weight loss

Cardio and Heart Rate Zones – What You Need to Know to Lose Weight!

Hey Angels and Alphas,

Heart rate zones are the standard way to measure the intensity of cardio exercises. There are five different zones, ranging from low-intensity (zone 1) to high-intensity (zone 5). 

You can measure your heart rate during cardio using an app or with a heart rate monitor to determine which zone you’re in, as well as how many calories you’re burning and what kind of aerobic fitness benefits you’re getting from your workout. By choosing activities that put you in the right heart rate zone for weight loss, you’ll be more successful at losing weight!


Getting in shape is a lot easier than you think, but there are some things that you need to know. One of these things is how your heart rate zones work when it comes to cardio. Learning about your heart rate zones will help you understand how many calories you’re burning so that you can lose weight with cardio. Plus, knowing the different heart rate zones for cardio will help you find the best workout for your fitness goals. That’s why I’ve put together this blog post about the basics of heart rate zones for cardio.

The Different Heart Rate Zones

There are four different heart rate zones that you want to be in for your cardio workouts: the fat burning zone, the aerobic zone, the anaerobic zone and the redline zone. The fat burning zone is between 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. This is where you’ll be burning off more fat while still getting a good workout. The aerobic zone is between 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. This is where you’ll be doing most of your cardiovascular activity such as running or biking. The anaerobic zone starts at 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Which Zone Should I Target If I Want to Lose Weight?

You’ve probably heard that the best way to lose weight is with cardio, but are you unsure of what heart rate zone you should be working in? This blog post will outline the five zones and which one could best help you lose weight. 

The first zone is called the recovery zone; this is where your heart rate slows down after a high-intensity workout. 

The second zone is called the aerobic base, or fat-burning, zone. This is where your heart rates falls below 140 beats per minute (bpm) but stays above 120 bpm. In this zone, your body will burn more fat for energy than glycogen from carbohydrates because it’s an easier source of fuel for your body. If you want to maximize fat burning while still being able to talk, this zone may be right for you. 

The third zone is called the aerobic intensity zone. Here, your heart rate falls between 130-150 bpm during intense exercise. Although not quite as efficient at burning fat as the lower intensity levels of exercise, if you’re training for an event such as a 5K or marathon run and want to maximize cardiovascular endurance, this may be right up your alley! 

The fourth level is also referred to as the fitness zone because it targets improvements in muscle strength without necessarily focusing on weight loss; here your heart rate falls between 150-170 bpm during exercise. 

The fifth and final zone is called the high intensity interval training (HIIT) zone. Targeting your aerobic capacity, these workouts typically have short bursts of high-intensity work followed by short periods of rest or low-intensity work. To get into this heart rate range, you’ll need to be doing intervals lasting no longer than 30 seconds each! 

How to Reach Your Target Heart Rate Zone

To find your target heart rate zone, you’ll need to know your maximum heart rate (MHR). This is the number of times your heart can beat in one minute while at rest. It’s calculated by taking 220, subtracting your age and then dividing by 60. If you’re still not sure how to do this, here are some examples: 

220-30=190/60=3.333 rounds up to 4 

220-40=180/60=2.500 rounds up to 3 

The next step is finding out what your target heart rate zone should be for either weight loss or general fitness.


If you want to lose weight with cardio, the best heart rate zone for you is 60-70% of your max heart rate. This will allow you to lose weight but not risk injury or burnout. Remember, this is just a starting point– the right zone for you may be different depending on your goals, fitness level, age, sex and other factors. Remember that the more intense your workout becomes (e.g., running), the less time it takes to burn as many calories in each session. So if losing weight is one of your goals, it’s best to keep workouts low intensity so that they’re sustainable over a long period of time.

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