By Kim Pietro
Increase motivation. Track Progress over time. Real time feedback.
What’s super cool about MyZone Heartrate Training?
1- The app is free
2- It works anywhere (yardwork, hiking, the gym, walking the dog)
3- Stores 16 hours of data so you don’t have to carry your smart device with you
4- You can get feedback and comments from trainers, coaches or people with whom you connect
5- You can name your workouts, add photos and it’s very simple to use
Why so Blue? 60-69% (Base zone: long, slow, easy workout)
• This is a moderate, warm-up zone and builds an aerobic base for beginners. It’s good for a recovery workout or a long duration workout.
• It builds vascularity, blood supply, oxygen and nutrients to working muscles.
• It improves your ability to use fat as a fuel source and is also helpful in making sure you are not overtraining in higher zones all the time.
• The faster you can recover to blue or green zones after working in higher intensity zones like yellow or red, the more efficient your heart becomes, helping you continue in your training progress.
Green with envy? 70-79% (Aerobic = target heartrate zone)
• Aerobic training burns fat. The green zone burns a greater PERCENTAGE of fat (not amount) than the higher intensities (yellow/red).
• In the green zone, the body burns about 50% of calories from fat. Yellow/red zone is around 35% because you’re burning more carbohydrates.
• This zone makes you an efficient machine and makes it easier to perform the exercise you are doing.
• You burn calories in green only while you are exercising because recovery only takes several minutes. A few minutes after you stop, your body maintains its normal living caloric expenditure.
What it doesn’t do:
• The green zone is not good for building or maintaining your body’s fat burning tools. Why? Because it doesn’t require your muscle tissue to last.
• The green zone doesn’t raise or improve your metabolism. Since aerobic training doesn’t require your muscle tissue to last, it doesn’t help build or maintain it and therefore it doesn’t contribute to an increased metabolism while at rest. In fact, when you do aerobic training and are burning calories, your body adapts by slowing down your metabolism, helping you store more fat. Yikes! So now what?
What about Yellow? 80-89% (Anaerobic zone)
• Training in the yellow zone increases calorie burn for hours after you’re done. Why? Because your metabolism remains high after a yellow zone workout. It’s known as EPOC (post-exercise oxygen consumption). It may take several hours for your body to recover.
• So, if your post-exercise oxygen consumption remains higher after a yellow zone workout, it’s an additional expenditure of calories.
• Can you prevent your body from adapting? Yes. Interval training (Think 6-weekExpress Train program, Combat, Attack) and High Intensity Interval Training (MOVE IT) alternate periods of high intensity with lower intensity. You can do more work in the same period of time than you could otherwise do. This allows you to make progress and you can continually make intervals harder, shorten recovery, or work at faster speeds.
Where does yellow come up short?
• Your yellow system is fast, but it’s less efficient. Your body has to clear lactate from the blood and working muscles and process it back to useable fuels. You have to be careful or your body will get behind in its ability to do its job.
Is Big Red safe? 90-100% (Redline zone)
• In general, yes. When you push high into yellow and into the red zone, the blood concentration (lactic acid) begins to rapidly increase. It happens faster than it can be removed. By working just below this level, you can decrease the pace at which you begin to produce too much lactic acid for your body to manage.
• Think of it this way… when you get off the couch to run a marathon, your threshold/red zone might be 00:15:00 minutes per mile. Working out in upper yellow or lower end of the red zone improves your fitness level, and as a result, your threshold improves which means you can burn fuel more efficiently (and your pace will get faster in the marathon example).
What’s the downside?
• You’re working on borrowed time. And once you reach your threshold, it takes hours for your body to recover.
• When you go above threshold, you “hit the wall” from high levels of blood lactate. When you demand energy faster than your aerobic system can produce, your glycolytic energy system picks up the slack. When you’re working out and you still need a little more push, the body starts to outpace the clearing process and blood lactate accumulates in the muscle.
• Too long in the red zone and you will hinder your muscles ability to contract. You’ll be forced to slow down or stop.
Every training zone has benefits. Think about and discuss your goals with your trainers or instructors so that you can use the MyZone heart rate training tool as a way to help you achieve your goals. When you’re in the gym doing your workouts, wear your belt so you can see in real-time what zone you are working in. Most important, do workouts and programs that are fun and will help you move forward in your fitness journey. We are here to help you!
**Kim Pietro is a USA Triathlon Coach and National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Trainer. Kim is certified in RPM, BodyAttack, BodyPump, GRIT, CXWorx & BodyCombat. She is a four-time Ironman & 25-time half Ironman, including qualifying and competing in the 70.3 Ironman World Championships. A former professional athlete and Division I first-team All American Athlete from the University of South Carolina, she graduated with a degree in Exercise Science and holds a MS in Higher Education and a MBA in Finance. Kim is an Assistant Dean in the School of Information Studies at SU. Email Kim directly at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.