Target Heart Rates - Staying in the Zone

Top athlets have known for years that keeping within a target heart rate can maximize your training efforts. With the recent explosion of consumer heart rate monitors, people of all fitness levels can benifit from this as well.

Exercising within your target heart range has several advantages.

  • Exercising under your range means that you are not getting 100% out of your work-out
  • Exercising over your range can be dangerous for those who are not in top condition
  • Different levels target different areas of fitness and conditioning.

The ideal goal in fitness training is to workout for 20 to 30 mintues at a time. The first 10 minutes is really a warm-up. It is the second 10 minutes when you will start to burn calories an after 20 minutes is when the real benifit starts. You have to be able to measure the effort being expended will enable you to pace yourself so that you can last the full 30 minutes.

The first step is to calculate your maximum heart rate. There are several different methods. The most simple is to subtract your age from 220 for men or your age from 226 for women.

I am 37 so my max heart rate is 220-37 = 183.

This is a great starting place. For the most accurate results have a stress test performed.

You also need your resting heart rate. This, as the name implies is what your pulse rate when you are completely at rest. Try using your heart rate monitor first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed.

So, your heart rate range is the lowest - your resting heart rate - to the highest - your max heart rate. Your target range is what your heart should be beating at while exercising.

Now the difference between the resting heart rate and the max heart rate is the working range. Your target range is a percentage of that working rate. Generally starting out your target range should be 70% to 85% of the working rate.

Example:

Max Heart Rate = 183
Resting Heart Rate = 70
Working Heart Rate = 183 - 70 = 113
Lower target range = (113 * .7) + 70 = 149
Upper target range = (113 * .85) + 70 = 166

Now that you know your ranges you can setexercise goals. Staying in the 60-70% range is good for burning fat. 70-80% is good for building endurance. As you progress you may want to do some interval training in the 80-90% range to increase speed.

As with any exercise routine it is best to speak to you Doctor, especially if it has been sometime since you were active or you have health concerns.


Man wearing a heart rate monitor

Top athlets have known for years that keeping within a target heart rate can maximize your training efforts. With the recent explosion of consumer heart rate monitors, people of all fitness levels can benifit from this as well.

Exercising within your target heart range has several advantages.

  • Exercising under your range means that you are not getting 100% out of your work-out
  • Exercising over your range can be dangerous for those who are not in top condition
  • Different levels target different areas of fitness and conditioning.

The ideal goal in fitness training is to workout for 20 to 30 mintues at a time. The first 10 minutes is really a warm-up. It is the second 10 minutes when you will start to burn calories an after 20 minutes is when the real benifit starts. You have to be able to measure the effort being expended will enable you to pace yourself so that you can last the full 30 minutes.

The first step is to calculate your maximum heart rate. There are several different methods. The most simple is to subtract your age from 220 for men or your age from 226 for women.

I am 37 so my max heart rate is 220-37 = 183.

This is a great starting place. For the most accurate results have a stress test performed.

You also need your resting heart rate. This, as the name implies is what your pulse rate when you are completely at rest. Try using your heart rate monitor first thing in the morning before you even get out of bed.

So, your heart rate range is the lowest - your resting heart rate - to the highest - your max heart rate. Your target range is what your heart should be beating at while exercising.

Now the difference between the resting heart rate and the max heart rate is the working range. Your target range is a percentage of that working rate. Generally starting out your target range should be 70% to 85% of the working rate.

Example:

Max Heart Rate = 183
Resting Heart Rate = 70
Working Heart Rate = 183 - 70 = 113
Lower target range = (113 * .7) + 70 = 149
Upper target range = (113 * .85) + 70 = 166

Now that you know your ranges you can setexercise goals. Staying in the 60-70% range is good for burning fat. 70-80% is good for building endurance. As you progress you may want to do some interval training in the 80-90% range to increase speed.

As with any exercise routine it is best to speak to you Doctor, especially if it has been sometime since you were active or you have health concerns.



Woman on a Treadmill