HOW FIT are you? Do you train hard but still feel tired? It may be that you just are not as fit as you thought. Therefore, over the next few weeks, I will help you discover how fit you really are. Knowing your fitness level will help you to gain the most out of your workout, without feeling totally fatigued by the end of your session.
A NOTE OF WARNING: Even the most simple exercise routine can cause injury or prove fatal, therefore, anyone aged 35 and over, or anyone with a history of heart disease should consult a doctor before undertaking any sort of exercise, including the next few exercises. If you should feel faint at any point during the test, STOP immediately!
This week you will need a tape measure and a calculator
Knowing your body measurements can help you follow your progress during your training programme. One of the best techniques to use is the waist to hip ratio formula. To get an accurate result, firstly measure your waist at the point of its maximum girth – this is located just above your hip-bone. Next, measure your hips at the point where your buttocks most protrude.
Now divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement – the female ratio should be 0.8 or less and the male ratio should be 1.0 or less. These measurements give you an idea of your overall body composition and any measurements above or below these ratios indicate that your programme should help you either tone down (over) or bulk up (under).
Your heart rate
Taking your pulse will give you your resting heart rate (RHR). The best time to take these measurements is just after waking up in the morning. In order to get a more accurate result, it is best to do this test over four to five mornings. Place the tips of your first and middle fingers on the wrist, over the radial artery (located just below the thumb). Count the beats for 10 seconds, starting off with zero, then multiply this number by six to give your beats per minute (BPM).
Knowing your RHR helps you measure your cardiovascular improvement, as you become fitter, your RHR should become lower. However, to discover at what level you should be exerting yourself during training, it is a good idea to know your maximum heart rate (HRmax). If you are new to training, then using the following calculation will give you a safe and accurate idea of your HRmax. To determine your Hrmax, you must subtract 85 per cent of your age from 217.
For example, a 37-year-old will have a HRmax of 185.5.
217 – (0.85 x 37)
217 – 31.35
This indicates that a 37-year-old’s heart rate should be at 185 BPM at maximum cardiovascular exertion. Knowing your HRmax helps you monitor your workout safely.
Part two of the test includes cardiovascular and flexibility. Until then, stay healthy!
• If you are interested in one to one personal training, contact João at [email protected] or call 961 847 575.
By João Cabral