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The Sub-Max Step Test

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Heart rate training can mean the difference between an effective workout and an exercise in futility.

With a heart-rate monitor and a step bench, you can determine your maximum heart rate with what many experts now feel is a more effective measure. (Check your target heart rate with our calculator.)

Just three minutes on a step bench will give you your maximum heart rate -- the information needed to work out effectively.

To Perform the Test

Step up and down on an 8-inch step for three minutes without pausing. Check your heart rate during the thrid minute. Then, add to that the "estimate factor" for your fitness level:

  • Poor shape equals 55
  • Average shape equals 65
  • Excellent shape equals 75

The total is your estimated maximum heart rate.

Step Bench

To Burn Fat

For most beginners, the maximum fat-burning zone is 70 percent to 80 percent of their maximum heart rate.

Note: As you get more fit, you will have to work harder to get to your maximum heart rate zone, but it is best not to go over 90 percent.

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Disclaimer: The material on this Web site is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or fitness professional. Please consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program or fat or weight reduction program. FitnessandFreebies.com takes no responsibility for individual results, or any claim made by a third party.