Spin Heart Rate & Training Zones

Heart rate can be a very
beneficial tool for your training.  It
allows you to measure the effort of your workout and control intensity and
quality without overexertion.
All heart rate training
zones are based on max heart rate.  It is
not the easiest or safest test to administer, especially to untrained
individuals so a standard equation is 220-age (male) and 226-age (female).  Please be aware that this is only a
guide.  Your Age Predicted Max HR could
be up to 25 beats per minute off!
Next thing to consider are
your Training Zones.  In Spinning, we
focus on 5 different rides:
  • Recovery
  • Endurance
  • Strength
  • Interval
  • Race Day


“Relaxation and energy
During Recovery, you are
riding at 50-65% your max heart rate.  No
hills, no jumps, only light resistance is used. 
The goal of this ride is to focus on breathing, relaxation, and
circulating blood and oxygen throughout the body.


“Even application of
energy for sustained periods.”
The next zone is Endurance.  Heart race increases to 65-75% max heart
rate.  This should also feel fairly easy
and a pace at which you can ride forever. 
This is where you will ride when focusing on your aerobic base
building.  It will increase aerobic
capacity, oxygen consumption, stamina, and improve fat metabolism.  A true Endurance ride is completed almost
entirely in the saddle with light to moderate resistance but variations include
standing flat, seated climb, and standing climb.


“Heavy resistance to
develop muscular endurance and power.”
the Strength training zone, you will be working hard for 5-8 minutes at a level
between 75-85% your max heart rate.  The
ride focuses on steady, consistent pedaling with heavy resistance to promote
muscular and cardiovascular development. 
While seated or standing, you should be thinking strong and
powerful.  There will be a point between
75-85% when you are switching over from aerobic to anaerobic activity.  This will cause lactic acid to accumulate.  A proper
cool down and stretching/foam rolling will be very beneficial to your


“Speed, tempo, timing,
and rhythm require a substantial fitness base.”
The goal of the Interval
training zone is to develop the ability to quickly recover after work efforts.  During intervals, heart rate ranges from
65-92% as you increase and decrease the intensity.  There are 3 types of Intervals:
  1. Aerobic – Work at about 75% / Recovery 65%, 3
    to 1 ratio
  2. Lactate Threshold – Work 85% / Recovery 65%, 1
    to 1 ratio
  3. Anaerobic – Work 92% / Recovery 65% – 1 to 3+
One important factor to
note about Intervals: If heart rate is not dropping to recovery in the usual
amount of time, no further intervals should be conducted.

Race Day

“Peak Performance –
sustained “time trial” effort at anaerobic threshold. Requires a substantial
fitness base.”
final training zone is Race Day.  Heart
rate is 80-92%.  Race Day is treated like
a time trial.  If riders are not 100%
physically or mentally ready, they should not participate.

Blog post by Jen Skiba.