By Kim Duke, NETA & AFAA Certified Trainer

Hello Friends! Last week I shared how to get a Maximum Heart Rate. This week, let’s calculate your heart rate training zone.

As I stated last week, calculating various heart-rate intensity zones allows you to choose intensity zones appropriate for accomplishing certain goals.

Zone 1 Target Heart Rate (THR): 50 to 65% of your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR). This is your warm-up and cool-down zone.  You’re working at a comfortable level and can easily hold a conversation.

Zone 2 THR: 65-75% of your MHR. This should be your go-to-zone.  It increases muscle capacity to store ready-to-burn glycogen (fuel)!  The more glycogen in the muscles, the harder you can work during tougher sessions and the more calories that will be used up.  Training at this level also torches a higher percentage of calories from fat.  Remember, though, going slower also zaps calories, so you’ll have to keep up these workouts a little longer.

Zone 3 THR: 85-90% of your MHR.  Working in this range increases your ability to push harder longer; challenging sessions will ultimately feel easier.

Zone 4 THR: 90-95% of your MHR. This is near all-out training. This zone is associated with interval training for speed and power.  It is anaerobic/very, very hard exertion.  Improved performance can occur in this zone, but there is a higher risk of musculoskeletal injuries and possible cardiovascular problems.  Do most of your training below this zone.

Calculating your various Target Heart Rates will help you maximize your training efficiency and effectiveness.  Once you know these numbers it is easy to determine your zone as you train.

Simply find your pulse at your wrist or side of your neck. Count the number of beats within 6 seconds and add a zero to that number.  That’s your heart rate. The continuous feedback allows you to be aware or your heart rate response and to adjust the intensity of your activity to suit your goals.

This information can be confusing. If you would like me to assist you in figuring your MHR or THR for your desired activity and fitness goals, do not hesitate to call (716-698-1198), text or email me at