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Heart rate % during the insanity workout

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I recently started the insanity workout with Shaun T.


He’s always saying ‘check your heart rate’. So I bought a heart rate monitor hoping this will push me harder when I see a number to work towards. (The gym instructors have recommended it as I’ve plateaued in the last year (or losing weight very very slowly).


The question is what should my heart rate be?


My stats are:


29 years old

Fairly fit (been working out for 5 years about 3-4 times a week).

Weight = 54kg (my target is 49kgs, used to be 63kgs)

Height = 5.1 ft (155 cm)



I have no clue what I should work at to obtain maximum results and burn that stubborn fat around my legs!!.


Many thanks,



6 Replies (last)

Thanks for the links.

It's a lot to go through and I still don't know the answer.

Your theoretical max HR is somewhere around 190 (220 - age). It's a theoretical number; don't feel bad if you can't get HR above 180 or so, and don't worry if you look down and your HRM reads 200. In the absence of an underlying cardiac condition, your heart will limit its activity to protect itself.

Aim for 80-90% of this number (152-171), and here's where it gets "fun". You may find that 152 (or even 171) is a very comfortable spot to be. The whole point of this type of workout is to be uncomfortable for a period of time. This means that you need to do an interval, check your HRM, then try to match or exceed that heart rate during the next interval. Then that becomes your target HR for subsequent workouts.

From a broader perspective, perhaps you should switch from metcon to strength training. You'd probably find that building muscle would make you feel a lot better. Your weight might not decrease any faster, but you would lose bodyfat%.

Thank you cnicholas2000. I average around 154-160. At the higher end I can get to 175. So I guess I've been working in the right range.


When it comes to strength training, I have been to classes called body pump where its low weight high reps. For example on my legs I can carry around 17.5kg on a bar. For chest I can do 10kgs.

Do you think the higher weights are better than low weights high reps? I really dont want to bulk my already bulky legs. I would love to have an athletic look. Currently my body looks like a fatter version of kim kardashian lol!

Thanks again


Heavy weights for low reps (3-5) signal your body to add contractile proteins to your existing muscle fibers (i.e. you get stronger without adding a lot of volume). Moderate weights for moderate reps (8-12) lead to increased metabolic structures and fat/water storage, which is what bodybuilders go for. Body Pump classes train low weights and high reps, which makes your body better at lifting low weights for high reps.

Building muscle increases your resting metabolic rate, and you'll enjoy actually being stronger instead of just being more fit. And no, you won't bulk up.

Here's my heart rate info for insanity

O M G i am going to DIE! hahaha

6 Replies