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Thread: Client would like HR chart

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Client would like HR chart

    Does WaterART have a printable aquafit heart rate chart? My participants do the talk test and perceived exertion test, but one participant recently asked about an actual heart rate chart.

  2. #2

    Cool Heart Rate Response in Water - not very accurate without HR monitor

    Heart rates are not effective way to monitor intensity in water -so we would not recommend this
    1. patrons have a heart rate ( HR) monitor ( and they only work in shallow water)
    2. patrons know their true resting heart rate and working heart rate
    3. instructors understand the land heart rate response - and calculation for water heart rate response ( generally a 10-20 beats per minute difference)

    We do take advocate taking RHR ( resting heart rates ) and figure out working heart rates in water with Aquatic Personal Trainer /Aquatic Rehabilitation Certification /programming because it is really easy for a trainer to do this properly as well as monitor blood pressure - however, we do not teach this in our basic Instructor course and most patrons don't have HR monitor nor take it properly & water cools HR so you have to know the variables for HR response to be meaningful ( and accurate)
    However, realize the most important value of heart rate response is how quickly your HR is able to recover post exercise ( back to resting level after a minute is excellent goal)
    most people are lucky to recover to under 100 bpm -which is not good - and hence why we do interval training with WaterART .

    WaterART advocates RPE and monitoring how clients feel in classes as this is a quick and pretty accurate way to adjust intensity. Your responsibility as an instructor is to modify the intensity/exercise if too much or progress and intensify an exercise if client requests.

    from Instructor manual ( maybe you missed this part)

    The TOTAL amount of work is of greater importance than performing continuous or non stop cardiovascular training. A person will benefit more with intervals or discontinuous sets in the water because of many reasons.

    1) water and air temperatures are generally more variable than land training temperatures. Therefore, we may utilize cardiovascular sets for thermal regulation (keeping the core temperature regulated) throughout a program.
    2) Light cardiovascular movement helps to dissipate the blood lactates and facilitates recovery from intense exercise bouts. In water, movements are more resistive because of the water’s natural resistance. Easy cardio sets will help to refresh the muscles or get rid of the bi-product of anaerobic work (blood lactate) so that the muscles may function “optimally” through a class. If the muscles are fatigued, a person’s highest intensity may not be achieved. Adding light intensity filler sets or easy cardio sets will help to rejuvenate the muscles for more duration and ultimately more total work.
    3) The most important indicator of heart health is how quickly the heart rate will recover (after an intensity bout) to the resting level. This is more critical than achieving a high maximum heart rate. A general guideline is that max heart rate is approximately 220; however, only a maximum stress test will provide this exact information. This maximum heart rate is a guestimate like an 80 b.p.m is an average resting heart rate. (Fit people may be 60 b.p.m and high risk individual’s may be over 100 bpm). It should be understood that health histories, training regime, stimulants, and many medication may greatly affect heart rate response.

    The traditionally accepted measure of cardio respiratory endurance is direct measure of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). This means that cardiovascular intensity is based on how much oxygen one may utilize through exercise NOT the maximum heart rate response. Heart rate response is only one means to determine the cardiovascular level; however, in water, heart rates are often less accurate. Heart rate response in the water is affected by water temperature, water depth, (and is not accurate if lungs are submerged), air temperature, medication as well as how one takes their heart rate. Heart Rates may easily be misrepresented if we don’t know the person’s resting heart rate or “true” maximum heart rate, or, if the person has used any stimulants such as caffeine or soda.

    Research has shown that heart rates in the water are, on average, about 14% lower than land heart rates when working at the same intensity. (However there can be a range of 10 and 20 beats difference depending on conditions as listed above).

    Taking and evaluating heart rate measurements in the water is a topic still under debate and for the most part is not accurate unless training in shallow water with heart rate monitor. Some research indicates that heart rates in the water should be somewhat slower than on land, but the research is not conclusive. Special populations or people on medication often do not have a very accurate HR response. There are many factors that affect heart rate response both on land and in the water. Heart rate response in the water will be similar to land response, if the water and air temperatures are closer to the body’s internal temperature (98.6 Fahrenheit or 37.0 Celsius) and are taken accurately and properly ( which is easier said than done).

    Research has shown that heart rates in the water are, on average, about 14% lower than land heart rates when working at the same intensity (however there may be a range of 10 and 20 beats difference depending on conditions as listed below). It is important to help your participants monitor and regulate their intensity through some system, i.e. talk test, rate of perceived exertion, heart rate monitor. Most aquatic professionals ( and WaterART Instructors training general population) have decided that using the perceived exertion scale is the one of the best ways for the client to recognize their intensity level and provide the instructor with a number or a reference point for monitoring and regulating their intensity.


    • Talk test - Ask “how are you doing?”
    • Rate of perceived exertion - Ask “where are you on the scale of 1 -10?”
    • Heart rate monitor - Works only in shallow water
    • Manually Taking heart rate taken manually - is not very effective for many reasons

    hope that helps!

    Here are our Certification Materials (available via onsite or home study education)


    Julie Twynham
    Educational Director,
    WaterART Fitness International Inc.,
    Tel: 416-621-0821
    Fax: 416-621-0951
    Toll Free – 1 866 5 GET WET or 1-866 543-8938

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