February is Heart Health Month so we wanted to take this month’s blog and talk about how we work out our hearts through Spinning and its different energy zones.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States; in fact, 1 in 4 deaths each year cause by heart disease. But the good news is that heart disease can often be prevented. By taking little steps in our own lives, like choosing healthier eating options and adding in routine exercise, we can lower our risk of heart disease. By working out and Spinning with us at DK Fitness, you are already on your way to a healthier heart and a healthier you!
But why is it important to pay attention to heart rate and energy zones in Spin?
The Spinning Energy Zones are the foundation of the program and, one of the biggest keys to its success is the recognition of the importance of heart rate parameters of training. This is what helps us strengthen our hearts and improve physically. Training the heart through Spinning can increase the size of the heart, which in turn creates an increase of stroke volume, resulting in a lower resting heart rate. Training that elevates the heart rate, even for short durations, increases the rate the heart recovers after intense work. With a healthier heart comes a stronger cardiovascular system and overall endurance.
There are a few different energy zones that Spinning recognizes in their training. At DK Fitness we focus most of our classes within the Strength and Interval Energy Zones since it is the most popular type of ride profile with our clients. It is great to know each of the different energy zones, so you can incorporate them into your own workouts as well!
Endurance Energy Zone (65%-75/80% of MHR) – The Endurance Energy Zone is the foundation for increasing aerobic capacity and building our health and performance goals. Keeping our heart rates within this zone it increases aerobic capacity, fat burn, and builds muscular endurance. The majority of training time is spent within this zone helping us improve cycling efficiency and endurance training.
Strength Energy Zone (75%-85% of MHR) – The Strength Energy Zone improves muscular and mental strength by focusing on improving cardiovascular strength by blending increased resistance with longer distances. This zone includes seated and standing climbs followed by adequate recovery. Over time, riders become stronger and more capable of handling challenging climbs.
Interval Energy Zone (65%-92% of MHR) – The Interval Energy Zone includes periods of work followed by periods of rest. Interval training helps us to push past our current fitness levels. Riders develop speed, tempo, timing and rhythm over a range of heart rates. Interval work enhances the ability to recover quickly after work efforts, increasing cardiovascular strength. With aerobic and anaerobic workouts in this zone, interval training challenges your body to deliver more oxygen to muscle cells for short period of intense work. This zone also boosts the metabolism and calorie burn by incorporating bursts of speed and power with recovery efforts.
Recovery Energy Zone (50%-65% of MHR) The Recovery Energy Zone is a specialized ride we add to the schedule now and again for those who are interested in slower, more recovery focused ride. These rides focus on a low heart rate and light resistance on the fly wheel. This allows the body to heal, prevent burnout and reduces the risk of injury. To attain increased fitness, intensity is important but recovery for the body is often overlooked. The Recovery Energy Zone is to create balance in your training plan.
What is great about Spinning as a program is that each person has the freedom to exercise at their own pace on their own bikes and still enjoy the energy and inspiration of group exercise. At DK Fitness we always stress: “it is always your own ride”, so there is always the option to make your ride at a higher or lower intensity. Whether you are just starting your fitness journey or a seasoned veteran, Spinning can be tailored made to you, your heart and your goals.
Sources: Spinning.com Blog and The Spinning Ride Book