I think that vigorous is relative to your own fitness level not an absolute definition. For example, I did Intensity Step Only premix this morning without any risers and I did a lot of the lower impact modifications but it was still a really intense workout for me. I wasn't wearing an HRM but it felt like I was in the 160 beats per minute range. Thats really intense!
The percentage is relative to your own heart rate not someone else. Do you have a HRM ? It does help. I always wear one when I run outside. I would say anything over 70% is vigorous, 60% seems too low. Don't forget to do what Cathe on her forums said, find your bmr (I go with sedentary because I work on the computer.) plus your burn - 75 calories (thats the hour you were working out, normally its already included in the bmr, so you need to take it out otherwise your in a 75 calorie surplus.)
I hope that helps and makes sense.
Alisha aka RapidBreath on Cathe's forums.
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