If you didn’t read part 1 of this blog series to find your resting heart rate, you can do that first by following this link.
How to find your Target Heart Rate Range or “Training Zones”
There are a couple of different ways to do this.
1st method (easiest):
-Find your maximum heart rate (MHR) by subtracting your age from 226 (female) or 220 (male)
-Multiply your MHR by 50%, 60%, 70%, etc… to find how many beats per minute (BPM) you would be at each level of effort.
-50-65% are warm up and cool-down zones (5-6 RPE)
-70%-80% are endurance zones (7-8 RPE)
-90% is interval zone (9 RPE)
***Remember, this is a general range. You may have to adjust by 12-24 bpm. One way to find out if it’s accurate for you is to simply work to a level that is extremely exhausting, causes you to gasp for air and you can only work at that level for less than 30 seconds. An example would be to sprint. Look at your heart rate right after you finish the sprint. Is it in the interval zone? If it’s not, how far off is it? You may have to adjust each range by the difference you found. That’s where RPE, Rate of Perceived Exertion comes into play.
2nd method (using your resting heart rate or RHR):
Another formula that’s used to determine target heart rate, which is a little more individual and accurate, is the Karvonen Method.
80% training heart rate = (MHR – RHR) x 80% + RHR
[ex: (200 - 60) x 80% + 60 = 172]
To find the other zones, replace 80% with 70% and so on.
Training Zone Benefits
1) Builds an aerobic base (foundation)
2) Increases your aerobic capacity which will allow for faster recoveries.
3) Improves fat metabolism by increasing enzyme activity in the working muscles. This boosts your ability to use fat as an energy source.
4) Protects against heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases.
5) Improves oxygen consumption, which means your body utilizes more oxygen during maximal exercise. The more oxygen your body can take in and put to work, the more efficient you are.
Interval (65-90% up and down):
1) Increase aerobic and anaerobic capacity. By repeatedly exposing active muscles to high-intensity exercise, you improve their resistance to fatigue. As a result, you will be able to sustain a given exercise intensity for a longer period of time, increasing their endurance.
2) Takes you to a new level of fitness.
3) Increases metabolism.
4) High calorie burn during the workout and AFTER the workout.
To download an entire guide to Heart Rate Training that includes a cheat sheet for you to use during your workouts, follow this link. The download is free.