Karvonen Formula -Heart Rate Reserve Method (HRR)

What is the Karvonen Formula, this is a heart rate reserve formula and it’s one of the most effective methods used to calculate training heart rate. The formula factors in your resting heart rate, therefore you will need to figure yours out. To do so is best to do first thing in the morning as soon as you wake, take your pulse on your wrist (radial pulse) or on the side of your neck (carotid pulse). Count the number of beats, starting with zero, for one minute. If you don’t have a stop watch or a second hand in your bedroom, you can measure the time by watching for the number to change on a digital alarm clock. Once you have your resting heart rate, we can perform the formula.

The Formula –

220 - Age = Maximum Heart Rate.

Max Heart Rate - Rest.

Heart Rate x Intensity + Rest.

Heart Rate = Training Heart Rate

For example, John is 33 yrs old, has a resting heart rate of 75 and he is just beginning his exercise program (his intensity level will be 50% - 60%.) Johns training heart rate zone will be 131-142 beats per minute: Johns Minimum Training Heart Rate: 220 - 33 (Age) = 187 187 - 75 (Rest. HR) = 112 112 x .50 (Min. Intensity) + 75 (Rest. HR) = 131 Beats/Minute = Johns Training Heart rate at 50% Johns Maximum Training Heart Rate: 220 - 33 (Age) = 187 187 - 75 (Rest. HR) = 112 112 x .60 (Max. Intensity) + 75 (Rest. HR) = 142 Beats/Minute = Johns Training Heart rate at 60%.

Below a is a guide of 5 different zones-

Zone 0-Low Heart Rate Zone: 40% - 50% of your Max HR Beginning Exerciser Heart Rate Training Zone Exercise Benefits: An ideal heartrate training zone if you are a beginning exerciser, or to use on Active Rest, easy or recovery training days.

Zone 1- Healthy Heart Zone: 50%- 60% of your Max HR Easiest, Most Comfortable Zone Exercise Benefits: Body fat decreases, blood pressure lowered, cholesterol lowered, muscle mass improvements, decreased risk for degenerative diseases, safety high.

Zone 2 - Temperate Zone: 60% - 70% of your Max HR Cruise Zone  you can train for extended periods of time in this zone 75% - 85% of all calories from fat as fuel, 6- 10 calories per minute Exercise Benefits: Gain muscle mass, lose fat mass, strengthen heart muscle, fat utilization zone, training your fat mobilization, fat transportation, your muscles to burn fat, your fat cells to increase the rate of fat release, increase in the number of mitochondria in the muscle.

Zone 3 - Aerobic Zone: 70% - 80% of your Max HR Transition Zone ñ from two health zones to two performance zones Still feels comfortable, you will break a sweat, but no anaerobic burn sensation Exercise Benefits: Improved overall functional capacity with increase in the number and size of blood vessels, increased vital capacity, respiratory rate, max pulmonary ventilation, pulmonary diffusion, increase in size and strength of the heart, improvements in cardiac output and stroke volume.

Zone 4 -Threshold Zone: 80% - 90% of your Max HR Max Calorie Burn Zone - Exercise Benefits: Max fat burn, but you must be fit enough to train with some oxygen present for additional fat burn. No fat burning if exercising above fat burning heart rate. High total calories burned during exercise, high carbohydrates as source of calories. Improved VO 2 and higher lactate tolerance.

Zone 5 -Performance Red Line Zone: 90% - 100% of your Max HR Peak Race Zone. Athlete Only Zone! Exercise Benefits: Highest total calories burned, but lowest percentage of fat calories. Lactate tolerance zone. This zone is ONLY for the VERY HEALTHY & FIT!!! Spending too much time in this zone, even for elite athletes can be painful, cause injuries and lead to over training, which leads to poor performance!

Hope this has help guys! Tag and share!


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