How To Find Your Target Heart Rate

To determine if you’re training at an effective and safe level, it’s best to monitor your heart rate. To improve your cardiovascular fitness, healthy individuals are recommended to train at 70% – 80% of their maximum heart rate. Anything below 70% is ineffective, and above 85% is unsafe. If you’re just starting out with any exercise program, 60% – 70% is going to be your safest bet.

Beginner level (226 minus your age) x 60%
Intermediate level (226 minus your age) x 70%
Advanced level (226 minus your age) x 80%

Replace 226 with 220 for men

For a measurement of target heart rate use the Karvonen formula:
• By subtracting your age from 226, you can predict your maximum heart rate.
• Subtract your resting heart rate from your maximum heart rate to get your heart rate reserve.
• Multiply your answer by .70 or 70%.
• Add your resting heart rate to your answer, which gives you your target heart rate at the 70% level.
• Repeat the steps to find 60% and 85%.

I’ll give you an example to show you what this equation would look like if a 25-year-old woman has a resting heart rate of 75 and if she wanted to train at the 70% level :

226 – 25 = 201 (predicted maximum heart rate)

201 – 75 = 126 (heart rate reserve)

126 x .70 = 88.2

88.2 + 75 = 163.2 (heartbeat at 70% intensity level)

This might seem pretty high to you, but to get the most out of each session you’ll want to aim to keep your heart rate somewhere around this number. If you’re unable to get a heart rate monitor there is something else you should try. There’s this little thing that trainers do with their clients to get them better antiquated with their own body. It goes something like this – if you can sing a song while doing cardio, you aren’t working out hard enough. If you are huffing and puffing and can’t catch your breath, you’re working out way too hard. The key is to be able to hold a conversation, without panting, but you really have to focus on what you’re saying by controlling your breathing. If your in that situation you’re in the fat burning zone!

Next time you’re out, give this a try. Let the fat burning really begin! Leave any questions or comments below for me 🙂