Calculating your heart rate zones
Finding your Maximum Heart Rate
220 – age = HR max
Example: Calculating your 70% zone:
(HR max – HR rest) x .70 + HR rest.
What zone do I train in? It depends on your goals
Zone 1: 50-60% – This zone is appropriate for those just starting out with their exercise program or during a warm up or cool down phase. Breathing is slightly increased but a conversation can still take place.
Zone 2: 60-70% – Training in this zone improves the ability of your heart to pump blood and improves the muscles’ ability to utilize oxygen. The body becomes more efficient at fueling the working muscles, and learns to metabolise fat as a source of fuel. Breathing has noticeably increased but not uncomfortable.
Zone 3: 70-80% – Most effective for overall cardiovascular fitness. Increases your cardio-respitory capacity: your ability to transport oxygenated blood to the muscle cells and carbon dioxide away from the cells. Also effective for increasing overall muscle strength. In this zone breathing will be challenging, this zone is suitable for most people.
Zone 4: 80-90% – This is usually the zone where people will reach their lactate threshold, a point where the body cannot remove lactic acid as quickly as it is produced – this means your muscles begin to fatigue very quickly and breathing is very heavy. Training in this zone helps to increase the lactate threshold, which improves performance. When training in this zone you can mutter a few words only.
Zone 5: 90-100% – You should only train in this zone if you re very fit, and only for very short periods of time. Lactic acid develops quickly, the value of training in this zone is you can increase your fast twitch muscle fibers which increase speed. You can only train 10-20 seconds bursts within this zone. Signs you’re in this zone: You are unable to speak and gasping for air.
For those who are able to its best to train through a variety of zones to keep your body guessing and get the most out of your workout!
How to apply training zones to my aerobic training routine:
Warm Up: 5 minute jog/bike/elliptical trainer – zone 1 and stretching
3 sets: 500m bike/run/elliptical trainer with 2 minutes recovery in between sets – zone 3
4 sets: 30second sprint bike/run/elliptical with 30 second recovery in between sets- zone 4
For those with high levels of fitness add:
8 sets: 20second sprint bike/run/elliptical with 10second recovery in between sets – zone 4/zone 5
Cool down: 5 minute jog/bike/elliptical trainer – zone 1 and stretching
Tips to apply different training zones in resistance training:
Superset exercises: Perform two exercises in a row without taking a rest period
Drop sets: Once you have hit failure with a higher load, reduce the load without rest and continue the exercise, you can repeat this multiple times.
More sets: If you usually do 3 sets try building to sets of 4 or 5 to increase intensity of your training.