News Home

Fitness - Heart Rate Monitor

February 15 2011

This weeks fitness section talks briefly about the use of heart rate monitors and the benefits it can add to your workouts. Without knowing your heart rate during a workout, it is hard to know what 'zone' you are in or if you are accomplishing what your intending to do. You may be wasting your time because your heart rate is not elevated enough, or simply it is to high. Heart rate monitoring is important for active recovery sessions, longer fat burning routines, as well as high intensity workouts. There are different training zones that your body reacts to that are important to understand while using monitors, as well as knowing what your max heart rate is. Active recovery - Shorter aerobic sessions with low HR, typically under 120 beats per min. Zone 1 - 60-65% of max HR. Aids in the development and efficiency with very high volume, low stress work. Very long sessions improve the burning and storage of fats. Zone 2 - 65-75% Like zone one this aids in the development and efficiency of calorie burning, with high volume, moderate stress work. This is a important intensity for establishing a solid fitness base for all riders. Zone 3 - 72-82% Development of aerobic capacity and endurance with moderate volume of work at a controlled intensity. Intervals can be added with Zones 1 or 2 to increase intensity while maintaining larger volume. Zone 4 - 82-89% Typical hard intensity of most racers. Useful as preparation, to simulate race pace. These sessions are smaller in volume, but typically achieve the same results. Zone 5 - 89-94% This is the raising of your anaerobic threshold, improvement of lactate acid clearance and adaptation to race speed. This zone will be achieved in controlled periods with shortened intervals of zone 1-2. Zone 6 - 94-100% High intensity interval training to increase maximum power and improve lactate production. Should be done only when completely recovered from previous workout to be able to hit this zone. Heart rates are not the best guide for this type of training. Intensity should be such that the effort can just be held until the end of the interval. Hit this zone on feel and use heart rate for feedback. Hopefully this provides a baseline understanding for those new to using heart rate monitors, and will assist you in further pursuing improvements to your program. Stay posted to for tomorrow's nutrition section. Thanks for reading!