Tag Archives: heart rate monitor

The Talk Test

4 Oct

In a previous post, I explained the importance of measuring your heart rate and knowing your numbers to see how hard you’re working while exercising. As you should still calculate and find your numbers, there’s another simpler test that will monitor your intensity-the talk test! Group fitness instructors and personal trainers use this trick all the time. It’s beneficial to us to see how hard you’re working, without you really knowing why we want you to talk when your exerting yourself :).

A study by the University of New Hampshire validated to effectiveness of the talk test with a group of adults who recited the Pledge of Allegiance while exercising at various intensities. As the participants could no longer comfortably talk, they were reaching their lactate threshold. This test can benefit both beginners who are just starting out and experienced athletes who want to take their fitness to the next level.

Personally, I use this test ALL the time, especially with my group fitness classes. It’s an easy way to gauge how hardand ifthe participants are exerting themselves in relation to the class format in a big setting. With one-on-one clients, I always keep a conversation flowing to see how they’re feeling.


If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, use the talk test to gauge how hard you’re working. If you find it silly to talk to yourself while exercising-grab a partner! Partner workouts can make you push yourself harder, thus increasing your lactate threshold=WINNING!