Target Heart Rate Zone
Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
One way of monitoring physical activity intensity is to determine whether a persons pulse or heart rate is within the target zone during physical activity.
For moderate-intensity physical activity, a persons target heart rate should be 50 to 70% of his or her maximum heart rate. This maximum rate is based on the persons age. An estimate of a persons maximum age-related heart rate can be obtained by subtracting the persons age from 220. For example, for a 50-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 50 years = 170 beats per minute . The 50% and 70% levels would be:
- 50% level: 170 x 0.50 = 85 bpm, and
- 70% level: 170 x 0.70 = 119 bpm
Thus, moderate-intensity physical activity for a 50-year-old person will require that the heart rate remains between 85 and 119 bpm during physical activity.
For vigorous-intensity physical activity, a persons target heart rate should be 70 to 85% of his or her maximum heart rate. To calculate this range, follow the same formula as used above, except change 50 and 70% to 70 and 85%. For example, for a 35-year-old person, the estimated maximum age-related heart rate would be calculated as 220 35 years = 185 beats per minute . The 70% and 85% levels would be:
- 70% level: 185 x 0.70 = 130 bpm, and
- 85% level: 185 x 0.85 = 157 bpm
What Is Your Resting Heart Rate
Resting heart rate is how many times your heart beats in one minute while at rest. Generally, your resting heart rate for adults is between 60 and 100 bpm. Resting heart rate is also affected by stress, hormones, medication, and your fitness level. Some athletes have a resting heart rate as low as 40 bpm.
The best time to check your resting heart rate is in the morning before you get out of bed.
Generally, a low resting heart rate is better. Learn more about your resting heart rate and how to lower it in, What Is A Good Resting Heart Rate By Age?
Taking Your Heart Rate
Generally, to determine whether you are exercising within the heart rate target zone, you must stop exercising briefly to take your pulse. You can take the pulse at the neck, the wrist, or the chest. We recommend the wrist. You can feel the radial pulse on the artery of the wrist in line with the thumb. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers over the artery and press lightly. Do not use the thumb. Take a full 60-second count of the heartbeats, or take for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. Start the count on a beat, which is counted as zero. If this number falls between 85 and 119 bpm in the case of the 50-year-old person, he or she is active within the target range for moderate-intensity activity.
When starting an exercise program, calculating a target heart rate zone can be very beneficial to ensure that you are exercising safely and effectively. Heart rates are referred to as beats per minute or bpm.
220 Age = Maximum Heart Rate
Finding Your Target Heart Rate Zone:
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Heart Rate Training Zones Explained
So what are heart rate training zones?
Each training intensity triggers a specific physiological process and adaptation in the body. Structuring sessions around a certain effort allows athletes to customize their training and adapt it for specific needs.
Heart rate training zones are ranges of intensities where the heart rate falls in.
Zones are always a reference to maximum capacity, so knowing athletes maximum heart rate is a pre-requisite for setting these up.
There are five heart rate training zones that categorize every intensity level. To calculate heart rates all you need to do is input your maximum and resting heart rate in the fields below :
|Your Resting HR:|
|Your Maximum HR:|
Target Heart Rate is a heart rate adjusted for both maximum and resting heart rates. Using this formula will provide more accurate zones, compared to simple percentage of Max HR.
Once heart rate training zones are calculated, next step is to create a structured training plan. Every phase of that plan should focus on specific area , measured in time spent in relevant zones.
And thats all the magic.
If you dont have a coach, Id be happy to create a program and coach you. Go to my personal training page for more info.
Heart Rate Helps To Monitor Current Fitness Condition
During training heart rate serves as a good reference point and, unlike power or speed, shows how intense the effort is on the body. Its aligned with current condition and will be higher if body is under more stress.
An athlete may be tired, had a restless night or fighting a cold, all of which can impact the session. Focusing on maintaining a certain speed or power in such case will more likely cause more harm than good.
Heart rate training zones help to train at required intensity according to the current condition and not unintentionally pushing the body over the limit.
Using heart rate training zones in training quickly improved results from my training efforts, as I learned to listen to my body and was able to better focus on my improvement areas.
I noticed that in most cases what felt like 70% was often 80% or even 90%, as I got carried away competing with others.
It was very useful to finally know what and how to focus on. Over time I learned to balance fatigue and noticed that results from my training improved substantially. I had more energy to go hard when it was required. Also, I recovered much quicker from sessions, as I was not draining energy in vain.
So, how does this all actually work?
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What Are The Things To Remember While Reaching Your Target Heart Rate Zone
- Never skip warming up or cooling down during exercising. Skipping these can cause muscle injury and chronic pain.
- Choose exercises that suit you. You can do muscle strength training and aerobic activities. Aim for at least twice a week strength training of all major muscles . You can use free weights or do activities such as planks, squats, or lunges.
- There are two kinds of aerobic activities. You can do any one of these or a combination of these.
- Moderate aerobic activity: Get at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking or swimming.
- Vigorous physical activity: Get at least 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity such as jogging or running.
How To Reach Your Target Heart Rate Zone
It is important for everyone to understand heart rate especially as it relates to physical fitness. Here is a quick a quick tutorial on how you can be sure youre reaching your ideal heart rate otherwise known as your Target Heart Rate Zoneto get the most out of your exercise.
Pulse: The number of times your heart beats in one minute. It varies from person to person. It is lower when you are at rest and increases when you exercise. A normal heartbeat range for adults is 60-100 beats per minute.
- To calculate: Take your pulse on the inside of your wrist, closest to your thumb. Use your first two fingertips and press lightly over the blood vessels until you feel your pulse or heartbeat. Count how many times your heart beats per minute.
10-second pulse: Needed for calculating your Target Heart Rate Zone.
- To calculate: Count your pulse for ten seconds and then multiply this number by six. This will be your heart rate per minute.
Maximum Heart Rate: The highest your pulse rate can get. Needed for calculating your Target Heart Rate Zone.
- To calculate: Subtract 220 from your age that equals your maximum heart rate per minute.
- Quick tip: This is only an estimate. Your true maximum heart rate could be as many as 15 beats higher or lower than what this formula suggests.
Target Heart Rate Zone: This is the heart rate to aim for when exercising and should be 50-85% of your maximum heart rate.
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Benefits Of Targeting Heart Rate Zones
A training plan that includes aerobic, anaerobic and fat burning sessions will enable you to gain lean muscle mass and burn fat more quickly than just one or the other. Monitoring your heart rate while working out can help you avoid training too hard by knowing exactly what your heart rate is. It may also push you to train harder as you discover that the workouts youve done before are less effective at increasing your heartbeat.
Additionally, you can moderate your training days to take in factors like heat and humidity that will affect your exertion levels. On rest days you can target the active recovery zone to alleviate sore muscles.
Heart Rate Zone : 6070% Of Hrmax
Exercising in heart rate zone 2 feels light and you should be able to go on for a long time at this intensity.
This is the zone that improves your general endurance: your body will get better at oxidizing burning fat and your muscular fitness will increase along with your capillary density.
Training in heart rate zone 2 is an essential part of every exercise program. Keep at it and youll reap the benefits later.
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Heart Rate Training Zones Sample Zone 2 Training Sessions:
Professional athletes usually start their season with a 3-4 week training camp where they focus mostly on Zone 1 & 2 training. Every day they would put in 5-6 hours of easy work to train the heart, focus on the form, as well as work on the base muscle strength.
- Long base-building sessions of over 90 minutes entirely in Zone 2
- Aerobic maintenance sessions of ~30 to 90 minutes with varying intensity
What Is Your Target Heart Rate Zone
If youve ever been to a gym or worked out with a personal trainer, you may have heard of the term target heart rate zone. But even if you knew that you were supposed to aim to get and keep your heart rate within that zone, did you know what it meant? Or how to calculate it?
Chances are you didnt, unless someone gave you a number to shoot for and you were able to track it on your fitness tracker or a heart monitor.
What is a target heart rate zone?
This number is an indication of how fast your heart is beating and provides you with information about how intensely you are exercising. Keeping your heart rate within that zone during your workout provides the most aerobic benefits. For example, if you are shooting to meet the Center for Disease Controls recommendation for getting in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, you can determine if youre meeting that intensity level based on your heart rate.
How do you determine what your target heart rate zone is?
Calculating target heart rate may differ from person to person, especially if you have a medical condition .
But as a general rule of thumb, you can determine your target heart rate by first calculating your maximum heart rate and then shooting for a target heart rate when exercising that is 64-76% of your maximum heart rate, according to the CDC.
Your maximum heart rate is based on your age. To calculate your maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
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How To Work Out For The Best Results
The ACSM recommends that we work out aerobically for 30 minutes at least 5 days a week at a moderate level. That means in the range of about 50-70% of your target heart rate zone. The workouts can be divided into 10-15 minute sessions throughout the day. So when youre first starting, do what you can and work up to 30 minutes at a time over a period of months.
Most people hate long cardio workouts because its very uncomfortable to get your heart rate up and keep it up for an extended period of time. Thats why people like to just walk for exercise! But Im here to tell you that it does get easier with training! Your starting efforts are NOT a predictor of how hard it will always be. So stick with it and keep pushing yourself to do more.
When I first got my elliptical machine I thought I was going to die within 5 minutes on it! So I stayed at 5 min for a while then each month I pushed myself to do a little more until I finally got up to 30 minutes at a time. There are still days that I dont work out as intensely but most often I like to push myself into my 85-90% target heart rate zone.
K Training Plans To Get You Started
Length: 6 weeks, 5 days on and 2 days rest or cross-train
Recommended Experience: Spend the first 6 weeks building up to a 4-mile run or run/walk. Then use this plan, which peaks at 23 miles per week with an 8-mile long run.
Zone 2 is meant for runs under 90 minutes these longer, slower efforts serve as aerobic conditioning for distance runs, says Milton. Its also the zone that improves your bodys ability to use fat for energy , which makes it good for weight loss. Runners training for a half marathon or longer should aim to spend up to 80 percent of their training in this zone, adds Capell.
Zone 3 is where your body gets the most cardiovascular benefit, and its sometimes referred to as the aerobic zone, says Capell. When it comes to developing stamina and increasing aerobic capacity, zone three is the magic spot.Tempo runs, which are still predominantly aerobic, fall into zone 3, and generally last 30 to 45 minutes.
In Zone 4, youre using more of a mix of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism, says Milton. These threshold runs help your body gets better at using carbs for energy and learn to withstand higher levels of lactate in the blood. When it comes to boosting your performance and increasing your lactate threshold, training in zone four is a must, adds Capell.
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Checking Your Heart Rate
Youwill want to slow down so that you can focus on counting your pulse andwatching the clock, but don’t stop completely.
Find your pulse, find a 10 second interval on the clock andstart counting.
Verify this is within your 10 second target heart rate zone.
Or if you don’t want to take your pulse, a good of thumb is ifyou can say a few sentences, then you are probably okay.
Butif you are out of breath and cant say a few words, then bring it downa notch.
You can also purchase a heart monitor to measure your heartrate as you exercise.
Here is a site that has a review of many different types of heart rate monitors to help youselect the right one for you.
What The Experts Do
Monitor Heart Rate for Motivation
For Johns Hopkins cardiologist Michael Blaha, M.D., M.P.H., most workoutstake place on an elliptical trainer in his home. His machine has electrodeson which he can place his hands to automatically see his heart rate. Itgives me a sense of how hard Im working, he says.
Blaha also uses his targeted heart rate to guide the course that heprogrammed into the machine, so that he works up to where he wants to be interms of exertion. Knowing your target heart rate and trying to achieve itcan be very motivating, he says.
Stay on Top of Your Heart Health
If you have a new or existing heart problem, it’s vital to see a doctor. Our heart health checklist can help you determine when to seek care.
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Maximum Effort: 85 To 100% Of Max Heart Rate
Working at this level means you’re working as hard as you can, as in all-out sprints or very high-intensity interval training. Most people can only sustain this level of effort for a short period of time, making this the toughest zone and more appropriate for advanced exercisers. A sprint interval workout is an example of training at maximum effort with rests in between work intervals.
A drawback of exercising at maximum intensity is that you are above the anaerobic threshold and producing lactic acid. This by-product leads to “feeling the burn” in your muscles and post-exercise muscle soreness.