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Last modified: Friday, March 3, 2006

Target heart rates

The Karvonen Method takes into consideration the resting heart rate (RHR), which can be measured after sitting calmly for five minutes. Other parts of the equation include:

  • Maximal heart rate (MHR), which is a person's age subtracted from 220
  • Target intensity, called the percentage of heart rate reserve (HRR) - low intensity is roughly 40 percent to 50 percent, moderate intensity is roughly 60 percent to 75 percent, high intensity is roughly 80 percent to 90 percent.

To find target heart rates, subtract RHR from MHR and multiply this by the HHR percentage that matches the desired intensity. Finally, add the RHR back to this number. For a 40-year-old woman with a resting heart rate of 80 who is shooting for a workout of moderate intensity, the math would look like this: 220-40=180. 180-80=100. 100 x .6=60. 60 80=140. 140 would be the target heart rate for a moderate workout.