Heart rate training zones are calculated by taking into consideration your Resting Heart Rate (RHR) and Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). Within each training zone, subtle physiological effects take place to enhance your fitness.

Measuring your Heart Rate

Grab a stopwatch, or a clock or watch with a second hand, then find your pulse. You can locate your pulse either in your radial artery on your wrist or at your carotid artery in your neck. Choose the spot that works best for you.

You can count the beats for a full 60 seconds or count for 6 seconds and add a zero at the end. If you felt your heart beat 14 times in 6 seconds the number would be 140 for a full 60 seconds. Counting for only six seconds is a convenient method, of course it is more accurate to count for the full 60 seconds.

Resting Heart Rate

In general, the higher your resting heart rate, the less physically fit you are, and the lower your heart rate, the more physically fit you are. (Some athletes have resting heart rates in the 40s.) One way to see if your new workout is succeeding is to check your resting heart rate over a few months.

Your resting heart rate is best measured when you first wake up in the morning, before your feet leave the sheets.

Men

Age 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Athlete 49-55 49-54 50-56 50-57 51-56 50-55
Excellent 56-61 55-61 57-62 58-63 57-61 56-61
Good 62-65 62-65 63-66 64-67 62-67 62-65
Above Average 66-69 66-70 67-70 68-71 68-71 66-69
Average 70-73 71-74 71-75 72-76 72-75 70-73
Below Average 74-81 75-81 76-82 77-83 76-81 74-79
Poor 82+ 82+ 83+ 84+ 82+ 80+

 

 

Women

Age 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
Athlete 54-60 54-59 54-59 54-60 54-59 54-59
Excellent 61-65 60-64 60-64 61-65 60-64 60-64
Good 66-69 65-68 65-69 66-69 65-68 65-68
Above Average 70-73 69-72 70-73 70-73 69-73 69-72
Average 74-78 73-76 74-78 74-77 74-77 73-76
Below Average 79-84 77-82 79-84 78-83 78-83 77-84
Poor 85+ 83+ 85+ 84+ 84+ 84+

Maximum Heart Rate

Subtract your age from 220 (226 for women) to calculate your Maximum Heart Rate. 

Heart Rate Zones

Heart Rate Zone

Percentage of Maximum Heart Rate

Description

Level of Burned Calories

Percentage of Calories Burned from Fat

Healthy Heart Zone (Warm up)

50 - 60%

The easiest zone and probably the best zone for people just starting a fitness program. It can also be used as a warm up for more serious walkers. This zone has been shown to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. It also decreases the risk of degenerative diseases and has a low risk of injury.

Intermediate

85%

Fitness Zone (Fat Burning)

60 - 70%

This zone provides the same benefits as the healthy heart zone, but is more intense and burns more total calories.

High

85%.

Aerobic Zone (Endurance Training)

70 - 80%

The aerobic zone will improve your cardiovascular and respiratory system AND increase the size and strength of your heart. This is the preferred zone if you are training for an endurance event.

Very High

50%

Anaerobic Zone (Performance Training)

80 - 90%

Benefits of this zone include improvement of Maximal Oxygen Consumption (VO2 Max) which is the highest amount of oxygen one can consume during exercise, and thus an improved cardiorespiratory system, and more efficient movement and delivery for oxygen into your blood, which means your endurance will improve and you'll be able to fight fatigue better.

Very High

15 %

Red Line (Maximum Effort)

90 - 100%

Although this zone burns the highest number of calories, it is very intense. Most people can only stay in this zone for short periods. You should only train in this zone if you are in very good shape and have been cleared by a physician to do so.

Maximum

 


Heart Rate Zones Calculator

Note: The above equations are based on the widely used formula  and researchperformed in 1970 by Dr. William Haskell and Dr. Samuel Fox.