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Heart Rate Zone Calculator

Created by Joanna Michałowska, PhD and Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Dominik Czernia, PhD and Jack Bowater
Based on research by
Fox, S. M., 3rd, Naughton, J. P., Haskell, W. L. Physical activity and the prevention of coronary heart disease; Annals of clinical research; 1971See 6 more sources
Nikolaidis PT, Rosemann T, Knechtle B. Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate in Recreational Marathon Runners: A Cross-Sectional Study on Fox's and Tanaka's Equations; Frontiers in Physiology; 2018Nes, B. M., Janszky, I., Wisløff, U., Støylen, A., Karlsen, T. Age-predicted maximal heart rate in healthy subjects: The HUNT fitness study; Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports; 2013Yabe, H., Kono, K., Onoyama, A., Kiyota, A., Moriyama, Y., Okada, K., Kasuga, H. Predicting a target exercise heart rate that reflects the anaerobic threshold in nonbeta-blocked hemodialysis patients: The Karvonen and heart rate reserve formulas. ,; Therapeutic apheresis and dialysis : official peer-reviewed journal of the International Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Apheresis, the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy; 2021Karvonen, M. J., Kentala, E., Mustala, O. The effects of training on heart rate; a longitudinal study; Annales medicinae experimentalis et biologiae Fenniae; 1957Inbar, O., Oren, A., Scheinowitz, M., Rotstein, A., Dlin, R., Casaburi, R. Normal cardiopulmonary responses during incremental exercise in 20- to 70-yr-old men; Medicine and science in sports and exercise; 1994Gellish, R. L., Goslin, B. R., Olson, R. E., McDonald, A., Russi, G. D., Moudgil, V. K. Longitudinal modeling of the relationship between age and maximal heart rate; Medicine and science in sports and exercise; 2007
Last updated: Jan 18, 2024


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 calculator, 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 (estimated with the max heart rate calculator). 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

where:

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:

Zone

Name

Training

%Intensity

1

Recovery

Very light

50-60

2

Endurance

Light

60-70

3

Aerobic

Moderate

70-80

4

Anaerobic

Hard

80-90

5

VO2 max

Max effort

90-100

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 it 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.

FAQ

What's the heart rate zone for weight loss?

The most effective heart rate zones for weight loss are zones 1 and 2, representing the recovery and endurance zones. They correspond to heart rates at 50-60% and 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, respectively. Zone 2, in particular, promotes greater fat burning compared to zones of higher training intensities. Focusing on zones 1 and 2 allows for activities that require more time.

Which heart rate zones are generally anaerobic in nature?

The heart rate zone that is typically considered anaerobic is zone 4, which corresponds to 80-90% of your maximum heart rate. Anaerobic processes are those that occur in the absence of oxygen. When you train in this zone, the oxygen you breathe in is insufficient to meet the demands of your muscles, causing them to rely on glycogen (a form of stored glucose) as an energy source.

How do I calculate my heart rate zone 2?

Heart rate zone 2 corresponds to 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. To calculate your heart rate zone 2:

  1. Determine your maximum heart rate HRmax by using one of the maximum heart rate formulas, such as the Tanaka formula:

    HRmax = 208 - (0.7 × age)

    Substitute your age to obtain an approximate value for your maximum heart rate.

  2. Multiply your result by 0.6 to determine the lower range value (60%) of zone 2, and multiply it by 0.7 to get the upper range value (70%).

Is 55 BPM a good resting heart rate?

It depends. The normal resting heart rate typically falls between 60 and 100 BPM, and it varies based on age, fitness level, preexisting conditions, and stress levels. A heart rate below 60 BPM is generally classified as bradycardia (a slow heart rate). Still, it can be considered normal for athletes or young adults in good physical condition to have resting heart rates ranging from 49 to 57 BPM.

Joanna Michałowska, PhD and Dominika Śmiałek, MD, PhD candidate
Maximum heart rate calculation
Formula
Oakland nonlinear formula
Max heart rate Oakland nonlinear formula
Age
years
Maximum heart rate
bpm
Resting heart rate calculation
Do you know your resting heart rate?
Yes
Resting heart rate
bpm
What is the aim of your training?
Aim
Endurance
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