If you’re cardiovascularly fit, your heart will pump blood around your body much faster than if your cardiovascular fitness levels were lower. If you’re wanting to lose weight, cardiovascular exercise is the best way to do this as it’s been proven that this type of exercise is very effective in burning the maximum amount of calories. A very successful way of gauging your cardiovascular fitness is the three-minute step test. Read on to find out how this works.
Steps to measure your cardio fitness
Step 1: Calculate your maximum heart rate
In order to calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. So, for example, if you are 34, your maximum heart rate would be 186. Then take your heart rate and multiply it by the following figures to determine your heart rate ranges for each zone:
- 1 (maximum heart rate) x 0.65/0.75
- 2 (maximum heart rate) x 0.80/0.85
- 3 (maximum heart rate) x 0.86/0.90
Dr William Roberts cautions, though: “Maximum heart rate for age is an elusive number. The usual equation is 220 – age = maximum heart rate (MHR), but that does not play out well when you look at individuals as many can tolerate higher heart rates and others cannot attain the formula driven number. This formula was empirically derived from young athletes.”
Step 2: Get your blood pumping
Do 24 steps per minute on a 45cm step for three minutes and rest for one minute. Measure your recovery pulse for 30 seconds, which simply means that you need to record your pulse after you finish exercising.
How can you determine your cardiovascular efficiency?
Take how long you’ve exercised (in seconds), multiply that number by 100. Measure your recovery pulse (in other words how may beats you counted in 30 seconds) and multiply this number by 5.6. Take your first result and divide it by the second result to determine how cardiovascularly fit you are!
Step 3: What do these numbers mean?
These numbers won’t mean anything – and you won’t be able to measure how cardiovascularly fit you are – unless you’re able to translate these into how they affect you and what these say about your fitness levels:
- If your final total was between 28 and 30, your cardiovascular fitness is poor.
- Between 39 and 48 is a fair cardiovascular fitness level.
- Somewhere between 49 and 59 is average while between 60 and 70 is good.
- A result between 71 and 100 is very good.
Did you enjoy working out how cardiovascularly fit your are? Would you like to learn about more ways to calculate cardiovascular fitness levels – as well as other interesting aspects about fitness? If you answered “yes” then Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Personal Training Certification could be just the answer for you.