Target Heart Rate Calculator
This target heart rate calculator estimates your personal age-predicted exercise target heart rate training zones. The exercise intensity levels that are converted into target heart rate training zones have been predetermined by the American College of Sports Medecine (ACSM) as percentage ranges of your maximum heart rate (MHR). However, if you want to define a custom intensity level, also as a percentage of your MHR, for which you would like to know your target heart rate training zone, you can enter your own percentage values into the "Custom Exercise Intensity Level" fields.
Guidelines are provided below the calculator describing the ideal general exercise approaches and target heart rate training zones for improving your cardiorespiratory fitness or for burning fat, whatever your preference may be.
To Improve Your Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Burn Calories
If your primary goal is to improve your cardiorespiratory fitness and burn calories you should train at the "Moderate" or "Heavy" exercise intensity levels. The type of exercise you choose doesn't matter as long as your heart rate stays between the upper and lower heart rate limits provided by this calculator for between 20 to 60 minutes per training session. You should train your cardiorespiratory fitness 3 to 5 times per week. If you are an absolute beginner, train for 20 minutes 3 times a week at the lower end of the calculated heart rate range for a "Moderate" exercise intensity level. As your fitness level improves gradually increase the intensity, duration, and frequency of your training sessions so that you always feel somewhat challenged. This will ensure that your cardiorespiratory system continues to improve from your exercise sessions. Learn more about cardiorespiratory fitness.
To Burn Calories
By exercising at the "Light" exercise intensity level you will burn calories, although not as many calories as you will burn at higher intensity levels. Improvements to your cardiorespiratory fitness level will be limited at the "Light" exercise intensity level, but there are a range of other health benefits associated with consistent low level exercise, so by all means you should exercise at this intensity level if you find it to be more ideal for your personal circumstances. Once again, the type of exercise you choose doesn't matter as long as your heart rate stays between the upper and lower limits of the calculated heart rate range for a "Light" exercise intensity level. In this case, the amount of fat you burn will be proportional to the duration of your exercise, and your training sessions should last for between 20 to 60 minutes. It is generally okay to perform this intensity of exercise 7 days a week if you desire.
The equations used by this calculator to determine your target heart rate training zones are shown below.
- LTZL (beats/minute) = (LILP / 100) x MHR
- UTZL (beats/minute) = (UILP / 100) x MHR
LTZL = Lower Training Zone Limit (beats/minute)
UTZL = Upper Training Zone Limit (beats/minute)
LILP = Lower Intensity Level Percentage (percent)
UILP = Upper Intensity Level Percentage (percent)
MHR = 208 - (0.7 x Age)
Tipton, C.M., ACSM's Advanced Exercise Physiology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 2006.
Tanaka, H., Monhan, K.D., Seals, D.G., Age-predicted maximal heart rate revisited. Am Coll Cardiol 2001; 37:153-156.
Brooks, G.A., Mercier, J., Balance of carbohydrate and lipid utilization during exercise: The 'crossover' concept. Journal of Applied Physiology 1994; 76:2253-2261.