Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Heart Rate Workout Zones

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Zone 4 Training Anaerobic Capacity

How to Calculate Your Heart Rate Training Zones

Effort: hardTarget heart rate: 80% 90%Duration: longer intervals, up to 10 minutes

Zone 4 is where it gets tricky. Of all 5 heart rate training zones this one is the most dangerous.

Its at this point that most over-training happens. Inspired by professional athletes, people push themselves to the limit without giving the body enough time to recover and supercompensate. This puts a lot of stress on the body, killing mitochondria theyve worked so hard to build.

From physiological perspective, anaerobic threshold is the point after which lactic acid starts to build up so fast that the body cannot produce enough energy to maintain the intensity for long.

Anaerobic threshold marks the middle of Zone 4 and is highly individual for every athlete.

At this point muscles get petty heavy and its possible to say just a couple of words at once.

How Does Exercise Affect Heart Rate Over Time

As a person starts to exercise regularly and gain fitness over time, they will be able to exercise within a higher heart rate zone. This is because they are training their heart and muscles to respond to repeat exertion.

People may start out with a target of 50% of their maximum heart rate, but before long, they will be able to comfortably train at a target of 85%.

A 2018 review study found that people can improve their heart health and lower their resting heart rate by exercising regularly. Regular exercise reduces a persons risk of heart attack, stroke, and other medical conditions.

However, the researchers also suggest that continuously high levels of exercise such as marathon running could be harmful to heart health.

Engaging in aerobic and endurance exercises also contributes to improved fitness, increased muscle tone, and improvements in general physical and mental well-being. In fact, one 2016 meta-analysis reports that exercise has a large and significant antidepressant effect on people with depression.

Find Your Target Heart Rate

Your target heart rate numbers will depend on your age and fitness level. There are a few ways to determine these. You can use the Karvonen formula or a target heart rate chart.

Even more conveniently, heart rate detection is now featured in many activity monitors as well as chest strap heart rate monitors. These devices will ask you for your age, monitor your resting heart rate, and determine your heart rate zones for you.

During exercise, these devices will often indicate which heart rate zone you are in so you can increase or decrease your exertion. As well, some treadmills, stationary cycles, and elliptical machines will have handgrip heart rate detectors that allow you to monitor your heart rate zones.

The target heart rate zones for aerobic exercise range from 50 to 100% of your maximum heart rate. You will see a confusion of numbers when you check different references. For consistency, the heart rate zones referenced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association will be explained.

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What Are The Five Heart Rate Zones

Your heart rate is the best indicator of how hard your body is working during a training session. Whether you run, swim, cycle, lift weights, or do bodyweight HIIT workouts, training with heart rate zones can help you hit specific intensity targets.

In this article, learn the benefits of using heart rate training zones and how utilizing data can help you reach your fitness goals faster.

Zone : 70%80% Of Max Heart Rate

Heart rate training

In zone 3, your activity level is “moderate.” This level of exercise improves your lung and heart endurancethe length of time that you can continue to exercise without taking a break. If you’re running, you’re breathing harder. You can still speak, but you’re only able to do it one sentence at a time.

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Heart Rate Training Zone Calculation Accuracy

There are concerns that heart rate training zones that are estimated are too generalized and may not be overall accurate. However, actual zone ranges tend to deviate only slightly for each individual. This is not enough to significantly impact the overall benefit from focused training.

Yes, the most precise way to determine heart rate zones would be to take a supervised VO2 max lab test. Such test measures the speed of lactate accumulation and respective oxygen intake throughout the exercise. Based on the data aerobic and anaerobic thresholds are established which are key reference points in determining heart rate training zones.

Over the years and multiple lab tests, however, I noticed that these ranges tend to deviate only by around 1-2% .

What Zone Should You Be In

Understanding your heart rate in relation to zones is very useful for exercise purposes to determine what level of physical activity your body can handle, Thornhill says. Beginners and people new to fitness should stick to zones one and two while they get acclimated to conditioning. People who are consistently active, or competitive athletes, will benefit from training in zones three and four.

Aaptiv has different levels of workouts that you can test and see what your heart rate is during specific training. Download the app today and see!

When it comes to resistance training, Thornhill recommends finding your strength in zone two. Cardio workouts, he says, should fall between zones two and three. One exception he lists: speed training. If you are training for distance running and looking to improve your time, you may want to include interval training into your routine, with small cardio bursts in zone four, Thornhill says. One caveat: if you are pregnant, its best to keep your heart rate, when active, under 155 BPM, he adds.

When measuring heart rate, its also important to consider outside factors. While heart rate zone standards are based on age, they can also differ based on other factors, including emotions, air temperature, and even body position. According to, your heart rate can increase by a few beats when your emotions are at extremes , as temperatures heat up, and even during the first 15 to 20 seconds of standing.

Also Check: How Do You Lower Your Resting Heart Rate

Calculating Your Low Heart Rate For Training

Want to try low heart rate training? Maffetones formula is 180 minus your age . The idea is that you start at whatever pace you need to go to maintain this heart rate and over time, your pace will increase but your heart rate wont.

There are a few amendments to this calculation. For example, if you have a cold or flu more than twice a year, or are asthmatic, you should subtract another five from your low heart rate calculation. Same if you have a minor injury or find youre not improving from your training. If youre recovering from an operation, a major illness, are on medication or feeling burned out from overtraining, you should subtract 10 from your calculation.

How To Set Your Heart Rate Zones

How To Train With A Heart Rate Monitor | Cycling Heart Rate Zones Explained

To determine a target heart rate zone for each type of run or for your heart rate training plans, you have to first start by determining your maximum heart rate .

Maximum HR is the maximum number of beats per minute your heart can produce, and often this number will decline with age.

A common formula to calculate your maximum HR is: 220 age. For example, if you are 40 years old, then 220 40 = 180bpm is your max HR.

This is just one of many formulas. Some others include:



However, the formula approach is often not reliable. In these examples, for a 40-year old, they would have 180, 178, 183 or 180 again depending on each formula chosen, so there is an important possible spread.

So to determine ones max heart rate, it is best to do a test where you go flat out to determine it rather than relying on any formulas, especially as each person is different. There are a number of different testing protocols to achieve this, but one of the most straightforward is running a 5k or even 10k race at the upper limit of your effort levels, then seeing what the maximum reading you achieved was. Of course, you can always adjust this in the future.

Once you know your max HR, youre ready to begin heart rate-based training by determining your training zones. Here is an overview to guide you through heart rate monitoring:

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Getting To Know The 5 Heart Rate Training Zones

Getting to Know the 5 Heart Rate Training ZonesWritten by Holden Rethwill

When we talk about heart rate training zones, what we are describing and measuring is the intensity at which your body is using its aerobic metabolism system to produce energy from fat and glycogen. By being able to understand and control what one you are training in, you are able to better target your needs whether they be recovery, fat loss, or to cover 100 miles in your upcoming race.

Lets do a quick review of the 5 Heart Rate Training Zones to give you a little background and theory on why your training plan should include workouts in all five zones, not just your favorite fun-zones.

Heart Rate Zones For Beginners

Beginners Guide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention breaks exercise intensity into 3 simple training zones, which is easy to follow for beginners starting to exercise.234

  • Low intensity. This is light activity that is 50% 64% MHR . Activities include casual walking or doing light household shores.
  • Moderate intensity. This is physical activity that is 64% 77% MHR . Activities might include brisk walking, cycling or hiking on flat terrain, and general gardening. The CDC recommends at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate activity a week to gain significant health benefits, or an equivalent mixture of moderate and vigorous activity.
  • Vigorous intensity. This is exercise that is 77% 93% MHR . Activities in this zone include running, jump rope, and swimming laps. The CDC recommends at least 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous activity a week to reap significant health benefits, or an equivalent mixture of moderate and vigorous activity.
  • 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is roughly equivalent to 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.5

    A 30-year-old person has a maximum heart rate of 190 beats per minute and wants to exercise in the low-intensity zone.

    The low-intensity zone is 50% to 64% of MHR:

    • 190 x 50% = 95
    • 190 x 64% = 122

    Therefore, their target heart rate would range from 95 to 122 bpm for a low-intensity workout.

    Heart rate zones are defined as percentages of your maximum heart rate. So to get started you first need to determine your maximum heart rate .

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    Zone 2 Training Benefits

    Zone 2 is important for all athletes, but is critical for endurance athletes. Training in this zone builds mitochondria in slow twitch muscle fibers, which improves the overall endurance and speed.

    Essentially, it makes the lactate line on the graph above stay horizontal for longer.

    On top of that, extended easy training teaches the body to utilize fat better and builds a leaner body.

    What The Experts Do Monitor Heart Rate For Motivation

    Heart Rate Zones

    For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.

    Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.

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    Know Your Heart Rate Zones In Real Time With Whoop

    WHOOP measures your heart rate 24/7 and quantifies the strain your body takes on each day. Every morning, our recovery metric tells you how prepared your body is to take on strain. And when you track your activities with the WHOOP Strain Coach, you can see in real time which heart rate zone youre in, so youll know exactly when to dial it back, or kick it up a notch.

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    How To Use Heart Rate Zones

    Planning your workouts using the 5 training zones will allow you to target specific elements of your fitness, so that you can tailor your training to meet your particular goals.

    Training plans generally allocate more time to the lower heart rate zones. HIIT is strenuous, which means the body needs more time to recover and repair. Too much exercise at this intensity can negatively impact regulation of stress hormone cortisol and lead to symptoms of overtraining.67686970

    To allow sufficient time for recovery, ideally avoid performing HIIT workouts on consecutive days. Research suggests 1 to 3 workouts per week may yield maximum results, depending on how tough the rest of your training schedule is and how much youve recovered from your workouts.7172737475

    The table below summarizes the different heart rate zones and when to use them.

    95100% SPEEDNear-maximal to maximal effort. Boosts maximum power and speed. Can only grunt and gasp. Sprinting, sprint-interval training, and Tabata fall in this zone.

    *Maximum heart rate

    These training zones can be applied to any type of cardio exercise, such as running, cycling, swimming, and rowing. However, your maximum heart rate is likely to vary according to the type of sport you are doing. While the effort feels the same, people tend to have a higher heart rate when running compared to sports such as swimming.7677

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    Heart Rate Training Zone 5

    90-100% of Heart Rate Max

    The last of the zones will be talking about is the 5th and final zone. It is the point where you are at or just about to hit redline phase. Think of it this way.. if you can still speak, or see clearly, youre not in Zone 5. When we hit zone 5 were looking at about a 10 or maybe even 11 on a scale of 1-10 when it comes to rate of perceived exertion. This zone is reserved for short bursts, think of it like Usain Bolt destroying everyone in the 100 or 200m dash. We have fully hit and passed lactate threshold and you will likely only be able to sustain this pace for a VERY short duration.

    Heres one: 40 seconds max calories on the Assault Bike. If that doesnt leave you on the ground rethinking what the hell you just did, you didnt reach Zone 5. Ever finish one of those and wonder why your legs wont work? Thats because Zone 5 is purely lactic. Youre fully anaerobic in this phase and at this intensity massive amounts of lactic acid is getting pushed into your muscles that cannot be utilized. Eventually your muscles get so pumped that you are forced to slow down.

    What are the benefits of Zone 5 workouts?

    How often should you train in Zone 5?

    Basically it comes down to thiswe do CrossFit. Sometimes we hit that redline in a workout. Should we go there consistently? No. But, its ok to do it from time to time because youre only teaching your body what it can do and what it needs to work on! Enjoy laying on the floor in a heap.

    Moderate Intensity: 50 To 70% Max Heart Rate

    How To Find Your Running Heart Rate Zones | Triathlon Training Explained

    Experts often recommend working at a moderate intensity to build fitness and lose weight. Cardio workouts in the moderate-intensity exercise zone improve your body’s ability to transport oxygen and condition your heart. You’ll burn more calories and fat in this zone, as well.

    To reduce your health risks, you should get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio per week, with workouts of at least 10 minutes in this zone. The workouts should be spread throughout the week. Examples of moderate-intensity cardio workouts include brisk walking, easy jogging, bicycling under 10 mph, and light weight lifting.

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    Heart Rate Zones For Cardio

    If youre considering running as a new training form, heart rate training is highly motivating as it helps you to understand how hard your body is working and how much you ought to increase or decrease your intensity. If youre struggling with the get-up-and-go, see our article about how to start running like a pro. Depending on your goals, you may spend your time in different heart rate workout zones. For example, if youre training for a 5K, you might want to spend most of the time in zones 3 to 4. Using a heart rate monitor will help you to keep track of your training. If you find yourself continuously working in zone 4 or higher, you might want to slow down. Marathon runners however usually focus on keeping a steady pace for a longer distance. They may want to spend as much as half of their training in zones 1 and 2. Doing some speed or interval training in zones 3 and 4 is however also healthy and strengthening and is therefore generally an additional part of their workout.Elite athletes and sprinters may focus more of their training in zones 4 and 5.

    Or Learn How To Gage Your Heart Rate Without One

    Want to make sure you actually enjoy heart rate training before dropping dough on a monitor? Hey, fair! Dr. Masteller recommends trying a simple talk test to gauge intensity. “Someone performing moderate intensity activity should be able to carry on a conversation without being out of breath,” she says. But they shouldn’t be able to sing .

    “If someone is doing vigorous-intensity activity , they will not be able to say more than a few words without needing to pause and take a breath,” she says. “This intensity will feel very challenging, but doable.”

    As for zone 5? The reality is if you can speak more than a word or two you’re not pushing hard enough to be in zone 5.

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