Getting your heart in the zone
Zone training is a form of cardiovascular exercise that focuses upon a solo participant achieving a raised heart rate.
Exercises are conducted in the usual manner of other high intensity cardio exercise like HIIT, using either equipment like treadmills, bikes or rowing machines, or without equipment by running etc. As the aim is to achieve a certain heart rate, wearable heart rate monitoring tech like smartphone apps & watches enable users to monitor heart rate without stopping.
The target of zone training is to achieve a heart rate within a range of zones. Dependant upon age, levels of fitness and goals, the target heart rate can vary widely. For older people of those of with a lower level of fitness, the target may be to achieve a heart rate just above resting. Whereas for non-endurance atheletes such as track sprinters or cyclists, the aim may be to achieve the very top level referred to as VO2 max which is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and use oxygen.
- Warm Up – 55% maximum heart rate: This level is just above resting heart rate. Breathing is slightly heavier, but it is still easy to hold a conversation.
- Fat Burn – 65% maximum heart rate: Breathing becomes heavier, but it is still easy to speak in short sentances. Calories burned are mostly from fat.
- Aerobic – 75% maximum heart rate: At this level breathing starts to become more difficult. The body begins to burn carbohydrates and fat in equal measure.
- Anaerobic – 85% maximum heart rate: Breathing now becomes very difficult. For many this will be the maximum level possible. The majority of calories burned are carbohydrate.
- VO2 Max/Red-Line – 90-100% maximum heart rate: Those who can achieve this level can only maintain it for a very short time period of seconds-minutes. Breathing becomes extremely difficult and fuel instant energy the body switches almost exclusively to carbohydrate.