Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Mitochondrial Health

Zone 2 Training: Dose, Frequency, and Duration | Iñigo San-Millán, Ph.D. & Peter Attia, M.D.

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23 thoughts on “Zone 2 Training: Dose, Frequency, and Duration | Iñigo San-Millán, Ph.D. & Peter Attia, M.D.
  1. If I choose to walk outdoors as an attempt to zone 2 training (despite Peter´s preference to do it on a bike where u can better control variables, but unfortunately I do not have that), I get that, as a starter, I should do a minimum of 30-40min/day; 3 days/week, and increase that with time in order to achieve mitochondrial progress… but how can I know at what pace? I mean, how fast should I walk and sustain that speed for these 30-40min, if the goal is Zone 2? I´m used to bodybuilding type of training but, age is coming, so I really want to improve my mitochondrial health. Thank you!

  2. Does anyone have any idea whether zone 2 training needs to be continuous? Or is it cumulative?

    For example, I mostly do bodybuilding style weightlifting training. Just looking at my heart rate monitor logs, I average around 2-5 hours a week in zone 2, which comprises 45-50% of my training volume. Should this be counted towards a cumulative total, or is there some importance to doing zone 2 specific training? Thanks in advance to anyone with an informed answer.

  3. Zone 2 sounds like the longevity ticket, but who has that much time? I already train 5 days/week, 90 mins per day, primarily strength, with mobility, and conditioning at the end. I work retail and am on my feet all day at work and work the 2 days I don’t train. I’m a 58 yof.

  4. I really don't want to believe that 3-4 hours of keeping my heart rate in a tightly controlled zone is really that important to my longevity. I already do lots of lifting, mobility work, walk a lot, eat well, supplements, sauna… the whole 9 yards! But exercise bikes and rowers are sooooo boring I can barely stand 10 minutes on them. I tried doing a brisk walk with my heart rate monitor the other day but could not get my heart rate up to more than about 100, — and I need to be between 120-130 at my age and fitness level to be in zone 2. Is there no way to combine this with other exercise? Like doing easy kettlebell swings? Maybe if you threw a heavy rucksack on your back the extra effort there would help get your HR up into zone 2 while walking on flat ground. I'm really surprised they didn't address this in their interview. Seems like a pretty obvious point a lot of people will raise.

  5. I cycle to and from work, 45 minutes either way, mostly in zone 2. I get in around 5 hours of zone 2 per week doing just this. This is time that I’d have to spend commuting anyway, so it feels like it’s “free time”.

  6. My issue is timing, rather than having the actual time to train. I want to do all of my training, including zone 2, fasted and my mornings are very busy. Getting 2 sessions in post weight training would go a long way in resolving my morning time crunch issue but I believe I've heard Peter mention that it's not ideal. I could do it post dinner (6-8 o'clock) but that doesn't seem very ideal either. I suppose it would assist with flat lining my post meal insulin though. I'm also wondering how it would affect my sleep?

  7. I think something really important for people to look into is the bike seat and blood flow. Lasting permanent damage can be caused by restricting blood flow from a seat that is not suited for someone that is heavy. There are seats that can help avoid this.

  8. That's a lot of time to dedicate to this type of training, on top of weight training, sauna, etc… I'd love to hear some ideas on how to fit this into everyday activities. Commuting is an obvious one, but I'm thinking of learning to dance salsa, playing drums, …

  9. I am glad to hear something saying zone 2 training is helpful. All I heard recently was HIIT.

    I do about 80 mins of walk/run 3 times or more a week. I did that to burn off the calories from the previous day before breakfast. I normally try to burn about 700 calories according to my Fitbit. Oh, I also do this to be outdoors in the daylight.

  10. What I've learned over time, is that consistency trumps. I was doing about 90-120mins of training a day and trying to stick rigidly to a training plan, but eventually, I would fail and get frustrated. Life throws you curveballs, and it's impossible to stick to a dedicated plan, family, work, other commitments, etc. Now, I can train 7 days a week, 60mins a day on the trainer, usually at the crack of dawn. Most of my rides are either Zone 2, or Sweet Spot, and it works out very well for me. I couldn't do Sprints or high intensity at that time of the morning, as the body is only waking up. Great podcast, thanks, Peter!

  11. Peter, I wonder if W/kg of body lean mass could be an interesting unit to consider for overweight people, in order to target the proper energy system zone 2, as fat mass would add as it was lean mass. Do you think, we should look at body response hence % of max FC or shall we look at power output hence Watts for determining fat max Zone 2? Last but less important curiosity…when we train in zone two, eg. while bicycling, we get surely mitochondrial boost on those major muscles groups utilised, but does this happens to other tissues, muscles, body organs at the same time? Or to get there we should target all major muscles groups in zone 2? And again what does happen to the organs, are they indirectly targeted due to increased energy demand? Thank you for the excellent work.

  12. Is there any info available on zone 1 (recovery zone) and its benefits/influence? I commute daily 2x 50-60 minutes (morning/evening) with an E-bike, but that's often lower than Z2 power and HR.

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