Target Heart Rate and Heart Rate Zones + Maximum Pulse Formula

Target Heart Rate and Heart Rate Zones + Maximum Pulse Formula

What is your target heart rate by training intensity? What is the aerobic and anaerobic zone?
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The calculations are indicative

Target Heart Rate + Heart Rate Zones and Training Intensity Calculator

What is your target heart rate and workout intensity? What do you want to get out of it?

Why is it useful to monitor your heart rate and how does it relate to training intensity?

Sport and physical activity are associated with a healthy lifestyle. It is natural. Movement is simply an essential component of life.

Today's modern age tends to make our lives easier and more comfortable. It takes away from the steps and amount of daily physical activity.

This is a problem for the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems and other aspects of the body.

Many people could talk about sedentary lifestyles. Especially in the context of employment. Similarly, standing for long periods of time is negative.

Our body is adapted to movement in any concept.

Let's remember our history lessons. Once upon a time, man gathered fruit and hunted. And not so long ago, we mostly grew and bred.

We didn't sit behind a computer, a cash register or a work line.

As a result, rates of musculoskeletal disorders, joint and spinal pain have been rising over the past decade. The BMI of the population is also rising. Blood fat levels are increasing. Atherosclerosis and associated cardiovascular disease are becoming more common.

Movement, sport, exercise, training, walking, Nordic walking, running, swimming, lifting weights and all sorts of other activities.

Everyone of us would choose something, whether for keeping fit or losing weight. Apart from exercising the body, movement also gives rest to our soul.

Our need for exercise is related to our goal.

The simple answer for each of us is:

  • I want to lose weight
  • I want to strengthen my body
  • I want to put on a few pounds of muscle mass

Intensity helps us achieve our goals.

The intensity of the training helps us in achieving our goals.

Aerobic or anaerobic exercise?

What is your goal and what range do you want to be in?

The aerobic zone uses oxygen to restore energy.

It includes low- and moderate-intensity activities that take place over 30 minutes. An example is running. The energy sources for muscles are fats and sugars.

According to the table, for this type of exercise we will try to keep our heart rate at approximately 50 to 70% of maximum.

The anaerobic form uses a different system. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) helps here.

Examples are strength and explosive training exercises. They use large amounts of energy for short but intense periods of time.

Exercises like HIIT, tabata, gibala, zuniga and others combine strength and endurance exercises.

This is volume at over 70 percent, ideally over 80 percent of our max.

Everyone is different. Not everyone can start right away at 70 percent or more of their max. People with associated conditions are especially limited.

Each person is unique and can afford a different level of activity. Especially people with no experience with high exertion should progress at their own pace.

Beginnings are difficult. It is necessary to progress slowly.

Another limiting factor may be the presence of a disease. It is necessary to consult a doctor about your intentions.

Strength and explosive training is not suitable for everyone...

How do I find out my maximum heart rate?

The first step is to know your maximum heart rate (in one minute). This is easily calculated...

Maximum heart rate =

220 - age = ?

For example:

I am 40 years old and my maximum heart rate is:

220 - 40 = 180 pulses per minute.

To calculate the training band, add:

220 - age and x fraction of the percentage of the maximum heart rate level.

For a 40 year old with 60% of the volume of maximum heart rate (60 divided by 100, so 0.6), an example would be:

(220 - 40) x 0.6 = 108 pulses per minute

(SF = 108/minute)

The table shows the training bands in relation to heart rate - Maximum heart rate volume

Volume Training band Focus of physical activity
50-60 % Aerobic band
  • Very low intensity
  • Movement for health and for beginners
  • Warm-up - warm-up
  • Regeneration exercises, for example after strength training
60-70 % Aerobic band
  • Low intensity
  • Endurance, fitness zone
  • Weight control
  • Burning energy stores, fat
  • Cardiovascular support
70-80 % Aerobic-anaerobic zone
  • Medium intensity
  • Development of fitness, power and endurance
  • Burning stored fat and sugar reserves
  • Support the cardiovascular system
80-90 % Anaerobic zone
  • High intensity
  • Increasing performance and strength
  • Shorter workouts, performance development are recommended
  • Energy sources are mainly sugars, lactate formation, lactic acid
90-100 % Anaerobic zone
  • Maximum intensity
  • Development of performance and explosiveness
  • Competition load
  • High intensity training
  • Alternating periods of several seconds of exercise and rest
  • Lactic acid build-up in the muscles

For weight management (weight loss), aerobic activity at approximately 60% of our maximum heart rate volume is appropriate.

The optimal type is endurance sports activities such as running, cycling, etc.

It is advisable to vary the physical activity. This avoids monotony and exercises more muscle parts.

It is advisable to add strength training to the aerobic cardio form.

A combination of endurance and strength exercises is ideal.

An example is HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and its variations.

We will increase metabolism, fitness and burn calories. Calories will be lost for several hours after the workout as part of recovery.

The basis of HIIT is to alternate phases of high-intensity exercise for a few seconds with short periods of rest.

No special equipment is needed for this type of exercise. We can get by with our own bodies and our own weight. Push-ups and squats and their variations are sufficient.

But HIIT is not for everyone. Not everyone is comfortable with high intensity exercise.

To achieve results in aerobic activity, it is recommended to exercise in a range above 50 and up to 80% of your maximum heart rate.

Exercise must be regular. We should train at least 3 times a week.

Even people with limited exercise capacity can exercise. A simple walk is enough to maintain a healthy limit. An hour walk several times a week will only be perceived positively by your body.

+ a few words on heart rate

Normal heart rate/pulse rate is between 60-90 beats per minute.

At a heart rate above 90 per minute we speak of tachycardia - rapid heartbeat.

The opposite of this is bradycardia, which is reported at a rate below 60 beats per minute.

The ideal is a pulse at a lower rate, i.e. in the range of 60 to 80 per minute.

Heart rate increases with any activity and mental stress. Even with an increase in body temperature and fever.

It decreases during rest or sleep.

The first measurement of values below 60 or above 100 beats per minute does not indicate a heart rhythm disorder. The assessment of abnormalities in heart activity belongs to a specialist.

In addition to the rate, the regularity of the rhythm is also assessed. It may be regular or irregular and chaotic. In this case, an examination is necessary.

How to measure the pulse?


Anyone can safely feel their pulse on their wrist without any aids.

You can feel your pulse correctly using three fingers - the index, middle and ring fingers.

The pulse is not palpable with the thumb!!!
We have thicker skin on the thumb, so it is less sensitive.
The three fingers cover a wider area, so we "measure" more sensitively.

Gently press the bellies of the three fingers together:

  • the inside of the wrist - the part on the edge of the thumb
    • the best place to feel the pulse is at the artery line on the thumb side of the radial artery (arteria radialis)
  • the pressure of the finger bellies is reasonable, not too great or too weak
  • wait a moment, or move your fingers higher or lower
  • when you feel a pulse, count
    • note the speed of the pulse
    • without a watch, the frequency of the beat should be approximately every second (or a little faster)
    • if you have a watch with a second hand, count the number of pulses in one minute
    • note whether the rhythm is regular or whether it 'jumps' irregularly
  • measure/count for 1 minute
  • If the heartbeat is regular, you can reduce the measurement time to 15 seconds
    • then multiply the result by 4 times
    • for example 20 beats in 15 seconds = 20 x 4 = heart rate 80/minute
Measurement - palpation of pulse, heart rate on the wrist with three fingers on the inner and thumb side of the wrist
The correct way to measure - palpation of the pulse/tempo on the wrist - three fingers on the inner and thumb side of the wrist and along the artery. Photo source: Getty Images

In modern times we can measure our vital signs at home using smart devices (watches, bracelets, phone, blood pressure monitor).

We should measure the pulse during rest - physical and mental.
The values decrease at rest and during sleep.
They increase during activity.
We recommend consulting a doctor for deviations from normal.

Trained individuals and athletes are used to being active and their heart and cardiovascular system are adapted to this. Their resting rate normally falls below 60 beats per minute. This is not a pathological condition.

Changes in the heart rhythm can be felt even when the heart is pounding. The heart suddenly beats, for example, in a difficult emotional state. However, heart palpitations can also indicate a health problem.

To complete the brief extract of information, it is advisable to read a few of our articles:

Our other useful calculators:

Important notice:

Please remember that the results of our health calculators and analyzers are for guidance purposes only. They are not a substitute for a professional examination or the advice of a doctor, pharmacist or other health care professional.

Each person is unique, and everyone's needs may vary. Calculators and analyzers have limitations and do not provide a comprehensive individual view of health.

Their use is at your own risk. Neither the site operator nor the author is responsible for misuse and misinterpretation of information obtained through their use. By using the calculators and analyzers, you agree to these terms and conditions and neither the operator nor the author shall be liable for any consequences.

You are advised to consult a professional for your medical condition. Remember that health is an important topic and any decisions should be made in consultation with a professional.

This calculator/analyzer is not a medical tool or medical aid. Consult your doctor about your health problem.

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