STEP THREE: Once you decide which Zone you're going to train in, and you know your Resting Heart Rate, you will need to put those figures into a formula. You can use our calculator by clicking HERE, or figure it out by following the steps below.
For MALES: 214 - Your Age = Maximum Heart Rate
For FEMALES: 209 - Your Age = Maximum Heart Rate
Take the Maximum Heart Rate - Resting Heart Rate = DIFFERENCE
Take the DIFFERENCE and multiply it by the Zone you want to train in. If you want to train in the 60% range multiply DIFFERENCE by .60, if you want to train in the 70% range multiply DIFFERENCE by .70.
Add your Resting Heart Rate and you get your Training Heart Rate.
(Please Note: This formula gives you the LOWER number in the Maximum Range of your Training Heart Rate. The automatic calculator gives you the HIGHER number in the Maximum Range of your Training Heart Rate. Both numbers are valid! You should use the lower number as your initial goal and work toward getting up to the higher number.)
ALTERNATE FORMULA: Scientists in Norway have come up with a formula they feel yields a more accurate number. That formula is below for your consideration. If clinical trials show it's more effective, we'll change our automatic calculation above. Until then we'll continue using the formula that's considered the gold standard in clinical trials.
FOR BEST RESULTS: Use the Interval Training Method. Learn how to do it by clicking HERE.
Check your pulse frequently throughout the workout to make sure you are maintaining your Training Heart Rate.
Want another tip? If you want to do things the easy way, get a heart rate monitor. It's extremely accurate and gives you instant feedback to make sure you are exercising at the proper level.
Finally, lacking any other method, the Talk Test is a quick way of making sure you're not working too hard. When you're working out, you should be able to carry on a conversation. If you're out of breath or can't talk, you're working too hard. Slow down. Now get out there and start exercising!
CAUTION: Some medications may have an effect upon your exercise heart rate. Before beginning any exercise program check with your doctor or health care professional first.