Fortunately, there’s a simple formula for working out most people’s maximum heart rate: 220 minus their age.
That number gives you a guideline to work with. How often you should be reaching it depends on you and your goals. A good rule of thumb is to aim to approach 90 per cent of your max rate twice a week with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). If you’re hitting that figure more often, you’re just going to exhaust yourself and you won’t have enough time to recover.
An example of a good HIIT workout for a beginner would be one that takes an hour. As you progress, you can try shorter and more intense sessions. Try the following:
- Five-minute progressive warm-up – start walking and transition to a light jog.
- 30 seconds of hard activity followed by four and a half minutes of active rest (don’t sit down during this time).
- Repeat intervals 10 times.
- Five-minute walking cooldown.
Over a week of training, the perfect all-rounder would be getting some weights in, doing a little bit of HIIT, and adding some long walks to the mix. As humans, we’re very good at focusing on just one thing at a time. Balance and moderation are the keys to success
– Alexander Beal, nutritionist and personal trainer at Fitness First, Darlinghurst