How To Get Back In Shape
Calculate Your Exercise Target Heart
Why do I need to know my Exercise
Target Heart Rate?
Optimize Your Workouts and Your Results - By using your Exercise Target Heart
Rate, you can maximize your workouts to get back in shape
more efficiently. If you are not seeing the results that you expect from your exercise program, it
may be because you are not using sufficient intensity in your
For Safety -
Knowing your Exercise Target Heart Rate and your Max Heart Rate is
important for your heart's health and safety during cardiovascular workouts.
Do not exceed you max heart rate.
Use a Heart Rate
Monitor to Get
Back in Shape Faster
Rate Monitor to help you keep track
heart rate during
exercise. This allows you to
intensity of your workout
You may find that when
youstrap on a heart
monitor, your heart rate is either too low for
exercises to be effective or too high to be safe.
your workouts. Use a heart
How To Get Back in Shape Safely: As always, it is important to note that if you are new to exercise, or have a
medical condition, you should consult with your doctor to determine appropriate exercise
target heart rates for you. The following formulas are for information, but may not be appropriate for your
condition. Only your physician can advise you.
Learn the Warning Signs and Precautions, before beginning an exercise
program to get back in shape.
What is My
Resting Heart Rate? (RHR)
Your Resting Heart Rate is the number of beats that
your heart beats during one minute. To find your resting heart rate, take your pulse:
- For one full minute
- First thing in the morning when you wake up
- Before you get out of bed
It is best to take your resting pulse several days to
get an average.
What is My Maximum or Max Heart
Your Max Heart Rate is the number of heart beats
that you should not exceed in one minute. When exercising, you do not exercise at your max heart rate.
Instead, you select a percentage of your max heart rate, that you choose to target during exercise,
depending on your exercise goals. This percentage is usually between 55% to 85% of your max heart
rate, depending on your condition and your exercise goals.
To Calculate Max Heart Rate, use this formula: MHR = 206.9 - (0.67 x
(Note: You may be familiar with the old formula to calculate max
220 - age = MHR. The newer formula now used to calculate max heart rate is more accurate: 206.9 - (0.67 x
age) = MHR.)
Alternatively, if you are young and active you can sprint 200 meters
all out two different times and take your highest heart rate which is a good estimate of your max heart rate.
What is My Exercise Target Heart Rate? (THR)
Your Exercise Target Heart
Rate is the targeted number of beats that your heart beats during one minute of exercise. Your target
heart rate is calculated based on your max heart rate (and your resting heart rate with the formula
In general, you calculate a lower and
upper level of your exercise target heart rate so that you have a range within to
workout. For example, you
may choose a training % of your max heart rate (MHR) as follows:
* Use these values in your
||55% to 65% of your max heart rate if you are new to exercise
||60% to 70% if you tolerate moderate exercise and want to lose
||70% to 80% if you are more fit and want to improve endurance
||(Above 80% to 85%, we assume that you are already in shape and not within our
"back in shape" model.)
If you are doing Interval Training you may set your training % as follows:
||For the Intense Work Phase - 80% to 85% (or more if you are fit)
||For the Recovery Phase - 60% to 70%
If using the Tabata
Protocol for high intensity intervals, you would push yourself as hard as you can for
20 seconds, rest or back off for 10 seconds of recovery, and repeat this routine 7 to 8 times in a
period of 4 minutes. Use a heart rate monitor to avoid exceeding your max heart rate during
intervals. Using the Tabata Protocol will improve both your aerobic and anaerobic
The Target Heart Rate
training % that you choose will depend on your age, health and your goals of
Exercise Target Heart Rate using the Karvonen Formula:
Karvonen Formula: (MHR -
RHR) x ___% + RHR = THR
THR = Target Heart Rate
RHR = Resting Heart Rate
MHR = Max Heart
HRR = Heart Rate Reserve
Easier: To calculate your exercise
target heart rate, using a calculator based on the Karvonen Formula, we refer you to Brian Calkin's
Harder: To calculate your exercise target
heart rate on your own, using the Karvonen formula, follow these steps:
- RHR) x ___% + RHR = THR
Get your resting heart rate, RHR
Calculate your max heart rate: 206.9 - (0.67 x age) =
Calculate your heart rate reserve (HRR): (MHR - RHR) =
(Heart Rate Reserve x Training % i.e. .5 to
.80*) + RHR = THR
Get back in shape effectively and
safely. Exercise using your target heart rate. Use a heart rate monitor, warm up completely, workout within your target heart rate
range, and cool down fully.
To purchase a heart rate monitor, please go to
our Amazon Store.
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