The conventional wisdom, used by even the fanciest cardio machines, is that maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. It’s simple, easy to calculate, and—more often than not—wrong. “It turns out there’s not much scientific evidence for that formula,” says Hirofumi Tanaka, head of the University of Texas’s Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory.
For aerobic exercise, you can divide efforts into three basic zones on the basis of how your body reacts. The easiest is the aerobic zone, where your heart and lungs are able to deliver enough oxygen to your muscles to keep them functioning. In contrast, the hardest, or anaerobic, zone is where your muscles can’t get enough oxygen
So other than satisfying curiosity, what does testing your VO2max tell you? Comparing the results of several tests over time does allow you to monitor whether you’re improving or not—but then again, so does entering races.
In the previous article, I showed you how to do basic workouts to relax and energize the body, and, in turn, deal with stress. Next, I will talk about other advanced training methods to...