Have you ever measured your man

Heart rate reserve, heart rate at rest, maximum heart rate: explanation and theoretical calculation

  1. Home
  2. All of our advice
  3. The app Decathlon Coach
  5. Heart rate reserve, heart rate at rest, maximum heart rate: explanation and theoretical calculation

Most exercise programs are based on your heart rate (HR). Two values ​​are required for this: heart rate at rest (resting pulse) and maximum heart rate (HRmax). Then you will be given intensity ranges in which you should run during planned training units. Does it all sound Spanish to you? Then I'll explain it to you! :)


The heart rate, or pulse, is the rhythm in which your heart contracts to use the blood vessels to pump blood around your body. This rhythm corresponds to a certain number of beats per minute. This number changes over time and depending on the intensity of the physical activity you are doing. The more intense the activity, the higher the heart rate.


Your resting heart rate isthe lowest rate that your heart beats.On average, this resting heart rate is between 60 and 70 beats / min. The more athletic you are, the lower your resting heart rate.
The lowest resting pulses ever recorded were 40 beats / min. measured on divers. 
The more you sit and / or the less you move, the higher your resting heart rate. The resting heart rate also depends on stress and other risk factors (nicotine, alcohol, genetic factors) that cause the resting heart rate to rise.
With regular exercise you can lower your resting heart rate! That is the good news. Nothing is lost yet!

The resting heart rate is measured when you are calmest and most relaxed.
It is best to take your pulse in the morning when you have just woken up and are still in bed!

How do I measure my pulse?
- If you a heart rate monitor you only need one 5-minute measurement do and then take the average.You can do this 3 days in a row and then take the average again.
If you don't have a heart rate monitor, you can too Place 3 fingers on the carotid artery (on the side of the neck), feel your pulse yourself and then count the beats. It's best to count the number of beats over 15 seconds and multiply the number by 4. Do this 3 times and then take the average

Remember that you should definitely measure your resting heart rate in the morning if you want to get a valid value.
If you take your heart rate when you read this article in the office at 3 p.m., your heart rate will likely be quite low too, but it will definitely be above your true resting heart rate.


Now to the maximum heart rate (HRmax).
She corresponds to that fastest rhythm your heart can beat.

To measure it, you can:

- one Performance test at the sports doctor do. This is the only 100% reliable method.
- one Self test do. You are doing a very strenuous exercise to get your pulse going as high as possible. Then the heart rate reached is measured.This test should always be accompanied by a specialist!
- the following Use the formula to determine the maximum heart rate depending on age.

Your HRmax = 220 - your age for a man and 226 - your age for a woman.
If I am 39 years old and male, my theoretical HRmax is 220 - 39, i.e. 181 beats / minute. The HRmax therefore depends on the age and changes only slightly with the training.

Even if nothing can replace the performance test at the sports medicine doctor, there are other methods, but they are more complex and must be adapted to your needs and profile.


With the heart rate reserve (HFR) your training intensity is determined.

As already explained before, your heart rate reserve moves between the heart rate at rest and the maximum heart rate.

Take Charles, 39, as an example. He has a resting pulse of 30 beats / min and a HRmax of 181. His heart can therefore beat in this interval between resting pulse and HRmax. This means that the heart rate moves between 65 and 181 beats / minute, depending on the intensity of the activity. The HFR is 181-65 = 116. This is, so to speak, the latitude that his heart rate has.
This heart rate reserve can increase through regular training, especially by lowering the resting heart rate.

So, let's come to the last step so that you understand how to plan your workout as a percentage of your heart rate.
As has already been said the heart rate proportional to the intensity of the exertion. The more you try, the higher your heart rate.
In order to plan the intensity range for your training, you have to proceed in reverse order, so to speak. This means that you plan the heart rate that you need to have during training in order to determine the intensity of your training. To do this, you use a percentage of the heart rate reserve. The higher this percentage, the more intense the training will be.

Let's go back to our example: Charles goes jogging at 65% of his heart rate reserve. This means that it must have a heart rate of = ((65 x 116) / 100) + resting pulse = 75 + 65 = 140 beats / min. to run.

Now you know how your program determines the intensity of your workout.

Have fun :)

A website for recording and analyzing your sports statistics
Register now
A website for recording and analyzing your sports statistics
Register now
A website for recording and analyzing your sports statistics