Zone 2 exercise is not necessarily bad for women—the best exercise is the one you’ll actually do, after all. Zone 2 is great for active recovery and endurance, but it won’t help women achieve every exercise goal.
Namely, if you’re a woman seeking muscle gains or mitochondrial health, zone 2 might not be the best approach.
Rather, women need to do more of that high-intensity work 80%-90% of the maximum heart rate. Think sprints, HIIT and resistance training versus continuous, intermediate cardio. This way, your body will actually recognize your efforts.
However, once women get to late post-menopause—that’s six years onward—we see that women don’t respond as well to the high-intensity work. So, what we need to do is have more regular doses of high-intensity, more regular doses of resistance training, but less volume.
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