How to Calculate Upper & Lower Training Heart Rate

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The training heart rate zone is a range of heart beats during exercise. You need to adjust the intensity of your exercise to keep your pulse within a selected heart rate zone. Such zones are defined by percentage margins of the heart rate reserve. The training zones are chosen depending upon an individual's fitness level and goals. For instance, a beginner should select a 50 percent to 60 percent zone, while zones between 70 percent and 90 percent are appropriate only for the high fitness level. As an example, calculate the upper and lower heart rate extremes for the training zone or 70 percent to 80 percent for a 35-year-old person.

Things You'll Need

  • Stopwatch
  • Calculator
  • Subtract your age from 220 to calculate the maximum heart rate (MHR). In our example, MHR would be 185 because 220 - 35 = 185.

  • Lie down on a couch and rest for 20 minutes. After that, count your pulse beats per minute using a stopwatch. This is your resting heart rate (RHR). For example, RHR = 75.

  • Subtract RHR (Step 2) from MHR (Step 1) to calculate the heart rate reserve (HRR). In our example, HRR = 185 -75 = 110.

  • Multiply HRR (Step 3) by the lower percentage margin of the training zone, and then add RHR to the product to calculate lower training heart rate. In our example, lower training heart rate is (110 x 0.7) + 75 = 152.

  • Multiply HRR by the upper percentage margin and then add RHR to the product to calculate the upper training heart rate. In our example, the upper training heart rate is (110 x 0.8) + 75 = 163.

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