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Maximum heart rate and heart rate training zones calculator

How to calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (HRMAX)? Which heart rate zones to choose for training and how to calculate the heart rate zones? At what heart rate is the best fat burning, and at what will we increase our efficiency and improve the condition? The calculator for maximum heart rate and heart rate zones can help answer these questions. You will calculate both your maximum and optimal heart rate and select the heart rate ranges for the appropriate training.

Calculator for maximum heart rate and heart rate zones for training




Maximum heart rate, heart rate zones information

What is heart rate?

Heart rate, pulse in scientific terms is the undulating movement of arteries, dependent on the contractions of the heart and the elasticity of the arterial walls. In simpler terms, heart rate is the number of beats per minute.

The normal heart rate varies from person to person. Knowing your own heart rate can be an important indicator of your health.
Many factors influence the heart rate, including:

  • effort
  • age
  • weight
  • diseases
  • condition
  • emotions
  • Even if you're not an athlete, knowing your heart rate can help you monitor your fitness level and can even help you spot health problems.

    How to measure your heart rate

    The most accurate heart rate measurements are made in the arteries.

    The best places to measure your heart rate are:

  • neck
  • wrists
  • elbows
  • dorsum of the foot
  • There are two different methods of measuring your heart rate.

    The first is the manual method. The measurement is made by placing the fingers (preferably the index and middle fingers, and when testing your own heart rate, you can use your thumb) in the places mentioned above and pressing for 15 seconds to count the number of strokes. We multiply this value by 4 to get the number of beats per minute.
    The second method is the mechanical method. In this case, we use heart rate measuring devices, e.g. heart rate monitors, for measurements.

    Thanks to the heart rate measurement, we can determine resting heart rate , maximum heart rate , optimal heart rate or heart rate zones appropriate for your training .

    What is your resting heart rate?

    Resting heart rate is the lowest heart rate value. The heart then pumps the smallest amount of blood that is needed for oxygenation and the functioning of the body. If you sit or lie down and are calm, relaxed and not sick, your heart rate is usually between 50 and 100 beats per minute.

    A heart rate of less than 50 is not necessarily a problem. This could be the result of taking a drug such as a beta blocker. Lower heart rate is also common in people who are physically active or very fit. Active people often have a lower heart rate because their heart muscle is in better shape and does not have to work so hard to maintain a steady rhythm. However, if your resting heart rate is over 100 beats per minute, it is tachycardia and you should definitely see your doctor.


    The lowest measured and confirmed heart rate of an adult, healthy person was registered in 2005 in the Guinness Book of Records.
    This record belongs to Martin Brady from Great Britain and is only 27 beats per minute.

    The tables below show the average resting heart rate for age and training level.

    Age: 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
    Excellent 49-55 49-54 50-56 50-57 51-56 50-55
    Very heigh 56-61 55-61 57-62 58-63 57-61 56-61
    Heigh 62-65 62-65 63-66 64-67 62-67 62-65
    Good 66-69 66-70 67-70 68-71 68-71 66-69
    Average 70-73 71-74 71-75 72-76 72-75 70-73
    Poor 74-81 75-81 76-82 77-83 76-81 74-79
    Bad 82+ 82+ 83+ 84+ 82+ 80+
    Wiek: 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
    Excellent 54-60 54-59 54-59 54-60 54-59 54-59
    Very heigh 61-65 60-64 60-64 61-65 60-64 60-64
    Heigh 66-69 65-68 65-69 66-69 65-68 65-68
    Good 70-73 69-72 70-73 70-73 69-73 69-72
    Average 74-78 73-76 74-78 74-77 74-77 73-76
    Poor 79-84 77-82 79-84 78-83 78-83 77-84
    Bad 85+ 83+ 85+ 84+ 84+ 84+

    How do I measure my resting heart rate?

    The measurement of your resting heart rate should be performed in the morning immediately after waking up, after a good night's sleep, lying down. Calm down and relax before taking the measurement. If you absolutely must use the bathroom, go (although movement is not recommended), but it will help you relax. Remove any external noise such as music, TV, radio, and say nothing while measuring.

    You should be healthy and rested. It is important when taking such measurements not to be subjected to very intense effort during training or competitions, as this may strongly distort the obtained value.

    If you are measuring with a heart rate monitor, prepare it in the evening and put it next to your bed, so you don't have to get up when you wake up.

    When you wake up, give your body some time to adjust to the change of state (2-5 minutes).

    Take the measurement for about 3-5 minutes lying on your back, relax, breathe calmly and do not look at the heart rate monitor.

    If you perform the measurement manually, measure the pulse in the carotid artery or wrist. Place your index and middle fingers on the artery and count the number of strokes in 15 seconds. Multiply the result four times to get the number of beats per minute.

    You should take the measurement more than once, preferably on the following mornings over several weeks, to get the best average resting heart rate.

    If you are unable to take a measurement first thing in the morning, lie down for at least 10 minutes before taking a measurement.

    How do I calculate maximum heart rate (HRmax)?

    Maximum heart rate indicates the upper limit of the heart rate. Maximum heart rate is very individual and depends on age, gender, genetic predisposition, level of training, and even weather conditions. Due to such a high level of variability, it is impossible to predict exactly what your maximum heart rate is.

    The most accurate way to measure your maximum heart rate is through a stress test under a laboratory setting.

    Unfortunately, not everyone has access to specialized exercise testing. That is why, for many years, doctors, scientists, athletes and coaches have been trying to find the right formula to calculate the maximum heart rate, taking into account the most important factors influencing its height.

    All formulas created have a certain error resulting from individual differences of each of us and the unaccounted for factors influencing the value of the maximum heart rate. However, they provide values with a fairly precise approximation. The formulas used in the Maximum Heart Rate and Heart Rate Zones Calculator are shown below

    Slly Edwards Formula

    Formula was created by Sally Edwards, a former professional athlete, triathlete, and author of many books on training. It is considered the most accurate formula, the error in calculations does not exceed ±5%

    $$Men:\hspace{0.7em} 214 - \frac{age}{2} - 0.022 \cdot weight\hspace{0.2em} in\hspace{0.2em} kg; $$ $$Women:\hspace{0.7em} 210 - \frac{age}{2} - 0.022 \cdot weight\hspace{0.2em} in\hspace{0.2em} kg;$$

    Winfried Spanaus Formula

    Formula developed in 2000 by Winfried Spanaus on a sample of 600 respondents. The formula is intended mainly for athletes. The calculation error is ± 10 beats per minute.

    $$Men:\hspace{0.7em} 223 - 0.9 \cdot age; $$ $$Women:\hspace{0.7em} 226 - 0.9 \cdot age;$$

    John Moores University

    Formula is intended for active athletes in both aerobic and anaerobic sports. Developed by John Moores University of Liverpool.

    $$Man:\hspace{0.7em} 202 - 0.55 \cdot age; $$ $$Women:\hspace{0.7em} 216 - 1.09 \cdot age;$$

    Hirofumi Tanaka and others Formula

    Formula developed by three doctors, H. Tanaka, K.D. Monahana and D.R. Sealsa of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Developed on the basis of tests and studies of 500 trained and untrained people aged 18-81 years. Calculation error may be ± 10 beats per minute.

    $$Man\hspace{0.2em}and \hspace{0.2em}Women:\hspace{0.7em} 208 - 0.7 \cdot age; $$

    Nes and others Formula

    Formula was developed on the basis of performance tests in 3,320 healthy women and men aged 19 to 89 years. The study took into account all potential factors that may affect the heart rate values, i.e. body build, gender, physical activity, VO2max and BMI. After the statistical analysis, it turned out that the maximum heart rate values were significantly correlated only with the age of the respondents. Calculation error may be ± 10 beats per minute.

    $$Man\hspace{0.2em}and \hspace{0.2em}Women:\hspace{0.7em} 211 - 0.64 \cdot age; $$

    Miller for the obese Formula

    Formula suggested for obese people with% Body Fat greater than 30. The error in the calculation may be ± 12 beats per minute. You can calculate your body fat percentage in Body fat calculator

    $$Man\hspace{0.2em}and \hspace{0.2em}Women:\hspace{0.7em} 200 - 0.5 \cdot age; $$

    Foxa & Hakell's Formula

    Formula developed in 1971 by Fox and Haskell's. The most popular and simplest formula, however, is very imprecise.

    $$Man\hspace{0.2em}and \hspace{0.2em}Women:\hspace{0.7em} 220 - age; $$

    How do I calculate the optimal heart rate for training?

    The optimal heart rate for training depends on the individual characteristics of the sport, the intensity of the training and its advancement. During training, one of the most important elements to pay attention to is their intensity, which is directly reflected in the heart rate. Determining the optimal heart rate for the selected training allows you to determine the intensity of exercise that you need without unnecessary straining the body or wasting time on non-developmental training.

    To determine the optimal heart rate, the so-called Kavonen formula. This is the formula that uses the heart rate reserve to calculate the difference between your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate.

    $$Optimal\hspace{0.2em}pulse = (pulse\hspace{0.2em}max - pulse\hspace{0.2em}rest.) × coefficient + pulse\hspace{0.2em}rest.$$
    There are of course different types of endurance training - e.g. basic endurance training or aerobic endurance training, and according to Karvonen, we need to apply a different coefficient to each of them, e.g.:
  • For Intensive Endurance Training: 0.8
  • For long endurance training at a more relaxed pace: 0.6
  • For inexperienced basic training: 0.5

  • And at this point we can move on to the training heart rate zones.

    How to calculate training heart rate zones or target heart rate?

    Whether you are doing cardio for health, fitness, or weight loss, it's important to work with some intensity.

    For healthy people, the target heart rate or training heart rate is the desired heart rate range achieved during exercise that allows the heart and lungs to get the most benefit from training. These theoretical ranges vary with age; however, fitness, gender and stage are also used in the calculations.

    The above-described Kavonen formula is used to determine the training heart rate zones, i.e. the target heart rate for training

    Training heart rate zones are percentages of your maximum heart rate

    %HRmax Zone Description
    50%-60% 1.Health
    Low level of intensity

    The low intensity heart rate zone provides a comfortable heart rate and is a good choice for beginners or for warming up or recovery periods for overtraining.

    You should always start your training session with a few minutes in your health zone to stimulate blood circulation. Beginners can start in this zone to build an exercise tolerance and get used to walking, cycling, or using exercise equipment.

    At low intensity levels, you get the benefits of being physically active. Exercise in this zone strengthens the circulatory system, improves efficiency, condition and health. However, the disadvantage of staying in this zone is that you do not get the added benefit of exercising in a moderate intensity zone.

    To train in this zone, choose a movement where you can easily control your heart rate. Examples of low intensity training include walking at a comfortably easy pace or using an exercise bike with light pedaling stress.

    60%-70% 2.Fat burning
    Moderate intensity

    Experts often recommend working at moderate intensity to lose weight, strengthen the cardiovascular system, and improve the condition and performance of the heart. Cardio training in the heart rate zone improves the body's ability to transport oxygen.

    It is an ideal zone for people on a diet.

    Workouts in this zone should not exceed 150 minutes a week and should last at least 10 minutes a day. Workouts should be spread over the entire week.

    Examples of moderate-intensity cardio training include brisk walking, easy jogging, cycling under 20 km/h, and water aerobics.

    70%-80% 3.Areobic
    High intensity

    Praca w strefie tętna o wysokiej intensywności przenosi Cię poza strefę komfortu i spala więcej kalorii. W tej strefie budujesz wydolność aerobową, poprawiając VO2 max (maksymalne zużycie tlenu). Konsekwentne treningi o wysokiej intensywności mogą podnieść próg beztlenowy. W tej strefie poprawia się wydolność oddechowa i krążenie, co z kolei poprawia kondycję i wyniki sportowe.

    The perfect zone for increasing your endurance and performance.

    To reach the minimum recommended amount of exercise each week, you need 75 minutes at intervals of at least 10 minutes. A combination of high intensity and moderate intensity exercise will give you the best results.

    Examples of high intensity workouts other than running, swimming, riding faster than 15 km/h, and high intensity exercise for aerobic training.

    80%-90% 4.Anaerobic
    High effort

    A breakthrough range, strongly affecting the body. In this zone, aerobic training turns into anaerobic training. For maximum gains in performance and endurance, professional athletes train in this range for a short time, making it the most difficult zone. An example of training in this zone is interval sprint training. This range is especially important for professional athletes in a given field of sport.

    90%+ 5.Red
    Maximum effort

    Over 90% of maximum heart rate. He is approaching his maximum heart rate. Anaerobic workouts. The downside to exercising at maximum intensity is that you are above the anaerobic threshold and your body is producing lactic acid. Which leads to a burning sensation in the muscles and muscle pain after exercise. This zone can be damaging to the heart in recreational training!

    It quickly becomes clear that CORRECT training heart rate always depends on training.

    If you are a beginner and want to strengthen your body and cardiovascular system, a health zone with a low level of intensity will be the correct heart rate range. If, on the other hand, you want to improve your speed, it is worth training in an anaerobic zone. You should also target your training according to the type of sport you are doing. The sprinter will use anaerobic training more often than a marathon runner for whom training in the aerobic zone is more important.

    As a rule, your heart rate drops rapidly below 100 beats per minute when you stop exercising. If your heart rate remains elevated and still exceeds 100 beats per minute after a few minutes, it suggests poor training condition. This type of overtraining should be avoided as it places an unnecessary stress on the circulatory system.

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