This calculator will be used to help you in calculating your maximum heart rate and any percentages in order to make your cardio workouts and exercises most effective.

If you perform cardio exercises without paying attention to your heart rate, you lose out on maximizing your time and working out efficiently.

It is equivalent to lifting something in the weight room without knowing its weight. Almost random in practice.

You need to train and track your heart rate during cardio to ensure you are moving and training as efficiently as possible.

Use this calculator below to find your max heart rate at various percentages you wish to train in. Just plug in your age, and you will get these close estimates!

How Do I Use The Results Of The Calculator?

The heart rate calculator above will use your age to find your estimated maximal heart rate and some age-predicted percentages that you can use as heart rate training ranges.

Heart rate is measured in beats per minute, or bpm, and this calculator is used for finding your heart rate during physical activity.

Your max heart rate is the estimated highest heart rate possible, and when near this number, you are technically working to the maximum ability of your body.

This MHR is found with the formula 220-AGE. It is a good estimate but can vary slightly due to many factors.

The rest of the calculator shows various levels of training intensity in 5% intervals, which you will ideally use to find a target range of heart rates to train in.

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This is found through the use of the age-predicted formula, and not the use of the Karvonen formula. Both are equally used in fitness.

The target ranges will vary upon the type of activity being done, the individual’s fitness level, and other factors regarding your health, which we will discuss.

You can also think of this estimated maximum heart rate calculator as a target heart rate calculator. Both are important in exercise.

What Heart Rate Is Best For Cardio?

This will depend on your goals and the training you are performing in your exercise program.

Let’s break down this answer into two different forms of cardio: we will look at steady-state and high-intensity interval training.

With all of these cardio forms, we want to aim for a target heart rate zone, which we will refer to as the training zones.

You will not be hitting your upper limit max HR for steady-state cardio, which we consider moderate-intensity cardio.

Instead, we will aim to have a cardio exercise intensity ranging from the 65 – 70% mark of heart rate. And the timeframe for steady-state exercise for the general population is usually 30 – 45 minutes every session.

So, if you were 25 and decided to start a steady-state program, you should aim for 127 bpm – 137 BPM, give or take a few heartbeats per minute.

Due to the decreased intensity, this form of cardio is best for long-term success and basic exercise for the general population.

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Then, for the High-intensity interval Training, or HIIT exercise, we will aim for a much higher heart rate range than we had for steady-state exercise.

Ideally, for HIIT training, we will aim for a percentage range of 80 – 95%, and this would be done for anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes in total.

HIIT training is a more advanced form of training, and we have to consider the participant’s aerobic level and health factors like BMI or the presence of heart disease.

Nonetheless, HIIT training and steady-state are some of the most popular forms of cardio, and they will work well for the general population when used in these targets above heart rates.

How Can I Test Heart Rate?

Heart rate can be assessed on your own or by a professional. You can find the number of beats per minute at rest or during exercise.

If you do this on your own, you need to have a heart rate monitor or use one together with cardio exercise equipment. It can also be done without equipment.

If you choose this route, let’s discuss assessing heart rate without equipment.

To do this, you will assess your pulse by touching one of your main arteries and counting the beats you feel.

Start with a timer at zero, and count the beats for a set time, such as 10 or 15 seconds.

You then multiply this number to 60 seconds for your full bpm.

So, if you have 10 beats in 10 seconds, you multiply the number at 10 seconds, which is also 10, by 6, and you will get a heart rate of 60 bpm. This is a solid resting heart rate.

It can be a good idea to test your heart rate like this during a warm-up to see if your body has yet reached normal exercising levels.

Next, you can use the heart rate monitor to assess your resting heart rate levels by ensuring you are not moving and just sitting still for a good amount of time.

This is an easier and more accurate way to assess one’s heart rate due to technology doing all the work.

If you are working out with a heart rate monitor, there is no need to self-exam your pulse, as we discussed before, your exercise is interrupted even less.

The most accurate and lesser-used way to assess heart rate would be with a professional, like an exercise physiologist or a cardiologist.

These professionals might perform a stress test or look at closer tests like finding any plaque build-up in the arteries and things of this nature.

We find that the other two pulse assessment methods are accurate enough for the general population to use.

Keep in mind that some medications might cause your heart rate to be affected, such as the use of beta-blockers. This is something to keep in mind and something that a professional can account for.

Tyler Read - Certified Personal Trainer with PTPioneer

Tyler Read


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