What should your target heart rate be during a workout?
By on Thu, Dec 4, 2014 12:23pm

Your heart rate training zone should be based on your training goals and current fitness level.  First, you must determine your maximum heart rate.   The simplest method is the age-adjusted method which is: 220-age= Maximum Heart Rate. For example, a 45 year old female would have a maximum heart rate of 175.

Now you would determine your heart rate training zone:

Moderate Level:  50-60% (for warm-up and cool down), temperate:  60-70% (for cardio training), aerobic:  70-80% (for improved cardiorespiratory efficiency), anaerobic: 80-90% (to improve anaerobic (without oxygen) capacity), and maximum:  90-100% (for maximum effort and power).

If you are a beginner exerciser, you should probably target your heart rate training zone from moderate to temperate. If you have been exercising for some time and have no physical limitations, you should probably target your heart rate to aerobic. If you have consistently trained and have adequately prepared your body for higher intensity training, your target heart rate should be anaerobic. Lastly, if you are preparing for a competition, or you are an athlete, your heart rate training zone could be in the maximum range.  However, remember that the body can only perform at maximal levels for a very short period of time.

In our example, if our 45 year old female wanted to train at the aerobic level, her target heart rate would be determined by multiplying her maximum heart rate by her desired training zone:

    •    220-45= 175
    •    175 x .70 = 122.5
    •    175 x .80 = 140

Therefore, she would need to maintain a heart rate of 123-140 to be in the aerobic range.

Note: This is not exact science, but a simple and useful method to determine a target heart rate zone. When exercising, you should be able to do any activity with control, proper form and technique and you should always stay within your current fitness level. If you feel excessively fatigued or lightheaded, you have exceeded your fitness level, if you can easily talk and feel that you can continue forever, you need to CRANK IT UP!