- Pumping Irony -

PUMPING IRONY: The Heart of the Matter

I’m getting more accustomed to the new machines at the gym, so I can’t use that as an excuse for blowing off my workouts until recently (Monday). I did play 18 holes of completely humiliating golf last week, and I’ve been on my bicycle some, but I have to say I’m kind of out of… Read more »

I’m getting more accustomed to the new machines at the gym, so I can’t use that as an excuse for blowing off my workouts until recently (Monday). I did play 18 holes of completely humiliating golf last week, and I’ve been on my bicycle some, but I have to say I’m kind of out of my preferred routine.

I hope to be back among the sweaty machines (sweating machines?) tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been a bit vexed about my seeming inability to quickly ramp up my heart rate on these machines. The other day, I climbed on the Elliptical Death Machine and dialed up the “interval” workout. So, I was shuffling uphill at a pretty good clip. Five minutes passed, and my heart rate was still mired in the 80s. Ten minutes passed, and I was barely hitting triple digits. I had to get a good 20 minutes into my routine before I was in the neighborhood of 120-130, which is where I think I’m supposed to be in order to get the most benefit from all this flailing around.

I’m thinking that it’s a good thing that I’m not out of breath right away, but I’m not sure, so I check in with SW, my fitness guru, who says that, indeed, if it takes awhile to get to that sweet spot, it’s a sign that I’m in pretty good shape. Plus, he adds, it’s a good idea to take my time ramping up the old ticker, because my body and heart need to adjust to the work they’re being called upon to do.

The real value of all this heart-rate stuff, says contributing editor Fernando Pages Ruiz, is to use it to guide you through your workouts and on to your specific fitness goals. If I was trying to lose weight, for instance, (ha ha…) I’d exercise in the range of my aerobic threshold (114 to 124). Above that point, Ruiz explains, my body would stop burning fat and start burning carbs.

I’m really not trying to lose weight (I do seem to be holding steady about 162; maybe I could stand to get a bit leaner. . .), but I am trying to gain muscle mass. (That’s another story.) So, it appears I need to be a little more strategic.

Of course, that would mean I’d have to have some goals.

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