The biggest problem with most current exercise programs is that they are not based on a person’s unique body shape, size, physiological response, and, most important, current level of fitness. To get the most out of a program you need to make your effort individualized, and the easiest way to do that is to track your cardiac response to your body’s movement of choice.
According to exercise scientist and distance-running coach Roy Benson, author of the forthcoming Heart Rate Training (Human Kinetics, 2011), individualization must be based on your current fitness level, general ability, and goals. The good news is that modern technology has produced a wide selection of affordable heart rate monitors that provide instant, reliable feedback about your body’s response to your chosen exercise and intensity. Says Benson, “When you understand your heart rate, learn how to measure it, and have a reliable monitor, you are on your way to a scientifically designed exercise program, individualized just for you, that will guarantee results.”
Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced athlete, Benson believes there is a heart rate monitor with all the bells and whistles you need. And once you find the best way to make a heart rate monitor work for you and learn to apply the principles of exercise physiology in order to get in the best possible shape, you will benefit from training that fits perfectly with your ability, level of fitness, and goals. “Progressing through each of these steps is a cinch when you use a heart rate monitor because it allows you to easily individualize your training,” explains Benson. “The principles are broad, but your response is as narrow as your ability, shape, and goals require.”
In Heart Rate Training, Benson and co-author Declan Connolly take the guesswork out of training and explain how, when, and why heart rate monitors should be incorporated into training and conditioning programs. Their comprehensive guide for endurance athletes explains the merits, factors, and techniques of training with a heart rate monitoring system.
For more information, see Heart Rate Training.