Choosing the Right Heart Rate Zone for Heart Rate Training

Posted by Craig Trinkley

If you frequent our blog, chances are you’re interested in fitness, monitoring your heart rate and overall healthy living. But, are you using your heart rate monitor to determine the best heart rate your heart should be at while training?

Heart rate training is, simply put, a range your heart rate should be at during aerobic exercise where your heart and lungs can get the most benefit. Everyone’s training heart rate is different, so it’s important to calculate it on an individual basis, and better the overall intensity of your workouts as you do the math.

The following calculations should help you calculate your target heart rate zone:

  • 220 – your age = Maximum Heart Rate
  • Subtract resting heart rate from maximum heart rate = Heart Rate Reserve or HRR.
  • Multiply HRR times the percent that you want to train at.
  • Add back resting heart rate

Use the zones below as a guide when deciding how intense your workouts should be, and as time progresses and your fitness level improves, you may consider moving on to other zones.

Training Zones:

Healthy Heart Zone (Warm Up): 50-60% of maximum heart rate. This is the best zone for those just beginning a fitness routine.

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning): 60-70% of maximum heart rate. This zone is a little more intense than the warm-up zone.

Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training): 70-80% of maximum heart rate. This is the zone to consider when training for a competition or big fitness event. This zone helps develop your cardiovascular system.

Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training): 80-90% of maximum heart rate. Training in this zone is great for developing your muscles and bones and is usually done in short intervals: weight lifting, running or swimming sprints, or a game of tennis.

The Red Line Zone (Short Period Training): 90-100% of maximum heart rate. This zone is for interval running and developing your speed. Only those in good overall shape are able to train in this zone.

By using heart rate monitors and knowing what zone your workout is in, you can get a real-time look at the intensity of your workout and think of ways to improve your experiences. For instance, if you’ve been working out a lot lately and are meeting your target heart rate in a particular zone, you may consider moving on to another level of fitness.

Also, you may consider varying your workouts based upon length and intensity to allow for breaks in your routine throughout the week. Getting on a weekly schedule with different level of work outs can help a lot in the long run, too.



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