Optimize your body's ability to take in oxygen to help fuel the production of energy in 5 zones of Training:
Zone 1: 50-59%MHR – Grey Zone A moderate intensity zone (great zone for beginners and building an aerobic base)
Zone 2: 60-69%MHR – Blue Zone A moderate intensity zone (great zone for beginners and building an aerobic base)
Zone 3: 70-79%MHR – Green Zone A moderate to vigorous intensity zone (75% MHR and above is considered vigorous intensity) expand aerobic capacity to a greater extent and elevate anaerobic threshold. Anaerobic threshold is the level of oxygen consumption above which aerobic metabolism is supplemented by anaerobic metabolism, causing a sustained increase in lactate and metabolic acidosis. By elevating our anaerobic threshold, we are increasing our ability to work at higher intensities for longer periods without fatigue.
Zone 4: 80-89%MHR – Orange Zone A vigorous or high intensity zone (a great zone for ability to take in and use oxygen efficiently) and your ability to work at submaximal exercise intensities for a longer period of time these zones are major calorie burning zone during and after workout through EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption)
Zone 5: 90%+MHR – Red Zone A vigorous or high intensity zone (same as orange) As mentioned previously, the Yellow and Red zones are major calorie burning zones – and not just during your your workout, but afterward as well :)
Heart-rate training is not just a great way to become a better runner or improve your endurance during workouts – it can also be a lot of fun! Much like cross-training, where workouts and tempos are varied to promote cardio strengthening and fat-burning, heart-rate training encourages you to switch up your workout to include a variety of exercises to help you to hit the right ‘zone’ and reach your heart-rate goal. Switching up your workout routine prevents exercise from becoming a chore, ultimately motivating you to keep at it long after you see the results you’re after.
Train More Efficiently
Whether your goal is to lose weight, improve your level of fitness or engage in productive activity while recovering from an injury, heart-rate training pushes you to find that ‘sweet spot’ you’re looking for. Based on the heart-rate zone you aim to hit, you’ll need to work a little harder to raise your heart rate if the reading is lower than this range, or scale back if your heart-rate is peaking over the maximum percentage of the zone. Keeping track of the heart-rate monitor on your cardio device is a smart way to gauge whether each training session is really working for you, or if you need to make a few adjustments to your workout in order to reach your goal.
Heart-rate training is also one of the safest ways to maintain physical activity during recovery periods, or ahead of a big race or marathon you may be preparing for. For runners, heart-rate training is great for ‘easy run’ days (which are the days between fast workout days and give the body a chance to rest and heal), and helps to prevent injury caused by excessive training. It’s also an effective and motivating workout alternative if weight training is also part of your weekly routine, as it also allows for muscle recovery after a strenuous weight-lifting session.
For those looking to shed a few pounds, heart-rate training is an extremely effective way to burn fat more efficiently. For most people, running at a steady and consistent pace for 30 minutes for a set number of days each week will most likely result in a fitness and weight-loss plateau – this is why you may notice that your weight-loss efforts have taken a dive and you’re not seeing the results you want. You can work with your trainer to identify the heart-rate zone you should be aiming for to lose that stubborn extra weight, and come up with a strategic weight-loss programme using the heart-rate training method for better results.
Maintain a Healthy Heart
The key to living a healthy life starts with taking care of your body’s most important muscle – the heart – and heart-rate training is the perfect way to do this. The heart pumps oxygen-rich blood to all the major organs in our bodies, which can be negatively impacted by poor fitness. However, more exercise leads to more blood being pumped from the heart to all the areas of the body that need it the most, and heart-rate training effectively accelerates this process, promoting a lower resting heart rate, which can also decrease your chance of developing heart disease in the future.