One of the most important and unique features in Morpheus is also its newest: zone-based intervals.
This type of intervals represents a highly effective way to improve your conditioning and fitness from the inside out.
What are zone-based intervals?
Over the last few years, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) has become hugely popular and a part of a wide variety of training programs.
On one hand, training at high intensity is a powerful tool that can drive fitness forward. On the other hand, high intensity places a tremendous amount of stress on the body and too much of it can lead to fatigue, overtraining, and even increase the risk of injury.
The purpose of zone-based interval training (ZBIT), is to unlock the potential of intervals, while avoiding the potential pitfalls of too much intensity. The way it does this is incorporating a much wider range of intensities—for both the work and the rest part of the interval.
That’s done through the use of the Morpheus heart rate zones.
Although the biggest thing that made the use of heart rate zones popular is the idea that there is a special fat burning zone (there isn’t), the real benefit is that different zones represent different levels of intensity.
Using zones to drive both the intensity of how hard to work and rest has a ton of benefits when compared to standard HIIT:
- Can target different parts of the body’s energy systems more effectively
- Allows for higher training volumes and frequencies without overtraining
- Develops better control of energy management and pacing
- Helps prevent the development of poor technique that comes with fatigue
- Is more specific to sport performance
- Offers greater variety and is more fun to do
- Produces better results over the long-term instead of leading to plateaus
How train with the Morpheus zone-based intervals
To access the ZBIT feature, tap on the stopwatch in the upper right hand corner of the train screen. You can do this either before or after you officially start your workout.
Once you tap on the feature by clicking on the stopwatch, it will bring up a screen to select from 12 different zone-based interval methods. The methods are categorized into overall level of intensity from blue (low), to green (moderate), up to red (high).
You can access each of these categories by tapping on the Blue, Green, and Red tabs at the top of the intervals menu.
Each interval type has different presets for reps, work time, and rest time that you can edit (within certain parameters). When you change these settings you will be able to see the total duration of your interval session.
There is also a “details” page for each interval type that explains the goal of the intervals, how to complete them, and exercise recommendations.
There is also a graph that shows what these intervals should look like when done correctly.
You can also find information about how to perform each of the 12 intervals by clicking here.
Configuring the intervals
For each of the 12 intervals, you can select from a set range of reps, work time, and rest time.
The ranges for each of these depends on the type of interval that you’ve selected and is designed to make sure the intervals are as effective as possible.
As you adjust the reps and times, the total time automatically adjust based on these settings.
If you’ve performed a particular interval in a previous workout, it will remember your last saved settings.
You can also set a range of alerts to help keep you on target and in the zone.
To help keep you on target and in the right zone, there are 5 different audio alerts that you can set for each type of interval.
You can choose to have any of these turned on or off for each interval.
- Start Work – this alert plays when it’s time to start the “work” phase of a rep
- Start Rest – this alert plays when it’s time to start the “rest” phase of a rep
- Inside HR Zone Target – this alert plays when you have entered the target HR Zone area for either work time or rest time of any rep.
- Outside HR Zone Target – this alert plays when you go outside of the target HR zone area (above or below) for at least 3 consecutive seconds. This is a prompt to get your HR back into the target area.
- Countdown – this alert plays 3 times during the final 3 seconds of any work or rest phase of a rep. For example, if you choose “Beep” for this alert, you will hear a beep at 3 seconds, 2 seconds, and 1 second remaining in any work or rest phase. Then following the countdown either the “Start Work” or “Start Rest” alert will play.
Once you’ve configured your chosen interval, you can exit by first selecting the LOAD button at the bottom of the screen, and then SAVE to exit.
This will load the intervals into your workout so you can start them at any point during your workout.
Once you’ve saved your selected zone-based intervals and returned to the workout screen, you can choose to start the interval session at any time by clicking on the green stopwatch icon in the upper right.
This will bring up a summary of the intervals you’ve saved and allow you to get started by pressing the START button.
Aside from Steady State 1 (SS1) and Steady State 2 (SS2), each interval includes a target heart rate zone for both the work period, and the rest period.
While most intervals treat the rest period as simply a break from the work, with zone-based intervals, the rest period is designed to be active. This helps speed up the recovery in between work periods and develops conditioning more effectively.
Because of this, each rep is not complete until you’ve done both the work and the active rest phase of the interval.
As you progress through each rep, you’ll see the target heart rate zone move during each phase of the interval, while the time in the upper left counts down.
The number of reps you’ve done and have left to complete is shown in the upper right hand corner of the screen.
A video of the entire process of selecting and starting zone-based intervals can be found below.
You can pause the workout (and the intervals) at any time by pressing the blue pause button.
Once paused, you can choose to return to the intervals, or end them before completing the set number of reps.
As soon as you’ve completed the set number of interval reps, Morpheus will give you the option to end the workout, or continue.
If you choose to continue with the workout, you can select another round of intervals or simply return to the standard training screen.
Getting started with ZBIT
One of the most powerful features of zone-based intervals is their versatility.
No matter what your current level of fitness is, or what your goals may be, there are zone-based intervals that can help you improve your fitness and conditioning.
If you’re just getting started with Morpheus, start by trying out each of the blue intervals before progressing to higher intensities.
It’s also recommended to begin with the lower end of the guidelines for work time and number of reps, while at the top end of the rest time.
As you make progress from week to week, you can gradually add work time, increase the number of reps, and decrease your rest phase.
If you want a complete, done-for-you conditioning program built around Morpheus and zone-based interval training, you can save $20 off the Metamorphosis conditioning program with the promo code morpheus