Sport tester is a great helper, but if we don’t understand the information it gives us, it’s not really helpful. The most of sport testers work with training zones, which are ranges (given in percents from maximal heart rate) in which we should be in order to accomplish certain goals.
The majority of sport testers works with three basic training zones (some have five zones, but they just enhance the basic three zones). Sport testers calculate these zones from your maximal heart rate, which is being calculated from your personal information, such
as age, weight and so on. Or you can calculate it on your own, which is described in this article.
Zone 1: light training load
This zone moves in the range between 60-70% of your maximal heart rate. Note: Different manufacturers use different percentages. However, they don’t vary that much. For example, Sigma calls this zone „fat zone“.
This zone has the most effective fat burning (with longer activities). You can get into this zone just with walking or trotting. The activity is not so challenging and you can stay in this zone for a long time. It’s recommended for beginners, or those who lose weight or for faster healing after injury.
The fat in this zone can make up to 60% of the total burned calories.
Zone 2: medium training load
This zone moves in the range between 70-80% of the maximal heart rate. Note: Sigma call this zone „fit zone“.
This zone is ideal for improving your condition. Unlike zone 1, there’s less effective fat burning, but your condition gets better, in particular the work of the cardiorespiratory system. The training load is bigger and organism burns calories faster. However, it also needs to provide energy much faster, which can be done with sugars and their derivatives (glycogen, ATP) and partly fats.
Zone 3: high training load
A high training load is in the range between 80-90% of the maximal heart rate.
Training in such demanding zone is recommended only for short training. The training happens around anaerobic threshold and with these intensities it’s getting higher. That improves adaptation of your heart and the whole cardiorespiratory system to a higher training load.
The training load in this zone (and higher zones) is very difficult and intense, the organism starts to operate on an „oxygen debt“, where it can’t degrade lactate created in your muscles without access to oxygen. Training intensive like this one should be short (in a matter of minutes). However, the duration depends on the skills of individuals.