Get in the Zone

This says: "You're kicking a$$!"

hrzones2

A few days ago I went to LifeTime Fitness where I used to work as a Personal Trainer and got my heart rate zones re-assessed.  If I was computer savvy enough I would post my old testing results here but just to put these two pics up here was tedious enough (You have to click on them to enlarge them so you can actually read them).

I was really excited to see these zones because they have changed dramatically from where I used to be.

To summarize for those who are not familiar with heart rate training, the above results show what my heart rate in beats per minute is in each Zone.  There are 5 Zones.  You will see that I didn’t reach a Zone 5 because…well, why would I prolong the torture? Not only that, but the point was to get to my Zone 4,  which is the threshold – the point where someone stops burning a significant amount of fat and starts burning a significant amount of carbohydrates.  See that shaded area in the top pic?? That’s fat being burned off.

Nine or 10 months ago I was nowhere near 175 beats per minute in my Zone 4.  I was closer to 156.  A huge leap!  Makes sense since I wasn’t doing much in the way of high intensity a year ago.  Actually I was in crutches a year ago so I wasn’t doing much of anything at that time.  I had just done some recumbent/stationary bike as my main form of cardio after getting off the crutches.  It was killing me not to be able to do any running of any kind.

Nowadays, my cardio workouts are much SMARTER.  I was told by my test administrator Amanda that I would be wise to implement some recovery training once in a while (staying below that Zone 1) to give my system a break.  I like to describe it as keeping your foot on a gas pedal – you might be going FAST but are you really doing your body any favors by constantly “running” it into the ground?  You gotta take your foot off the gas and hit the brakes.  I was really fearful of over-training at this point in the game so I’m happy to see that I am NOT…..yet.  Had I not gotten tested I probably would just continue to hit it hard without getting in any recovery time.

The second pic shows the Zones and how many calories are being burned per minute as well as my Volume of Oxygen.  To make a long story short: the higher the Volume of Oxygen is, the better.  Again, I was nowhere in the 40’s prior to this test so yet another milestone conquered.

Of course it’s not all about the numbers.  As with any goal, the hard data is great to have but it’s also important to note the other Non-Number Related Victories:

  • Getting above 7mph on the treadmill during this test without passing out.  Granted it wasn’t for a long period of time but I’m amazed at how FAST I’m able to go, even for brief intervals, on the treadmill.  One of my first posts on this blog was about my experience at A.S.A.P. Fitness where I participated in my friend Gerred’s R.E.A.L. Training class.  I know for a fact he had me on the treadmill to “run for 3 minutes” and I can still see myself hanging on the treadmill for fear I was going to fly off….at 5mph.  Ha!  In my defense that was the first time I was “running” on a treadmill in over a year so, it was probably to be expected.  But now, I can sprint at 8mph for about minute, and then I am wiped out collapse on the floor.
  • Taking progress pics more frequently now, every week.  It seems like everyday I’m noticing something small yet significant related to some muscle growth going on.  I would emphasize to ANYONE on a weight loss journey or just a body transformation quest to take pictures.  You might be the only one looking at them but you will REGRET it when you make some progress if you don’t have that “before” pic to show everyone how far you have come.
  • My lower abs lower abdominal region is trying to sneak its way out of the fat and show itself. 🙂  I’m coaxing these muscles as much as possible to show themselves – no doubt due to the Hanging Leg Raises and Hanging Knee Raises I try to do every other day at home from my Pull-up bar. (The nutrition helps of course too!)  Thanks again to my sister for getting that for me and my brother for hooking it up.
  • Speaking of pull ups, I completed 3 chin ups – unassisted this morning. Woohoo! I still have yet to do one complete unassisted Pull up but I’m getting there!

On that happy note, Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Random Tweet of the Day courtesy of @PenniesAndGum: “It’s best mixture. One bag microwave popcorn, 1/3 big box Duds. They melt in the hot popcorn, and the whole thing is fantastic.”

All I can think of is: This is going to be what I’m going to eat as soon as I’m done with my competition. HA!

One thought on “Get in the Zone

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