What should my target heart-rate be?


What should my target heart-rate be?

Short Answer:

Your target heart-rate, will depend on the type of activity you are performing but to determine a specific number, we must first take into consideration your age and fitness level. However, if not looking to monitor your numbers, a general gauge is exercising to a point where it's difficult to have a sustained conversation. You should be able to speak, but perhaps not formulate longer sentences. At that point, you know you are breathing/working hard enough, while still relative to the individual. But for more specific numbers, read on...

Longer Answer:

These days it is very simple to determine your heart-rate. From heart monitors, to Garmins, to Apple Watches, we have the ability to quickly determine our HR. But where exactly we should be targeting can vary, depending on your activity and fitness level. But for our purposes, assuming your goal is about weight/fat loss, we are going to target two separate numbers: a higher number during the peak levels of your exercise (think the middle of an Apex set or the peak of your HIIT bursts) and a number during your valleys (think in between Apex circuits or during your HIIT rest periods); the more fit you are, the quicker your peak numbers return to your valley numbers.

But first if you do not have a HR-monitor, the easiest way to determine your HR is by taking your pulse (placing your index/third finger either on your neck between your windpipe/chin or on your wrist, palm upward). Count how often your heart beats for 6 seconds and multiply by 10.

For peak levels, we want our heart-rate to be roughly 75-95% of our Maximum Heart-Rate...closer to 95% for those more fit, while closer to 75% for those newer to exercise. For valley levels, we want our heart-rate to be roughly 55-65% of our MaxHR. So the next step is to calculate your MaxHR. The simplest way is to subtract your age from 220. So if you are 50 years old, your MaxHR would be 170. We will link to a few more calculations below if looking for more exact numbers, but 220-age is general enough. So for this 50 year-old, they should be hitting their Apex/HIIT peaks at about 130-160bpm and their valleys at about 95-110bpm.

  • 207 - .7xAge (More helpful for 40+)
  • 211 - .64xAge (More helpful for active people)

And lastly, these are general numbers. As always, please pay attention to how you feel during exercise, especially if a newer member as it takes time to condition yourself for more intense work.

Yours in Health & Friendship,

- The Fit Mother Project
Customer Success Team