Target Heart Rate Calculator

7th November 2014


target heart rate

Maximum heart rate is designed to help people safely and effectively exercise.

It is theoretically the most times that your heart can safely beat in the span of one minute.

The traditional formula for computing maximum heart rate is 220 – age. Therefore maximum heart rate will decrease with age.

Basic Max Heart Rate Calculator

Enter Your Age:

Years Old   
Using this very basic formula, your max heart rate is

.

It has been speculated that the generic equation for determining maximum heart rate is not very accurate. Individuals of the same age will have different sized hearts, stroke volume, blood pressure, resting heart rates, and other factors that would contribute to the maximum possible beats per minute.

A few attempts have been made to “fine tune” the formula, but even those efforts may fall short. One formula is known as the “adjusted heart rate”.

How To Find Your Heart Rate

There are many methods to measure your heart rate. The most common is to place two fingers against side of the throat, or to press them gently on the wrist. This is practical when you can pause your training and measure your own heart rate. When performing intense exercise, however, a heart rate monitor is recommended. These devices can provide a readout of your heart rate while you are exercising. Some are built into machines, and others involve a chest strap and a device that looks just like a wrist watch.

Max Heart Using Tanaka Method

Another “tweak” to the traditional formula is known as the Tanaka method. Based on a study of literally thousands of individuals, a new formula was devised which is believed to be more accurate. The formula is 208 – 0.7 x age.

Enter Your Age:

Years Old   
Using the Tanaka basic formula, your max heart rate is

.

Is Heart Rate Important?

So why even worry about your heart rate? Heart rate is a great indicator of training. In order to better understand heart rate, you must understand the various “systems” of energy that your body uses when you train. There are three systems that are always in effect, but one system will dominate based on the type of training. These systems are ATP-CP and glycolytic (both are anaerobic, or systems that do not rely on oxygen as the primary energy source) and aerobic.

Heart Rate Activity Chart

Now that we know your maximum heart rate, we can compute various levels of activity. Keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules (see also Maximum Cardio to understand how to best use your heart rate zones).

Maximum heart rate:
Resting heart rate (optional):

90% Anaerobic (intense)
80% Cross-training / interval
70% Moderate aerobic
60% Very light cardio

Resting heart rate is taken first thing in the morning, after waking. If you do not know your resting heart rate, leave that field blank. When used, it adjusts the formula slightly based on your level of fitness as indicated by your resting heart rate.

What Are the Zones?

The zones simply tell you where your fuel/energy is coming from.

  • At 90%, the majority is without oxygen – here, you burn the most calories in the shortest amount of time, and increase your metabolism for longer periods. While fewer calories are burned from fat during the activity, more calories are expended overall, which is beneficial for fat loss and muscle gain.
  • At 60%, you burn more calories from fat during the activity, but burn less calories overall and have minimal impact on your metabolism.

Beginners or those adding cardio to an already heavy schedule of training would benefit from the 60%, while those performing high intensity interval training or more advanced would benefit from working out in a higher range. Always check with your physician prior to beginning a new training regimen!

5 thoughts on “Target Heart Rate Calculator

  1. sheila

    thanks for the info.. I tend to stay in the 80-90 range. my goal is increased metabolism and wieght loss.. seems to be working but thanks for the info.. i wanted to make sure I wasn’t working too high and being dangerous. Thanks for the caluclators.. they were very helpful

  2. Warren Billett

    Max Heart Using Tanaka Method
    Another “tweak” to the traditional formula is known as the Tanaka method. Based on a study of literally thousands of individuals, a new formula was devised which is believed to be more accurate. The formula is 208 – 0.7 x age.

    The formula as given is wrong. The answer manually calulating for a 52 year old person would be 10779.6

    1. Brian Keller

      Warren,

      The formula is correct. It is your math that is wrong. The mathematical order of operations are 1)multiply, 2)divide, 3)add, and 4)subtract. Using the formula with the correct order of operations gives a 52 year old person a rate of 183.6.

  3. shank

    I am a 52 yr old male and I am doing the Insanity workout. My resting heart rate is about 62. They say to raise your heart to an intense level then let your heart rate recover. How high should my heart rate get and how low should should it get before moving to next activity?

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