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Hi, guys! Today I’m gonna write about how to calculate heart rate zones for effective weight loss training. For those who don’t know, your heart rate determines how many times your heart beats per 60 seconds, or in other words, it’s just your pulse while you are exercising.
Probably all of us have heard about heart rate zones – low-intensity training, high-intensity training and etc.
Heart rate is the main indicator for training intensity. Training intensity can’t be measured by speed, reps, incline or any other parameters because this is very individual and depends on many factors like physical preparation, heart diseases, age and etc.
If jogging is low-intensity training for one person, that doesn’t mean that jogging is low-intensity training for all people. If you want to lose weight you should engage in light-intensity training – which is 60 -70% of your maximum HR.
Ok, let’s get straight to the point – ways how to calculate your personal heart rate:
This formula is quite basic, but it works well in the most cases. Your maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. For example: If you were a 44-year-old woman your maximum heart rate would be 176 beats per minute. Yeah – it’s very easy to calculate! 220 – your age = your maximum heart rate.
Now we will calculate heart rate zones:
For this example, I will calculate the heart rate zones of a 44-year-old woman, whose maximum HR is 176.
Let’s start with the very light intensity zone, which, as you can see in the graph above, is 50-60%.
176* 0,5 (50%) will be 88 beats per minute and 176* 0,6 (60%) will be 105.6 beats per minute.
So, the light intensity zone will be from 88 to 106 beats per minute!
If you want to lose weight to should train in the light intensity zone (60 – 70 %) – so let’s calculate it!
176 *0,7 (70%) will be 123,2 beats per minute, we already know that 60% of our maximum is 106 beats so our very light intensity zone would be from 106 to 123 beats per minute.
Now it’s your turn! Calculate your maximum HR and weight loss zone!
If you have any questions feel free to comment below the post 🙂
2. Fitness level and age-based formula (Karvonen formula)
In my opinion, this formula is the most accurate formula. It requires your resting heart rate – which can be calculated by measuring your heart rate 3 mornings in a row before getting up from the bed and then putting those numbers in this formula: Resting heart rate = (Morning 1 + Morning 2 + Morning 3 ) / 3.
Resting heart rate is the best indicator of your fitness level – the lower your heart rate the better your fitness level is.
Your resting heart rate should be 50 – 90 beats per minute. It can even be 45 or 40 if you are a trained athlete. Don’t worry if your heart rate is elevated, it could because one of these reasons:
- You are overtrained.
- You haven’t fully recovered from your last workout.
- Your body is fighting an illness.
- Yesterday you had a crazy party with a lot of alcohol.
This is how Karvonen formula looks like (Maximum heart rate – Morning Resting Heart Rate) * Percentage of Max HR + Morning Resting Heart Rate
If you were a 44-year-old woman and your resting heart rate was 62 and your estimated maximum heart rate was 176 (use the formula from the first method – 220-44=176), this is how we would calculate your heart rate for a 60% intensity training zone.
(176-62)*0,6+62 = 130.4 beats per minute
So your 60% intensity zone according to the Karvonen formula is 130 beats per minute.
For educational purposes I have split the maths:
114*0.6 (because we are calculating 60% intensity zone)=68.4
68.4+62=130.4 beats per minute.
We see a big difference between results:
- Age-based formula 60 % from MaxHR – 106 beats per minute.
- Karvonen formula 60% from Max HR – 130 beats per minute.
In my opinion – if you have a possibility to calculate your resting heart rate – definitely use Karvonen formula.
I hope this post will help you achieve your weight loss goal! If you have any questions, comments or just want to say something – feel free to comment below this post 🙂