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Please be safe, consult with your
physician before beginning any
new fitness plan.
How Can Using A Heart Rate Monitor And Training Zones Help Me Lose Weight Or Improve My Performance?
Knowing your Max HR, will help determine your individual training zones. I think we all want more effective workouts. Using training zones will help you reach your fitness goals faster.
Some facts about training zones:
- Training zones have names that correspond with their benefits.
- Training zones have a floor and a ceiling, a range.
- Training zones are sports specific.
- Training zones use different fuels, depending on current fitness level.
- Different amounts of calories are burned in each zone.
- Different ratios of carbohydrate and fat are burned in each zone.
- Training zones change if you are at altitude(Max HR drops).
- Training zones are affected by medication and drugs.
- Training zones are relative to individuals.
Zone #5 - Redline
- 90-100% Max HR
- Mostly Carbohydrates burned
- Approximately 20 Calories per min (150 lb person)(600 Calories for 30 min.)
- Maximum Effort: Sprinting, high speed intervals
- Benefit: Improved lactate tolerance (Great Improvements in Speed and Performance)
- Lactate Concentration: >8mmol/l
- VO2: 86-100%
- Rating of Perceived Exertion: 7-10
- Description of R.P.E.: Very, very hard to Maximal, Can’t talk except for short phrases
Zone #4 - Threshold
- 80-90% Max HR
- More Carbohydrate than fat burned
- Approximately 15 calories per min (150lb person)(450 for 30 min)
- Hard Effort: Time trials, intervals, tempo, hill work
- Benefit: Improved anaerobic capacity, lactate clearance (Improve Speed and Performance)
- Lactate Concentration: 4-8 mmol/l
- VO2: 73-86%
- Rating of Perceived Exertion: 5-7
- Description of R.P.E.: Hard to very, very hard, can still talk, but not comfortably
Zone #3 - Aerobic
- 70-80% Max HR
- Nearly equal amounts of carbohydrate and fat burned.
- Approximately 10 calories per min (150lb person) (300 calories per 30 min)
- Endurance and steady state
- Benefits: Improved aerobic capacity, optimal cardiovascular training (Improve Fitness)
- Lactate Concentration: 3-4 mmol/l
- VO2: 60-73%
- Rating of Perceived Exertion: 4-5
- Description of R.P.E.: Somewhat hard to hard, Very aware of breathing, still comfortable to talk
Zone #2 -Temperate
- 60-70% Max HR
- Mostly Fat Burned
- Approximately 7 calories per min (150lb person) (210 per 30 min)
- Long Slow Distance, recovery and regeneration
- Benefits: Improved fat mobilization, basic cardio training (Maintain Fitness)
- Lactate Concentration: 2-3 mmol/l
- VO2: 48-60%
- Rating of Perceived Exertion: 2.5-4
- Description of R.P.E.: Easy to somewhat hard, Comfortable talking, but aware of breathing
Zone # 1-Healthy Heart
- 50-60% Max HR
- More Fat Burned
- Approximately 4 calories per min (150lb person) (120 calories per 30 min)
- Warm up and cool down, rehabilitation
- Benefits: Improved self esteem, stress reduction, blood chemistry(Get Fit)
My Max HR for running is 200. So my Heart Rate Zones are:
- Zone 5 - 180-200 (Racing!)
- Zone 4 - 160-180 (Racing or tempo runs)
- Zone 3 - 140-160 (Most of my time is spent here)
- Zone 2 - 120-140 (Recovery)
- Zone 1 - 100-120 (Warm up & cool down)
My Max HR for cycling is 190.
- Zone 5 - 171-190 (Racing, triathlon!)
- Zone 4 - 152-171 (Long difficult rides, hill climbing, spin class intervals)
- Zone 3 - 133-152 (Most time spent here)
- Zone 2 - 114-133 (Recovery rides)
- Zone 1 - 95-114 (Warm up and cool down)
Things to Consider:
Spending a lot of time in zone 3 helps develop a good cardiovascular base. Once a fitness base is established, improvements can be made by targeting 1 or 2 workouts per week in zones 4 and 5. Be careful not to have all your workouts in zone 4 or 5. The risk for injury and burnout are greater in these zones.
Since a higher percentage of energy comes from fat while exercising in Zone 2, some people believe that exercising exclusively in Zone 2 will improve fat loss. However, since the total amount of calories burned is significantly lower than in zone 3, spending too much time in zone 2 will not yield the desired results for weight loss or performance even though a higher percentage of fat is burned.
A sound training program uses all 5 zones. Remember to warm up and cool down each work out. Build your base and add in some key work outs. Watch your fitness improve!
- Sally Edwards, Heart Zones Training
- Sally Edwards & Sally Reed, Heart Zones Cycling
- Edmund R. Burke, PHD, Precision Heart Rate Training