Dear Kirk, my workout partner sweats much more than I during our workouts. We seem to be working at the same intensity but I am worried that he is working harder that I am. - Gary in Spring City.

Dear Gary, The amount of sweat you produce depends on the environment and the number of sweat glands in your body not the intensity level of your workouts. Consider the hot muggy days we have been having. You can sit under a tree with your workout partner drinking lemonade and he would probably be sweating more than you. He would be doing no more work but sweating more. This dilemma happens in the YMCA too. People will come to me and claim that the machine across the room gives them a better workout because they sweat much more during their workout. The first thing I do is look above the "not so intense" machine and more often than not there will be an air conditioning vent right above it. I also hear people claim that they are in better shape than others because they do not sweat as much. Again, the amount you sweat has no bearing on your fitness level. There are many great athletes that sweat buckets during their training. On a side note, make sure you are drinking lots of water if you are working out outside in this current heat wave.

Dear Kirk, what is the equation for figuring out target heart rate? - Bob in Phoenixville.

Dear Bob, subtract your age from 220. This is your maximum heart rate. Then you multiply this number by then intensity level you want to work at. Beginners should work out between 55% to 70% of their maximum heart rate. Experienced people should work out between 65% to 85% of their maximum heart rate. Here is an example of a 41 year old person who has never worked out.

220 - 41= 179 beats per minute (maximum heart rate)

179 x .55 = 98 beats per minute (55% of max)

179 x .70 = 125 beats per minute 70% of max)

This person will want to get their heart rate between 98 and 125 beats per minute during their workouts.

Fit-Quest is designed to answer all your fitness questions. Whether you're a workout pro, or haven't even started, our fitness expert, Kirk Lombard, Physical Director at the Phoenixville Area YMCA, can help.

An exercise and sports science graduate of Penn State University, Kirk brings more than

seven years of experience to Fit-Quest readers. If you have an exercise

question you'd like addressed in Fit-Quest, email it to And remember: NEVER START ANY NEW


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