Stu Mittleman and Dr Philip Maffetone have both written about how the optimum balance of health and fitness can be achieved through training the metabolism to work more efficiently. This can be achieved by monitoring the heart rate to determine the correct level of intensity for your exercise routine.
So what is the optimum heart rate that you need to be exercising at?
Stu Mittleman identifies three levels –
1. MAP – the Mostly Aerobic Pace promotes fat utilisation and is great for releasing tension and stress in the body. It is also the zone you want to work in initially if you do not take part in any regular form of exercise.
2. MEP – the Most Efficient Pace is the most productive zone for developing increased energy and stamina.
3. SAP – the Speedy Aerobic Pace is when you are burning mainly sugar. SAP interval training is really useful when you have built a good fat burning foundation.
So keeping it simple … using, Stu Mittleman’s formula, the upper limit of the MEP zone is 180 – your age and this is the maximum you want your heart rate to be working to ensure that your body is at it’s most productive and efficient level of movement. Working at or below this maximum level also ensures that your workout becomes a pleasure rather than pain, which will steadily increase your level of vitality.
For more information on how to calculate the precise figures for all the zones have a look at the Slow Burn book by Stu Mittleman.