Target Heart Rate Calculator

The medically-based Karvonen formula below is the most precise method to calculate target heart rate because it takes into account your resting heart rate.

Your Age


Your Average Resting
Heart Rate


Your Desired
Percent Effort


Calculate Your Average Resting Heart Rate

  1. Find your pulse with your fingers, not your thumb, while lying in bed before you get up in the morning.
  2. Count your pulse for 15 seconds and multiply by four, or 30 seconds and multiply by two. Example: If you count 32 beats in 30 seconds, your resting heart rate is 64 BPM (32 x 2).
  3. Record your heart rate for five days.
  4. Add the five days' resting heart rates together and divide by five to find your average resting heart rate.

Your Desired Percent Effort

40-50% — Beginner Exerciser
50-60% — Intermediate Exerciser
60-70% — Advanced Intermediate Exerciser
70-85% — Advanced Exerciser

Heart Rate Training Zones

Your heart rate training zone is a critical element in exercise. You must train at a variety of different heart rates in order to stimulate your body to improve your fitness level. Taking your pulse and calculating your heart rate during a workout is one of the primary indicators in ascertaining the intensity level at which you and your heart is working.

Training Zones Chart

Zone 1 - Healthy Heart Zone: 50% - 60% of your Max Hr

Easiest, Most Comfortable Zone

Exercise Benefits: Body fat decreases, blood pressure lowered, cholesterol lowered, muscle mass improvements, decreased risk for degenerative diseases, safety high.

Zone 2 - Temperate Zone: 60% - 70% of your Max Hr

Cruise Zone – you can train for extended periods of time in this zone 75% - 85% of all calories from fat as fuel, 6 – 10 calories per minute

Exercise Benefits: Gain muscle mass, lose fat mass, strengthen heart muscle, fat utilization zone, training your fat mobilization, fat transportation, your muscles to burn fat, your fat cells to increase the rate of fat release, increase in the number of mitochondria in the muscle.

Zone 3 - Aerobic Zone: 70% - 80% of your Max Hr

Transition Zone – from two health zones to two performance zones still feels comfortable, you will break a sweat, but no anaerobic burn sensation

Exercise Benefits: Improved overall functional capacity with increase in the number and size of blood vessels, increased vital capacity, respiratory rate, max pulmonary ventilation, pulmonary diffusion, increase in size and strength of the heart, improvements in cardiac output and stroke volume.

Zone 4 - Threshold Zone: 80% - 90% of your Max Hr

Max Calorie Burn Zone

Exercise Benefits: Max fat burn, but you must be fit enough to train with some oxygen present for additional fat burn. No fat burning if exercising above fat burning heart rate. High total calories. burned during exercise, high carbohydrates as source of calories. Improved VO 2 and higher lactate tolerance.

Zone 5 - Preformance Redline Zone: 90% - 100% of your Max Hr

Peak Race Zone – Athlete Only Zone!

Exercise Benefits: Highest total calories burned, but lowest percentage of fat calories. Lactate tolerance zone. This zone is only for the very healthy and fit!!! Spending too much time in this zone, even for elite athletes can be painful, cause injuries and lead to over training, which leads to poor performance!

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