Let’s say you’ve gone to the gym to do some exercise on the upright bike. You’ve adjusted the seat height, strapped your feet in, and are ready to start.

On the bike to your left is a guy sweating away and peddling as if his life depended on it, to your right a girl peddling like she’s out for a gentle ride on sunny day, reading a magazine while she does it. She doesn’t look out of breath so you think you should work harder than her, but the thought of training like the guy to your left doesn’t seem like much fun. https://www.healthhelpzone.com/

Should you just aim for somewhere between the two?

That all depends on your fitness goals.

It could be that the guy is doing some high intensity OBLA or interval training, while the girl is just warming up before her workout, or cooling down after it. Either way it’s not important, your own fitness goal is all that matters, and your fitness goal determines which training zone you should be working in.

Each is a different percentage range of your maximum heart rate. They all improve fitness but each has a slightly different effect on the body and the changes it will cause, except for 55% of your max heart rate or less. This is far too easy and useful only for warming up or cooling down.

• 55% – 70% of your max heart rate is known as the Moderate Health zone and is a good place to start if you have a low fitness level. It’s enough to get you out of breath but won’t exhaust you and put you off.

• 70% – 80% of your max heart rate is known as the Fitness Zone. It’s harder and more productive but recommended for general fitness and weight loss. It gives the most benefit without it being so uncomfortable that you stop enjoying it, or even stop exercising altogether.

• 80% – 90% of your max heart rate is known as the OBLA Zone. OBLA stands for Onset of Blood Lactate Intolerance. This is where you’re working so hard, the amount of lactic acid in your body is beyond the level where it can be effectively be dealt with, so it starts to build up. Regularly exercising in this zone causes your body to become more efficient at getting rid of it.

• 90% – 100% of your max heart rate is known as the Anaerobic Zone. Anaerobic means ‘in the absence of oxygen’ and only the very fit can get into this zone for more than a few seconds at a time. Here you’re working so hard that you can’t get enough oxygen into your muscles for them to function normally, so instead they have to get their energy without it.

Any exercise at 55% of max heart rate or higher will help fitness levels and burn extra calories, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of exercising it makes sense to get the most from your workouts by training in the highest zone you can manage.

David Hields is a qualified Personal Trainer and writer who has 20 years experience of dieting, exercising and fitness. He has also studied psychology for over 10 years and uses all of this knowledge to help people achieve their health & fitness goals.


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