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aggregate time spent in zones based off exercising HR is too inconsistent and influenced
by far too many variables unrelated to exercise
effort. Additionally, some models fail to adjust
their zones to accommodate for training adaptations. Furthermore, during non-SS, interval-type exercise, HR responses do not reflect
actual physiological work performed by the
body (i.e., time delay), nor do the HR responses
accurately estimate calories.
Should we discard zone methodology? Absolutely not. Zone methodology offers the potential
to systematically compartmentalize adaptions
much like we witness in resistance training (i.e.,
endurance, hypertrophy, strength). However, we
need to rely upon more accurate methodologies
that impose the appropriate demands upon the
body's systems to evoke the desired adaptations
(e.g., fat-burning efficiency, anaerobic capacity).
The most logical solution lies with utilizing
more individualized zone methodology derived from a person's unique metabolic markers (i.e., Ventilatory Threshold One - VT1; Ventilatory Threshold Two - VT2) rather than from
generic formulas of MHR.
} VT1 is a metabolic marker of aerobic efficiency and provides great insight to what
| WWW.FIT-PRO.COM | SUMMER 2017
we burn as fuel (e.g., fats, carbohydrates) -
aka caloric quality. Relevance here is that it
will greatly influence what we burn during
SS-exercise and more importantly, what
we burn as fuels throughout the day.
VT2 is a metabolic marker of anaerobic
capacity and provides insight into caloric
quantity (i.e., the number of calories which
hold relevance in performance and perhaps with weight loss).
The beauty of using individualized zone
programs derived from unique metabolic
markers is that they can be continuously adjusted as the body undergoes adaptation,
providing more realistic means to monitor
progress and achievements. Keep in mind
however, even with this model, there is no
solution for accurately measuring non-SS HR
responses; we need to simply accept that inevitable truth.
Fortunately, today's technology and wearable devices are advancing very quickly and it
is just a matter of time before the innovators
within the fitness industry transition away from
MHR-based zone methodology and adopt
better models based upon metabolism (Am-
biotex is one innovative tech company who
has developed a wearable shirt that measures
these metabolic biomarkers). There are large
players aggressively researching ways to revamp current methodology to incorporate
these metabolic markers and will likely be
the catalyst to shift the entire fitness industry
forward. If you're one who thrives on being
innovative and evidence-based, perhaps it
is time for you to start considering how and
when you'll make the transition to these cutting-edge ideas and applications.
Fabio Comana, M.A., M.S.,
NASM CPT, CES & PES; NSCACSCS; ACE-CPT & HC; ACSM
EP-C; CISSN is an international
presenter, media spokesperson and author. He is a faculty
instructor at San Diego State
University, UC San Diego and NASM, and scientific
advisor for Orange Theory Fitness, Core Health and
Fitness, Stroops, and Turbostrapp. He is the creator
of ACE's IFT™ model and has worked as a collegiate
head coach, strength and conditioning coach, and
opened and managed clubs for Club One.