Heart Rate & Exercise Intensity
Resting Heart Rate Formula (Record in beats per minute):
• Resting Heart Rate Average over 5 mornings (or quiet times):
Day 1 _____ + Day 2 ______ + Day 3 ______+ Day 4 ______+ Day 5 ______ = ______ 5 = _______RHR*
Resting heart rate is a general indicator of your overall cardiorespiratory fitness. Average is 60-70 bpm.
What should my heart rate be while exercising?
The easiest method for determining training heart rate zones is to use the following formula:
220- your age = ______ maximum heart rate
Example: 220-23 years = 197 bpm for maximum heart rate
Now determine 60-85% of the maximum heart rate.
Example: If 197 is maximum heart rate, 60% = 197 x .6= 118 bpm and 85%= 197 x .85= 167 bpm
So 118-167 bpm is the training heart rate zone for this 23 year old.
Why 60-85%, this is considered a vigorous or optimal training zone to increase cardiorespiratory fitness. This formula
does not take into account a person’s personal fitness level.
Determine your maximum heart rate and training heart rate zone for 60-85%:
Vigorous (or Optimal) Training Heart Rate Zone (60-85%)= _________________________
If you are just beginning to exercise or have been sick, use a lower training zone, 50-60% of maximum heart rate.
Determine this zone for yourself:
Moderate Intensity Training Heart Rate Zone (50-60%) = ____________________________
FIT Formula for Cardiorespiratory Fitness
3 days a week of vigorous intensity exercise
5 days a week of moderate intensity exercise
50-60% moderate intensity
60-85% vigorous intensity
30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise
20 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise
60-90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise for weight loss
Improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness will be evident through a lower resting heart rate, lower blood pressure and
faster recovery from vigorous exercise. As your fitness level improves and as you age, it is important to recalculate your
training heart rate zone to determine the correct intensity level.
During a group exercise class, your heart rate typically follows this pattern:
Warm-up: just above resting to approximately 40-60% intensity level
Cardio: anywhere from 50-90% intensity level depending upon the exercises and class format
Strength training or muscular fitness: heart rate will remain in the 30-50% intensity level depending upon exercises, if
using heavier weights and moving through exercises quickly, heart rate may climb higher.
Cool-down: should decrease below 40% intensity level.