Your Training Heart Rate – Get In the Zone!

HealthEase instructors know the best way to get the most from cardio workouts is to exercise at intensity levels within certain training heart rate zones. The most common methods use formulas such as percentages of your estimated maximum heart rate, e.g. heart rate charts, or the more detailed Korvonen formula. Both methods come with limitations. These limitations include individual differences, such as age, gender, genetics, type of modality, and personal objectives.

 

The biggest variable when using a formula is the estimated maximum heart rate. The key word is ESTIMATED. To calculate a person’s maximum heart rate the formula 220 minus age is typically used. Based on this, a 40-year-old would have a MHR of 180 beats per minute. This number is used to calculate training intensities. However, when tested in the lab, this number can vary between 10-15 beats per minute (BPM). Therefore, a 40-year-old’s actual maximum heart rate would be between 165 and 190 BPM.

 

When prescribing training heart rate zones, HealthEase recommends adding 10 beats on either side of the recommended range.

Use the revised Korvonen formula below in conjunction with recommended Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) ratings to help determine appropriate training intensity levels:

 

(Estimated Maximum Heart Rate – Resting Heart Rate) x Desired Intensity % + Resting HR +/- 10 Beats Per Minute = Training Heart Rate Zone.

• Estimated Maximum HR = 220 – Age: ______________
• Plus 10 BPM: _______
• Minus 10 BPM: ______
• Resting HR = Morning 30-second pulse check multiplied by 2: _________
• Recommended Desired Training Intensities: 60 – 80%

 

Example of a Training Heart Rate Zone for a 30-year-old with resting heart rate of 65:

 

Minimum Training Heart Rate:
220 – 30 (Age) = 190
190 – 65 (RHR) = 125
125 X .60 (Min. Intensity) + 65 (RHR) = 140 Beats/Minute – 10 BPM = 130 BPM

 

Maximum Training Heart Rate:
220 – 30 (Age) = 190
190 – 65 (RHR) = 125
125 X .80 (Min. Intensity) + 65 (RHR) = 165 Beats/Minute + 10 BPM = 175 BPM

 

His training heart rate zone is 130 – 175 beats per minute.

 

Calculate Training Heart Rate Zone:

Maximum: (Estimated Max HR [_____] – RHR [_____]) X .80 = RHR [_____] + 10BPM = [_____]

Minimum: (Estimated Max HR [_____] – RHR [_____]) X .60 = RHR [_____] – 10BPM = [_____]

 

The training heart rate zone is _____ to _____ beats per minute.

 

Next time you go for a run or get on the elliptical machine, GET IN THE ZONE!