John Hellemans’ Training Intensity Handbook

For more information on training intensity zones and a good explanation of lactate testing protocols and data interpretation, pick up a copy of John Hellemans’ Training Intensity Handbook.

The handbook explains the aerobic and lactate threshold in detail, how to find your own individual training intensity zones and the reasoning behind it.

Available from John Newsom at the New Zealand Multisport & Triathlon Centre.

Follow this link for an order form or email for more details


Current terminology regarding training intensity, based on energy systems, the relative percentage concept and ratings of perceived exertion reflect the confusion which exists among scientists and coaches when it comes to establishing desired training intensity zones.

The first part of this paper clarifies relevant factors regarding the metabolic, cardiovascular and psychological response to increasing workloads.

The second part introduces a simple and reliable system called the Lactate Index, to establish training intensity zones for endurance athletes.

Based on lactate and heart rate testing, combined with subjective perception, five intensity zones are recognised: Easy, Steady, Moderately Hard, Hard and Very Hard.

It is proposed that the five identified zones and related terminology will be universally adopted by sports scientists and coaches when prescribing exercise intensity. This does not only apply to competitive athletes but also to the general population who exercise for general health and fitness.