Heart Rate Zone Calculator

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD candidate and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Apr 06, 2022

The heart rate zone calculator finds your five HR zones, which can be used to estimate the intensity of your training. In the article below, you will find information about all the heart rate training zones and a guide on how to measure resting heart rate. You will also get to know the Karvonen formula, which we use to determine target heart rate training zones.

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace professional medical advice. If you are concerned about your health, please consult a physician.

Why do we need heart rate training zones?

We all know that exercise is great for our health. It reduces our risk of developing cardiovascular disease and diabetes, reduces blood pressure, and can be helpful on a weight loss journey.

The heart rate training zone you aim for depends on what you want from your exercise (it should always be greater than your normal resting heart rate). If you are training for a marathon, you will be looking to train at different HR zones than a person who is more interested in weight loss and calories burned.

Karvonen formula for estimating HR zones

There are five heart rate training zones. They are based on the intensity of training with regard to your maximum heart rate. The Karvonen formula is a mathematical equation that helps to determine heart rate ranges for different training zones.

It uses three different variables and looks as follows:

target HR = [(max HR − resting HR) * %intensity] + resting HR


target HR - heart rate you need to achieve to be in the heart rate training zone;

max HR - maximum heart rate. It's expressed in beats per minute (BPM), and it's the highest heart rate a person can achieve without experiencing severe problems;

resting HR - resting heart rate. The number of times that your heart beats per minute when you are at rest; and

%intensity - the intensity of the training expressed as a percentage. This value is different for each of HR zones.

The table below presents %intensities for all five of the heart rate training zones:







Very light















VO2 max

Max effort


Heart rate zone calculator - a practical example

Our heart rate zone calculator needs only two variables:

  1. Your age - to estimate maximum heart rate
  2. Your resting heart rate - we need this to estimate your heart rate reserve and is included in the heart rate training zones calculation. Not sure how to measure resting heart rate? Check the paragraph below ⬇️

Once you fill in the required fields, we will display the following information:

  • Your maximum heart rate;
  • Your heart rate reserve (if you choose advanced mode);
  • Information regarding your resting heart rate - you will find out if you have a normal resting heart rate, or if it is above/below average; and
  • The table with all your heart rate training zones - now you know for which heart rate ranges you should aim during your training!

How to measure resting heart rate?

Not sure what your normal resting heart rate is? No worries! Find your pulse and use a timer to count how many times your heart beats, e.g., within 15 or 30 seconds.

When using our heart rate zone calculator, choose "No" next to the question "Do you know your resting heart rate?". After that, you will be able to enter the values you have obtained when measuring your pulse.

Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
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Max heart rate Oakland nonlinear formula
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