Friday, March 22, 2013

Importance of HR Zone Training

Importance of HR Zone Training

As training coaches, we must understand the importance of training in targeted HR zones as well the importance of rest and recovery in training.

On our programs, we utilize HR Zones and charts. But what has to be understood is that each day, hour, and each workout has to be tailored to the targeted HR Zone. AND that Zone has to match what an individual’s goals are.

For example; Clients come in each day and do extra cardio, which is great. They should be commended for their efforts. BUT, they should have targeted HR Zones for each of the times they are in. Also if they are training afterwards, it needs to be managed by their coaches. Right now, clients are training in Conditioning Zones (Zone 4) which are higher HR's. Our focus should be more directed to Fat and Weight Loss which are lower (Zone 2).

Let's use an example. Customer A comes in each day and does cardio but is not educated to take it to the next level. They work out hard, even train after their workout. Initially loses a bit of weight due to the process of eating better, and increased cardio output. So water weight drops, increased lean muscle mass, lower calories per day. But what happens (I call it the Biggest Loser effect) they become stagnant, don’t lose any more weight, get frustrated, quit, then put weight back on.

Let me give you an example of a plan for Client A: Tuesday/Thursday customer

Monday-Cardio on Own Zone 2-3 or Weight Loss/Base Aerobic Zone

Tuesday-IF Workout-Focused on Higher Intensity Circuit Style Zone 4-5 Conditioning/Athletic gages (Have a focus for workout like weighted work, Olympic lifts-something that can pair with the higher intensity of the training style-Interval Training)

Wednesday-Yoga-Stretch-Swimming-Low Impact Stretch or Low Cardio Focus-Zone 1-2-3 depending if it’s swimming vs Yoga

Thursday-IF Workout-Similar to Tuesday Focus (Change focus for training from Tuesday-if you did Olympic Lifts then do DB's, KB's, stability, balance, plyos)

Friday-Same as Wednesday or can use as off day for recovery


Sunday-LSD (long slow distance) Cardio Session-Low Impact Zone 1-2 Light Exercise/Fat Burn Zone-Min 60-90 min-Endurance Based

Below is a chart to illustrate the example.

Fitness Target Zones: Heart Rates
Exercise Level
Intensity Level
(Max HR %)
Light Exercise
Healthy Heart
50% - 60%
Weight Loss
Burn Fat & Calories
60% - 70%
Base - Aerobic
Increase stamina & endurance
70% - 80%
Fitness conditioning, muscle building, and athletic training
80% - 90%
Athletic - elite
Athletic training and endurance
90% - 100%

Once we understand how to train in the zones and why, then we can address the next steps: Diet, Rest and Recovery. As coaches we are on the right track, just need to know the info and provide to our clients.

Training with a purpose and being fundamentally sound.

No comments: