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The Aerobic Exercise Effort Equation

by Paul Scott - from OutsideOnline

The Effort Equation
Our program will lead you in and out of the following heart-rate zones, based on your maximum heart rate (MHR). These intensities should also correspond to your own perceived exertion.
Zone 1 (z-1):
Recovery
60 percent or less of your MHR
This should feel easy; you're barely breaking a sweat and never feel out of breath.
Zone 2 (z-2):
Aerobic
60-75 percent MHR
You're working now but could still hold a conversation. You could probably sustain this level of intensity for an hour or so.
Zone 3 (z-3):
Lactate Threshold
75-90 percent MHR
Hard work. You're breathing heavily and feel exhausted quickly—you're running, not jogging.
Zone 4 (z-4):
Anaerobic
90-100 percent MHR
This feels very hard, like a full-out sprint. You could sustain this intensity level for a minute or two, tops.
MON. TUES. WED. THURS. FRI.
(1
WEEK
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 25 to 30 minutes in Z-1.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 35 to 45 minutes in Z-1.
STRENGTH
1 set of 8 (each leg): dumbbell lunges 2 sets of 25: crunches, push-ups, and dips. Finish with stretch regimen (1 to 2 minutes on each side for each stretch pictured on next page).
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 30 to 35 minutes in Z-1.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 45 to 50 minutes in Z-1.
STRENGTH
1 set of 8 (each leg): dumbbell lunges 2 sets of 25: crunches, push-ups, and dips. Finish with stretch regimen (1 to 2 minutes on each stretch pictured on next page).
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or Hiking: 20 to 25 minutes in Z-1.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 30 to 40 minutes in Z-1.
(2
WEEK
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 20 to 25 minutes in Z-1.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 30 to 40 minutes in Z-1.
STRENGTH
1 set of 8 (each leg): dumbbell lunges 2 sets of 25: crunches, push-ups, and dips. Finish with stretch regimen (1 to 2 minutes on each side for each stretch pictured on next page).
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 30 to 35 minutes in Z-1.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 35 to 45 minutes in Z-1.
STRENGTH
1 set of 8 (each leg): dumbbell lunges 2 sets of 25: crunches, push-ups, and dips. Finish with stretch regimen (1 to 2 minutes on each side for each stretch pictured on next page).
Lactate Threshold Test With your heart-rate monitor on, warm up for 10 minutes, then run or cycle on a flat course as fast as you can maintain for 30 minutes. Your LT is your average heart rate recorded for that period.
(3
WEEK
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 30 minutes in Z-2.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 45 minutes in z-2. During either workout add four 2-minute interval sessions in Z-3.
STRENGTH
2 sets of 20: push-ups, oblique crunches. 2 sets of 8: bent-over flies, upright rows, wide-grip chin-ups, squats. Do 100 jump-rope skips between each. Finish with stretch regimen.
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 35 minutes in Z-2.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 50 minutes in Z-2. During either workout add four 2-minute interval sessions in Z-3.
STRENGTH
2 sets of 20: push-ups, oblique crunches. 2 sets of 8: bent-over flies, upright rows, wide-grip chin-ups, squats. Do 100 jump-rope skips between each. Finish with stretch regimen.
ENDURANCE
Running, stair machine, or hiking: 25 minutes in Z-2.
or
Cycling, rowing, or swimming: 40 minutes in Z-2. During either workout add four 2-minute interval sessions in Z-3.
(4
WEEK
ENDURANCE
Run or ride for 36 minutes in the following sequence:
a. 10 minutes in Z-2
b. 8 minutes in Z-3
c. 5 minutes in Z-2
d. 8 minutes in Z-3
e. 5 minutes in Z-2
Cool down: 5-minute walk
STRENGTH
2 sets of 12: push-ups, oblique crunches. 2 sets of 8: bent-over flies, upright rows, wide-grip chin-ups, squats. Do 100 jump-rope skips between each. Finish with stretch regimen.
ENDURANCE
Run or ride for 41 minutes in the following sequence:
a. 15 minutes in Z-2
b. 8 minutes in Z-3
c. 5 minutes in Z-2
d. 8 minutes in Z-3
e. 5 minutes in Z-2
Cool down: 5-minute walk
STRENGTH
2 sets of 12: push-ups, oblique crunches. 2 sets of 8: bent-over flies, upright rows, wide-grip chin-ups, squats. Do 100 jump-rope skips between each. Finish with stretch regimen.
BENCHMARK TEST
On a flat route (ideally a track), after a 10-minute warm-up, run 1 mile at 5 BPMs below the LT you determined 2 weeks ago. Mark your time. You'll use it to gauge progress when you repeat the test in 4 weeks.

Intro | The Prime Rate | The Effort Equation | Strength Exercises and Stretches
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