“I’m not getting results; I probably just need to work out more/harder!”
By Dr. Rick Kattouf II
It's very common for individuals to think that working out more/harder is going to be the key to success. Whether someone is looking to transform their body, improve overall health and fitness and/or improve athletic performance, the thought of "more/harder" in terms of working out is what many individuals will gravitate towards. The key to success is not about working out more/harder; rather, the key to success is working out smarter and more efficiently. How do we work out smarter? This revolves around heart rate training; the true key to success. According to Cardiologist/Electrophysiologist, Dr. Richard Vest III, "only following perceived effort, pace and/or power is very shortsighted because we are ignoring the most important factor and that is heart rate.” Bottom line is this, there is only one number that tells us, physiologically, what the body is doing and that is heart rate. This is very similar to an automobile. If we are driving a manual transmission and we hit redline on the tachometer and then we keep it redlined for an extended period of time, what is going to happen? Well, there's a very good chance that we are going to damage and/or blow the engine of our car. The same holds true for the human body. Our heart rate monitor is our human tachometer.
Benefits of Heart Rate Training
By working out smarter, more efficiently and working out in the proper heart rate zones, the benefits are endless:
- help assist in improving workout/race performance
- help assist in increasing the body's ability to burn body fat
- help assist in maximizing body transformation
- help assist in maximizing the productivity of each workout
- help assist in maximizing fitness and efficiency
- help assist in minimizing the risk of overtraining
- help assist in minimizing the risk of injury
- help assist in minimizing the risk of excessive post-work out soreness
- help assist in improving the body's ability to recover
Heart Rate Training Myths
All too often, when individuals hear about heart rate training, and having to work out in specific heart rate zones, they think that they may have to work out easier/slower. Working out smarter and working out in the proper heart rate zones is not about working out easier or slower. Sure, in the beginning, the individual very well may have to "slow down" in order to maintain the prescribed heart rate zones. But this is just the start of many great things ahead. As this individual continues strict heart rate training, they will start to see significant improvements in their efficiency. And this is one of the biggest goals of working out smarter and working out in the proper heart rate zones; we are looking to build a high level of efficiency. Efficiency is this; we want to teach the body to go longer, harder, faster, more reps… At the lowest heart rate possible.
The goal of a great workout is not to just simply work out as hard as possible and jack up the heart rate as high as possible. Rather, the goal is to work out as hard as possible… At the lowest heart rate possible. That is the key to success right there. Of course, there are times we are going to train at higher heart rates, higher intensity, etc. But, we want to train the heart to beat as slow as possible, but at the same time, move the body as fast as possible. Do you see the huge difference here? On one end of the spectrum, individuals are trying to work out as hard as possible and crank that heart rate up as high as possible, thinking that this is going to bring them success (this is not the goal as this is much like the fad diet of nutrition). But on the other end of the spectrum, we want to focus on working out smarter and building efficiency (this is the goal; very much like Eating Right and fueling the body properly). We are going to teach the body to become an amazingly efficient system so that we can work out longer, harder, faster, more reps… At the lowest heart rate possible. According to Dr. Vest, ‘working out more/harder and not smarter (proper heart rate training) can put a big oxidative stress on the body and this can inhibit recovery.’
Dr. Vest mentions that oxidative stress can occur in both aerobic and anaerobic states. During anaerobic metabolism, lactic acid and hydrogen ions will damage the muscles and physiologically, this is not what we were designed to do (Oxidative Stress and Physical Activity). From a fitness and athletic performance perspective, working out at too high of a heart rate can result in an athlete stopping completely, acidosis, acid in the blood, lactic acid in the muscles and the inability to metabolize oxygen. Working out in the proper heart rate zones of course can prevent this from occurring.
What can I expect once I start to follow strict heart rate training? Well, if at first you find yourself having to work out at a fairly "slow pace and effort" in order to maintain these prescribed heart rate zones, no worries; you are right on track. This is simply telling us that we have not yet built the necessary cardiac efficiency. If our heart rate is increasing quickly, at a fairly easy effort, this shows us that the heart is having to work far too hard given the effort that we are putting forth. Just like becoming successful at anything, working out smart and working out in the proper heart rate zones takes patience.
Always keep in mind, it's easy to work out hard. But, it takes time, effort, energy, patience, focus and discipline to work out smart.
In summary, working out in the proper heart rate zones is not about "going easy." We are working on building efficiency. We are training the heart to beat as slow as possible but at the same time, move your body as fast as possible. Always keep in mind, the goal is not to work out as hard as possible and crank up the heart rate as high as possible. Rather, the goal is to work out as hard as possible… At the lowest heart rate possible. Get ready to see some amazing results and get ready to reach the highest fitness level you've ever seen!
Let us know how we can help assist you with your training. Feel free to call/email/text me anytime (864-382-8486, [email protected]). Get ready to find a whole new level of performance and recovery!
WORKOUT SMART, EAT RIGHT, GET RESULTS®!
Rick Kattouf II, O.D. is a 2x Best-Selling Author and Fitness & Nutrition expert and has been named one of America’s PremierExperts® and one of the World Fitness Elite® Trainers of the Year. Rick is a Sports Nutrition Specialist, Heart Rate Performance Specialist, Master Personal Trainer & Triathlon Coach. He has been seen on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox affiliates around the country as well as in the USA Today, Chicago Tribune, National Examiner, Ironman.com, Livestrong.com, Runner’s World, Bicycling Magazine, Men’s Health UK, FIGHT! Magazine, Florida Cycling Magazine and The Independent in the UK. Rick is the CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Inc, CEO/Founder of TeamKattouf® Nutrition LLC, CEO/Founder of Virtual Gym LLC, Creator of TeamKattouf® Nutrition Supplements, Host of Rx Nutrition, author of Forever Fit, Creator of 5-Round Fury® Nutrition Supplement, 5-Round Fury Fitness® workout app, Creator of Coach2CEO, Creator of Fuel Keeper®, Entrepreneur and Inspirational Speaker. Dr. Rick has personally coached individuals in 30+ states and 10+ countries.