Your Heart Rate Zone Sweet Spot

This is such a challenging topic to appeal to the masses, but I took a poll of my friends from Facebook and customers, and most wanted to know what their "heart rate zone sweet spot" should be.  Before we get into the nitty gritty, I'll start off with the enormous caveat that everyone is different, has differing body compositions, physical abilities/limitations, which ALL play a role in your heart rate and where YOU should be when it comes to your physical activity.  That being said….

As you go about your cardio training workouts, one thing that you want to me mindful of is what heart rate zone you’re working at. It’s going to be important that you are making an active effort to work at an appropriate heart rate zone for the goals that you want to accomplish as this very much will determine whether you see the results that you’re after.

So this said, what is your heart rate zone sweet spot? What heart rate should you be aiming for with each workout that you complete? Let’s look at some critical points to know.

AEROBIC BENEFITS

First things first, if you’re looking to improve your endurance level, thus target aerobic conditioning, you’ll want to be obtaining a target heart rate of around 60-75% of your maximum. This will have you working hard enough that it will definitely be a challenging workout, but not so hard that you have trouble keeping pace. As aerobic workouts generally sustain over a longer period of time, you don't want to put in maximum effort and risk burn out, after just a minute or two.

ANAEROBIC BENEFITS

For those who want anaerobic benefits (think HIIT workouts, Tabata, MetCon's, etc), that is they want to push things to the max and improve their speed, power, and really boost their metabolic rate, aiming for a target heart rate of around 85-90% of your max your sweet spot. Since you'll be working your butt off in this state, be aware that you’ll likely only sustain the pace for 1-2 minutes at most. This is what we call interval training or high intensity interval training (HIIT), when targeting this heart rate zone.

Ok, snap, snap, wake up!  Let's talk body types. 

MESOMORPHS

If you have a mesomorph body type, that means you are naturally more muscular.  As a mesomorph, you’ll want to do more of an interval training workout, as this type of physical activity lends well to this specific body type, as it’s strong and powerful. Aim for 85-90% of your maximum heart rate, here as well.

ENDOMORPHS

Mesomorph-Ectomorph-Endomorphs-3-three-body-types

If you’re an endomorph, that is you naturally tend to gain body fat quite easily, then you’ll want to target both ends of the spectrum. These people are best served by using a combination of cardio training that includes those done at 50-70% for a longer period of time, as well as the more intense variations to really get their metabolism higher. Balance the two to avoid overtraining.

ECTOMORPHS

Finally, the last group of people to consider are ectomorphs. These are those people who are going to be naturally skinny (you know the ones you curse at??) and usually could stand to gain a pound or two of lean muscle (and even fat in some cases). These people should be keeping cardio on the minimal side of things, and incorporate more strength training exercises. The cardio that they do perform should be more intense in nature as this variation is more anabolic, meaning it could help out with the muscle building process. Their cardio sessions should be limited to 15-20 minutes at most.

So there you have the general guide to target heart rate zones. Remember, not everyone is created equal and depending on your current body composition and physical abilities, it's always wise to consult with your physician before engaging in any strenuous activity, if you are new to fitness.   And with any workout, nutrition is ALWAYS going to be a significant part of your desired results. 

Your partner in health & fitness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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