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Everybody wants results when they exercise. While most people know how to exercise, many may not understand how to work out smart so that they achieve their goals.

In the world of exercise and fitness equipment, a ton of misinformation exists, so it’s easy to see why people get confused about what to do. Some important issues with exercise never change, like there are no real shortcuts and consistency over time is critical.

Another area that is unchanging is that intensity matters. Intensity is gauged most easily by heart rate responses to exercise. People that undertrain with a low heart rate won’t make significant progress, and those who overtrain at too high a heart rate can risk injury or burnout.

What’s nice is that today, most cardio machines like ellipticals offer interactive heart rate training so that you don’t have to manually adjust resistance levels throughout your routine. Simply input your age and select a workout such as Fat Burn, Cardio, Heart Rate Hill, Heart Rate Interval and more, and the elliptical will automatically change the resistance levels to keep your heart rate at a specific number or range, based on your age.

Wear a heart rate chest strap or use the digital contact heart rate sensors on Octane elliptical machines, and the machine monitors and displays your heart rate throughout your session. If your heart rate gets too low, the resistance level automatically increases; if it’s too high, the resistance decreases.

Heart rate workouts are designed to ensure that you work in a specific zone with a steady-state response (like staying at 130 beats per minute) or with periodic intervals, where you alternate between lower and higher heart rates. The machine reads your body’s response and helps ensure that you aren’t slacking off or going too hard.

A lot of science supports heart rate training, and if you want the basics, you can figure out your training zones with the following formula:

220-your age = Theoretical Maximum Heart Rate (TMHR)

TMHR x .65 = Low end of your Target Heart Rate training zone (THR)

TMHR x .85 = High end of your Target Heart Rate training zone

With the low end and high end of your THR training zone, you know where you should be exercising throughout your workouts, and wearing a heart rate monitor keeps you on track. With Octane, your elliptical workout with heart rate training are effective and efficient.