So, you’re ready to use a heart rate monitor—but how do you find your zones?
The Karvonen Formula is one of the most effective ways to determine training zones because it takes the resting heart rate into account, which is a good indicator of fitness levels. To find your heart rate training zones, follow the procedure below.
1. Find your average Resting Heart Rate (RHR) by taking your heart rate first thing in the morning (before even getting out of bed) for at least 3 days in a row. Place a heart rate monitor on your bedside table or use the tried and true method of taking your pulse for an entire minute. Take the average of three days to determine your RHR.
2. Find your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) by using one of the following methods:
3. Determine your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR) by subtracting your RHR from MHR:
MHR – RHR = HRR
4. Transfer the HRR you just calculated into the HRR column below, multiply it by the listed percentages and then add your RHR back into the second column.
= TRAINING HEART RATE
Remember, if you want to exercise at a moderate intensity level, you will spend most of your time in the 65-80% range.