36 Pittsfield Road
Lenox MA 01240
(413) 637-1414
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Quote: “In order to be wealthy, you must be healthy”


What should my heart rate be when I am exercising performing my cardiovascular training?

The common and easiest formula to figure out your maximum heart rate would be subtracting 220-(your age) = max heart rate multiplied by your percentage you are striving for.  For ex.  If your are 50 years of age, 220-50=170x70% (.70=using the lower threshold of the range for intermediates to advanced trainee) 119.  Hopefully not to make the equation any more confusing but there is a standard deviation for this formula of +/- of 11 beats for intermediates and advanced trainees.  So, what that means is some people may find that their number seems rather hard or easy when they use the formula but it is intended for a general and relatively accurate baseline. Each individual will have a different capacity to sustain a lower/higher heart rate due to their fitness level.  In general, a beginner exercising for an hour should try to keep their heart rate to 55-65% of their maximum.  Intermediates to Advanced trainees should strive for 70-85% of their maximum heart rate.  To find your heart rate you can place your two fingers on your radial artery by your wrist or carotid artery on the side of your neck.  An easy way to do this is to obtain a heart rate monitor.  By going to any sporting good store or punching in heart rate monitors on the internet you should have no problem purchasing one.  The intensity and duration of exercise for calorie expenditure can be quite surprising to many. 

Below is a list of common activities with calorie expenditures:

Weight 150 pounds=One hour of weight training burn at about 70% of max heart rate= 408 calories

Weight 200 pounds= One hour of weight training burns at about 70% of max heart rate= 546

Weight 150 pounds=walking 3.5, level surface burns 272 calories

Weight 200 pounds=walking 3.5, level surface burns 364 calories

Weight 150 pounds= walking 3.5, up hill burns 364 calories

Weight 200 pounds=walking 3.5, up hill burns 546 calories

Weight 150 pounds= swimming, free style at around 70% of max heart rate burns=364 calories

Weight 200 pounds=swimming, free style at around 70% of max heart rate burns=546 calories

Sustained higher heart rates have numerous health benefits to the cardiovascular system of the body.  The increased strength that the heart derives from exercise helps with the improvements of antioxidant capacities (the ability to remove free radicals) and it elevates heat shock proteins in the myocardium.  Heat shock proteins (stress proteins) protect the heart against many stresses to the heart, including heart attacks. Along with decreasing bad cholesterol (LDL) and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). 

By: J. D. Reber M.S. & B.S. Exercise Science, CSCS & NASM- CFT


American College of Sports Medicine

Powers, K, Scott. Edward, T, Howley. Exercise Physiology, Theory and application to Fitness and Performance. 5th Edition pgs 312-315, 2004


Remember, eat healthy and live wealthy!

Personal training in Lenox, MA