By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Target heart rate is the desired range of heart rate that is achieved during aerobic exercise. Normal heart rate ranges between 72 to 90 beats per minute.
Training heart rate
Target heart rate or Training heart rate is one that helps the heart and lungs receive maximum benefits from an exercise session.
The target heart rate differs and varies between individuals based on their age, sex, athletic capabilities etc. Target heart rate may be calculated by two approved methods. These are:-
Calculating the target heart rate
To calculate the target heart rate intensity is considered in percentage. Usually 50%–85% intensity is considered to be standard when calculating target or training heart rate.
The first step is to calculate the HRmax. This is measured by a cardiac stress test. For this the person exercises while being monitored by a cardiac monitor.
During the test the intensity of exercise is increased by increasing the speed or slope of the treadmill. The heart functions are measured by the readings of the ECG. The test usually takes around 10 to 20 minutes.
The HRmax is also calculated using age and sex specific formula.
Includes factors like Resting Heart Rate (HRrest) and uses it to calculate Target heart rate. The formula is as follows.
THR = ((HRmax − HRrest) × %Intensity) + HRrest
In this method exercise zones are derived by subtracting values from HRmax. The formula is as follows.
THR = HRmax – Adjuster ± 5 bpm
Zone 1 Adjuster = 50 bpm; Zone 2 Adjuster = 40 bpm; Zone 3 Adjuster = 30 bpm; Zone 4 Adjuster = 20 bpm; Zone 5 Adjuster = 10 bpm
Thereafter the Maximal Aerobic Power (MAP) is a test that determines power output for short distance trials. MAP helps determine the heart rate deflection point (HRDP) to determine the functional threshold heart rate (LTHR or FTHR) of power output.
Reviewed by April Cashin-Garbutt, BA Hons (Cantab)
Last Updated: Jul 14, 2013