Baby, What’s Your Zone? How To Use Your Heart Rate Monitor
LOOK AT ALL THE PRETTY COLORS.
Believe it or not, those pretty colors actually mean something. I know, you probably thought they were just there for you to admire as you look for something, anything to distract you from the fact that you’re only in ROUND FOUR?!
Well suck it up, because these heart rate monitors that you see on the screen are serving to help you intensify your workout where it needs to be intensified – and to pull yourself back when you need to recover.
Baby, what’s your zone?
To get the most out of your workout, you want to be working within the right zone. Now, these different zones denote different intensities. You never want to be in one zone the entire time – that defeats the point of kickboxing. With the heart rate monitor, you’ll see which zone you are in by the color on the screen.
The gray zone means you’re resting, taking a nap, or maybe even dead. Maybe not quite that low intensity, but gray is where you will find yourself when you very first put on your monitor and you’re just sitting around waiting for class to start.
The blue zone is one step above resting. When you’re walking around or laughing really hard at one of my jokes, you’ll likely get into the blue zone. Depending on your level of conditioning, you may even drop to the blue zone in between rounds during longer rest periods.
Now we’re starting to see some action. The green zone is a good place to be during the warm up and stretching, where we get the heart rate up a bit more and the body is warmer. This is also where you can drop in between rounds as your heart rate recovers from a burnout.
Oh boy, now we’re heating up. The orange zone is where you want to spend the majority of your workout. The kickboxing rounds should take you into this zone, which is great for fat burning and anaerobic work. Some people call this the “uncomfortable zone.” Because you should be uncomfortable! You’re working hard, but at a more manageable rate that you can sustain for the entire round.
OOOOOOOOWEEEEEE it is getting serious now. The red zone is your all-out effort zone, and you should try to get here during each burnout at the end of the round. Please note that you should not be chasing the red zone during your entire workout. Seeing that bright red square with your name on it may provide you with a thrill of accomplishment, but you don’t have to spend a ton of time there. In fact, it’s humanly impossible to spend too much time there. It’s really only sustainable during the burns, where you are working at your highest possible intensity.
If it’s really hard for you to get into the red zone, GOOD. It should be! This is 92-100% of your maximum heart rate. You’re not going to get there by hanging around at the same intensity you used during the whole round, so don’t come crying to us to change your heart rate zone so that you can get in the red more easily. Try working a little bit harder, pushing yourself just a little bit more, and you’ll get there! If you find that you’re in the red nearly the entire time, we’ll have to play with your settings a bit to make sure we can achieve the right zones.
Now that you know where you should be during your workout, you can better utilize your heart rate monitor. Plus, it’s always fun to have a little bit of friendly competition (“Oh, Trainer Matt is in the red and I’m not?! I DON’T THINK SO”).
If you haven’t snagged yours yet, hop on this bandwagon! There’s plenty of room.