One Month Free Trial | Join Now

Get Started
Heart Rate

Podcast 222: The Rise of Zone 2 Training and Why It's Essential for Training

May 17, 2023

What's the lowest intensity you can train at that still produces results? Zone 2 training, or training at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, can help you make significant performance gains.

Listen, review, subscribe.

Heart rate training has always been essential for fitness gains, but recently, Zone 2 has risen in popularity for its proven ability to increase aerobic capacity. This week, WHOOP VP of Performance Science, Principal Scientist, Kristen Holmes is joined by author and endurance coach Paul Laursen. Kristen and Paul break down the various heart rate zones and what benefits they produce, and how Zone 2 training can increase aerobic capacity and improve metabolic efficiency. They also discuss how to structure training programs to ensure you’re maximizing the benefits of Zone 2.

Want to see your questions answered? Email us – – or you can call our listener line (508-443-4952) and leave a voicemail, and your question might be answered on a future episode.


  • 3:05 – How Paul got started training and teaching
  • 6:15 – The relationship between the cardiovascular system and nervous system
  • 10:50 – Defining the different training zones
  • 25:40 – Creating a weekly program with cardio zones
  • 29:10 – Staying balanced with your training
  • 31:25 – Autonomic Recovery and Zone 2 as an active recovery tool
  • 37:33 – How Zone 2 can be linked to hormone levels
  • 41:30 – Paul’s paper on metabolism and burning fat
  • 47:15 – The best medium for Zone 2 training
  • 50:15 – Training for longevity and VO2 max
  • 52:05 – How Paul thinks about sleep with his athletes

Paul’s Website

Paul’s Twitter

HIIT Science

Autonomic Recovery after Exercise in Trained Athletes

Athletes: Fit but Unhealthy

Fat Oxidation during HIIT

Share on and