Finding Your Training Zone

Getting the most out of your training is linked to your working heart rate, as you may have already done by finding your submaximal working heart rate. When exercising for cardiorespiratory benefits, it is best to exercise within one of three training zones. First determine the intensity of exercise that you consider easy,moderate, and hard and then find the heart rate ranges that correspond to these three training zones.

Opinions vary as to which training zone to exercise in to achieve optimal training results. You need to figure out which training zone is right for you based on your goals. I recommend using a heart rate monitor to monitor your cardiorespiratory training program. 

There are many reasons to use a heart rate monitor, but an important one is that you can make sure you’re not over- or under training. Using a heart rate monitor can be motivating, too.If you don’t choose to use a heart rate monitor to determine your training zones,you will have to get out a pen and paper and do the math yourself. In this case,there’s a formula you can follow. 

To calculate your heart rate zones, you will first need to know your true resting heart rate. Although you took a resting heart rate at the start of your treadmill test, it was not a true resting heart rate. The best way to determine a true resting heart rate is to record your heart rate immediately on waking on three consecutive mornings and average the three. If this is not possible,take your resting heart rate during a peaceful, relaxing time of day.

On average, a resting heart rate of 40 to 60 bpm indicates a high fitness level(in the absence of any medications or medical conditions). A resting heart rate of 60 to 80 is average (obviously, the lower within that range, the better). A resting heart rate over 80 bpm usually indicates a sedentary person who may be at risk for certain types of chronic conditions, a smoker, a very deconditioned person, or someone with a disease condition.