Heart Zones USA was awarded the first ever patent for a cardio training program in January.
The Threshold Training System developed by Heart Zones USA founder and CEO Sally Edwards is the first cardio training program to be awarded a federal patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the company announced in a newsletter. The U.S. Patent No. 8092381 was issued on January 12, 2012.
Described as a “system for increasing the fitness level of a fitness enthusiast,” the training system uses a personalised set of exercise intensity zones, determining a threshold level for each individual based on oxygen consumption and metabolic biomarkers to differentiate training zones and to apply training load to measure the amount of physical activity during training sessions.
Threshold training dates back to 1992, when Sally Edwards, author, exercise physiologist, and former Master’s World Record holder in the Ironman Triathlon, developed a five training zone system. Her Heart Zones Training System was quickly embraced by trainers and cardio equipment manufacturers, but as it was not protected, the system became part of the public domain. Edwards filed for a U.S. federal patent in May 2007 and the patent was finally granted earlier this year.
Each zone in the Heart Zones Training System corresponds to a different cardiac training range and comes with a specific set of benefits. The Healthy Heart zone (50-60% of one’s maximum heart rate), for instance, leads to improved heart and lung function, while the Temperate Zone (60-70% of the maximum heart rate) is popularly known as the "fat burning zone" because up to 85% of the total calories burned while exercising in this zone are fat calories.
The training system provides a smarter, more efficient way of training by helping individuals define their own training programs to improve their performance and health. The system has a broad range of applications, from fitness and sports training to hospital-based programs, and is suitable for seasoned athletes and fitness beginners alike.