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Aerobic Training and Fitness and Targeted Heart Rate Training

Aerobic Training increases your bodies Oxygen consumption, which helps your body to burn energy and strengthens your heart and cardiovascular system. To achieve the most from your aerobic training you need to ensure that you are working within your optimum training zone which is between 75-90% of your MHR . You can find your approximate maximal heart rate by subtracting your age from 220.

You can use targeted heart-rate training to help your training. Training in a heart rate zone (percentage of your maximal heart rate) appropriate to your goals, the type and duration of activity and fitness level will greatly benefit your aerobic fitness. You can measure your heart rate by either using a heart rate monitor or after slowing down count your heart rate at your neck on wrist for 10 seconds and multiply this by. This will calculate your approximate heart rate and indicate which zone you are working in, you can adjust your training accordingly.

Targeted Heart Rate Zones

Low Intensity Zone

Below 60% - This should challenge beginners but for those with high levels of cardiovascular fitness this should feel relaxed.

This Zone is:

  • Ideal for warming up and down
  • Appropriate for more experienced athletes as recovery between intervals in interval training
  • Good for beginners looking to improve their aerobic fitness

Additional information: Fat and blood glucose are the key energy sources and the number of calories on average will be moderate.

Moderate-Intensity Zone

By lifting your heart rate to 60%-70% of your MHR will burn more calories (including fat) than training at a lower level. Training at this level will improve your general health and your cardio vascular system.

This zone is:

  • Good for advanced beginners for doing interval training
  • Ideal for intermediates and fitter athletes for the recoveries during interval training.

Additional information: Fat, blood glucose and muscle glycogen are the key energy sources and the number of calories on average will be greater than in low-intensity training.

Moderate to High-Intensity Zone

This level is your anaerobic threshold, a level at you cannot sustain for long and should have difficulty carrying out a conversation. Training in this zone builds cardiovascular endurance and burns more body fat than the lower-intensity zones.

This zone is:

  • Good for highly conditioned athletes
  • Ideal for intermediates doing interval training.

Additional information: Muscle glycogen, and fat (for conditioned athletes) are the key energy sources and the number of calories burned from fat are greater than in the lower-intensity zones.

High-Intensity Zone

The high intensity training zone is about 85%-90% of your MHR. This is a pace that you cannot sustain for more than several seconds. During this type of training your body builds up more lactic acid than it can remove it, causing you to tire quickly. This type of training will improve your speed and power.

This zone is:

  • Ideal for very fit athletes
  • Good for intermediates doing interval work for short periods.

Additional information: Muscle glycogen and muscle protein are the key energy sources. This type of training will be combined with lower-intensity levels during a training session so this will maximize the total calories burned and also burn body fat.