What are Heart Rate Zones?
A ‘heart rate zone’ is essentially a range within which your heart’s beats per minute sit. So you might train in a zone where you’re working at 70% of your top effort level, known as your ‘maximum heart rate’. One of the easiest ways to determine your MHR is to subtract your age from 220.
While the zones are set ranges, they shift to fit the individual based on maximum and resting heart rates. These zones change depending on your age and fitness level. So no matter who you are, heart rate zone training will still work for you individually.
Why Should I Care about This?
Knowing how hard you need to exercise enables you to reach your goals more quickly. Training in a suitable heart rate zones optimizes your body’s ability to take in oxygen to help fuel the production of energy and increases the efficiency of burning fat as another source of energy.
Working out in a targeted heart rate zone can help make sure your workout is both safe and effective. It also ensures that you don't push your body too much, making exercise unsafe.
Heart Rate Zones Break Down
Zone 1: Health
50–60% percent of your max heart rate.
Basically, very light exercise. Good for overall health and recovery. It’s something that you should be able to sustain for a long time.
Zone 2: Weight Loss
60-70% of maximum heart rate.
In this area, the body uses fat as a source of energy. It’s like a warm-up or a cool-down — you should be able to carry on a normal conversation in this zone.
Zone 3: Aerobic Endurance
70-80% of maximum heart rate.
Working up a sweat, building endurance during moderately long exercise. This is working at an intensity you can sustain for around 30 minutes if you had to. Your body is using oxygen as cell energy.
Zone 4: Anaerobic Intense
80-90% of maximum heart rate.
Intensive exercises that you should push for about 10 minutes. Training in this zone means your body is short on oxygen, so it has to look for other fuel sources to burn.
Zone 5: VO2 MAX
90%+ of maximum heart rate.
This is an all-out sprint; you’re going as hard as you can. Suitable for competitions or really short interval trainings at running.