Last week we explored what cardio means in terms of heart rate. Just as important as knowing what you heart rate is while exercising; is knowing the science behind your body’s recovery post workout as it relates to heart rate.
“Recovery heart rate” refers to the heart’s ability to return to normal levels after physical activity. Not only are fitness levels of your heart measured by its recovery phase, but proper heart function is measured the same way. A healthy heart or one that belongs to someone who regularly exercises will recover at a much quicker rate than one that is not healthy or is not accustomed to regular exercise patterns. Over the next few paragraphs, information will be provided about the recovery phases and what those phases mean to each individual in terms of their fitness level.
The first minute of the recovery phase is the most crucial. After exercise, your heart rate should experience a drastic drop during the first minute. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, your heart rate should decrease by over 13 beats a minute during this first minute. The first minute is also the best indicator of overall fitness, with individuals who are in better cardio respiratory shape experiencing a larger drop in beats per minute. The great drop in heart rate during the first minute is one of the reasons that we as athletes are able push and complete reps on workouts were previously we were unable to.
The heart rate after two minutes is referred to as your recovery heart rate. This is the most common measure of cardio respiratory fitness levels. This two minute time period begins what is called the resting plateau. During this phase you will not see the drastic decrease in heart rate that you did during the first minute, but you should feel and see a slow gradual decline in heart rate. Your resting heart rate should return within 60 minutes of ending your exercise session. The length of time that it takes for your heart to return to its resting rate is an excellent indicator of the healthiness of your heart.
Calculating your recovery heart rate:
Subtract your 2-minute heart rate reading from the heart rate soon after exercise cessation. The bigger the difference, healthier your heart is. A good test for this is to perform 50 burpees for time. Prior to doing so, take your resting heart rate, either when you wake up, or before you fall asleep. This will give you your base number. Then perform the 50 burpees and take your heart rate immediately following. See how long it takes for your heart rate to reach the resting heart rate number and also subtract your resting heart rate from your heart rate immediately following your 50 burpee workout.
Here are a few inferences:
- If the difference between the two heart rates is less than 22, your real age of heart is slightly more than your biological age (that calls for lifestyle and dietary modification)
- If the recovery heart rate difference is in between 22–52 beats per minute; your biological age (or calendar age) is approximately the same as that of your heart age/ real age
- A recovery heart rate difference of 53–58 beats per minute indicates optimal health, healthier heart and a real age of less than calendar age.
- If the difference of your immediate post exercise heart rate and heart rate after 2 minutes is in the range of 59–65 beats per minute, your heart is healthier and your real age is moderately less than your biological age.
- With a difference of more than 66, your heart is very healthy and your physical age is a lot less than your calendar age.
The more you know concerning your, heart rate both while exercising and while recovering plays an important part in how you strategize your workouts.
How does this recovery rate transfer to your training at Raleigh CrossFit? If you are someone whose heart rate takes longer to recover, it may be a better strategy for you to pace your workouts. However if you recover quickly you know that you can push the envelope when it comes to how high you can allow your heart rate to get. Either way it is important to know and understand these numbers and how they relate to your performance.
Note these special hours on your calendars for the upcoming holiday season.
*2014 RALEIGH CROSSFIT HOLIDAY PARTY: Saturday, Dec. 13; 7-10p. Details to be released soon!
* Last class on Wednesday, Nov. 26 is 6-700p. There will be no class from 700-800p.
* CLOSED Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 27. (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)
* Two classes on Friday, Nov. 28: 900a and 1000a; regular schedule resumes on Saturday, Nov. 29 (900a, 1030a)
* Two classes on Wednesday, Dec. 24: 900a and 1000a.
* CLOSED Christmas Day, Thursday, Dec. 25 (No CrossFit Kids/Teens)
* Two classes on Friday, Dec. 26: 900a and 1000a
* New Year’s Eve, Wed., Dec. 31 – last class at 400p
* New Year’s Day, Thurs., Jan. 1 – 2 classes; 900a and 10a ONLY. CrossFit Kids and Teens will train together at 1000-1100a.
2014 Ridgewood Turkey Trot!
Join the Raleigh CrossFit group as we run or jog the 2014 Ridgewood Turkey Trot on Thursday, Nov. 27. Register today as registration goes VERY fast. They sell out every year. Be sure to select Raleigh CrossFit as your team.
2015 Valentine’s Day Partner WOD!
Get ready! More details to come, but this workout has been a Raleigh CrossFit tradition since 2012!
2015 Krispy Kreme Challenge
Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
Did you know that you do not have to eat any donuts? You can run the race for fun! Join the Raleigh CrossFit team!