I Did Zone 2 Cardio for 10 Months – Here’s What Happened

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34 responses to “I Did Zone 2 Cardio for 10 Months – Here’s What Happened”

    • @@TheSonOfKrypton I have no reason to doubt it. As a 65 year old I should do HIIT more often, but even when I do sprints, I get my HR up to 172. If I was more consistent, I’m sure I could get up to 185 comfortably. The 220 – age formula is useless for people who are in shape.

    • I’m 52, and my max heart rate is 190. In fact, a few years ago I was able to get to 194. Didn’t try as hard this year. The formulae are actually very imprecise. Anyway, the Tanaka-formula is better (208-0.7×age).

  1. I’ve been doing Zone 2 training (3x 1 hr sessions per week) for a couple of years now. I have to emphasize, 1x weekly HIIT training is still essential in terms of cardiovascular fitness. When I don’t do it, my HR in Zone 2 averages around 115 bpm. But after three weeks of getting back to HIIT training, my average HR for an hour of Zone 2 last night was 125 bpm – i.e. 80% of my theoretical HR max (as a guy in his 60s). And I could have gone on forever.

    Bottom line – don’t let Attia’s 80%-20% breakdown fool you. That 20% of HIIT training is VERY important. Also, ignore the HR max formula. Assuming you don’t have a lactate meter, just use subjective aspects to figure out if you’re in Zone 2.

    • I agree, I noticed that if I only do zone 2, my cardio fitness falls down a bit. Zone 4 + zone 2 is probably the best combo indeed.

    • What subjective aspects would u use to see if ur in zone 2? Cuz i can still breathe through my nose etc while ni zone 3 apparently.. atr like 80% of my hrm

    • @@jarnohealth Well, Attia has a short video specifically on this point. Nasal breathing and the ability to talk easily are the main ones. Some say you can’t sing , but I can sing. But probably the main subjective aspect for me is that after an hour or so, I can comfortably keep going if I want to – e.g. if the Netflix video I’m watching hasn’t ended yet. I’m not desperate to jump off my elliptical and collapse in a heap on the floor. In other words, my body hasn’t passed the lactic acid threshold, and so there’s no real burn. But I’m still sweating like a pig.

  2. Excellent video! Been looking for content on Zone 2 like this for a while. Thanks for sharing 💪

  3. What do you say to Michael Lustgarten’s recent video about vo2max that claims that the benefits of vo2max aren’t actually that crazy? Seems to me like vo2max is just the latest trendy topic…

  4. This is an excellent video on Zone 2 training and the benefits. Thank you SIIm. Everything you say is in very good alignment with the best science I have read on Zone 2 training. On a side note regarding running and injury. I recall some medical people telling me when I was 28 years old and had just begun running that my knees would wear out. That was over 40 years ago and my legs are doing just great, thank you.

  5. I wear a 45lb pack and hike 3 hours every day and it gets me nowhere near zone 2, but if I use hiking poles and chew gum it gets me just into zone 2.

  6. for acceleration of heart beat i do skipping rope, jumping like a frog, boxing bag and bicycle.

  7. Insane results for so little input. I don’t think many people will get anywhere near such massive improvements without having all the other things dialed in outside of the workout itself

  8. Attia recommends 45-90 mins of z2 in accordance with Inigo San Millan afaik and I think he personally would put 3 sessions of that on the lower end of the spectrum. There’s a lot to it and I’m personally not convinced many of the arguments around the space are actually all that well founded. But it’s certainly a great and important base.

  9. Been doing consistent zone 2 cardio now for about 2 years, after none for the first 22 years of my life. My life is so much better because of it. Inflammation has gone down significantly (there is research showing that 60 minutes of zone 2 cardio upregulates autophagy to the same degree as a 72 hour fast). My mood is through the roof during and after a chill run. My facial aesthetics have improved signifcantly – noticed both from personal judgement and comments from friends/family. Thanks for video siim.

    • oh thats fascinating about that study, do you know where i could find it? Id love to have a better tool for autophagy than long fasts, (which im not a fan of)

    • Sounds awesome! Good to hear about these results. Can you share more details about the improvement of your facial aesthetics?

  10. Use the Karvonen Formula to calculate your Zone 2 HR. It’s more accurate than just 200-age.

  11. Nice presentation. Do you also do your strength training on your zone 2 days, or do you do strength on separate days?

  12. Great vid, I’ll incorporate it.

    Are you still drinking a protein shake before working out?

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