Zone 2 Cardio – What is it?
Zone 2 cardio training is a type of exercise that focuses on training your cardiovascular system at a low to moderate intensity. This type of training is believed to be beneficial for improving endurance, burning fat, and reducing the risk of chronic diseases. But is it really worth it? In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of zone 2 cardio training. And find out if perhaps you’re training too hard?
First, let’s define what zone 2 cardio training is. This type of training is done at a lower intensity, where your heart rate is between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This intensity level is often described as a comfortable pace where you can have a conversation without feeling too out of breath. It’s typically done for longer periods of time, such as 30 minutes to an hour. And can include activities like running, cycling, or swimming.
Strengths of Zone 2
One of the main benefits of zone 2 cardio training is improved cardiovascular health and aerobic base. By training at a lower intensity, you can increase your heart and lung capacity, which can help you perform better during other activities. And reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and stroke. Additionally, zone 2 training can improve your body’s ability to use stored fat as fuel during exercise. Having an improved aerobic base will allow you to recover better during higher intensities and reduce the chances of injury.
Another benefit of zone 2 cardio training is that it’s relatively low-impact and easy on the joints. Compared to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or other forms of high-impact exercise. Zone 2 training is gentler on the body and may be more sustainable for individuals with joint pain or injuries.
Weaknesses of Zone 2
However, one potential drawback of zone 2 cardio training is that it isn’t as effective for hypertrophy or improving speed and power. If your fitness goals involve building muscle or improving performance in high-intensity activities like sprinting or weightlifting. Then zone 2 training won’t be the best approach for you.
Another potential issue with zone 2 training is that it can be time-consuming. Because it’s done at a lower intensity, you may need to exercise for longer periods of time. So you can achieve the same calorie burn or cardiovascular benefits as higher intensity exercise.
How to use Zone 2
Ok, so how do you find your Zone 2 training zone?
First use this formula ……..208 – (0.7 x age).
We then take 60% of this number as our minimum and 70% as our maximum
So for me its 208-(0.7×37) = 182
182 x 0.6 = 109
182 x 0.7 = 127
So my Zone 2 trying zone is between heart rates of 109 and 127.
In conclusion, zone 2 cardio training can be a worthwhile exercise approach for improving cardiovascular health, burning fat, and maintaining joint health. However, its not the best approach for all fitness goals, and it can be time-consuming. As with any exercise program, it’s important to consider your individual goals, fitness level, and personal preferences, but if you want to see improved cardiovascular performance then zone 2 could be the way to go.