Custom Heart Rate Zones

There are many ways how to analyse workouts, track progress and determine training intensity. Heart rate monitoring has been one of the most convenient ways for many coaches and athletes. Heart rate monitors are relatively cheap and the results are quite accurate.

In this article you will learn about:


Sportlyzer default heart rate configuration

By default, Sportlyzer uses 4 different training zones to determine and guide your training. Sports scientists have discovered that 4 zones are enough for a variety of sports and still easy to remember. If your coach prefers a different number of zones you can skip to the next chapter "Custom heart rate zones".

When you enter your age and gender, Sportlyzer automatically calculates predicted aerobic and anaerobic threshold heart rate values and training zones. When you know your exact threshold, you can change its values yourself in the "Settings" section of your profile.

Zone 0 - The easiest zone

This zone describes intensity that occurs when you are having a rest between exercises, chit-chat with your friends or during easier activities like bowling, golf, etc.

Your heart rate is so low that the impact of training is almost non-existent. Of course, there are exceptions like stretching, yoga or some warm up and cool down exercises.

Zone 1

You sweat and your breathing is a bit faster. At the same time, you can easily talk to your training mate. It may also cause light or low muscular strain. 

Zone 1 is best for improving your basic endurance and training your cardiac output and heart muscle. At the same time, it strengthens your immune system, reduces cholesterol level and blood pressure. As most of the energy produced within this zone comes from your body fat it improves the economy of your metabolism. Therefore, Zone 1 workouts are as important for those who need to lose weight as for those with competitive goals.

Zone 2

Working in this zone makes your breathing deeper and more rhythmic. Talking is possible only sentence by sentence. If you can’t talk more than word by word at a time, it means that your heart rate is too high for this zone. 

Training in Zone 2 increases your aerobic fitness. At this intensity, your body uses more energy from carbohydrates (sugar) and less from your body fat. As carbohydrates are the main energy for brain they need to be restored after the exercise. So, whenever you have a desire to eat a big bar of chocolate after your workout - this is the sign of depleted carbohydrates. Therefore, if you plan to lose weight, you should consider working out more in Zone 1. People who exercise for competition need this zone to improve their aerobic fitness. But again, crossing the upper limit is not suggested if not planned so.

Zone 3

Your breathing gets so hard that talking to your workout mate is possible only word by word. Your muscles get tired/stiff relatively fast. 

Zone 3 training improves your speed endurance and competition speed. Most of the energy comes from carbohydrates (sugar) and only a tiny part from your body fat, therefore this intensity zone is not suggested for people with health problems or overweight. Incorrect usage of Zone 3 training may cause over training. The total amount of this intensive training seldom makes up more than 15% of a successful workout plan. So if you want to train more in Zone 3, you should also increase your volumes in Zone 1 and Zone 2.


Custom heart rate zones

If you prefer a different configuration for your heart rate zones, you can visit the "Training zones" section of your account and edit the values and number of zones yourself.


Here you can see the Training Zone section of your account. 

You can create custom zones by clicking "Edit" on the top-right of the panel and selecting the "I want to use custom zones" checkbox.
You can add, remove and rename your custom zones.

Please give each zone an abbreviation, so you can recognize it later when you have to enter them in a workout.


Enter data with custom zones

Now that you started using custom heart rate zones - congratulations! But what changes did it bring? Well... here are some of the most important changes:

  1. Your heart rate configuration changed and so did your heart-rate chart below your training log.
  2. When you enter workouts manually, you have to enter your heart rate distribution manually. You will find these fields when you enter workouts.
  3. Imported workouts and other workouts, which are synced from a third party platform, are automatically analysed and read. E.g. when you sync a running session from Garmin Connect, Sportlyzer will automatically read your heart rate data and calculate your time in your custom heart rate zones. How awesome is that?