For years, the lure of maximum benefits with minimal effort has been a common theme in the marketing of health and fitness products. Recently, this same theme is being used in advertising new fitness products that promise the benefits of both aerobic training and strength training in one workout — with minimum time investment. Although heart rates are elevated on these machines, it’s important to realize that elevated heart rates alone are not direct indicators of an aerobic training stimulus.
This article will illustrate why resistance training is not physiologically effective as an aerobic training method, and why the majority of home gyms have limited effectiveness in increasing VO2max. The relationship between heart rate and oxygen consumption necessary for maximum aerobic benefit and the corresponding heart rate/oxygen relationship during resistance training will be examined. In addition, the pressor response, which may help you understand why these differences occur, will be examined.
Heart rate, oxygen consumption and aerobic benefit
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that to improve cardiorespiratory endurance most effectively, an exercise must utilize large muscle groups, must be rhythmic in nature and must be sustained for a minimum period — usually 20 to 30 minutes. In addition, the exercise intensity should be between 40 and 85 percent of an individual’s functional capacity. Continue reading »