Heart Rate Training Zones

Photo Julio Barajas

To ensure you get the most out of your workouts, knowing which intensity level used during an activity is important.  Some days will call for harder efforts than others, and some for lighter efforts.  After a hard workout, you may need to do a recovery session and knowing whether you’re in “recovery mode” or going too hard is key to aid in proper recovery.

Heart Rate Training Zones are category’s that will separate efforts based off of your max heart rate.

Zone 1: Recovery

50-60% of your Max HR

After an extraneous exercise, it is suggested you do a recovery version of that activity the next day in order to get blood flowing which will speed up recovery of those muscles.

Zone 2: Endurance

60-70% of your Max HR

This zone is commonly known as the “fat burning” zone and is great for those of us that need to burn off a little fat.  These can be especially useful for those days after heavy holiday feasts, or to include them into your future New Year goals.

Zone 3: Aerobic Capacity (Tempo)

70-80% of your Max HR

Best for those days you want to build muscle and endurance, this zone will train your muscles to use oxygen efficiently.

Zone 4: Lactate Threshold

80-90% of your Max HR

Your body uses oxygen to break down glucose for energy. During intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen available to complete the process, so a substance called lactate is made which is commonly felt as a burning feeling in the working muscle groups. Training in this zone will help you increase the ability to endure a workout before you reach “the burn.

Zone 5: VO2


This zone is usually reserved for short intense intervals like sprint drills and will train your body to use fast twitch muscles and develop speed.

Look for a heart rate zone feature in your fitness tracker or GPS unit as most will come with this helpful tool to maximize your training efforts.

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