ATC 251: Setting Heart Rate Zones using Metabolic Efficiency vs. MAF 180 Formula, Strength Training After Illness, HRV Troubleshooting, Nasal Breathing, and More

January 5, 2018


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On this episode of Ask The Coaches:

  • Making a comeback to sport after cancer – where does one start?
  • Metabolic efficiency test results vs. MAF 180 Formula for heart rate zones.
    • How does MAF correlate with the crossover point on ME tests.
    • Defining Fatmax vs. crossover point.
    • Crossover point (switching from mainly fat burning to majority carb burning) compared with LT – correlated.
    • If MAF is <145 HR but crossover point is >165 HR, what is a “safe” aerobic zone to train in?
    • The tradeoff between burning more fat and getting faster – fat burning is great, to an extent.
    • Mentions: Podcast with Phil Maffetone and Alan Couzens on metabolic testing and MAF
  • HRV issues (seen on SweetBeat app)
    • Should a young 20-something female athlete expect to see a chronically low HRV? What could be causing this?
    • Troubleshooting HRV: check the hardware (HRM strap, etc), what you’re doing when you’re testing, etc.
    • How HRV figures out your personalized “norm” to assess readiness to train.
    • When low HRV is a red flag that something else might be wrong and it’s time to get health checked, as well as stress levels.
  • Training goals: go with “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” or give MAF a try?
    • When and why you should stay the course with your training vs. switch things up, e.g. try out MAF. 
  • MAF vs. nasal breathing
    • If you can breath through your nose at a heart rate higher than your MAF, does this mean you should bump up your MAF/aerobic heart rate?
    • Is this an example of MAF not fitting right for master’s athletes (i.e. MAF HR at 50+ is too easy).


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