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Typical training heart rate zones:

Warm up or healthy heart zone- 50%-60% of your max heart rate. This is a good zone for someone who is out of shape or has heart problems to begin training. 

Fitness Zone- 60%-70% – This zone will burn more total calories than the warm up zone. The calories that are burned, 85% of calories burned are derived from fat. 

Aerobic Zone -70%-80% – This zone will strengthen your heart and is good for those who want to compete in an endurance sport.  Although this zone burns more total calories only 50% of them are derived from fat. 

Anaerobic zone– 80%-90% this is the zone which will improve your VO2max significantly. Drastic improvements can be seen in one’s overall cardiorespiratory system and will increase your ability to fight fatigue. This zone only burns about 15% of its calories from fat.  

Max effort zone– 90%-100% this zone will burn the highest number of calories and is very intense. Most people can only stay in this zone for short periods of time.  There is a high risk for injury when training at this zone and it’s recommended that you be in good shape and have been cleared by a physician. 


Setting up your fitness program is simple and easy. The FITT principle is an acronym that outlines all of the areas that should be considered on your program.  


F- Frequency – Determine how many days you are committed to follow your cardio respiratory program. If you are a beginner 2-3 days a week is sufficient. If you have been working out for a while, maybe adding a day is better for you. 

I-Intensity– To determine a healthy intensity, you should have some fitness testing or utilize THR calculators. Intensity will also be determined by your goals. Remember to train at a heart rate that is appropriate for your goals. 

T- Time– This is simply how much time you want to spend during each cardio session. 

T-Type– Find a mode of cardio that you enjoy and have fun. This could be walking, running, basketball, or even dancing. Find an activity that you enjoy and do it frequently. 

So your cardio program will be something like this

Biking               3 days a week                60%-70% of my Max heart rate             30 minutes

After a few weeks of this it is recommended that you revisit the FITT principle and progress your cardio program.  A method that I commonly use is:

Week 3- Increase Frequency

Week 4- Increase Intensity

Week 5- Increase Time

Week 6- Change the Type

You can continue to go through this cycle and endless amounts of time to keep your body guessing and expending more calories on a weekly basis. 


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