Burn Fat and Tone Up With Heart-Rate Based Training

Research indicates that high-intensity interval training is one of the best activities for fat burning, but new research also indicates that it affects the primary hormones that drive your physiology — and which can make or break your results.

Heart-rate training benefits everyone, from the beginner trying to lose weight, to individuals seeking to improve their cardiovascular fitness, to the figure competitor preparing for the next competition. This is one of the best methods to measure training intensity during workouts. The key to making progress is to elevate your heart rate into the correct training zone, so your effort matches your goals. 

Tracking your heart rate while training is a great way to measure the intensity and ensure you get the best results from each workout. Your body reacts differently to each heart rate-zone. For example, mounting evidence suggests that HIIT is one of the most effective workouts to boost HGH response — specifically in women.

Women have a higher release of HGH in response to intense exercise than men, likely due to higher estrogen levels. Workouts that leave you breathless, cause that “burn” and push your limits physically will amplify HGH response. This means that if you want to promote the essential hormones that will boost your metabolism, build muscle, and burn fat, elevating the heart-rate during training is vital. 

How To Train With Heart Rate Zones

Heart rate devices will monitor your heart rate and give you the results in beats per minute, or BPM. 

In general, people measure heart rate to give them a better understanding of their overall health and to keep them on track with fitness goals. For example, knowing your resting heart rate is important because it shows how hard your heart has to work when you are not exercising. Additionally, knowing what your maximum heart rate, or MHR, is while working out will help you understand when you are training at your full potential. 

MHR will be necessary when working with heart rate zones. An easy way to calculate your MRH is to subtract your age from 220. You will use a percentage of this number when determining training intensity for each zone. One of the benefits of using the SHOCK app is that we do all of this work for you! SHOCK automatically calculates your MHR, and using our unique formula determines the optimal heart-rate range in BPM for each training zone of your workout.

What Exactly Are Heart Rate Zones 

So you understand basic heart rate but now want to dive into the world of heart rate zones. There are five primary heart rate zones, and each zone is ideal for a specific type of training. 

Understanding heart rate zones will help you tailor your workouts for your specific fitness goals. These are the five heart rate zones and a short description of each: 

HEART RATE ZONE 1: VERY LIGHT (50–60% OF MHR)

At Low Intensity, your heart rate should be between 50-60% of your MHR. This is a very low-intensity zone. Training at this intensity will boost your recovery and get you ready to train in the higher heart rate zones.

HEART RATE ZONE 2: LIGHT (60–70% OF MHR)

Exercising in heart rate zone 2 feels light, and you should be able to go on for a long time at this intensity.

This is the zone that improves your general endurance: your body will get better at oxidizing – burning – fat and your muscular fitness will increase along with your capillary density.

Training in heart rate zone 2 is an essential part of every runner’s program. Keep at it, and you’ll reap the benefits later.

HEART RATE ZONE 3: MODERATE (70–80% OF MHR )

Heart rate zone 3 is especially effective for improving the efficiency of blood circulation in the heart and skeletal muscles. This is the zone in which that pesky lactic acid starts building up in your bloodstream.

Training in this HR zone will make moderate efforts easier and improve your efficiency.

HEART RATE ZONE 4: HARD (80–90% OF MHR )

Training at a heart rate between 80-90% of your max is where the going gets tough! You’ll be breathless, burning, and sweaty. But don’t stop! Because this is the zone where the body releases important hormones that burn fat and build muscle tone. Your body will get better at using carbohydrates for energy, and you’ll be able to withstand higher levels of lactic acid in your blood for longer.

HEART RATE ZONE 5: MAXIMUM (90–100% OF MHR)

Heart rate zone 5 is your maximal effort. Your heart and your blood and respiratory system will be working at their maximal capacity. Lactic acid will build up in your blood, and after a few minutes, you won’t be able to continue at this intensity.

If you’re just starting out or have only been training for a brief amount of time, you probably won’t have to train at this intensity. If you’re an athlete or advanced level, look into incorporating interval training into your training plan for peak fitness performance.

How to Incorporate Heart-Rate Zones Into Your Training

Each of the heart rate zones can benefit your training, so you’ll want to mix it up during the week. Don’t get stuck working out at the same intensity or running the same distance every time. Create a balanced fitness routine where you train in all five heart rate zones.

SHOCK uses multiple heart-rate zones during each workout to ensure you get the benefits of each training zone. You’ll receive a unique target heart-rate, which fluctuates and adapts to the intensity or challenge of each circuit. At the end of the strength circuit, SHOCK will tell you whether or not you reached your heart rate goal. If you didn’t reach your goal, we’ll provide training tips to help you!

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