Please note that I do not figure this for my own exercise routine. I simply start with a weight that lets me do about 6 reps. I find that by trial and error, starting light and working my way up. Using 1-RM is the technically correct way to do it, though.
1-RM means "one rep max." That is the most weight you can lift once for any given exercise using weights. You can figure your 1-RM for each exercise, then try using about 50% of that. Healthy people use 75% of their 1-RM for workouts. The real 1-RM method is way too hard for someone with heart failure but if you want to know what it is, read this. A real 1-RM test should only be done with an exercise professional who understands your overall health situation!
Figure 1-RM for each weight lifting exercise you do. Do a warm-up set with light weights and then rest for 5 minutes. Then lift a weight that you can only do for 5 to 10 reps. Now, use one of the following 3 methods to figure your 1-RM for that exercise:
For a healthy person, using about 75% of 1-RM for your weight lifting exercises increases strength best. However, significant strength gains are seen at just 40% of 1-RM using circuit training in heart attack patients. Another trial showed that using 30% to 50% of 1-RM increased strength by 20% to 25% and endurance by 10% to 12% in heart patients. Recent evidence suggests that more benefit is seen with moderate intensity exercise programs than with a high-intensity program. Why? Because patients stick with the program better. <g>
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