Saturday, 26 February 2011

Weight Loss with Spinning @Pedal Studio

I am guessing you are wanting to shed some weight and am thinking 20kgs would be awesome hey?

Right, first up is to understand that the key thing is the respiratory system for now. You won't see weight drop off but you will feel the improvements and your heart will definitely experience it to. It is thus key to be linked up to a HR monitor so you can see these benefits. When we see something, when something is specific, measurable, accurate, reliable and relevant to our health, that is when we can set goals BUT achievable goals! i.e. a goal to shed 20kgs is not really a great one although very doable, it is just too much to kick off with.

So yes - Use heart rate. It is very accurate but what is subjective is the max heart rate you are going to work off. All things being equal, this can change just with moods and stress we put on our body. You get flu and the max heart rate you can get to can change daily. It is key to understand the limits of Heart Rate training upfront. It is never 100% reliable and your max will change daily. That said, there are ways to calculate the max and the most common is 220 beats less your age = your max (Women is 226 less age). There also other formulas and you may see folk talk about EPOC and VO2 Max test. These test give you a very good understanding of the heart rate your body will move from aerobic (using oxygen) to anaerobic (no oxygen - thus very difficult to sustain) training thresholds. As the body moves between these two zones, it will use different ‘fuels’ to keep the body going. It is these thresholds you hear folks talking about when they say, Endurance or Interval (Interval is anaerobic and very tough). You want to progress through these but never focus on just one, there is room for all in your training so follow a periodised training approach that accommodates all zones! Starting off you would stay in the low intensity zones.

Remember Max HR can change and as you get fitter it will! As you get fitter, your heart gets fitter with you and so this calculation may need adjusting to ensure you are training in the correct heart rate zone to get the most effective workout for your desired fitness goal. So keep updating as you get fitter and do more. And do remember whilst we are focusing on beats per minute there is actually a lot more behind all that and Heart Rate training using beats per minute is just the start of the science. i.e. someone’s 100 bpm may push a large amounts of blood around and 100bpm 4 months later after good training and a stronger heart will push more volume around. More blood = more oxygen to perform at and thus better results --- this is just the start and there is tons to read if you want to learn more. The conclusions you will get is Heart Rate training is not all it is cracked up to be BUT I say it beats nothing and if it is getting you into the studio and keeping you there- then use it !

Because you are unfit, the answer is to stay with what you are doing 3 times a week (that is perfect - too much will chase you away after a month and too little will not deliver). With the Heart Rate monitor you should see you will battle to get to the max heart rate you used to get to after about 3 weeks. Also, now when you train, you find it easier to breath and you can actually talk to the person next to you! What is key is to sit in the RECOVERY 50% - 65% and ENDURANCE 65% - 75% heart rate zones for this initial period of training as you get into it.

The reason for this is explained like this. Low intensity exercise burns fat. Basically if you over train - besides killing your body .. the body panics and uses the rich sources of fuel on the muscles - this is not the stored energy ' fat ' in the bums and tums -- but if you do low intensity , the body goes- 'okay exercise time, but this is not too bad ... so lets take time to convert the stored energy ' i.e. fat.

But after a while your body will get used to that (say 4-6 weeks) so interval training will be the progression. You then move to the STRENGTH 75% - 85% and INTERVAL 65% - 92% zones. Here you work hard and ramp up the HR then recover -- the body will hate it at first .. but results will be amazing and you will note a fantastic improvement in the respiratory system - so keep measuring it as this will be your reward and visible evidence it is working.

Note the measure of your fitness will be how well you can control your heart rate as you change your ride - i.e. add resistance, stand up, sit down, speed up leg cadence. If you can control your heart rate (it also takes breathing {respiratory control} to get this right) then you are really getting there !!!! You want to ramp your Heart Rate up to 92% then recover in 30 sec then repeat. In a few months the recovery must be 20 sec. You will really be improving then.

Now of course you want to see weight loss so you need to CROSS TRAIN to. Build this in over time. If getting to Spinning 3 x a week is what you can get to and you can keep it up, stick with it. It is all about building a lifestyle and hopefully in time you start riding outdoors and lifestyle converts back to sport you enjoy.

Cross training helps as the body will eventually get used to Spinning and results will ease out but you will get results on 3x a week for sure. I suggest you try to get to an all over weights session once a week, nothing amazing, but a little muscle helps as it eats fat whilst you sitting around doing zip and if you control calorie intake - as boring as it is - this helps to - more out than in (men burn about 2000 a day doing nothing - so add a spin class - about 500 cal burn means you can eat well at 2000 cal and score! Plus as you build more muscle, that metabolic rate of 2000 cal a day goes up !!!

So in short.

• Keep the routine
• Stick to HR training as it will reward you with visible measurable results
• Ease into INTERVALS - this will deliver the results but do not always hit it hard !
• Cross train and build a lifestyle.

I have added some details from Spinning on this below.

What signifies a healthy heart?
A healthy heart should beat with a fairly regular rhythm and change tempo only during periods of exertion. Stroke Volume, which is the amount of blood that is pumped out of the heart during each beat, should also be high. High Stroke Volume indicates cardiovascular fitness and a lower resting heart rate because if your heart is able to expel larger amounts of blood per beat, it does not have to beat as frequently or work as hard to circulate blood throughout your body.

Heart rate training 101
So how does the Spinning® program help you build a healthy heart? Through heart rate training that works to bring your heart to its Target Heart Rate (THR). This rate varies depending on the Energy Zone™ being used or the training goal behind a particular class. Each Energy Zone offers specific benefits and is built around a THR that is a percentage of an individual’s Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

Maximum Heart Rate is the highest amount of beats your heart can sustain per minute. The most common formula for estimating MHR is 220 minus age (for males) or 226 minus age (for females). This formula implies that MHR decreases with age, which is not always true, so a margin of error of plus or minus 12-24 beats should be applied to this calculation. This means that in reality, a 20-year-old male could have an MHR between 176 and 224, so using this calculation to determine THR is not foolproof.

The Karvonen Method, a more accurate and individualized formula for calculating THR, was developed by a Finnish Doctor in 1957. This formula incorporates Resting Heart Rate (RHR) and MHR to provide an more accurate estimate of THR.

RHR measures your heart rate at rest (not engaging in physical activity) or sleep. This number is a sound indicator of the amount of physical or mental stress your body is under. As you become more fit, this number will decrease because your heart and lungs have become stronger and more efficient. Calculate your RHR by taking your heart rate first thing in the morning while you’re lying in bed (before your alarm goes off) for 5 consecutive days. The average will be your RHR.

Once you know your MHR and RHR you can use the Karvonen Method to calculate your THR.

Example: Let’s say the same 20-year-old male wants to find his THR for his aerobic maximum or 80% of his MHR.

(MHR – RHR) x 80% + RHR = THR

(200-60) x 80% + 60 = 172

If the same individual were only to use the age-predicted formula without taking his Resting Heart Rate into consideration, his THR would be off by 12 beats per minute.

Age predicted MHR = 220-20 = 200

200 x 80% = 160

American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Guidelines state that exercising at 70% to 85% of your Age-Predicted MHR or 60% to 80% of MHR when calculated with the Karvonen Formula for 20-30 minutes, excluding time spent warming up and cooling down, enables most individuals to achieve health, fitness, and weight management goals. The Spinning standard format of a 40-minute ride, which includes both the warm-up and cool down components, fits nicely into the parameters set by the ACSM.

The Spinning Energy Zones
Once you’ve determined your Target Heart Rate, you can employ more effective training sessions using the Spinning Energy Zones. Together, the Zones promote complete cardiovascular fitness.

Recovery Zone™ (50% to 65% MHR). The main objective is to make the body feel like it has been gently massaged and is vibrating with gathered energy. Only light resistance is used and there are no jumps or hills during this ride.

Endurance Energy Zone™ (65% to 75% MHR). This zone trains the body to be more efficient at metabolizing fat and to maintain a comfortable pace for an extended period of time. Stay in the saddle and establish a smooth steady rhythm for the entire ride.

Strength Energy Zone™ (75% to 85%). Implement steady, consistent pedalling with heavy resistance. This type of ride can be done in a seated or standing climb position. The goal of this zone is to build the Cardiovascular strength needed to handle a slightly uncomfortable pace.

Interval Energy Zone™ (65% to 92%). Emphasizes speed, tempo, timing and rhythm. The goal of this Energy Zone is to shorten your recovery time. Movements include flats, hills and sprints.

Race Day Energy Zone™ (80% to 92%). This zone gives riders the opportunity to measure their progress and should be treated as a real race. A Race Day ride is carried out at a steady heart rate, so there are no jumps, standing flats or significant fluctuations in pace during this type of ride.

Heart rate training is an unbeatable way to strengthen your heart and yields serious dividends. Cardiovascular health reduces the risk of heart disease and improves blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels—which not only improve every Spinning ride but also the quality of your life overall.

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