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Zone Training Intervals
Made Simple
There are many components to effective
conditioning programs for athletes, but all
programs need to take into consideration
Specificity and Overload Principals. Specificity
states that the body will adapt to the specific
demands placed on it and the Overload
Principal teaches us that to continually adapt,
the body must be put under stress that exceeds
its current capabilities. So what does that
mean? Athletes need to challenge themselves
with varieties of intervals.
Zone Training is an effective method for
improved cardiorespiratory performance. It is
basically interval training with emphasis on
working through 3 Heart Rate Training Zones.
This information is not new to many of use, but
it is worthy of repeating since it provides good
results and can help prevent injury and
overtraining while creating a more challenging
cardiorespiratory workout.
Zone Training uses three heart rate zones.
First, find your maximum heart rate or HRmax.
Use the simple formula of 220 minus your age
and apply that to each of the zones. Below are
the three Zones.
Zone 1 65-75% of your HRmax
Zone 2 80-85% of your HRmax
Zone 3 86-90% of your HR max
A sample three day training program would be
like this:
Day 1 30-60 minutes Zone 1
Day 2 Zone 1 warm up for 10 minutes,
30 minutes in Zone 2 and a cool down in Zone
Day 3 Zone 1 warm up for 5 minutes.
One minute in Zone 2 followed by one minute in
Zone 3, repeat that pattern up to 5 times with a
2-3 minute rest in Zone 1. Continue repeating
that pattern one or two more times. As training
progresses, the Zone 2 and 3 intervals can be
increased to 2 minutes. Find the pattern that
works best for you and creates a challenge.
Once a week try 30 second intervals in Zones 2
and 3 and monitor heart rate recovery. For peak
performance in season, give pre-season Zone
Training a try!
Cathy Lipski
Certified Personal Trainer and Pilates/Group
Exercise Instructor