The truth is that most people overtrain when doing their workouts. This not only can lead to injury, it’s just not sustainable. Incorporating zone two workouts into your regimen may be just the spark you need to help you stay consistent with your workouts.
5 Major Benefits of Zone 2 Training:
- Psychological Boost: Zone 2 training makes it easier to stay consistent, by not putting so much psychological strain on “getting out the door” for a workout. Since intensity is kept low, it’s easier to get your mind and body to do it. This allows you to maintain consistency in your training which is where the magic happens!
- Fat Burning: Exercising in Zone 2 teaches the body to burn fat more effectively and efficiently.
- Improved Endurance: Regular Zone 2 training sessions help build endurance by increasing the number of energy-producing mitochondria in your muscles. This allows you to sustain exercise for longer periods.
- Enhanced Recovery: Zone 2 training promotes active recovery, allowing your body to repair and adapt to previous high-intensity workouts. It helps reduce muscle soreness and speeds up recovery time.
- Injury Prevention: By exercising at a lower intensity, Zone 2 training reduces the stress placed on your joints and muscles, decreasing the risk of overuse injuries.
How to Find Out Your Zone 2?
One commonly used approach is based on heart rate, where Zone 2 is typically defined as a percentage range of your maximum heart rate (MHR). Here's a general guideline for calculating your Zone 2 heart rate:
Calculate your maximum heart rate (MHR): Subtract your age from 220. For example, if you're 30 years old, your MHR would be 190 (220 - 30 = 190).
Determine your Zone 2 range: Zone 2 typically falls within 60-70% of your MHR. To calculate the lower and upper limits of your Zone 2 range, multiply your MHR by 0.6 and 0.7, respectively. For instance, if your MHR is 190, your Zone 2 range would be approximately 114-133 beats per minute (190 x 0.6 = 114 and 190 x 0.7 = 133).
Remember, these calculations provide a general starting point, but individual variations may occur. Factors such as fitness level, health conditions, and personal preferences should also be taken into account. Regardless, having a heart rate monitor will give you a general goal range to maintain.
The beauty of training at zone two is its simplicity. You can hop on a bike, rower or ski erg and just stay at your range while listening to your favorite tunes or podcast. Or you can just go out for a walk around the neighborhood.
At Studio K-Fit, we prioritize high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in most of our classes because of its numerous benefits. However, we also encourage clients to incorporate Zone 2 training in between their hard K-Fit workouts. This allows the body to recover while staying active. It also prevents overuse injuries that can result from back-to-back high intensity workouts.
Since the intensity is lower, make sure to increase the volume of the workout session. It’s ok to do Zone 2 for 1-2 hours (think weekend hike).
A blend between both types of training will give you the best results both physiologically and metabolically.
If you want a custom training program with the right blend of workouts please reach out to one of our coaches at K-Fit, and we’ll help you.
Stay charged up!