In the last blog post we talked about the different types of cardio, their pros and their cons.
Today, I will break down the different heart rate zones you can train at and what they’re good for.
First, you need to know what your maximum heart rate (MHR) is: (220 – your age). The formula is not 100% accurate but will give you a rough idea. The only way to truly know your MHR is by testing it in a laboratory.
Based on that MHR you can calculate different heart rate zones by using the following formula: MHR x target %
For example, I want to train at 80% of my MHR. My MHR is 220-26: 194.
194 x 0.8 = 155.2
Now, let’s break down the different heart rate zones:
Very low intensity: 50 to 60%
This heart rate zone is great for beginners. It’s ideal for weight management and boosts recovery.
It’s easy on your breathing and muscles and you’re able to carry on a conversation.
Low intensity: 60 to 70%
In this zone, you will start to feel your heart going up a bit but you shouldn’t get out of breath. You should be able to go on for a long time at this intensity.
This zone improves your general endurance and burns fat.
It should be comfortable. Breathing is still easy but you begin to sweat.
Medium intensity: 70 to 80%
This type of cardio improves your aerobic ability. It’s especially effective for improving the efficiency of blood circulation. The effort is moderate, you sweat a little more and you breathe more deeply.
High intensity: 80 to 90%
You should experience difficulty breathing, muscle tiredness, and you’ll be in an anaerobic state.
This is ideal for interval training. This intensity improves your speed endurance and your body will get better at using carbs for energy.
Maximum intensity: 90 to 100%
This is for professional athletes. It improves physical performance and speed, but it is extremely tiring and you won’t be able to continue at this intensity for more than a few minutes at a time.