Heart rate zones 


Heart Rate (beats per minute)

5Very Hard 

Doing a maximum heart rate field test while unprepared is a surefire way to end up in maximum distress. If you are not sure, consult your doctor before taking the test.

If you don’t want to take an aptitude test, you have two (less accurate) options.

Option 1: Just use the highest heart rate you’ve seen during a run or high-intensity workout in the last six months. Suppose this is close to being your maximum heart rate.

Option 2: Calculate 220 minus your age to get an estimate of your maximum heart rate. You can also do this using our heart rate zone calculator (above).

Once you’ve calculated your maximum heart rate, you can divide your heart rate into training zones using our zone calculator above. Or simply use your own handheld calculator, based on the percentages below.

Zone 1: Warm Up and Cool Down – 68% to 73% of maximum HR.

Zone 2: Resistance – 74% to 80% of maximum HR. Training in this zone will increase endurance and the efficiency with which you use fat and carbohydrates for fuel.

Zone 3: Moderate – 81% to 87% of maximum HR. Repetitions should be 10-20 minutes long, with relatively short recoveries of 1-3 minutes.

Zone 4: Threshold – 88% to 93% of maximum HR. Use this zone for 3-10 minute reps with 1-2 minute recoveries.

Zone 5: Vo2 Max – 94-100% of maximum HR. Train at this intensity for short reps of 1 to 3 minutes, with similar recovery time.