For all the MYZONE users out there! Looking to lose weight? Do you know which zone you should be in to do so? Whether you’re looking to build endurance or strength, lose weight or increase general heart health, understanding the zone’s is important to achieve your goals. As always, consult with a doctor if you have any heart related issues.
MEP – (Myzone Effort Points) These points are accumulated over time depending on what heart rate zone you are in.
Gray Zone (50-59%) – 1 points per minute
Blue Zone (60-69%) – 2 points per minute
Green Zone(70-79%) – 3 points per minute
Yellow Zone (80-89%) – 4 points per minute
Red Zone (90-100%) – 4 points per minute
Max HR – The maximum beats per minute you can theoretically achieve. This is set by Myzone using the equation 207-(3/4 current age). Your heart rate zones are based off a PERCENTAGE of this number.
Which zone for your goals
First thing you want to do is understand what each zone does for your body, and how you should be feeling when performing exercises in those certain zones.
Knowing how your body feels in certain zones can help you determine the intensity at which to exercise. A higher is definitely not always better. A heart rate that is sustainable for a longer period of time is always the better option, no matter your goal.
When losing weight, the key component is always calories in vs calories out. I will refrain from using the words “fat burning zone” because it is different for everyone. What you want to concentrate on is how many calories you can squeeze out of the allotted time you have to work out. For example, someone that is new to exercise may find that being in the yellow zone for longer than 5 minutes makes them feel fatigued, lightheaded and not an enjoyable experience. While someone that has a good cardiovascular base will be able to maintain the yellow zone for 30+ minutes. Find the heart rate that allows you to be challenged but comfortable.
Steady State Cardio
The question I am asked the most is “What should my heart rate be when I am on a treadmill, elliptical, etc.” The quick answer is that you want your AVERAGE HEARTRATE to be around 70%-80%. Now the way in which we get there can be different. You can perform “steady state” cardio which keeps your heartrate at a constant pace (Shown in Graph). As you can see the average is a high green around 77% of the maximum heart rate. This is a quick calorie burn, with very little post exercise benefits other than increased heart health.
Interval Training can be done on either a cardio piece of equipment, using weights, or a combination of both. The idea is still the same, keep your AVERAGE HEARTRATE around 70%-80%. The only difference here being that you will run your heart through multiple zones. Traditionally, you will see programs that are developed with a variation on saying 20 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest. I implore you to try and find your own intervals that will get you into the upper yellow to lower red zones (87-93%) and then rest or do an active rest phase that gets your down to upper blue or lower green zones (67-73%). Then repeat. The outcome of AVERAGE HEART RATE is still the same (75-80%), but it will be more challenging of a workout and activate EPOC, which is a substantial increase in metabolism for up to 2 days after exercise.
What can these graphs tell us?
Try to learn what your body responds best to, and continually re-evaluate your graphs. This week you may be able to run on the treadmill at 5.0 speed with 5% incline to keep your heart rate at a consistent 75%. Then after a week of doing that, you may need to increase that speed or incline to achieve the same results.