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The Training zone, EPOC and recovery for weight loss: science-backed theory

In this article, we will discuss how knowing your MHR and tracking your Heart Rate can give you a competitive advantage over your fitness goals.

A HIIT “High Intensity Interval Training” is designed to push you into the 85% of your Max Heart Rate zone and will create EPOC “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption”. EPOC is what burns calories even after your workout is over and gives you noticeable lasting results in weight loss. Some research showed that if you get more than 12 minutes of 85 percent of your maximum heart rate you’ll keep burning 15% more calories even after you stop working out as afterburning during the next 24 hours. HIIT is used as a time-efficient program to improve physiological functions, and cardiovascular disease risk factor at the same time.

However, it is important to take some recovery time after a HIIT session to rest your heart and body. You should allow your heart rate to come all the way back down to 55-60 percent.

**Be careful, you must be used to physical activities before you engage into HIIT. You can’t start doing HIIT if you are starting your fitness journey. If you are not trained enough you may have some problems with recovering and you may also damage your heart.

If you are a beginner you can first target the medium intensity zone, about 75-85% of your MHR with a cardio activity.

How can Circular help me with that?

The Circular ring continuously monitors heart rate. With the Circular app you can monitor your heart rate during your workout with the live heart rate features to reach the targeted HR zone.

Then, after a workout you can get a better idea of the intensity reached during this workout. You can find a daily summary of the training zone you have reached, which you can compile weekly and compare with your trends to track your progress. By wearing the circular ring during your training you can quantify the intensity you produce and adapt it to your fitness goal.

On the days where you are supposed to take it easy, closely monitor your heart rate during exercise and make sure it doesn’t go above 75 percent of your Max Heart Rate. For recovery, you can use the Circular HRV and RHR analyses or rely on your Energy score to know if your body and heart have recovered.

Energy Score Circular

recovery Circular

Scientific sources:


Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Jul; 15(7): 1508: The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Heart Rate Variability in Physically Inactive Adults. Abdullah Alansare, Ken Alford, Sukho Lee, Tommie Church, and Hyun Chul Jung

About the Author

Amaury Kosman

CEO of Circular, Amaury is all about technology and human capabilities improvement. He is a dedicated marathon runner and loves optimizing his training.

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