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MAF Method
Heart Rate Training Zone

Calculate your MAF training zone.
Training in this zone improves the function of your aerobic system

What does MAF stand for?

MAF stands for Maximum Aerobic Function or Maximal Aerobic Function.

This training method focuses on improving the function of the aerobic system, the fat-burning engine responsible for fuelling all of the body’s needs. This low intensity training method is performed in conjunction with adapting one’s diet, reducing your stress levels and increasing the quality and/or quantity of one’s sleep to reduce the inflammatory response which might be caused by each.

MAF training is a low heart rate based training protocol, so the use of a heart rate monitor is required.

We wholeheartedly advocate the use of the POLAR brand of Heart Rate Monitors.
Be sure to choose a heart rate monitor model that will allow you to set your own training zones as well as have an audible warning for when your heart rate exceeds or drops under your MAF training zone. Vibrating warnings are a useful additional feature if you want to perform your swimming sessions in your MAF training zone.

Why use the MAF training zone?

A well-functioning aerobic system leads to:

  • Burning more body fat for fuel and a leaner body as a result.
  • An overall increase in energy and brain function.
  • Greater endurance, strength, speed and physical fitness.
  • Injury and illness prevention.
  • Many other improvements in all areas of life!

This training method focuses on improving the function of the aerobic system, the fat-burning engine responsible for fuelling all of the body’s needs. It usually requires that athletes slow down in the first few weeks of training to stay within the calculated range.

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Should your aerobic system be underdeveloped, it will take a few weeks for your head to get used to the lower intensity training. 
Don’t worry, the body is very adaptable and improvements will happen. 

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Although each sport will have a different maximum heart rate – running being higher than cycling, cycling being higher than swimming – MAF training focuses primarily on your body’s Aerobic Functioning so it will not necessary to use different training zones for each sport should you practice more than one.

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How do you calculate your MAF training zone?

Your MAF training zone is calculated by applying the “180 formula”.

Your age is subtracted from 180 and the upper limit of your MAF zone is the result.

This figure is then adjusted upwards or downwards depending on your injury and/or illness profile.

As it is impossible to maintain a single heart rate during exercise, a lower limit of the range is calculated by subtracting 10 to 15 beats from the upper limit. 

The basic 180 formula for calculating your MAF training zone is:

  • 180 – (your age) to get your upper limit
  • Your upper limit minus 12 to get your lower limit.

You can have a more accurate (which makes adjustments for your health and injury profiles) MAF zone automatically calculated for you by completing the form below.

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What you will receive via email

Should you choose to complete the form below, you will receive (via email):

  • your personalised MAF training zone
  • an explanation of why your zone is high or low

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