Understanding the importance of knowing your maximum heart rate will enable you to get the maximum benefit during your training and enable you to make the most of the different workout intensities.
This will enable you to track your cardiovascular fitness and reach your training and weight loss/gain goals. Training intensity is divided into 5 heart rate zones with each having its own requirements. It ranges from a very light zone to maximum intensity. The intensities are measured as a percentage of your maximum heart rate.
Don’t forget that your diet is an important part of your fitness regime. Choosing food that provides the right number of calories and nutrients to support your exercise will make a big difference to your success. Use Dubai Meal plans to support your journey and assist you with meal prep and meal plans. You could even have meal plans delivered or get a home cook box to support your journey.
For you to be able to work out your optimum heart rate for different intensity exercises you will need to calculate your maximum heart rate.
How to use the Heart Rate Training Zone Calculator
To use our calculator, you will need to input your age in years and your gender. Next, you will need to input your resting heart rate.
Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
Your resting heart rate is a good indicator of your cardiovascular health. To find out your resting heart rate you can use 2 methods.
- If you are lucky enough to have a smart fitness tracker such as a Fitbit or Apple Watch you will be able to see your resting heart rate. You can look for an average over a month to get an accurate picture.
2. If you do not have access to an electronic device, then you are able to measure your resting heart rate by measuring your pulse. You will need to sit or lie comfortably (not after exercise) and have a visible watch or clock with a second hand or a timer. Place 2 fingers between the bone and the tendon over your radial artery. You can feel this on the thumb side of your wrist. Once you can feel your pulse you will need to count the number of beats in 15 seconds. By multiplying this figure by 4, you will have your resting heart rate. It’s a good idea to take this measurement several times to get an accurate average figure.
A normal RHR should be between 50 and 100. An ideal RHR is between 50 and 80 beats per minute. Once you have input your RHR into our calculator, click on calculate to get your results.
What do my Results Mean?
You will get 4 numbers that are all larger than your RHR. The results indicate the heart rate that you will achieve to be within the following training zones.
Maximum Heart Rate (HR): This figure represents an estimation of your heart’s maximum capacity. At this rate your heart, blood and respiratory system will be working to their full capacity.
Easy (60-75%): This is a light heart zone. This is an essential part of any training programme. Your heart will be working at a low capacity (60-70% of the max) and you should be able to exercise for a long time at this level. This zone is known as the aerobic zone as your body produces energy with the use of oxygen. This builds your endurance, and your body will be able to burn fat more easily. Your muscular fitness will also improve.
AT (85%-90%): This is the hard anaerobic zone where your body burns carbohydrates rather than fats. Rather than relying on oxygen your body uses glycogen which is a carbohydrate stored in muscles.
VO2 (90-100%): This is the zone where you are making the maximum effort for your body. Your heart and respiratory system will be at their full capacity. As lactic acid builds up in your blood you will only be able to continue at this intensity for a short time. It is unlikely that beginners will be able to train in this zone.
Using the training Zones in your Exercise Plan
It is a good idea to think about your reasons for exercising. Is it to improve your fitness, gain muscle or lose weight or maybe a combination of these? This will determine the level of exercise intensity that will suit you best.
Aerobic Zone (Easy 60-75%)
This zone is perfect for developing your cardiovascular system and your overall fitness. You can choose activities such as walking, running, cycling, and swimming. In the gym, you can opt for treadmills, elliptical trainers and rowing machines.
Anaerobic Zone (AT Hard 85-90%)
This zone is perfect for burning your carbohydrates and giving you a high-intensity workout. They require short bursts of activity at a fast pace. You can choose sprinting, jumping, jump rope, HIIT Training, squats and push-ups.
VO2 Max (Max 90-100%)
This zone is for those who are capable of working at an extremely high intensity and already have developed a good level of fitness. Often the best exercise in this zone consists of alternating between interval and continuous training. For example, you could have interval days and continuous running days. Interval days would consist of 6x 5-minute sessions on a stationary bike at a workload that produces your maximum HR. On a continuous day, you would run as far as possible for 30 minutes gradually building this to 40 minutes. People with underlying heart conditions should not work in this zone unless with prior recommendation from a clinical specialist.
Don’t have unrealistic expectations. Start slowly and build up to a more intense exercise. See it as a long-term challenge as your fitness improves. All exercise should be undertaken with caution and if you are starting as unfit then it is wise to seek advice from a doctor before starting.