Power of Heart Rate Training

In the space of new-age workout, one specific phrase has started receiving immense attention i.e. heart rate training. While the athletes or mid-stage workout fanatics may be aware of the term, for a beginner it’s no less than an obfuscating jargon. The reasons behind it are not enigmatic at all. The core value of heart rate training or HR training is a sole science-driven method which has been vigorously used for professional athletes for a long time, nevertheless started influencing artisans’ lives recently. The credit goes to popular fitness studios like Orangetheory Fitness whose entire fitness principles encircle the imperatives of heart rate training. So, in this article, we’ve carried out a detailed discussion unfolding various aspects related to HR training method, HR zones, and their impact along with breaking down Orangetheory Fitness’s exclusive heart rate zone charts decluttering all confusion

What is Heart Rate Training?

Heart rate training is an athletic method which measures the overall effectiveness of the heart while working out or engaged in a high-intensity activity that involves very fast BPM (Beats Per Minute). In simple terms, heart rate training can be defined as the total Beats Per Minute during a workout. As calculated from BPM heart rate training often is equated with MAF or Maximum Aerobic Training

While the definition of HR training sounds quite doable in terms of calculation, it appears as confusing enough. Because the ‘intensity’ of heart rate varies for every individual. Therefore, it’s not surprising that while drilling the method you will come across numerous measurement indices. Now, while decoding the meaning of the word one must keep in mind that HRT is subtly yet significantly different from HIIT, even if that sounds temptingly similar

How to Measure Heart Rate?

With the anecdote above, it is already clear that the measurement of HRT is some sort of a riddle. Yet there are two simple and standardized techniques that are profusely used for it

Popular & Free Method: This is the simplest way to go. You don’t need to lean on any scientific method for this. All you have to do is subtract your age from the mathematic constant value 220. For example, if you are 30 your BMP or HRT will be 190 (220-30), if you are 40 your HRT will be 180, and vice-versa. Although not 100% accurate, this method receives wholehearted acceptance from commoners

Lab Methods: Another method incorporates lab testing which divulges into various types namely VO2 max, Lactate Threshold, etc. These techniques involve specific instrumental usages and thereby promise maximum accuracy. However, to avoid any kind of mathematical aberrations Oranagetheory relies on its in-house standardized techniques to measure the HR rate

What Are Heart Rate Zones?

Based on heart rate or BPM variability American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has delineated five HR zones which have been acclaimed globally. Each zone is marked with a percentage indicating the kinds of heart rate intensities in connection with physical activities affined with it. 

Zone 1: This is the base layer which indicates an average of 50% to 60% HR max involvement. Thus activities like light exercise namely free movements, walking, and jogging do coil in this layer. This layer is more for stretching and relaxing than fat-burning or boosting BMR.

Zone 2: This stage is another called heading into fat burning or prepping up for HIIT movements. Zone 2 involves an overall 51% to 70% HR max involvement. While the average HR intensity is >57%, the maximum activity settled below 70%. Here, the average BMP is 131 to 137/ minute for a 40-year-old.

Zone 3: Zone 3 is the advanced fat-burning stage which is also referred to as ‘Base Pace’ by Orangetheory Fitness. Here the trainee burns fats and carbohydrates extensively with an average sustainable pace for 20 to 30 mins max involving >76% HR max rate.

Zone 4: The vigorous zone which involves >84% HR intensity. In the guidebook of Orangetheory Fitness, this zone is marked as Orange which ultimately strives to achieve the EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) stage, the core value of the physiological post-burn method. It is said by Orangetheory Fitness’s coaches sustaining 12 minutes in the Orange zone shoots ultimate magic where not only does the residue fat melt away but invigorates in-built stamina at rocket speed.

Zone 5: The last stage which involves 92% to 100% HR max involvement. This stage can only be mounted after diligent practice and is also called the ‘All Out’ phase. As per Orangetheory Fitness’s coaches sustaining in the zone even for 1 minute is like a boon.

A Quick Glance at Orangetheory’s HRT Zones

Zone 1The grey zone involves 50% to 60% HR involvement comes along with light activity.
Zone 2The blue zone or the warmup zone. The fast physical movements are indicative of early fat-burning and involve up to 70% HR intensity rate.
Zone 3The green zone or the standard one, accelerates fat burning and metabolic rates counting up to 83% HR max rate.
Zone 4The orange zone or the prime one is marked by Orangetheory Fitness. Withstanding the capacity for 12 minutes in the zone marked as maverick move makers.
Zone 5The red zone or the All Out zone which can only be achieved after arduous training with diligence and time

Note: Orangetheory Fitness always encourages fitness enthusiasts to be deluged by the pros of HRT workout offering affordable membership plans starting from $69/month and a free trial class.

Benefits of Heart Rate Training

While the upside of heart rate training is visible from the discussion above, Orangetheory Fitness still highlights some of its most prominent impacts revealed below.

High Endurance: Heart rate training helps improve cardiovascular efficiency by strengthening the heart muscle. This leads to better endurance as the heart can pump blood more effectively, delivering oxygen and nutrients to the muscles during prolonged periods of activity without fatigue

Intense Fat Burning: Heart rate training optimizes the body’s ability to burn fat by keeping the heart rate within specific target zones. Exercising at the right intensity encourages the body to utilize fat as a primary fuel source, making it an effective strategy for weight management and fat loss.

Improved Stamina: By gradually increasing the intensity and duration of workouts based on heart rate zones, heart rate training enhances overall stamina. Consistent training within appropriate heart rate ranges improves the body’s ability to sustain physical activity for longer periods, delaying the onset of fatigue

Higher Metabolic Potencies: Heart rate training can elevate metabolic rate both during and after exercise. Working out at higher heart rate zones stimulates the metabolism, leading to increased calorie burn not only during the workout but also during the recovery period. This can contribute to weight loss and improved metabolic efficiency over time.

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