Last week I talked about the importance of knowing your HRmax and being aware of its relationship to age. This week I’m here to explain how to factor your HRmax into an optimal workout for you and being “in the zone.” What is the zone? The zone is where you want to be when working out, and you get to choose where that is.
The recommended 150 minutes per week of moderate aerobic activity would be low intensity/easy, and 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity would be medium intensity/tempo.
Now we have to bring up age again. Since HRmax is age dependent, it makes sense that age also defines your zones. For example, a moderate intensity workout for someone 20 years your junior could put your HR into the high intensity active zone, above 90% of HRmax, for a sustained period [not good]. This is something you should be aware of especially if the younger instructor appears to be getting a good workout themselves.
In order for you to have a safe workout, the intensity should be based on your optimal active zones, not those of the instructor. Peer fitness makes it easy because the classes have been designed with you in mind. The more fit/veteran participants know to kick it up a notch, and the less fit/newer participants won’t stress out mentally and physically when they are following along and “trying” to keep up.
You choose your zone based on 3 dynamic criteria – your fitness level, how your body feels, and what your goals are.