You have fitness goals, right? What if I told you that something as simple as keeping track of your heart rate could change the name of the game for you? If you’re someone who has been struggling with seeing results, but who wants to reach some great fitness goals, maybe it’s time to start finding out what your heart rate training zones are and how they can help you in your workouts.
To help you better understand heart rate training zones and why you need to know them, I’ve compiled some important information that will help you track yourself and understand what zone is best for your personal fitness goals.
Warm Up Zone
When you’re getting started in your workout, you’re going to want to work up slowly to a higher intensity. This is when your heart rate should be in the warm-up zone. This is going to be in the 50-60 percent zone of your maximum heart rate if you’re in your late 20’s to early 40’s. This is when you want to get your body ready for a higher intensity workout or if you have health issues and are trying to keep it calm. This zone won’t provide you with results of weight loss or help you to build up endurance.
Fat Burning Zone
A favorite zone for many, this is the zone where you’ll be at about 60-70 percent of your MHR. Your rate should be at about 115-135 bpm, depending on your age—such as around your late 20s/early 30s. It doesn’t feel challenging for those who are used to working out a lot or running, but it’s actually very beneficial in training your body to burn your fat and helps to increase muscle strength and stamina.
You’ll definitely be feeling things a bit more in this zone, and you should have a heart rate at about 120-140 bpm in this zone. You can still talk in this zone and breath regularly, but you are improving your fitness level and strengthening your heart, so it’s actually a very beneficial level to be at and the heart rate that helps you to increase speed and endurance. Most workouts or exercises that people enjoy doing fall in this area and are somewhat easy to keep up with.
The intensity zone is where you know that you’re giving yourself a “hard time” and while you don’t always want to be at this heart rate level, it can be helpful for certain goals. You’ll be in your 80-90 percent of MHR and will be feeling the sweat and the challenge on your body. This is important for when you want to improve your lactic threshold. For athletes who are training for competitions, they’ll often reach this zone at the end of their training to ensure that they have the speed and endurance needed for success, whether they’re a marathon runner or triathlete.
Max Heart Zone
Unless you have years of experience training and working out, this isn’t going to be a level that you want to keep up with every single day. It’s good to bring your heart rate to the max heart zone for a couple of minutes in each workout, but you don’t want to stress about having your body remain at this percentage throughout the workout. It’s a good heart rate to get when you’re doing HIIT workouts or training your heart, but otherwise, you don’t need to worry so much about reaching this level.
It’s helpful for your body and recovery to go through a resting zone after your workout. You’ll want to ease your body and heart rate into a calmer zone, and the cooldown is the perfect way to do just that. Whether you go for a high-intensity run and walk to cool down or do a workout with breathing exercises and stretches at the end, it’s helpful to allow your heart rate to get in the resting zone after your workout.
When Should You Use Heart Rate Training
Most trainers would tell you that you should always be doing heart rate training. If you’re someone who just exercises every now and then to feel good or to move your body, you don’t have to worry so much about monitoring your heart rate.
But if you have fitness goals, whether weight loss or training for marathons, knowing and monitoring your heart rate can go far in helping you to reach the goals you want to while keeping your body safe and maximizing your efforts.
In fact, it’s one of the wisest things you can do to help you reach your fitness goals. You could run aimlessly thinking that you’re doing your body good, but if you’re not in the right percentage for your goals, you may be wasting time. Pay attention to your heart rate if you want to see results.
Obviously, you won’t be able to be checking your pulse as you’re going throughout your workout or running on your favorite path. A heart rate monitor device, whether it’s an app on your phone or a Fitbit or what have you, will make a difference and help you understand your body’s needs and reach your fitness goals.
Sure. It is an investment to buy a heart rate monitor of some kind, but if you’re ready to see changes in your training or fitness level, it’s one that is completely worth it.