Exercise Heart Rate Training Zones for Weight Loss

heart rate training zoneYou can determine how intensely you are exercising by monitoring your heart rate or rating your perceived exertion.

Determine YOUR heart rate training zone with the heart rate calculator.


Your “training zone” tends to be at an intensity of 60 – 80% of your maximum heart rate. If you have been inactive for a long time, exercise at an intensity level lower than 75% of your maximum heart rate. Then gradually increase the intensity. This is of course simply a guideline and you must assess how you are feeling during your workout. You know that you are working at the right intensity if you are sweating and breathing harder than normal, but not gasping for breath. You also need to sustain it for 30 – 60 minutes.

As you become more fit, it becomes easier to exercise in your target heart rate (THR) range. However, your heart rate also decreases as you get increasingly athletic. Therefore, you need to periodically re-calculate your target heart rate.

The table below shows the level of fitness and its approximate corresponding maximum heart rate.

Fitness level
% of Maximum heart rate (MHR)
Beginner/ low
50 – 60%
60 – 70%
75 – 85%



Another way to assess the intensity of your work out is by using a scale of 1- 10, called the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale. The scale does not require measuring heart rate.This can be easier to use for beginners who are not using the gym. If you are using equipment in the gym or have a heart rate monitor when doing outdoor activity, it is simple enough to use target heart rate as your intensity guide.

Level 1 Very, very light
Level 2 Very light
Level 3 Light, very easy
Level 4 Low intensity, warm-up level, easy
Level 5 Low to moderate intensity, still fairly easy
Level 6 Moderate intensity, working and breathing a little hard
Level 7 Moderate to high intensity, breathing harder, more challenging
Level 8 High intensity, very challenging, breathing very hard, difficult to talk
Level 9 Very high intensity, breathing seriously hard
Level 10 Maximum intensity, feels like your heart will burst out of your chest


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