So far, I agree with the room on this one – the RPE scale is the way to go. I was never a big “target heart rate zone” guy anyway, unless I was dealing with a person who had strict guidelines imposed on them by their physician for some reason. The RPE scale, talk test and blue face test (kidding!) always worked well for me.
Kacy, DO NOT use target heart rate formulas for people who are on beta blockers or any other med that slows down heart rate. They won’t work. I agree with Karin and Natalie 100% – Use the RPE scale (0-10 version) and the Talk Test. These will be better.
While the 6-20 RPE scale can give an idea of exercise HR, its irrelevant in this instance since they are on Beta Blockers. I like the 0-10 scale since its easier to understand for most people.
I teach personal training and I instruct trainers to forget what the textbooks say about target heart rate. I don’t like it as the main mode of gauging exercise intensity.
The RPE scale and Talk test will work with 99% of your clients too -not just the people with blood pressure/heart problems.
Beta Blockers aren’t effective for heart rate zone training because beta blockers slow down heart rate.
A better method for anyone who uses beta blockers is the Ratings of Perceived exertion (RPE) scale.
The article below from ACE has a nice explanation of RPE. Two scales are shown because the descriptions on the 1-10 scale are supposed to be easier to understand.
NOTE Doctors usually prescribe beta blockers to people who have hypertension or a heart condition (heart attack, abnormal heart beat).
You probably won’t work this person up to the highest level; check with the client’s doctor to determine the appropriate level.
Hope the helps you out!