HIIT & resistance training for women

There are different ways of training zones. Zone 2 cardio is an exercise performed within a heart rate zone that represents 60% to 70% of the maximum heart rate. Think of it as light exercise that you can continue for a prolonged period of time—jogging, brisk walking, swimming, etc.
Zone 2 training helps stimulate type 1 (slow twitch) muscle fibers, which increase the mitochondrial density in our muscles. However, women already have a larger amount of slow twitch or oxidative fibers. Women have more mitochondria density and better mitochondria respiration. When we look at men, yes, they need to do zone 2 to increase mitochondrial density and the respiratory capacity of mitochondria, but women don’t.

 

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.

Book a complimentary free initial consultation to get a exercise plan tailored for your needs.

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