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Target Heart Rate: Calculator & BPM Chart

  • Published: 2010-06-11 (Rev. 2015-08-06) - Contact: Ian Langtree at Disabled World
  • Synopsis: Calculate your target heart rate for optimal exercising and aerobics fitness with this online target heart rate calculator.

Definition: Heart Rate (BPM)

Heart rate, or heart pulse, is defined as the speed of the heartbeat measured by the number of beats of the heart per unit of time, typically beats per minute (bpm). Heart rate is not a stable value and it increases or decreases in response to the body's need in a way to maintain an equilibrium (basal metabolic rate) between requirement and delivery of oxygen and nutrients.

Main Document

"Target heart rates let you measure your initial fitness level and monitor your progress in a fitness program."

Calculate your target heart rate for optimal exercising and aerobics fitness with this online target heart rate calculator.

Monitoring your exercise intensity is the best way to get the most out of your cardio workouts. The target heart rate calculator below is one way to make sure you're working within your target heart rate zone, the most effective zone for improving your fitness and burning calories. You can use a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate during your workouts. If you don't have a heart rate monitor, take your pulse for 6 seconds, count how many times your heart beats and add a zero to get an estimate.

Your heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, expressed as beats per minute, which can vary as your body's need for oxygen changes, such as during exercising or sleeping.

Target heart rates let you measure your initial fitness level and monitor your progress in a fitness program.

Your target heart rate zone is the range between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate. Working within this zone will provide you with the maximum health and fat-burning benefits from your cardiovascular activity.

The Target Heart Rate (THR), or Training Heart Rate, is a desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables one's heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout. This range varies based on one's physical condition, gender, and previous training.

Target Heart Rate Calculator
Enter Your Age:
Select Level of Exercise: % of maximum heart rate
Your Target Heart Rate at This Level Equals Heart Beats Per Minute (BPM)
Your Recommended Target Heart Rate = to Heart Beats Per Minute

Heart Rate Zones for Exercising Chart:

Note: The target heart rate calculator above uses calculations based on averages. It is highly recommended you exercise within 55 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate for at least 20 to 30 minutes to get the best results from aerobic exercises. A few high blood pressure medications lower the maximum heart rate and thus the target zone rate. If you're taking such medicine, call your physician to find out if you need to use a lower target heart rate. View our Blood Pressure Chart

The Target Heart Rate Formula for Calculations

Below are two ways to calculate and chart one's Target Heart Rate. In each of these methods, there is an element called "intensity" which is expressed as a percentage. The THR can be calculated as a range of 65%-85% intensity. However, it is crucial to derive an accurate HRmax to ensure these calculations are meaningful.

Example for someone with a HRmax of 180 (age 40, estimating HRmax as 220 - age):

Zoladz method - An alternative to the Karvonen method (below) is the Zoladz method, which derives exercise zones by subtracting values from HRmax.

THR = HRmax - Adjuster Plus/Minus 5 bpm

Example for someone with a HRmax of 180:

Karvonen method - The Karvonen method factors in Resting Heart Rate (HRrest) to calculate Target Heart Rate (THR), using a range of 50%-85%:

THR = ((HRmax - HRrest) %Intensity) + HRrest

Example for someone with a HRmax of 180 and a HRrest of 70:

Related Information:

  1. Blood Type Chart: Facts & Information on Blood Group Types - Ian Langtree - (2012-09-28)
  2. Weight Loss Planning Calculator for Women and Men - Ian Langtree - (2010-12-26)
  3. What Should My Pulse Be - How to Check Your Pulse Rate - BPM Chart - Ian Langtree - (2011-06-09)
  4. Routine Pulse Checks May Prevent Avoidable Death and Disability - Arrhythmia Alliance - (2011-06-04)
  5. Hemoglobin Levels: Chart & Information on Body Iron Level - Ian Langtree - (2015-07-20)


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