Heart rate during aerobics classes in women with different previous experience of aerobics.

European journal of applied physiology

PubMedID: 11394255

Laukkanen RM, Kalaja MK, Kalaja SP, Holmala EB, Paavolainen LM, Tummavuori M, Virtanen P, Rusko HK. Heart rate during aerobics classes in women with different previous experience of aerobics. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2001;84(1-2):64-8.
This study measured heart rate during floor and step aerobic classes at three intensity levels. A group of 20 female occasional exercisers [mean age 33 (SD 8) years, mean body mass index 21 (SD 2) kg.m-2 volunteered to participate in six aerobic classes (three floor classes, three step classes) and in a laboratory test as members of one of two groups according to their prestudy regular participation in aerobics classes. Subjects in group A had participated four or more times a week and those of group B less than twice a week. The characteristics of the groups were as follows: group A, n = 10, mean maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) 38.7 (SD 3.6) ml.kg-1.min-1, mean maximal heart rate (HRmax) 183 (SD 8) beats.min-1; group B, n = 10, VO2max 36.1 (SD 3.6) ml.kg-1.min-1, HRmax 178 (SD 7) beats.min-1. Each class consisted of a warm-up, a 20 min period of structured aerobic exercise (cardiophase) and a cool-down. The cardiophase was planned and guided as light, (rate of perceived exertion, RPE 11-12), moderate (RPE 13-14) or heavy (RPE 15-17) by an experienced instructor. The mean heart rates during the light classes were 72 (step) and 74 (floor) %HRmax in group A and 75 (step) and 79 (floor) %HRmax in group B; during the moderate classes, 84 (step) and 80 (floor) %HRmax in group A and 82 (step) and 83 (floor) %HRmax in group B, and during the heavy classes 89 (step and floor) %HRmax in group A and 88 (step) and 92 (floor) %HRmax in group B. Differences in heart rate and %HRmax were not statistically significant between the groups. However, differences in heart rate and %HRmax between the intensities (light vs moderate, moderate vs heavy and light vs heavy) were significant within both groups (all, P < 0.01). Based on the results, we conclude that intensity management during the aerobics classes was generally successful regardless of the participants' prior participation in aerobics. However, some individuals who were older and/or had less prior participation tended to exceed the targeted heart rate.