Did you miss week one of the heart rate series?  Check it out here!

1) In week two of our heart rate series, we examine heart rate reserve (HRR).  HRR provides a way to gauge your workout’s intensity. To calculate HRR, subtract your max heart rate from your resting heart rate.  This range indicates how hard you are able to push while exercising.

2) “Pedal fast, breathe slow” is a favorite mantra in my spin class.  We all know how to pedal fast and breathe fast — According to Furthermore, Equinox’s e-mag, 90 RPM is the max cadence for most riders . . . hmmmm] Understanding how to manage your effort is essential for your growth as an athlete. Identifying your resting heart rate is a good place to start.  

3) You’ll need a heart rate monitor (well, there is a manual way) to calculate resting heart rate.  According to the Mayo Institute, “A normal resting heart rate for adults ranges from 60 to 100 beats per minute. Generally, a lower heart rate at rest implies more efficient heart function and better cardiovascular fitness.”  The image below provides some guidance on acceptable values.

4) Your resting heart rate provides input on your body’s ability to handle stress. As you train, your body should get accustomed to the effort.  A decrease in RHR demonstrates the potential to add volume and transition to the next phase of training. As fitness increases, expect a RHR drop of one or two beats per minute every other month.

READ:Your resting heart rate can reflect your current — and future — health” from Harvard University

5) Some people come to spin class to get a compliment.  Usually plural. Most instructors willingly oblige. I feel most of my riders want accomplishment.   What’s the difference between a compliment and accomplishment? That ISH.  

6) This week’s profile gives you that ISH!  Intervals, Surges and Hills!  We explore heart rate as we purposefully pedal through each four-song ‘effort block.’  

7) Cadence is a consistent theme for us.  Tying cadence to your heart rate is a mature way to measure effort.  Increasing cadence or resistance while maintaining control of your heart rate is a hallmark of endurance.  

[Ever wonder if you’re pedaling hard enough in class?]

Conversely, losing your breath does provide that runner’s high -- that psychological feel good the indoor bike often provides.  A recent NYT article discusses cycling intensity as it relates to psychological mood.  In their study, folks who pedaled harder had a different response than those who pedaled at a self-selected pace.

8) Check out this article I wrote for Under Armour on heart rate metrics for cyclists . . . we’ll cover all of these in the coming weeks.

9) One of my favorite rider’s Philippe Gilbert won stage 12 in a solo breakaway. His 10th grand tour stage victory.

Please note that the information provided i does not replace advice from a licensed health professional. C Consult your physician before starting a new fitness program.