, nothing is perfect, and it’s absolutely normal to not lose any weight some weeks. I need to stay at it and I will succeed.”
While exercise is important, what, when and how you eat are most important. Some say the balance is 70% diet and 30% exercise. But it’s all based on 100% in your mind. You need to learn to create healthy responses to those sabotaging thoughts, choose a healthy diet plan, get involved in proper exercise with a trainer ideally, give yourself lots of credit, eat slowly and mindfully, consider getting a diet/health coach, arrange your environment, make time for proper nutrition preparation, differentiate between hunger, desire and cravings, practice hunger tolerance, monitor your eating, prevent unplanned eating, and stop fooling yourself.
The link is what you think…even more than simply dieting and exercising. Remember that DIEt has the word “die” in it.