How to determine your training heart rate?

Elvis Elvis
This page guides you in determining your training heart rate. It is specific to your experience level and can be used to work out your exercising heart rates.


The first thing you need to do is take your Resting Heart Rate upon waking up in the morning. It is best to do it over three mornings and average the 3 heart rates out. This will give you the most accurate reading.

When you wake up, take your pulse from your wrist or neck for 1 full minute. Try not to move around too much, remain as calm as possible so as not to disturb your normal resting heart rate.


Work out your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). Here is the formula:

MHR = 220 – Your age

Apply your Resting Heart Rate and Maximum Heart Rate as a means of determining your Training Heart Rate using the table below.

Beginner/low fitness level 50 – 60% MHR
Average fitness level 60 – 70% MHR
High fitness level 75 – 85% MHR

Use this example to guide you in determining your training heart rate:

Cecil is 27 years old and has a resting heart rate of 70 beats per minute. She hasn’t done much exercise for quite some time so she categorizes herself as a beginner. She needs to work out 50 – 60% of her maximum heart rate, and here is how she does it…
How to determine your training heart rate?

Determining your heart rate minimum
220 – 27 (Your age) = 193
193 – 70 (Resting HR) = 123
123 x 50% + 70 (Resting HR) = 132 beats per minute

Determining your heart rate maximum
220 – 27 (Your age) = 193
193 – 70 (Resting HR) = 123
123 x 60% + 70 (Resting HR) = 144 beats per minute

Cecil needs to keep her training heart rate between 132 and 144 beats per minute.

During your training sessions you will need to periodically check your heart rate to determine whether you are keeping within you range. Take your wrist or neck pulse (don’t press too hard!) for ten seconds, then multiply by 6 to work out beats per minute. Alternatively, a heart rate monitor is a lot easier!