GREEN ZONE - 71 - 80% Maximum Effort

The Green Zone is less intense than the yellow and red zone and will enable you to train for longer periods of time more comfortably. This is also known as steady-state training if you're doing aerobic based exercise. When your heart rate puts you in the Green Zone, you will burn less calories than training in the yellow zone, but, a high percentage of those calories you burn will come from your fat storage. The following article will outline what is happening to the body while training in the green zone and how one will feel in this zone, what are the benefits of this zone are and what classes best utilize this zone.


At Integrity Fitness, to maintain yourself in The Green Zone, the trainer's focus will be on the volume of your training (long sets and more reps), with minimal rest periods. Reduced workload on the muscles will allow a higher volume of work making the heart work harder and stay in The Green Zone.  We recommend targeting the Green Zone for increased fat burning while training at a moderate intensity. The body uses mostly carbs for energy but, a high percentage will still come from fat. Why? At this moderate intensity level, you will be able to take in a lot of oxygen which in turn helps the body to breakdown fat cells and convert them into usable energy. To stay in the Green Zone you must resist using a heavier workload. The heavier volume will push the heart rate up rapidly causing your Polar THR graph to spike up and down rapidly.

Feels Like: How should you feel when training in the green zone? Let's use the moving scale of 1-10 to describe the level of comfort when training. On this scale of 1-10, 10 would be the hardest intensity. The red zone which is uncomfortable would be a 9/10. The Yellow zone which is also uncomfortable would be an 8. The Green Zone is a 7 and will allow for sustained level of intensity for multiple sets because the excursion/pain is only slightly uncomfortable, but very tolerable.  A trainee will be able to perform an exercise up to 3 minutes before breaking form, or experiencing muscle or cardiovascular fatigue.  During resistance training, the muscles will experience a slow, but steady burn as you progress through a given set.  During aerobic training, you should be able to carry on full, but broken conversation with some struggle during the exercise. The green zone is a very safe zone to train in, as you will be able to maintain proper form and proper breathing techniques while executing the exercises for a longer period of time.  


Benefits:  Focusing your training in the green zone has multiple benefits. If you are looking to decrease body fat, increase muscle endurance, increase recovery time then consistently training in this zone is ideal to hit these goals.  This will allow you to gradually build up your lactic acid tolerance in the muscles due to muscle fatigue. The better your lactic acid tolerance, the more muscle endurance capacity you will create.  It will also help increase your recovery time as you will be able to slow down your heart rate as well as your breathing at a faster rate. At the lower intensity level, the body uses the abundance of oxygen to help break down the fat cells which provides you with a more consistent and constant energy source than in the higher zones. A great example of this, is our group training classes -  Buns & Guns day in both programs. In these classes you will be switching between intense cardiovascular movements followed by isolation lower body anaerobic movements. The aerobic movements will help spike the heart into the higher zones and the anaerobic movements will help lower the heart rate back into the fat burning zones which in turn promotes the above mentioned benefits. This is why you don’t want to miss these particular classes because of the wide range of benefits that they offer.


It is important to know that training in the Green Zone will not give you a sizable caloric expenditure. If your goal is to reduce body fat, you would need to increase the amount of training to maximize your training efforts. You can do this by training longer or more frequently.


Recommended for:  Aerobically, training in the green zone is great for trainees that want a comfortable workout that is not hardcore, but effective. The focus would be on reducing body fat. Anaerobically, it is the perfect zone to ‘feel’ the muscles working as you push your body pretty hard but just fall short on an intense and painful burn. To achieve this, trainees would use moderate weights and try to achieve high volume repetition like 25 reps of squats.

In Summary,  the green zone is best used as a complementary zone when working with the higher zones. As mentioned before, the green zone will help increase your recovery time, increase your muscle endurance, it will allow you to train safely without breaking form or over-exceeding your cardiovascular system and it will help reduce your overall BMI. Understanding how these zones work and incorporating a heart monitor device into your fitness program will significantly expatiate your results. Using the heart rate monitor as your tool to train more efficiently will help you customize your workout regardless of which classes you choose to do.  Rest assured that you now hold the power and knowledge to get the most out of our World Class Group Training program so that you maximize the benefits of THR training.  Grab your polar heart rate pod and strap and head out to Integrity Fitness and put this new found knowledge to use.