Club News

News Letter April 2012

Maximize Your Training:

The 4 Key Heart Rate Zones and How to Use Them

For anyone who is serious about improving their fitness, understanding the heart is an essential step to success. Monitoring your heart rate is incredibly easy with the huge array of monitors on offer, but seeing the numbers is only half the challenge - the more important aspect understands the numbers and what they mean.

Over time sports physicians have narrowed the human heart rate into 4 ranges called 'zones'. Each zone is represented as a percentage of the maximum beats per minute and each has its own unique benefits.

Red Line Zone (90% - 100% of Maximum Heart Rate)

Scarcely used by recreational athletes, training in the Red Line zone helps to develop the body's fast twitch muscle fibers which ultimately boosts speed. Such high heart rates ate commonly achieved during interval training, an intense method used by athletes looking to increase their explosive power.

Anaerobic Zone (80% - 90% of MHR)

most people will be familiar with lactic acid and it is within this zone that we see its effects. In the anaerobic zone the body is inefficient in it's processing of oxygen and as such it turns to glycogen stores as an energy source. This causes the build up of lactic acid but only after reaching a point called the 'anaerobic threshold'. Through proper training it is possible to increase the body's anaerobic threshold, which allows athletes to perform for longer in the anaerobic zone.

Aerobic Zone (70% - 80% of MHR)

this is the zone that is of most interest to the average athlete. When exercising within this zone, the muscles are able to process oxygen efficiently and as such it is possible for the body to use fat as an energy source. This makes aerobic training great for weight loss, while also helping to boost the oxygen processing ability of the body.

Recovery Zone (50% - 70% of MHR)

Slightly above the resting rate is the recovery zone. This is where the body is able to recoup. Endurance athletes will often train within this zone in an effort to enable their body to perform effectively at low heart rates - a vital skill in endurance racing. Put simply, if your body can recover at the same rate as it is expending energy, it stands to reason that you could exercise for long periods of time. Long duration exercises are great for weight loss and the recovery zone is even better than the aerobic zone in that respect.

Now that you understand the hearts function and its zones, you can adjust your training schedule to take full advantage of all the benefits.

For more information please contact fitness Trainer or call 04 3360001