4-Week Zone 2 Training Plan to Elevate Your Fitness with PDF

I’ve designed a 4-week Zone 2 training plan for people who want to burn fat, improve their shape, and elevate their aerobic fitness.

Zone 2, also known as endurance cardio or base training, is a low to moderate-intensity effort that you could maintain for a long time while humming or having a casual conversation with your companion.

It involves performing exercises at 60-75% of the maximum heart rate (MHR), which is calculated by subtracting your age from 220. For example, if you’re 30, your MHR would be 190 beats per minute. This means that during Zone 2 cardio, your heart beats around 114-142 times per minute.

Zone 2 cardio’s primary goals are to build aerobic capacity, stimulate fat loss, maintain a healthy heart, and prepare for high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

Zone 2 Cardio Examples

Although any exercises that are done at a moderate heart rate can be a part of Zone 2, here are some popular and best exercises you can include in your Zone 2 training program:

  • Jogging
  • Bicycling
  • Elliptical Trainer
  • Rowing
  • Jumping Rope
  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Wall Ball Shots
  • Bodyweight Cardio

8-Week Zone 2 Training Plan to Elevate Your Fitness

Zone 2 Cardio
Workout TypeBodyweight Endurance Training
Program Duration4-8 Weeks
Sessions/Week3 Days a Week
Duration/Session45-60 Minutes
Training GoalImprove Aerobic Capacity and Body Composition
Target GenderAll Male and Female
Experience RequireBeginner to Intermediate
Suitable Age Group16-50 Years

This program involves training three times a week. On your first day, you’ll do aerobic training with gym machines; on the second day, you’ll use your body weight to improve your aerobic power; and on your third day, you’ll train in nature (outdoors) for maximum benefits.

Monday – Cardio Machines Workout

ExerciseActivity
Treadmill Run20-minute @8-10kmph
Stationary Bike10-minute @65% MHR
Elliptical Trainer10-minute @60% MHR
Rowing Machine5-minute @70% MHR

Wednesday – Bodyweight Aerobic Workout

ExerciseActivity
Burpees5 burpees x 10 sets, 30-second rest after each set
Mountain Climber30 seconds x 10 sets, 30-second break between sets
Bear Crawl30 seconds x 5 sets, 30-second rest between sets
Crunches10 reps x 5 sets, 30-second rest after each set
Box Step UpsAs many reps as possible in 5 minutes (60-70% of MHR)
Jumping Rope5-minute @70% MHR

Friday – Outdoor Cardio Workout

ExerciseActivity
Running10-minutes
Hiking30-minutes
Walking Lunges5 reps per leg x 5 sets
Shoulder Taps10 taps per side x 5 sets

Who Can Do Zone 2 Workout?

From beginners and pros to teenagers and old people, anyone who wants to burn fat and elevate their aerobic power can do Zone 2 cardio.

Zone 2 cardio is generally low to moderate intensity and can improve cardiovascular fitness, endurance, and fat-burning capabilities.

It can also serve as an active recovery session and can be part of a rehabilitation program for individuals recovering from surgeries and injuries (but only after consulting with your doctor).

How Often Should You Perform Zone 2 Cardio?

Zone 2 cardio is not taxing on the heart like HIIT, so depending on your fitness level, you can do it two to six times a week.

For example, if you’re a beginner, I recommend starting with a two-day weekly workout. However, if you’ve been working out for a while, you can do zone 2 cardio six times a week in the morning and lift weights three to five times in the evening.

What’s The Best Time to Do Endurance Cardio?

Morning is the best time to perform Zone 2 cardio. Several studies have demonstrated that doing cardio at a heart rate of 60-75% in the morning helps enhance aerobic capacity, promotes fat loss, improves blood sugar, and enhances athleticism.1 Seo, D. Y., Lee, S., Kim, N., Ko, K. S., Rhee, B. D., Park, B. J., & Han, J. (2013). Morning and evening exercise. Integrative medicine research, 2(4), 139–144. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.imr.2013.10.003, 2 Schumacher, Leah M et al. “Consistent Morning Exercise May Be Beneficial for Individuals With Obesity.” Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews vol. 48,4 (2020): 201-208. doi:10.1249/JES.0000000000000226, 3Arciero, Paul J et al. “Morning Exercise Reduces Abdominal Fat and Blood Pressure in Women; Evening Exercise Increases Muscular Performance in Women and Lowers Blood Pressure in Men.” Frontiers in Physiology vol. 13 893783. 31 May. 2022, doi:10.3389/fphys.2022.893783

However, I recommend consuming a small meal, such as a banana, protein bar, or Greek yogurt, 30 minutes to one hour before training. This will ensure you’ll have an efficient workout session.

Download The Zone 2 Cardio Workout PDF

References

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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