Get to Know your Heart Rate Zones



By Molly Pfeiffer, B.S., NSCA-CSCS

In between your resting heart rate and your max heart rate lie different heart rate zones with very different adaptations and energy requirements. The MYZONE heart rate monitors help color coordinate these different zones, but these zones can be determined with any monitor and a calculator. Below, we go into detail on each zone and what it entails.

Blue: Aerobic Capacity Zone (60-69%)

Training aerobically means training with the presence of oxygen. In summation, this means that as long as you stay in this zone your muscles will never be in oxygen deprivation. These training zones are meant for our long, slow, distance running in which we should be able to hold a conversation throughout the duration. Training in this zone targets fat burning, the main energy source of low intensity cardio or strength training.

Green: Moderate-Intensity (70-79%)

Our green zone is a transitional period between the use of fats and our aerobic metabolism into carbohydrates and our anaerobic glycolysis and carbohydrates.

Yellow: Anaerobic Threshold Zone (80%-89%)

Training anaerobically means training without the presence of sufficient oxygen. This limits our ability to perform for a long duration in this zone as our lungs and energy systems are unable to keep up with the muscle’s oxygen demand. These zones are reached in peaks of both interval and circuit training. When training in this zone, our main energy source is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are able to be quickly freed up and delivered to the muscles for use, unlike fat. However, our liver and musculature have a limited storage supply. This is another reason as to why we are unable to maintain work in this zone.

Red: Maximal Heart Rate Zone (90% +)

Your maximal heart rate can be determined by subtracting your current age from 220. This number is what we base our other zone thresholds after. Our maximal heart rate zone is achieved through our maximal output training. These are typically high intensity exercises like sprinting that are held for a duration of ten seconds or less. Very minimal training is done in these zones. Your Maximal Heart Rate Zone is fueled directly via carbohydrates.

The largest takeaway is that different health and wellness goals must rely on different needs and adaptations that are tailored to the individual! Take the time to get to know the work you’re putting in!

Interested in purchasing a MYZONE Heart Rate Monitor? Contact your LifeStart GM!

Follow Us